October 16th, 2007
06:39 AM ET
11 years ago

Clinton: It's hard running for prez as a woman

Watch Clinton on 'The View' Monday.

WASHINGTON (CNN) - Democratic White House hopeful Hillary Clinton told ABC's “The View” Monday that it's different running for president as a woman, noting people focus more attention on her appearances and mannerisms than on those of her male counterparts.

"Oh, yes, yes. Oh, yes," Clinton said when asked about the difficulties she encounters as a woman candidate. "The hair. The hair. The clothes. The laugh," the New York Democrat added, referencing the scrutiny she has faced on her evolving hairstyles, clothes, and most recently on what some have dubbed her 'cackle.'

"I do think that there still is, you know, probably a tougher standard for women, especially running for president," she added. "I mean, we've all been through it in some way or another. Where you go and you try to break a barrier, you try to do the best you can, and people are saying, ‘Well, I don't like her clothes,’ or, ‘I don't like her hair,’ or whatever."

During her appearance on The View, Clinton also brushed aside the suggestion that leaders from countries unsympathetic to women's rights would refuse to meet with her if she was elected president.

"You know, I have been to 82 countries," the Democratic frontrunner said. "And I have met with the leaders of a lot of countries that are not exactly in the forefront of giving women their rights. And I've never found that to be a problem."

“I actually think, assuming I'm so fortunate as to be elected, that sends a very strong message to those countries and to those leaders,” she added.

Clinton's appearance on the daytime talk show kicked off a week in which she is aiming to play up her connection to female voters. Appearing at a women's luncheon honoring Eleanor Roosevelt later on Monday, Clinton said she often draws inspiration from the former first lady. (Related video: Clinton plays the female card)

"She said, 'You know, if you're going to be involved in politics you have to grow skin as thick as a rhinoceros,"' Clinton noted. "So occasionally, I'll be sitting somewhere and I'll be listening to someone perhaps not saying the kindest things about me. And I'll look down at my hand and I'll sort of pinch my skin to make sure it still has the requisite thickness I know Eleanor Roosevelt expects me to have."

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Filed under: Hillary Clinton
soundoff (146 Responses)
  1. Hugh Hef Washington

    If Hillary is going to make this campaign a "appearance" issue then I must confess she is one ugly women, and all of us self center individuals will vote for Fred Thompson, he has the hot looking wife!!!!

    October 16, 2007 01:22 pm at 1:22 pm |
  2. Rodney Dallas TX

    Why do people actually vote for 3rd parties. Don't you feel like you are throwing your vote away when you do that? Wouldn't you rather vote for the lesser of two evils than have your vote not count at all. An Independent will never be president of the United States. Too many hard core conservatives and too many left wing liberal to have an independant in office.

    October 16, 2007 01:41 pm at 1:41 pm |
  3. Mike, Cleveland, OH

    dawn — Gaithersburg, MD

    While I don't disagree with your points about Republicans attacking HRC; the point that I've tried to make is this:

    1. She is a VERY divisive figure with the most negative approval ratings.

    2. A few of her policies proposals are a bit extreme. (baby-bonds and 401K). Which translates into more ammo for the GOP.
    3. Many GOP politicians have already predicted her to win the nomination. This kind of prediction doesn't happen too often from the other party. I interpret this to mean that the GOP WANTS Hillary to win the nomination; they are foaming at the mouth for her to win, because of all the baggage that she carries.

    Let the GOP attack Obama, he has the gravitas to stand on his own two feet. Unfortunately, this may be another election where people are left to vote for the “lesser of two evils,” if she wins the nomination. Depending on who the GOP nominates, I may end up using a write in candidate if Obama doesn’t win the nomination.

    October 16, 2007 01:43 pm at 1:43 pm |
  4. Michael Noonan, New Orleans, La.

    What a gaggle of self important hens.

    October 16, 2007 01:45 pm at 1:45 pm |
  5. John, Kansas City, MO

    Rodney in Dallas – Don't you understand that you are the reason that third party candidates rarely win? If everyone followed your logic, we would have no chance of ever breaking the two party system. Nader/Paul in 2008!

