There’s such a thing as playing dumb, and then there’s just playing like you’re in a political coma. On Monday’s front page of The Washington Post, political reporter Philip Rucker implied that Hillary Clinton is not going to make her 2008 mistake again of downplaying her gender in a presidential run. She’ll make 2016 “a natural continuation of her lifelong focus on advocating for women.”
The headline was "Clinton's theme, pre-2016: Women breaking barriers." Nowhere in this story could Rucker find a place to underline why the feminist angle was tricky in her last presidential campaign and might be tricky now: the horny elephant in the room, Hillary’s husband, and his record of adultery, sexual harassment, and even rape accusations. This is the one time his name surfaces in the story:
Now, coming off her four-year tour as the nation’s top diplomat and free as a private citizen to pursue her own agenda, she is championing women — making speeches about the unfinished business of the women’s movement and starting an international project focused on women and girls through the Bill, Hillary & Chelsea Clinton Foundation.
No one at the Post winks and giggles when Bill Clinton wants to “focus on women and girls.” They just channel the positive power of amnesia.
The closest Rucker came to any shading of Clinton’s intern Olympics and impeachment came in a quote from Palin-hating Republican analyst Nicolle Wallace, who vaguely said, “I have never done a book signing or a book event where women have not come up to me and said something about still being upset about what happened to Hillary — that sense that there was this unsettled experience.”
Does that mean the 2008 election? Or something else that “happened” to her? Rucker also portrayed Hillary’s legal career in Arkansas as simply working for the “venerable” Rose Law Firm, and never having her hands dirty in Whitewater legal chicanery (or mysterious cattle-futures trades). She is a "pioneering woman" in law:
On Monday in San Francisco, the American Bar Association will honor Clinton with the prestigious ABA Medal for her career as a pioneering woman. In 1987, Clinton, then the first lady of Arkansas and the first female partner at the venerable Rose Law Firm, chaired a new ABA commission on women in the legal profession. Aides said she plans to talk about that experience in her acceptance speech.
“Go back to a time when women were not a recognized face of the legal profession, and around that time came Hillary Clinton,” ABA President Laurel G. Bellows said. “She is an advocate of the highest order.”
In 1995, Clinton made a global splash when, as first lady of the United States, she declared in Beijing, “Human rights are women’s rights, and women’s rights are human rights.” As secretary of state, she made women’s empowerment a core focus. She gave major speeches about the power that women can have in improving government, expanding an economy and securing peace.
Clinton devoted her first public remarks after leaving the State Department, an address at the Vital Voices Global Partnership gala, to a discussion of the “untapped potential” of women. And she continued that theme at the Women in the World conference in April. Women, she said, “are agents of change, we are drivers of progress, we are makers of peace — all we need is a fighting chance.”
Hillary left out “We are the enablers of sexually voracious husbands. And we are the crushers of 'bimbo eruptions.'” As George Stephanopoulos told the tale in his memoir All Too Human, Mrs. Clinton turned to him on the first "bimbo eruption" (Connie Hamzy in 1991) and said "We have to destroy her story." (Italics his.)
The anti-"bimbo" pattern continued, from willing sexual partners (Gennifer Flowers, Monica Lewinsky) to the accusers of sexual harassment and assault (Paula Jones, Kathleen Willey, and Juanita Broaddrick.) The fact that the Ruckers of the world constantly forget about this shows they are political partners, not independent reporters. They are less feminists than Clinton lackeys.
PS: Rucker’s liberal bias is also obvious in describing Hillary supporters at EMILY’s List: “Emily’s List, a group that works to elect more women, is barely disguising its support for Clinton.” He left out a few adjectives that would underline they’re choosier in their mission: “EMILY’s List elects pro-choice Democratic women to office.”