Better a quitter or a loser?

The Dominion Post is catching up with news from America. Specifically, the controversy over Hillary’s comments to her aides that she’s not going to give in just because the big boys are applying pressure. Personally speaking, I have no issue with the comment- look what people are asking her daughter, for instance, and you’ll see the level the campaign has degraded to.

Of course, given the current political climate there, everyone immediately piled on to these comments and started accusing Hillary of playing the race card. Oops, sorry, I mean the gender card. Apparently soon we’ll be through the whole deck of ridiculous discriminatory terms for refusing to kowtow to “the man”.

What commentators accusing her don’t get is that she’s in a unique dilemma. Hillary’s campaign is going to be a template for all future female grabs for the White House, until America actually wakes up and accepts that female politicians really are viable, and don’t need to be lumped together in an artificial group. But until then, Hillary has to choose- does she look strong but dumb/annoying, and end up as a loser in the primary? Or does she look smart, but weak and unable to follow through, and quit for the stake of party unity?

Her fellow party members are failing to understand something critical with their calls for her to drop out. They’re also rather unkind, too, as this is the first time party members have ever called on a candidate to drop out. But Hillary Clinton is committed to something deeper than party loyalty right now- she’s not going to quit because she cannot let women be seen as quitters. Not yet. She has to run fierce and strong, otherwise if she makes a second try, her and any woman who comes after her will have to deal with accusations of women being too indecisive, too weak, too open to pressure to be ready for the White House. It’s a sad reality that one woman’s campaign is seen that way, but it’s a reality.

She can afford to take a hit to the “smart” side of her presidency. Everyone knows the democrats have plenty of smarts. They have a lot of compassion. They are the uniters. So in true American political fashion, instead of focusing on her strengths, Hillary has to fight away her weaknesses. We’re seeing the same thing with Obama, too, by the way, so even if you’re a progressive that’s not a big fan of Hillary, this sort of thing is really bad news.

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