Readers respond to the question: What led to Hillary Clinton's second-place finish in the Democratic primaries?
The outcome was due to the unbalanced sexist media and the male chauvinist Democratic Party leadership. For weeks, every time I listened to the news, I felt the same way I felt as a young girl when I was told that I could not be an altar server at church or go to West Point. It was like being punched in the stomach. What the media and party leadership did to Clinton brought back that feeling. I am discouraged to the point of being despondent.
Many Americans are tired of political dynasties: the Kennedys, the Bushes, the Clintons. Hillary Clinton didn't take that into consideration when she entered the race.
When the idea of a woman president became a (near) reality, the media appeared unable to critique Hillary Clinton without sexist remarks. She was evaluated on her looks, dress, talk, even the way she laughs and claps. Toughness, valued in a man, was deemed icy and rigid in Clinton's case. Where a man "knows how to work the system," she was termed manipulative and calculating. Think of the destructive message young people are hearing: A woman who runs for president is held to a different standard.
Hillary Clinton and John McCain represent business as usual in Washington. They represent doing things the same old way, which has gotten our country into serious problems. We need leadership, not management. Leaders admit mistakes. Clinton hasn't said, "I made a mistake voting for the Iraq war." Our leaders need to get us off our fat behinds and do something about our government - all branches - that no longer represents us.
Hillary Clinton finished in second place because of who she is rather than what she stands for. Yes, race, gender and personality were all factors, but she is Hillary Rodham Clinton, wife of former President Bill Clinton. Some considered a vote for her a vote for "Billary," and the thought of Bill Clinton in the White House again would be anathema to plenty of disgruntled people.
Hillary Clinton positioned herself badly in relationship to the war in Iraq. Bill Clinton had the judgment while in power to ignore the neoconservative hawks beating the drums for regime change in Iraq. But Sen. Clinton either succumbed to the propaganda sales job of this administration or didn't have the wisdom required. Neither did John McCain, which will relegate him to also-ran status in November.
Hillary Clinton was undone by the tech-savvy, anarchist-left portion of the Democratic Party for whom she was both old news and too far right to be acceptable. This new Democratic Party does not tolerate the old - and gauging by the direction her party is moving, her 2008 positions will look more Republican than Democratic by 2012.
Hillary Clinton relied on disingenuous campaign banalities and an ever-changing inauthentic personality. In stark contrast to Barack Obama, Clinton never seemed to find her "true voice." Too often she was the programmed automaton, mouthing with perfect precision the essential talking points du jour: ready on Day One; most experienced; tested; best positioned to win the swing states; winning in the popular vote. Why would this smart and capable leader choose such a cynical path to one of the noblest jobs on earth?
It seems very clear that Bill Clinton didn't want his presidency overshadowed by his wife's. Therefore, he made it his mission to continuously remind voters that two terms of the Clintons was more than enough. It seems "Clintonism" has worn out its welcome.