May 9, 2007


A Royal Lesson for Clinton?: French Candidate's Loss Shows Need to Balance Gender-Based Appeal (JACKIE CALMES in Washington and ALESSANDRA GALLONI in Paris, May 9, 2007, Wall Street Journal)

Elections abroad featuring female candidates, including this week's contest in France, don't answer the question of how open Americans are to electing their first woman president. But they do offer this hint: Voters have become more receptive to females who project gender-bending strength and substance, as Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton tries to do, and more likely to reject those who don't.

Socialist Ségolène Royal lost her bid to be France's first female president after a campaign in which she played up her motherhood and underplayed policy details, while conservative winner Nicolas Sarkozy emphasized a hard-line platform against crime and immigration. In contrast, Angela Merkel won election in 2005 as Germany's first female chancellor with a campaign so focused on the dry economics of tax rates and labor rules that female commentators complained. "She has not shown any enthusiasm for so-called women's politics," Germany's best-known feminist, Alice Schwarzer, sniped at the time.

Now, as Mrs. Clinton seeks the Democratic nomination, and the chance to make U.S. history, the dicey politics of gender are central to the New York senator's strategy. She uses her gender to advantage where she can. "This is going to be an election about change," and "one big one is Hillary's gender," says Ann Lewis, a top Clinton strategist. "The excitement she engenders among women is an important asset."

The American primary system is particularly tough on Ms Clinton, because she has to play up chickness to win the nomination of the female party but then try to be guyish in the general.

New ratings low for Katie Couric (AP, 5/08/07)

It surely wasn't what CBS dreamed about when Katie Couric was hired: the "CBS Evening News" last week recorded its smallest audience since 1987, and probably many years before that.

At a time when the market faily cried out for a more conservative alternative to the MS Posted by Orrin Judd at May 9, 2007 10:59 AM

The Dems won the House & Senate because they won over enough disaffected conservatives. Voters who put Tester & Webb in the Senate in squeakers, and the like of Shuler in the House, are absolutely not going to vote for Hillary for President. It just ain't gonna happen.

Posted by: b at May 9, 2007 11:20 AM

"The excitement she engenders among women is an important asset."

=> women are so dumb, they don't have ideas, they don't know how to vote except for someone who looks like them

Posted by: ic at May 9, 2007 1:04 PM

Conservatives stayed home because of the war, they didn't vote Democrat.

Posted by: oj at May 9, 2007 2:48 PM