October 25th, 2007
09:00 AM ET
11 years ago

Clinton addresses womens' issues, jokes about her pantsuits

Clinton joked Wednesday night that if she couldn't wear pantsuits, she wouldn't survive.

AMES, Iowa (CNN) - Stressing her point that the "norms are changing" for women in the workplace, Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton said that if she were a member of Congress in the mid-1980s–back when she says women weren't allowed to wear pantsuits–it wouldn't have worked out so well.

"Clearly I would not have survived back then," the senator from New York said to some laughter.

As an example of how far women have come since, she pointed to current Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi.

"During my time in the Senate I have cherished the opportunity to work with my women colleagues in both houses and on both sides of the aisle," she said. "Now we may not see eye to eye on everything, but we get together and we trade those very important bits of advice like what kind of shoes to wear on marble floors when you're on your feet all day."

Clinton–the Democratic frontrunner in recent national polls–delivered a lecture to the Carrie Chapman Catt Center for Women and Politics on the campus of Iowa State University.

Switching to a more serious tone, Clinton emphasized that no woman should ever have to worry about balancing a career and a family. She added that as president she would try to extend the Family and Medical Leave Act, "experiment" with ways to offer more paid leave, and find ways for employers to allow more people to telecommute.

"You know a lot of work can be done from home now because we obviously have all this technology."

- CNN Iowa Producer Chris Welch

Filed under: Hillary Clinton • Iowa
soundoff (72 Responses)
  1. Shawn, Stillwater MN

    A vote for Hillary will destroy America...I cant wait for a massive tax hike, a stock market bomb, and a terrorist attack...and I am a democrat, but that is exactly what will happen if we elect this power hungry, spineless coward who has changed positions on nearly every major political issue in the last 20 years....except taking our money from us and giving it to people who havent earned it. Oh and Health care, she has always wanted to destroy that.

    Imagine the day she gets elected...she will raise the capital gains tax from 15% to 40%....what do you think anybody with money in the market will do in anticipation of that...GOODBYE 401K...Thanks for the vote you blind sheep!!!

    October 25, 2007 01:02 pm at 1:02 pm |
  2. Joeley Reno, Nevada

    Experience, know how and Ability. She's the most qualified and strongest contender for the Presidency.

    Hillary Clinton will bring this country back to it's rightful stature.

    There is nothing wrong with a strong and ambitious woman.

    Unless that is, you're weak, spineless and fear meaningful dialog.

    Then, I believe you transform into a big bad name calling bully, closed to anything productive or positive, and that's too bad.

    Closed minds, closed and secret government. If that's what you think our Forefathers had in mind you must be from another planet, or a stepford neo-con.

    October 25, 2007 01:05 pm at 1:05 pm |
  3. Henry Tucker, Ga

    Hillary is the candidacy which draws supporters like Pete Stark ("Bush is amused by soldiers getting their heads blown off"), Code Pink, Cindy Sheehan, Heidi Fleiss (pimp), Jenna Jameson (porn star), and has Fidel Castro commenting she is unbeatable.

    Yall keep pushing Hillary. This will be the easiest Republican victory since Reagan V Carter. I know I know – the Hillary Hens will come back clucking how great she is. Actually I agree – Hillary does inpsire some folks in this country.... chinese dishwashers in China Town, Norman Hsu, etc. etc.

    October 25, 2007 01:08 pm at 1:08 pm |

    It is nigh time that republicans accept the fact that Hillary Clinton election as president is a fait accompli. ITS A DONE DEAL. I am sure she will be 100% more presidential and effective in world diplomacy than the moron in office now. It is going to be a horse-pill to swallow for many conservatives but I'm sure you will survive it as we liberals learned to stomach Bush.

    October 25, 2007 01:18 pm at 1:18 pm |
  5. Claudi

    At least in the Clinton household, we now know who wears the pants in the family.

    October 25, 2007 01:19 pm at 1:19 pm |
  6. Harry Winchester VA

    To Bea Hoboken N.J. I Don't think you ever have to worry about a upskirt photograph of Hillary. No men would ever vote for her!!!

