If there were ever the slightest hope that Hillary Clinton would run her presidential campaign without repeatedly playing the “sexism” card, those hopes have long vanished. As we head into a second straight week of her back-and-forth with Donald Trump over his use of insensitive language on the trail (Trump? Insensitive?), it is becoming increasingly clear that Clinton is going to ride her gender all the way to the White House if America will let her.
The feud started last week, when Trump made a casual remark about how Clinton got “schlonged” by Barack Obama in the 2008 presidential race. Even by the media’s standards, this was a stretch. With some of his earlier comments, Trump’s assertions of innocence have been less than convincing. But it’s hard to imagine he used that word as some kind of subtle code for male superiority. His other slight – referring to her mid-debate bathroom break as “too disgusting” to talk about – was less sexist and more…unusual. But that’s Trump. He doesn’t really write out speeches, he doesn’t use a teleprompter. He says whatever comes to mind. His supporters are willing to ignore some of his stranger comments if it means hearing from a real person and not a speechwriter.
In neither case was there really an opening for Clinton to start launching accusations of sexism, but she was apparently spoiling for this fight. “I don’t respond to him personally, because he thrives on that kind of exchange,” she said. “I think he has to answer for what he says, and I assume that others will make the larger point about his language. It’s not the first time he’s demonstrated a penchant for sexism.”
Her unconvincing “I don’t want to fight” disclaimer did not have the desired effect; Trump, smelling blood, went into attack mode on Twitter:
Hillary Clinton has announced that she is letting her husband out to campaign but HE’S DEMONSTRATED A PENCHANT FOR SEXISM, so inappropriate.
The next day, Trump tweeted again to clarify his point. “If Hillary thinks she can unleash her husband, with his terrible record of women abuse, while playing the women’s card on me, she’s wrong!”
Trump rarely chooses to take the high road, but this is one situation where he might as well. He’s never going to win over the media when it comes to a conflict with Hillary, so a rope-a-dope strategy might work best. The American people are going to quickly tire of hearing sexism-this, sexism-that from the woman who wants to be the first female president.
Whether Obama “schlonged” Hillary or not in 2008, he knew better than to whine his way to the White House. The last person people want as their president is someone who perceives themselves as a victim. Especially when that person is someone with the charmed life of Hillary Clinton.