Hillary Clinton’s Even Playing Field

Hillary Clinton Baseball Caps Yankees Cubs Andrew Sullivan is not amused by Hillary Clinton’s whining about how hard it is to run as a women and how she wishes there were a level playing field. Using some colorful language, he reminds us of the enormous advantages being Mrs. Bill Clinton has afforded her political career.

There’s an old saw, employed perhaps most famously by Ann Richards against George H.W. Bush, about people who are born on third base and think they hit a triple. Hillary Clinton was born on third base but apparently thinks she bunted her way to first and then stole second and third.

She seems to honestly think she’s had a tough go of it, despite her accomplishments being entirely a function of having married well. For all of Hillary’s education and brains, she simply lacks the personality of a successful politician. She’d never have been elected dogcatcher, let alone Senator, without the name recognition, Establishment backing, and money that came with being First Lady. And, despite starting this race on third base and the party’s biggest stars, notably Al Gore, sitting it out, it appears she’s about to get tagged out at the plate.

Photo: Media Matters via Google

UPDATE: Megan McArdle sympathizes somewhat with the plight of a woman running for president, observing that, “Professional women have great difficulty projecting authority without projecting aggression, or bossiness.” There’s no question about that. And Clinton is one of many women who are penalized simply for a “bad” voice; she comes across as shrill when trying to be passionate in her oratory.

Nonetheless, it’s inarguably true that she took a non-traditional path to becoming the frontrunner for her party’s presidential nomination. She’s not a former governor or a war hero or a long serving Senator. Rather, she started off as a rock star because her husband was president. Indeed, she was being touted as the frontrunner in 2004 after only two years in the Senate. And, unlike Obama, it wasn’t because of her personal charm and charisma.

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James Joyner
About James Joyner
James Joyner is Professor and Department Head of Security Studies at Marine Corps University's Command and Staff College and a nonresident senior fellow at the Scowcroft Center for Strategy and Security at the Atlantic Council. He's a former Army officer and Desert Storm vet. Views expressed here are his own. Follow James on Twitter @DrJJoyner.