Hillary Clinton ‘Iron My Shirt’ Stunt

TownHall‘s Mary Katharine Ham seems to have broken the news last night about a bizarre stunt at a Hillary Clinton rally yesterday evening.

Hillary Clinton

7:26 PM – Two protestors just stood up in the audience holding orange signs that read “IRON MY SHIRT,” and chanted “Iron my shirt, Iron my shirt” for a few seconds until led out by security.

She said, “Obviously the remnants of sexism are alive and well.”

The crowd stood and cheered loudly to drown out the protestors. A few minutes later, she went back to the well with uncharacteristic humor: “We talk about a lot of issues, and we’ll talk about more tonight. If anyone out there would like me to explain to them how to iron their own shirt, I can do that.” She got a good laugh, and went on to talk about breaking the glass ceiling, to another standing “O”.

Sarah Wheaton, blogging for the NYT, filed a similar story a few minutes later.

Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton was about to deliver a line that has become a centerpiece of her campaign since her loss in Iowa.

“Everybody in this race is talking about change. But what does that mean?”

“Iron my shirt!” yelled a man, who stood up in the middle of a jammed and stuffy auditorium at a high school in Salem, N.H., and held up a yellow sign with the same text. He repeated it over and over.

Mrs. Clinton asked for the lights to be turned on, and the shirt man was removed along with another man who had stood up too.

Here’s the video (via Gateway Pundit):

Michelle Malkin has other videos and photos.

Lots of speculation ensued as to whether these folks were from a rival campaign, plants by the Clinton campaign to help her out after a bad few days, or what. It turns out, as is often the case, that these were just garden variety yahoos who, much like Lee Harvey Oswald, were acting alone.

Michael McAuliff of the NY Daily News “followed to ask what the heck they were thinking.”

Nick Gemelli, who is 21, and born at least a decade after “iron my shirts” was an anti-women’s rights slogan, didn’t have much of a rationale. “I just don’t think a woman should be President,” he said. He couldn’t really say why, but he agreed that he was a health care voter, as the sticker on his carrying case implied. The “Hillary for President” sticker was a bit more of a puzzle. He said he had just been given both and peeled them off. He said he had no connection to any campaign.

At least he got some attention. His friend — a la Bart Simpson — said his name was Hugh Jas, but The Mouth later learned that his real name is Adolfo Gonzalez Jr.

AllahPundit then tracked these guys through MySpace and other far reaches of the internets and figured out that these clowns work for the “Toucher and Rich Show” in Boston, which apparently does this kind of thing with some regularity. SeeDubya has found instances going back to 2003.

Photo of cretins via Bob Krumm:

Toucher and Rich Hillary Clinton

We’ll see how this plays out in the news. Presumably, there will be wall-to-wall New Hampshire coverage today on the 24/7 cable news outlets and this event, which is on video, will get several airings. Clinton reacts with poise and good humor and gets to play the “they’re picking on me because I’m a girl card” without having to actually whine about it. It could help her, marginally, with voters who are on the fence; I don’t see how it could hurt.

FILED UNDER: 2008 Election, Blogosphere, Gender Issues, Media, , , , , , , , , , , ,
James Joyner
About James Joyner
James Joyner is Professor and Department Head of Security Studies at Marine Corps University's Command and Staff College. He's a former Army officer and Desert Storm veteran. Views expressed here are his own. Follow James on Twitter @DrJJoyner.


  1. rodney dill says:

    No doubt some pretty blatant sexism still exists out there. Thare are both people that won’t vote for Hillary because she’s a woman, and people that will vote for her because she is the first viable woman candidate.

    No existing campaign would sponsor this as it is obvious it has more probability of backfiring and helping Hillary. Also Hillary’s campaign probably wouldn’t resort to this as discovery of a ‘staged’ incident would backfire bigtime as well. At least it would be a sign of desparation within her campaign.

    Most likely cause is some independent wacko’s as you already indicated.

  2. DavidL says:

    Ironing shirts is so Sixty’s. hasn’t Mrs. Clinton very heard of permapress?

    If I grant that the United States not as non-sexisty as almost all of us would desire, how is our country blantantly sexist? As compared to whom? Dare say that no other country can as non-sexist as the United States and yet be functional. That iu to say, we are about as non-sexist as we can get without further departures from reality.

    Men and women are different. Those who ignore this fact do so at their own peril.

  3. David says:

    These guys were on the air in Atlanta previously, where I live, and they were the first people I thought of when I saw this post. They actually pulled an identical stunt a few years ago when the Masters was being protested for not allowing female members. It’s juvenile but very much par for the course.

  4. SJR says:

    yes, sexism is alive and well. although its hillary being the sexist one.

    Think about it for a moment. she supposedly has so many supporters to rally to her aid. where were those supporters when she needed the votes?

    when she came in third, she cried up a river blaming everybody, and everything but the sun. just like a little spoiled child.

    who wants some one to lead the country that tosses a tantrum like that, and that quickly for that matter.

    she may of well laid on her tummy and kicked her fist and feet on the floor over and over while holding her breath.

    it was a nice touch how the biased article associated the men preforming freedom of speech with a murderer Oswald. That was sexism at its finest. Portraying non violent men expressing freedom of speech as serial killers.

    So yes, sexism is alive and well. but most of the sexism is directed towards men from women. And ironically, if a man speaks up about it, he is just ridiculed and told that its supposed to just be accepted when a woman does this towards a man.

    Thats what slave owners said to their slaves too keep in mind.

  5. Ryan says:

    Piss off, SJR. I can’t believe after all this time on the Internet that people can still be so daft as to be offensive. I’m not a Clinton supporter, but as noted here the supposed tears moment had no such thing, and was certainly not a tantrum. Your ridiculous try to co-opt movements of tolerance against themselves are sickeningly transparent.

  6. independent says:

    Hillary’s campaign is being treated by the media like some sort of celebrity gossip column. I’m not saying its all her fault, but she hasn’t fleshed out extensive policy proposals like Obama has.

  7. floyd says:

    An obviously transparent campaign stunt by the Hillary folks!

  8. markm says:

    For the record I thought this stunt wasn’t funny. Reminds me of a womans protest a few years back where some guy stood close but behind the women protesters with at sign that said “iron my shirt bitch”. I didn’t laugh that much at that one either.

    Anyhow, “Ironing shirts is so Sixty’s. hasn’t Mrs. Clinton very heard of permapress?”….DUDE???

  9. BC says:

    What if the sign was at an Obama event and read, “Pick my cotton.”?

  10. markm says:

    “What if the sign was at an Obama event and read, “Pick my cotton.”?”

    Seriously, that is not the same nor would that be funny. Yelling “iron my shirt” to Hillary hits me as funny on many levels.

  11. Jack\'s Porch says:

    Other candidates are planning to get in on this ingenious roust for free publicity etc. I mean why can’t others bring in their own plants?

    Huckabee is considering: Fleece My Flock

    Obama is considering: Pick My Cotton

    I guess in the end only the Clinton’s could get away with such a sleazy social class warfare stunt such as these. Their sensibility is non-existent and to think this is anything other is ludicrous.

  12. LawnTime, Boys! says:


    Get on your knees, open wide, and mow my black, curly lawn.

  13. Alex says:

    How is “iron my shirt” funny but “pick my cotton” is not funny. Of course it’s the same thing. They are both disrespectful and very hurtful.
    It’s sad how people in the U.S. think other countries are third world and backwards, yet those countries are the ones who have women leaders. Eh…