THE BLOG

It's The Morning After - Hillary, Look In The Mirror

05/25/2011 12:35 pm ET
  • Melissa Hapke Community Standards Manager, Huffington Post Media Group

Seriously. Anyone who has been paying attention to the primary election already knows that the sexist media is what actually sunk Hillary Clinton's campaign, right? The same as the liberal media that dogged both her and Bill during the '90s.

I wondered if maybe, just maybe, the Mainstream Media grew a sense of shame about how they handled MonicaGate, TravelGate, etc. and gave President Bush a pass because they realized that they really needed to get back to having ethics and a sense of fairness.

Then I woke up. The media hounded both of them because they needed to be hounded. Back then there were improprieties going on in the White House and those actions needed to be exposed. It seems there were a lot of things going on that shouldn't have been.

I'm trying to decide if the reason these shenanigans were exposed was because Bill wouldn't play nice with Newt Gingrich, et. al, or if it really was a, "vast right-wing conspiracy," as Hillary so eloquently put it.

I think it was really just that Bill lied during a deposition and lied about sex. Republican Special Prosecutors just hate that kind of thing. The whole country followed Ken Starr's lead and got its knickers in a knot about it. I'm thinking Newt and company thought they could control Bill after that. You know, not let him get pet legislation through and push the neocon agenda. I don't know how much of the blame Bill owns in our current situation, but if he would have told the truth, maybe the door wouldn't have opened for BushCo.

Back to whether the media really is sexist, as opposed to liberal. I don't think it is either. I think that Hillary has been treated the way she's treated her opponents. At this time last year, I thought I'd be looking at voting for her in the fall. I thought that she had a lock on the nomination and then the presidency. I had sympathy, or maybe empathy, for her and Bill back then. Remember Bill's infamous, "I feel your pain," line during the '92 campaign?

Now I feel angry because of the way she has run her campaign. It doesn't matter if she's had bad advice from her campaign staff because ultimately she is the one who didn't get control or plan for a protracted contest. She's playing by the old rules, meanwhile, there's a new kid in town.

She's failed every woman because she's given the misogynists grist for the mill.

I vaguely remember when Geraldine Ferraro ran with Walter Mondale in 1984. I thought back then that it was a mistake because the country just wasn't ready to put a woman that close to the presidency. I thought Geraldine had courage for putting herself out there, but I also think that Mondale knew he didn't have a chance against President Reagan. Both of them were the official sacrificial lambs of that election.

I remember people saying that women were too emotional to run the country and used Premenstrual Syndrome and raging hormones as a reason not to vote for one. This is wrong on all counts. But since I'm a woman, I know what those freaking hormones do to my body. I thought this made sense back then too.

Fortunately, I've matured since then. I think women have waited long enough to get into positions of power, even the presidency. I really thought that Hillary would be the first woman president. I wanted to vote for her because of her gender.

There I said it. I guess I'm a feminist then. Yes, in some ways. But in others, I would rather see someone who is level-headed running our country.

We've seen what happens when a president only thinks about himself and his cronies. That line of thinking has gotten us into two wars and a recession with countless other missteps. This line of thinking has destroyed our reputation in the world. I never thought I'd live to see the day that our country was despised, not only in the world, but by the citizens as well.

So yes, I'm mad at Hillary for running such a dismal campaign. I'm mad because she couldn't play nice and stick to the issues. I'm mad because for a woman who claims 35 years of experience, she couldn't readjust and read the mood of the country. She was so blinded by her ambition to reach the White House that she refused to see that her tactics were causing more bile to be thrown at her.

Ultimately then, Hillary is the one who has to look at herself in the mirror and ask, "What the hell happened here?"