    October 16, 2007 02:01 pm at 2:01 pm |
  6. Steve Wittlake Blaine Washington

    Hearing Elenor Roosevelt speaking. Isn't this what people call Bi polar?

    October 16, 2007 02:06 pm at 2:06 pm |
  7. Dan (Columbia, MD)

    To John of Kansas City, MO:

    Nader/Paul in 08?

    I'm all for third party politics but those two couldn't be any further apart. Especially on issues like government spending and taxes.

    October 16, 2007 02:21 pm at 2:21 pm |
  8. Maria, Houston

    you're absolutely right : GWB was running on his father's shirt tails and Hillary does the same with her husband. And it was WRONG the first time and it is WRONG again!

    Any applicant for the job of the president of the USA should run on his/her own merits. Simple as that.

    NO gender card, NO race card, NO mommy-daddy-hubby help. See what happens when the person is hired for wrong reasons. To do better than George Bush – well, that bar is set really low, isn't it?

    Refer to specifics of Hillary's proposals, policies, new ideas. Politically correct slogans and touchy-feely rhetorics of her supporters suggest that she is not perceived as a person of real substance and they are not acting as responsible and well informed citizens.

    October 16, 2007 02:39 pm at 2:39 pm |
  9. KT New York, NY

    I've never seen anybody make comments about the clothes or hair of Condi Rice.

    or Nancy Pelosi...

    or a lot of other women leaders.

    It's something about Hillary.

    October 16, 2007 02:40 pm at 2:40 pm |
  10. Rusty, Durham NC

    Wow..look at the cmments from the hate wing? Seems some folks are a tad bit nervous?

    Hillary isnt lying and at this point, anything is better than the worse president in history..even a woman!

    October 16, 2007 03:31 pm at 3:31 pm |
  11. TransparentTrollop

    Cackle yes.
    Hair, cloths?? Ummm..., don't you have a gaggle of wardrobe specialist and hair stylist Hillary??

    October 16, 2007 03:42 pm at 3:42 pm |
  12. Ryan Indianapolis

    Its cool CNN, dont show my comments only show Pro-Hillary statments, that is how you got your Name CLINTON NEWS NETWORK...well if this is shown, Hillary is a cold ,cold woman,that has zero people skills and has a bad lying problem. IF you democrats really believe this is the best your party has to offer it is very sad, she will get crushed in the general election. As of yesterday she had almost 50% negative view from the public and remember the closer to the election this usually increases by 10-15% percent therefore hillary LOSES.

    October 16, 2007 04:16 pm at 4:16 pm |
  13. Tricia M Charlottetown PEI

    Ryan Indianapolis

    Hope you don't think your special coz they didn't post my comments either!

    And mine were Pro Clinton so go figure? Their weeding out process can't be based on Pro's or Con's – maybe they just don't like us! HA

    October 16, 2007 05:25 pm at 5:25 pm |
  14. Coach Haughton NH

    would love for a woman to be president. I want the first female president to be a leader for women. I have two sisters and a 26 year old daughter who are all financially independant and headstrong.

    I don't want the wrong message sent to women who are less fortunate. I am no stranger to the pain and shame women feel when their husband is unfaithful to them. I have seen it with the women closest to me. As a brother, son and father I don't want the first female president to be one who empowered her husband to cheat. I just think that so many women out there have felt that kind of betrayal and don't have the will or power to leave. I think that sends a message to women especially young women that such things are acceptable as long as the man is a valuable asset.

    Don't women turn to their sisters and girlfriends when things like this happen? What happended to the proud women I remember from back in the seventies? I think it is better for women see the first female president have a husband who is faithful and sticks by her side no matter the temptation. For all the women who support hillary as a woman, I ask, how would you feel? If a man cheated on you and the whole world knew, what message would you want to send to your daughter? That cheating is part of a healthy marriage? Obviously you would not want her to know until she was old enough. No matter which way you look at it, it is bad for women to accept indfidelity from men. Had she cheated on him, she would be called a B**** The whole world would be against her. Nobody would talk about what a great first lady she was. Don't tell our daughters that the best way to be succesful is to ride your husband's coat tail.