    October 25, 2007 02:16 pm at 2:16 pm |
  7. Meks, Florida

    OBAMA will never be president. Forget it!!! People do not say that because they will be accused of racism. Yesterdaay, Washington Post carried a report on how infants and children ranging in age from 1 to 11 have been 'donating' $2,300 to his campaign. Funnily enough, Chris Matthews of MSNBC carried the news and never mentioned Sen. Obama's name even when the name is on piece he was quoting with the names of some of the families involved in the scandal. The media has been trying to kill the story because they want Sen Clinton to lose as if the democrats will win the presidential election with any of the other candidates. None of the other candidate can EVER win 2008 election. Ask yourselves which state did Al Gore and/or Kerry lose that either Edwards or Obama will win. ZERO. NOTHING. NADA! You go to war with the army you have not the army you desire. Though i agree Al Gore can win the 2008 election if he is a candidate but not any of the other gentlemen. If remember Florida, only choose a candidate that will win the state. Presidential election is not about sentiments but objectivity, if not Gulliani will never be a candidate in the republican party, not to talk about leading the pack after marching with gays and supporting federal funds for abortion. It is all about being realist. With him, they at least have a chance. Without him, the election is over. With any other democrat, the election is over for us. Nobody wants to say it, OBAMA is not electable and will not win a single electoral vote in the south whether you support him or not. If being against the war is the only criteria to ascertain one has good judgement, what about voting consistently for the funding of the war from day one in Senate. I believe you guys will argue it is a wonderful display of judgement. Why don't you guys support Kucinich then, who VOTED against the war and continued till date to vote against any funding. Vote whoever you choose but only one democratic candidate will deliver the election to the democrats. A word is enough for the wise. Lets get real!!!

    October 25, 2007 02:41 pm at 2:41 pm |
  8. RuthieM

    Pantsuits or no, Hillary's not the one!

    October 25, 2007 02:45 pm at 2:45 pm |
  9. salita

    Hillary wear what you like. Talk about the issues you think are important. Dont worry what other say about you, chances are they wouldnt have voted for you anyway.

    ya just have to love all the drama queens posting on this board today....DOOM DOOM DOOM! LOL!

    October 25, 2007 03:08 pm at 3:08 pm |
  10. Jon, Louisville, KY

    Some of the people on here want to tag HRC as uneducated and unsuited for the job. Not to mention that she is there purely because of her husband. Lets not forget that she graduated valedictorian from Wellesly University for Bachelors in Political Science in 1969 and went on to Yale Law School where she graduated with honors. She has got the education and most of all compassion for issues within OUR borders instead of worrying about foreign interest and spreading ourselves out so thin in regards to military and spending. Lets face it more people hate us and more terrorists have been created out of retaliation to Bush's administration.

    October 25, 2007 04:00 pm at 4:00 pm |
  11. Tyra, Miami, Florida

    Sharon said it best:

    I am a female, democratic voter, and I will never vote for Hillary Clinton. I resent her efforts to engage us as if we are all just a group of girlfriends having lunch. She is highly skilled in the art of manipulation, and I remain hopeful that women see this for what it is.

    The bottom line is this: I do not know of any woman who would have voted in the way that she did with regard to the war in Iraq. She voted for it without reading the intelligence. She voted against limiting GWB's power to execute the war; she voted multiple times to fund the war; she voted for the Kyl-Lieberman amendment which has positioned the U.S. to expand the military action into Iran.

    Thousands of women have lost their son's, daughters, husbands, fathers and friends in this war. Tens of thousands know someone who is trying to recover following amputations, traumatic brain injuries, and PTSD.

    So don't act like you are my friend, Hillary Clinton. I don't care what you wear, how you fix your hair, or about your views on men. I don't care that you stayed in a pathetic marriage or that you are leading in the polls because of your husband. What I care about is your lack of judgement, and for this reason, I will not vote for you, and will work to make sure that others do not either.

    Posted By Sharon : October 25, 2007 12:15 pm

    October 25, 2007 04:19 pm at 4:19 pm |
  12. Dave, Austin

    Speaking of doom...this country IS doomed, no matter who wins. Mark my words. But I'm not overly concerned, because I'll be dead soon.

    May your god have mercy on your souls.

    October 25, 2007 04:23 pm at 4:23 pm |
  13. Dan, TX

    Meks, you are wrong.

    Obama could easily win the nomination.

    And it is Clinton, NOT Obama who is sleazy in fundraising. The republicans will eat her for lunch. Just read this LA Times article!


    October 25, 2007 04:38 pm at 4:38 pm |
  14. Fred,TN

    My concern over Senator Clinton is not over her choice of WARdrobe, it is her lack of choice in committing an end to WAR in Iraq.

    How troubling that the Democrats' foreign policy is not very different than the current Republican/neocon strategy.

    The issue is WAR not WARdrobe.

    October 25, 2007 05:07 pm at 5:07 pm |
  15. Dylan NYC

    Wow, what a shocker Laurinda..errr Karen from NJ is backing Hillary, of course your post is more blah blah blah than actual specific reasons for supporting her

    October 25, 2007 05:44 pm at 5:44 pm |
  16. Tricia M Charlottetown PEI

    Too Dang Bad all these Anti Clinton commenters hadn't done as much research on G. W. Bush before they elected him to office (TWICE).

