Hillary's Campaign Is On The Rails.....

John A. Quayle blueoval at SGI.NET
Mon Jan 17 21:48:51 MST 2000

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        Keep in mind that these women mentioned here seem to all be of moderate to
liberal persuasion. We're not talking
conservative/libertarian/anarcho-capitalists here, nor even the Vast Right
Wing Conspiracy.

        Well, Ms. Kelly didn't ask me, but I sure as hell can't stand that lying,
thieving, conniving, cheating, sobsister Hillary. She's a totalitarian
bitch.  And those are the nice words I have for her.  She ain't welcome
here. Patty  Neill


Meet the Smart New York Women Who Can't Stand Hillary Clinton
by Kate Kelly

        Forty-nine-year-old writer Fran Lebowitz was perturbed about Hillary
Clinton's all-but-certain Senate run.  She had already made up her mind to
vote for Mrs.  Clinton but, she said, she was still unhappy. "I feel it's a
personal plot," she said. "I feel like she personally sat down and said,
'How could I possibly get Fran Lebowitz to vote for me? I have to run
against Giuliani.'"

        Ms. Lebowitz wasn't finished.  "I think she's a very poor role model for
girls," she said. "I believe she's someone who decided at a young age that
'I want to be President, but I can't, because I'm a girl. So I'll marry the
President.' I think that's so regressive." She paused for breath. "She's a
poll-taker, she's a pulse-taker, she's not a leader. She doesn't really
seem to have any ideas
And then she comes here and panders."

        A little less than a year after she began her heavy flirtation with the
2000 Senate race, in which she'll likely face Mayor Rudolph Giuliani, Mrs.
Clinton, 52, is suffering from a lack of support among those who should be
her voting base–white women, many of them professionals and from her own
generation. If you don't believe it, look at the Jan. 11 Marist Poll of New
York State voters, in which Mr. Giuliani swept the white female vote,
claiming 52 percent to Mrs. Clinton's 35 percent.  For the Hillary camp,
that was worse news than a Dec. 16 Quinnipiac College Poll in which Mr.
Giuliani claimed 47 percent of female white voters and Mrs.  Clinton took
40 percent.

        "It started in October!" said Maurice Carroll, director of the Quinnipiac
College Polling Institute. "We had missed it, because we didn't subdivide.
And when we did it, we took the women. I'll be goddamned! Because she
always won among women, a little bit, in each case. [But] you took black
women out, and what was a narrow lead for her among women turned into a
narrow lead for him among white women!"

        "A year ago January, she was running much better among women," said Lee
Miringoff, director of the Marist College Institute for Public Opinion.
"Clearly, women are part of the fallout. In January of last year, she was
beating Giuliani among Democratic women."

        For a state with a deeply liberal reputation, New York has always been a
tough nut to crack for women: Despite a long history of women in power–from
Belle Moskowitz to Frances Perkins to Bella Abzug–none has ever been
elected to statewide office here. The last significant female candidate,
Ruth Messinger, received just 45 percent of female votes against Mayor
Giuliani in 1997, according to the Marist Institute.  (Even among
Democratic women, Ms.  Messinger received just 58 percent.) New York City
has three female members of Congress; 11 men.

        "New York's a pretty progressive state," said Mr. Carroll, "a tolerant
place, with no real bars to women
except that the record says, they don't
get elected in New York!"

        "I haven't been to a dinner party recently where there hasn't been a
Giuliani-Hillary Senate vote," said Ellen Levine, editor in chief of Good
Housekeeping. "And what's interesting about the votes is that the women are
not united, and you'd expect them to be."

        Some New York City women seem to be developing a grudge against Mrs.
Clinton as a representative of their sex.  Those interviewed who said they
won't support her–or who have real doubts about voting for her–said it's
not so much about her politics, but rather Whitewater, Filegate, Travelgate
and health care reform. And the women interviewed seem to have dismissed
the Lewinsky scandal as a factor in their view of Mrs.  Clinton. Some said
they couldn't relate to her on a personal level and didn't respect her as a
woman, a drawback for a new girl in town full of barrier-smashing,
high-voltage professionals, some of whom may hold their female peers up to
a much loftier standard than they would their male ones.

        Their resentment is an irritation with her persona, her tactics–what Dr.
Patricia Allen, a 52-year-old obstetrician-gynecologist affiliated with New
York Presbyterian Hospital, described as "unattractive, narcissistic
tendencies" that she sees in the First Lady. "I wanted to like Mrs.
Clinton, because she comes from a modest, Midwestern background, as I do.
She worked hard for her education and her power. But, you know, I'm ashamed
of her," Dr.  Allen said.

        "The big difference is that I always went after what I wanted for me. I
never lived my life through a man. I never sought to achieve power or
professional aspirations through alliance with a powerful man. I always
believed that I could make it happen, simply by doing what I was taught to
do as a child: to get up in the morning, and do your work, and be a person
whose word can be believed."

        Some of the tension seemed to arise only after Mrs.  Clinton's
transformation from an idealistic policy wonk in a royal blue suit to a
poll-taking, listening, touring candidate surrounded by a thick cadre of
campaign advisers. And to many women, the change has made her seem even
more inaccessible.