    Hard to swallow but true. I understand that this comment may offend, but you have to respect my point.

    October 16, 2007 06:34 pm at 6:34 pm |
  15. dawn -- Gaithersburg, MD.

    Mike, Cleveland, OH:

    (1) It's not about "gravitas," it's about endless investigations. If someone investigated you for 7 years with the full power of the federal government, I bet they could raise more than a few doubts about you among your friends and relations. And, from what I read, Sen. Obama has a few matters in his private life that he might not want looked into extensively. For example, Republicans will have a field day investigating the land deal between Sen. Obama and Antoin "Tony" Rezko in which Sen. Obama purchased land that enlarged his backyard from Mr. Rezko, at a time when the latter was widely known to be under investigation by the U.S. Attorney's office. I believe Mr. Rezko has been since been indicted on fraud charges. Mr. Rezko was a large contributor to Sen. Obama and I believe that Republicans will want to know all about the price at which Sen. Obama bought the land just for starters.

    At the same time as he's involved in such "deals," Sen. Obama is running on cleaning up business as usual in Washington. It will be child's play for the Republicans to make him look shifty, dishonest and hypocritical: qualities Americans find very "polarizing."

    (2) The baby-bond and 401(k) proposals are not in the least "extreme." It would take many years for the costs of these proposals to equal the price tag of President Bush's tax cuts for the wealthy, not to mention our little sojourn in Iraq. Also, they would benefit a lot more people.

    (3) Maybe the GOP predicts that Sen. Clinton will win so Democrats will nominate Senators Obama or Edwards, whose campaigns so far do not proclaim them as particularly strong candidates. I don't know and I don't care. Democrats should pick the Democratic nominee they feel is best, without regard for what Republicans want Democrats to think Republicans want. (See how complicated trying to read their minds can get?) The chosen Democrat should then run a smart, tough campaign and win.

    (4) If you would consider any of the GOP candidates interchangeable with any of the Democrats, something tells me that you don't have detailed knowledge about either the Democratic or Republican candidates and/or their respective parties.

    October 16, 2007 07:08 pm at 7:08 pm |
  16. Tom Dedham, Mass

    Posted By Ryan Indianapolis : October 16, 2007 4:16 pm

    Funny you say that Ryan, I have had multiple truthful, and yes, anti-HillBilly postings deleted on multiple blogs the last two days.

    The truth will come out real SOON and they won't be able to ignore it.

    October 16, 2007 07:26 pm at 7:26 pm |
  17. Mike Longview, TX

    Dora in Washington:
    I suggest you read "Living History" or "A Woman In Charge" if you want to find our about Senator Clinton. She is the most qualified and prepared person to lead our country!

    October 16, 2007 11:27 pm at 11:27 pm |
  18. CJ

    I do believe hillary has learned all of her lessons,give her a break.Im looking forward for a woman President and she has the Knowledge,capabilitys, to run this Country,she is a warm human being,like all the rest of us.

    October 16, 2007 11:37 pm at 11:37 pm |
  19. Tricia M Charlottetown PEI

    Well I have to wonder after reading so many of the anti Hillary comments on this blog why CNN would intentionally just single out Ryan and Tom's anti Hillary and HillBilly comments for deletion? Maybe CNN is waiting till the truth comes out so they can Credit Ryan and Tom appropriately.

    October 16, 2007 11:49 pm at 11:49 pm |
  20. Liberal Chic

    Honest and Blatant :

    So only women who give up on their marriage in face of difficulties qualify to run for Commander-in-Chief? That's another great lesson for our daughters, isn't it: don't think about anyone else (including your children) when your spouse cheats on you. Cut him loose and dismantle your family. It is more important to look like someone who takes no BS than to be someone who puts others ahead of herself.

    October 17, 2007 12:52 am at 12:52 am |
  21. Tom Dedham, Mass

    Posted By Tricia M Charlottetown PEI : October 16, 2007 11:49 pm

    Maybe Ryan and I can share the Nobel prize for attempting truthfulness in journalism.

    Nah, that only goes to myth makers from the other party.

    October 17, 2007 03:55 pm at 3:55 pm |
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