WASHINGTON - As her chances of becoming vice president recede, some of Hillary Rodham Clinton's supporters are pushing for the Democratic Party's new platform to state that the primary elections "exposed pervasive gender bias in the media" and to call on party leaders to take "immediate and public steps" to condemn future perceived instances of bias.
The push for the plank in the party's statement of principles reflects a lingering unhappiness over Clinton's treatment during the Democratic primary, and over what her supporters say was an inadequate response from party leaders.
Some Clinton supporters have complained of jibes against the New York senator by TV talk show hosts, off-color novelty items and incidents such as the time when hecklers yelled "Iron my shirt!" at a Clinton rally.
A Democratic committee devoted to writing the platform is to meet today in Cleveland to hear presentations from policy advocates, then draft the document.
"There were so many examples in the media of sexist comments where we never heard from the party leadership or Barack Obama," said Stacy Mason, executive director of a political action committee called WomenCount, which claims thousands of members. The group ran newspaper ads in the spring urging Clinton to stay in the contest.
"We're focused on why the Democratic leadership was so silent about it during the campaign," Mason said. "It was their obligation to come to the defense of one of their own primary candidates, and they didn't. They stayed silent during the campaign, and that's not OK."