Margaret Thatcher was an unflinching and principled world leader. During an uncertain and dangerous time in history, she stood strong with Ronald Reagan and together they defeated Communism. Hillary Clinton is a two-term New York senator and a former first lady who survived the scandals of her husband’s tumultuous presidency. Whenever challenged or out maneuvered, she typically plays the victim. They are two very different women, indeed.
In terms of Democratic presidential primary candidates, Senator Clinton has been without equal. In national polls, she has held a nearly 20-point lead over her closest rival for months. In the critically important early primary states of Iowa, New Hampshire, South Carolina, and Florida, the latest polls have her up 10, 18, 22, and 25 points respectively.
Mrs. Clinton’s fundraising has been record shattering — her campaign reported raising nearly $91 million to date. For perspective’s sake, the leading Republican candidate, Rudy Giuliani, has a total of $47 million.
Mrs. Clinton’s early success and the seeming inevitability of her nomination must have bred an incredible confidence and a dangerous arrogance within team Clinton. It also helped to reveal her true character. This seems to be the only explanation for why a flubbed answer to a simple debate question is generating so much controversy.
Last week’s infamous non-response to whether Mrs. Clinton supports Governor Eliot Spitzer’s ill-conceived plan to issue drivers licenses to illegal aliens raised eyebrows and provided an avenue of attack to her hapless opponents. Her grousing that those opponents engaged in the politics of “piling on” because she is a woman competing in the “boy’s club” of politics is still dominating the political discussion.
Feminists are split on Mrs. Clinton playing the gender card. Their point of view, however, seems to be shaped by their candidate preferences. Those on team Clinton are shocked by the attacks. Those supporting her opponents are offended by Mrs. Clinton’s reaction.
The former Democratic vice presidential candidate, Geraldine Ferraro, a Clinton supporter, told the New York Times the debate demonstrated that it’s “OK in this country to be sexist.”
Another Clinton supporter, the president of the Feminist Majority Foundation, Eleanor Smeal, told the Politico that the debate reminded her of Anita Hill’s congressional testimony. “Every woman — it was just so visceral — that panel was all male,” she told the publication. “It didn’t matter almost what was being said. It [was] a visceral gut reaction, and I think that’s what you’re seeing here again.”