Conservatives are ecstatic over the continuing reports of Obama’s problems with women and — more specifically — with Hillary supporters. But how deep are these troubles? No, let’s ask a better question: What proof do we have that this is real? You know, real enough to cause women to turn their back on the Democrats and vote for John McCain, a man who’s against equal pay for women — blaming his dissent on “frivolous lawsuits” — opposes choice, and doesn’t respect our civil rights?
Not long ago I interviewed Carly Fiorina, drawing this issue out over and over again. I’ve talked to people inside the McCain camp about it. It’s not just about Ledbetter, which the more in tune understand, including Fiorina. It’s about families, which often need a woman’s income. It would seem obvious that when it comes down to women Obama will win out. So what’s with all the stories claiming otherwise, especially where HRC supporters are concerned?
Maureen Dowd of the New York Times waxed insultingly poetic recently, using the term “dead-enders” for recalcitrant Hillary supporters, a phrase first used by TNR in an interview where I was quoted on something else, but got tagged anyway for coining the term. Dowd talking specifically about the HRC women who are being wooed by Barack Obama, but still won’t commit.
It is a truth universally acknowledged that Barack Obama must continue to grovel to Hillary Clinton’s dead-enders, some of whom mutter darkly that they will not only not vote for him, they will never vote for a man again.
Obama met for an hour Tuesday with three dozen top Hillaryites at a hotel here, seeking their endorsement and beguiling their begrudging. He opened the session by saying that he knew there had been frustration about what they saw as sexism during the primary. …
So, Obama went to see 36 “Hillaryites,” giving a nod to their “frustration” about the sexism displayed during the primary. Something that was proven, by the way. So, we’ve got 36 women. Check.
But wait a minute. Emily’s list founder Ellen Malcom weighed in on the same meeting:
“He talked about his concerns about some of the sexism in the course of the campaign,” said Ellen Malcolm, president of the political group EMILY’s List and a key Clinton supporter. “But essentially the meeting was forward-looking.”
Not exactly the same take as Ms. Dowd’s, now is it? Hey, but “unity” and women rallying around Obama, especially if they’re HRC supporters, isn’t as big a story.
Nor is a story like Susan Estrich wrote that some HRC fundraisers are holding a grudge because they won’t be “equal” to Obama’s money people. Seriously? Or that some of the moneybags are whining because, well, this is just too stupid: “All they want is invitations to events and the trinkets and titles that prove they are part of the team, the sort of things that are easy to give and ridiculous to withhold.” Democrats are going to help elect John McCain because Lynn Forester de Rothschild, who has the nerve to call Obama “aloof,” won’t get, for instance, an ambassadorship under Obama?
These may be important gossip items, but just as important was the Los Angeles Times headline in an article entitled: Women voters lining up behind Obama McCain hopes to lure Clinton loyalists. But polls show they are staying Democratic.