Ready to Whine on Day One

Continuing her theme from last Tuesday’s debate, Senator Hillary Clinton is continuing to complaining about how the media treats her, claiming that they are harder on her because she’s a woman:

“And I think women just sort of shake their head,” Clinton continued. “My friends do. They say, ‘Oh, my gosh, this is so hard.’ Well, it’s supposed to be hard. I’m running for the hardest job in the world. No one has ever done this. No woman has ever won a presidential primary before I won New Hampshire. This is hard. And I don’t expect any sympathy, I don’t expect any kind of, you know, allowances or special privileges, because I knew what I was getting myself into.

“Every so often I just wish that it were a little more of an even playing field,” she said, “but, you know, I play on whatever field is out there.”

The idea that Hillary Clinton, a well-known, sitting U.S. Senator whose husband used to be President, who entered the campaign with an almost overwhelming fundraising and name-recognition advantage somehow hasn’t been playing on an even playing field is, well, pretty laughable. As Chadwick Martin points out in Slate, the portrayal of Clinton at this point in the campaign is pretty much the straight, factual reporting of the campaign:

A lot of the alleged anti-Clinton reporting is really just fact. Case in point: Today’s fundraising call. Clinton raised a record $35 million—but that’s still 1 million short of the overall record Obama sent last month. Moreover, Obama is set to blast that number out of the water with a $50-plus million total sometime this week. This extends to reporting on polls—where she’s hemorrhaging support nationwide—and superdelegate defections—where there’s a slow but steady trickle toward Obama. Simply put, nearly all of the horse-race metrics favor Obama. Thanks to the two candidates’ similar platforms, this has become a horse-race election rather than an issue-based vote. That means Clinton gets shafted.

And in a horse-race election, complaining doesn’t work. You can only make the media feel guilty so often before they turn on you all over again.

I don’t think there’s any question about this. My wife commented to me yesterday that Hillary Clinton’s campaign strategy at this point is to try to make people feel sorry for her so that they vote for her. I don’t know if that’s true or if she’s just frustrated at this point in her campaign, but that’s certainly how she’s coming off. And given that one of Hillary Clinton’s main themes in her campaign is that she’s “ready to lead on Day One”, is it any wonder that she’s dropping in the polls? Leaders don’t whine about life not being fair.

FILED UNDER: 2008 Election, Blogosphere, Media, , ,
Alex Knapp
About Alex Knapp
Alex Knapp is Associate Editor at Forbes for science and games. He was a longtime blogger elsewhere before joining the OTB team in June 2005 and contributed some 700 posts through January 2013. Follow him on Twitter @TheAlexKnapp.


  1. Anderson says:

    Leaders don’t whine about life not being fair.

    George W. Bush never got that memo, unfortunately.

  2. C.Wagener says:

    Somehow I feel more sorry for Juanita Broaddrick.

  3. disgustedinmi says:

    Hillary is right the media is very biased against her with Tim Russet and Chris Matthews leading the crowd.

  4. KJ says:

    What is HRC going to do when Iran, North Korea, Russia, or China push her back to the wall?

    Perhaps running up to the White House residence to have a good cry will solve all her problems.

    If we elect HRC we will get what we deserve.

  5. SeniorD says:

    Well, of course HRC is whining in public. To hear what she really thinks, visit past books on her famous temper tantrums, disdain for those who do not accept her positions as ‘gospel’ and pure hatred for anyone else who has a differing viewpoint.

    When HR(ex-C) loses the nomination next week, watch for a monumental melt down. Let things cool off a couple of months then we’ll see Chelsea! campaign for a House seat from Kalifonia.

  6. James Joyner says:

    Well, I guess f*ing the prom queen wasn’t an option.

  7. Bandit says:

    Boo f’ng hoo. I’ve always wondered when people say how smart and tough HRC is whether they actually believe it and how many meds their on. I guess lying and looking the other way takes a lot of brains and guts. Who knew?