I’m ditching butch Hillary for gentle Obama

Barack ObamaFor me, no matter what happens in Pennsylvania, I’m done with Hillary Clinton. I have long felt that either Democratic candidate would suffice as President. Most New Yorkers (remember, this is a liberal town) have become so tired and cynical about the current administration’s screw-ups I think a frog might be welcomed as the next President – as long as it wasn’t a friend of George Bush.

Last week, however, for me things reached boiling point. And no, it wasn’t Bill Clinton’s earnings, or his shrewish outburst, or the revelation that he in fact supported free trade with Colombia while his wife was against it.

No, what got to me was this business of Hillary Clinton, yet again, pathetically, trying to win this like a man. Hence her “I almost got shot in Bosnia” lie. Come on. Last night I saw a headline on the web saying: “Hillary needs Chelsea beside her to play mother”. No joke, that. I’d much rather see Chelsea in the White House than her mother.

America, wake up. Feminists have pretended that Hillary’s ascendancy to the White House will be a victory for women. My former boss and friend Tina Brown has termed her the champion of “invisible” women over 50, “steadfastly dissed and ignored”. But Clinton isn’t the champion of any woman.

This week has seen an irritating flurry of press arguing that professional women are suddenly stalling, making it seem as though this were the reason for Hillary’s troubles on the campaign trail. The thesis is backed up by two facts: one, that Katie Couric, the perky former morning anchor on NBC, has been a disaster on the evening news on rival CBS. Evening news, it’s held, requires a man with gravitas. Two: this month’s issue of Condé Nast’s business magazine, Portfolio, has a cover of a man’s brogue stepping on a red stiletto.

Let’s take Couric. I sat next to a senior (male) executive at CBS who agreed that the problem here was exclusively Couric’s broadcasting style, not women’s in general. And the Portfolio cover? The irony is, the magazine is edited by a woman.

As for Hillary’s difficulties, think about Barack Obama: he has gentle manners, a subtle vocabulary, an ability quietly to suck you in emotionally without you realising. In other words, he embodies qualities we associate with femininity. Could this be why he is doing so well? He is the reminder that Clinton’s problems are her own – not women’s.V

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