    Amazing how a pant suit or a skirt could be a defining issue on a vote or none! Do you not see even a hint of loonacy in these statements?

    No wonder America is in such a mess. When you put dress codes, marriage success and personalities before experience, intelligence and leadership capabilities you end up with another GEORGE BUSH.

    Hopefully a huge bop to the head will bring these folks some sanity.

    It's not like you all have many choices as far as candidates go if experience and intelligence means anything to you at all.

    October 25, 2007 05:51 pm at 5:51 pm |
  17. Karen,nj

    SHAWN IN MN...Who cares who you vote for you potato loving drunkard.

    October 25, 2007 05:58 pm at 5:58 pm |
  18. Antonio, Atlanta, Ga

    Hillary supporters, especially Meks. Routinely you opine about how Clinton is the only democrat who can win and how she is the most qualified candidate (presumably because she was married to Bill). Has anyone ever thought about the consequences of Hillary winning the primary? As we can see now, we will be in for a bloody and unproductive general election with each side taking negative campaigning to new heights. We have just seen the tip of the iceberg with Rangel's comments about Guliani. What's more, the MSM wants Clinton as the democratic candidate because of all the stories they can rehash about the Clintons. Also, Clinton in a head-to-head race will not be able to duck questions as she easily does now. She will have to actually lay out her policy positions, which may result in a bunch of buyers remorse as it routinely does when people blindly support candidates, e.g. George W. Bush.

    But for the sake of argument, let's assume Clinton is elected. The greatest challenges ahead are those we face in the international community, especially in the middle east. How effective will Clinton be in that part of the world? She claims to have met those leaders, but only as a first lady. What will be the reaction this time? Will Bill join her on those trips? Will he be involved in the meetings? Rice is currently having challenges with that part of the world. There are a number of reasons why she is having challenges, which more than likely includes her being a woman. The reality is that some foreign leaders may refuse to meet with her, or even take her seriously considering the last time she met most of those leaders she was the first lady. Internationally, we have lost our standing not just because of the Iraq war, but also because of the 2000 Presidential election. Has anyone ever thought about Clinton's need to prove she is tough might actually lead us to larger and more dangerous conflicts in the world. These are real issues which many people have yet to discuss, or want to ignore as irrelevant. But you can believe during the general election all these points and more will be raised about what a Clinton presidency would mean.

    October 25, 2007 06:20 pm at 6:20 pm |
  19. cj

    I don't care if she is in a bikini,the woman is Intelligent.I cant wait until
    or I know she will be the next President Of the UNITE..D States

    October 25, 2007 07:40 pm at 7:40 pm |
  20. Kathleen, Irvine, CA

    As I read this blog, the only thing that keeps running through my head is what a bunch of idiots most of you are! One of the winners is Michele Wilde who had her little chant regarding how everyone should vote for Hillary because she's a woman. Were you waving your pom-poms while you typed that? On the other hand, it was refreshing to read something so articulate and intelligent as what Sharon wrote on 10/25. Sharon, you represent my thoughts exactly! There is no way I would vote for Clinton.

    I cannot go through 8 years of the ultra right wing Republicans (aka Sean Hannity, Rush Limbaugh) foaming at the mouth at the mere mention of Clinton. These twits still are debating who Bill Clinton may have fooled around with.

    I will not vote for someone who has thrown in the towel on the war, supports illegal immigration and wants to reward people who thumb their noses at our laws by rewarding them with free health care and giving all of their anchor babies $5,000 each. In fact, I would not vote for any woman at this point in time – I don't care who she is. There is no way I want a woman trying to negotiate an end to this war with countries that treat women like scum. Do you really think they will listen to her? They will laugh at her just like they totally ignore Rice. I am a registered Independent because I think both politcal parties are full of complete idiots and no one running really strikes me as Presidential material and if I hear "we need someone like Reagan" one more time, I'm going to be ill.

    I don't care what debate you tune in to, no one really seems to have a reasonable and intelligent solution to how to end this stupid war and our transparent borders.

    Whoever said the public is stupid was right. This is what is going to do us in. We're more concerned with whether or not a female presidential candidate wears pant suits or if Britney gets her kids back, than the future of this country.

    October 25, 2007 08:10 pm at 8:10 pm |
  21. RightyTighty

    Hillary's the pantsuit joke. I can't wait until after the next election. It'll be like 2000 all over again..

    Ha Ha!

    October 25, 2007 08:49 pm at 8:49 pm |
  22. JB Boston MA

    Ahhhh. . . .I guess, thanks Dave from Austin. For the mercy part.

    October 26, 2007 11:48 am at 11:48 am |
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