        Alexandra Brodsky, a filmmaker in her late 20's, was remembering her first
encounter with the First Lady: a 1992 speech, given on the New Haven green
at Yale University on the eve of Bill Clinton's first Presidential race. "I
was so moved," said Ms. Brodsky. "I really felt like she was so
intelligent, and she really was earnest, and had an agenda that I really
respected. And I guess I feel now–and it's not even so much the scandal in
the White House–she's been so calculated in terms of her candidacy. And
every sort of statement she makes, I feel, is designed for her own
political advancement. And that really is distressing to me–I don't fully
trust her. It's just she's done this crazy 180."

        "I've heard it since I first starting writing about Hillary in 1992," said
writer Gail Sheehy, whose biography of the First Lady, Hillary's Choice,
was recently published. "The first reaction I got from, shall we say,
somebody in the editorial area, was: 'I can't stand her. She's too effing
The women one would expect to be out there, competing to give teas
for her and petitioning and making phones ring off the hook are often those
most viscerally offended by her.  I'm talking about liberal Democratic
educated or professional women. And particularly those over 45."

        "I almost feel she's underestimating New Yorkers by not jumping on real
topics more," said a 24-year-old magazine writer. "Like she sort of thinks
we won't notice. I have a lot of friends that feel the same way–waiting for
her to have some sort of opinion, so we can know how to feel about her and
the rest of the candidates."

        "This idea of the fact that she's not from here really isn't a factor?  It
is!  It is a factor," said Marcia Ann Gillespie, the 55-year-old editor of
Ms. magazine. "If you want to represent us, then you need to become a lot
smarter about who you are. And right now she's been off to a real slow
start. There's a certain kind of resentment that, No, you can't take my
vote for granted, just because I'm female."

        Other women have had a bone to pick with Mrs. Clinton since her husband
entered the Oval Office seven years ago.  Take Brooke Hayward Duchin, the
62-year-old writer and wife of society band leader Peter Duchin. "I don't
think she handled many of her public chores terribly well," she sighed. "I
don't think the Travelgate thing was effective
and for some reason I feel
she's unethical."

        A 29-year-old television journalist agreed: "I haven't been pleased with
how she handled herself as the First Lady," she said. "I don't feel like
she clearly picked one or two issues [that] she could have made a
difference on. I feel like she was all over the map."

        "I always keep coming back to It Takes a Village," said Tama Janowitz,
novelist and mother, who described herself as being "more than 30 years
old." "Which just irritates me beyond belief. What the hell is she talking
about? 'It takes a village' 
 It's like some Midwest kind of lovely thing,
this lovely sentiment.  It takes a village, and then meanwhile, there is no
village! It's New York City! We're trying to get through the day without
getting shot!"

        Still especially raw in New York is the image Mrs. Clinton created of
herself during her foray into health care. "When Hillary was given the
mandate to reform and help health care and make it better, she bombed,"
said Barbara Greenberg, a fund-raiser for Beth Israel Medical Center who is
in her late 50's and the wife of Dr. Henry Greenberg, director of the
coronary unit at Roosevelt Hospital. "And people fail at things. It's not
What bothers my husband and me is that she seemed to demonize all doctors,
and surround herself
with people who were peripherally involved in health
care, but not doctors. She's such a bright, caring women, so why did she do
this? Which makes me wonder about her, and choices she'll make in the
future on other issues I certainly care about."

"I can't look at her without seeing her through a veil of half-truths,
obfuscation," said Dr.  Allen.  "I feel strongly that she believes that she
cannot be wrong and she believes she knows all the answers.  [And] I
started to feel that way when she decided to single-handedly overhaul the
health care system."

Ms.  Sheehy said she was unsurprised by these feelings from New York women.
"Beginning back when they had to go in the side door of the Harvard Club,
the whole idea was supposed to be that you didn't ride on a man's
coattails," she said.  "Or if you did, you know, you let go once they
became soiled.  And so I think it seems to be pretty prevalent among women,
let's say, over 45, who feel that the way Hillary has made her way to the
top of public life reflects badly on them."

Judith Shapiro, 57, president of Barnard College, disagrees.  "I think
women are always judged more harshly on things than men are," she said.
"So I think to the extent that she might come across as too calculating, or
too slick, she's likely to be judged more harshly than a man would for
having those qualities."

According to Mr.  Carroll of Quinnipiac, Mrs.  Clinton could be in trouble
without the support of white women, who have voted for the victor in every
statewide election during the last decade, according to Mr.  Carroll.
"That doesn't mean that [Mr.  Giuliani's] going to continue to lead among
Not by a goddamn long shot!  But!  At the moment–and I'm convinced, and
partly this is intuition and analysis, and partly it's people I've talked
to–it's professional women, women who have made their own careers, that
realized that [Mrs.  Clinton's] candidacy starts with being First Lady.
And there's some–I'm convinced!–some resentment in there.  That, you know,
well, she's starting at the top because she's married to the guy!"

Nevertheless, Mrs.  Clinton may still find her hard-nosed adversary
becoming her best ally.  Said City Council member Ronnie Eldridge, 68, a
Democrat: "I didn't think she was the strongest candidate, but she seems to
be the only candidate.  So I'm supporting her.  I don't want to talk about
it anymore."
back to top This column ran on page 7 in the 1/17/2000 edition of The New
York Observer.


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