July 23rd, 2007
09:47 PM ET
11 years ago

The jacket debate

(CNN) - New York Sen. Hillary Clinton's jacket proved to be its own subject of debate at the end of the Democratic presidential debate in South Carolina Monday night.

When asked to say something positive and something negative about the candidate to his left, Clinton, former North Carolina Sen. John Edwards said, "I admire what Senator Clinton has done for America, what her husband did for America." Then he added, "I'm not sure about that coat."

But Illinois Sen. Barack Obama disagreed. "I actually like Hillary's jacket. I don't know what's wrong with it," Obama said.

- CNN Associate Producer Lauren Kornreich

Filed under: Uncategorized
soundoff (27 Responses)
  1. prov, RI

    I thought it was Edwards's ugly, nasty, and sexist remarks on her jacket. Her jacket is beautiful; it is bright and colorful. It shines, like she shines above all. She is very stylist, and her choice of color is appropriate. That shows her both sides: feminie and masculine. Edwards was mean to make that remark on her jacket. It was very mean spirited.

    July 23, 2007 09:57 pm at 9:57 pm |
  2. Buck, Asheboro, NC

    Uh, oh. That Ann woman will have something to say about that response!

    July 23, 2007 09:58 pm at 9:58 pm |
  3. John, Dallas, TX

    is this newsworthy at all? it was a joke, leave it as one.
    Why don't you report about the real debates, like Obama and the bundlers, or who answered the questions directly, and who found themselves caught in their stump speech again.

    July 23, 2007 09:58 pm at 9:58 pm |
  4. Jenna, New York, NY

    While I'm sure Sen. Edwards meant his criticism of Sen. Clinton's jacket as nothing more than a lighthearted joke, it is interesting that, once again, a female politician's clothing choices receive notice whereas her male counterparts' do not. While I found his answer funny, I do think Sen. Edwards could have chosen a more tactful way of jokingly saying that he did not wish to answer the question than the way he chose.

    July 23, 2007 10:05 pm at 10:05 pm |
  5. Jen R, Glenview, IL

    I commend Sen. Clinton on controlling herself and not wolloping Mr. Edwards. After all the flak she took for her personal appearance when her husband ran for president, you'd think those running against would've grown up by now.

    I know it was a joke. I just think it was a stupid joke that showed a little sexism on Edwards' part.

    July 23, 2007 10:24 pm at 10:24 pm |
  6. pBob, Seneca, SC

    It was a blinking joke for crying out loud. Any leader without a sense of humor shouldn't be a leader. And, I wish the media would just quit being the fashion police on Hillary Clinton. It's just about as much news as Paris what's-her-name.

    July 23, 2007 10:42 pm at 10:42 pm |
  7. G. Frank, Northfield, NJ

    Anyone who does not believe that sexism is alive and well needs to look up how many times a male presidential candidates wardrobe has been the subject of comment.

    I thought we were Democrats!

    I love Senator Edwards and Senator Obama, but as Hillary and Barack know, the worst kind of "ism" is always couched in humor and attention drawn to the personal and away from the issue at hand as a means of power play.

    July 23, 2007 10:53 pm at 10:53 pm |
  8. Zak, Washington DC

    Her outfit drew attention because it was extremely bright, almost neon. I'm certain that had any male candidate worn a neon jacket or sequins, it would have been mentioned. Get over your paranoia about sexism. I am aware sexism is a real issue, but so is hyper sensitive political correctness. Don't let the reality of sexism cloud your ability to recognize that there are circumstances in which it is okay to note a woman's appearance.

    July 23, 2007 11:24 pm at 11:24 pm |
  9. Jane, Ann Arbor, Michigan

    Hillary is a strong well disciplined woman: She resisted the temptation to make remarks about haircuts.

    Remarks about personal appearance can be used to trivialize a person's candidacy in ways that have nothing to do with their fitness for office.

    I would far rather have heard something about a policy difference.

    July 23, 2007 11:43 pm at 11:43 pm |
  10. Cheryl Knapp St. Augustine, FL

    And so this is the comment from the man who will be better for women than Hillary. Sexism is alive and well. A man's clothing is never the topic of debate. It may have been a joke but really showed the subconcious thoughts of the man. Sorry Senator Edwards, you lost my vote.

    July 24, 2007 12:09 am at 12:09 am |
  11. Jeremy, Gastonia , NC

    I take it the same way a little joke, no sexism involved. I do agree tho that it was very bright, psychologist say Blue is the most favorable color a candidate can wear. Not peach, or whatever shade that was.

    July 24, 2007 12:42 am at 12:42 am |
  12. Don Jr., Melbourne, FL

    I thought that this was an awkward, but much welcomed view into the inner minds of some of the candidates. I think sometimes we forget that they are people just like the rest of us. This helped to show that they can just talk and joke amongst each other like the rest of us.

    July 24, 2007 12:52 am at 12:52 am |
  13. Heath, Portland Maine

    I personally think Edward's tie was ugly! 🙂 Seriously, I was not happy that most of the candates couldn't really be honest with this question.

    July 24, 2007 01:25 am at 1:25 am |
  14. T. Patton, St. Louis, MO.

    Nothing these people say is just light-hearted and impromtu. His comment about her jacket was sexist and very childish, reminiscent of playground banter. I am more than proud of her for refusing to show any offense to his attempt to remind her that she is still a "woman." Kudos to Barack for being keen enough to catch Edward's slip and use it for his benefit.

    July 24, 2007 01:41 am at 1:41 am |
  15. Sophia, Chicago, IL

    I thought it was rather TACKY and TELLING that Hillary was the only candidate who refused to specifically compliment the candidate to her left (Obama). This was noted by Andersen Cooper.

    July 24, 2007 02:02 am at 2:02 am |
  16. KCforObama.com

    I was a bit more taken aback hearing Biden comment on somebody else's wife.


    July 24, 2007 02:20 am at 2:20 am |
  17. Mrs. America

    I didn't like her jacket, but I'm sure Edwards just said that to avoid saying anything bad about her, which was good of him. Notice that not too many people did the negative part of the questions. Guess there's no reason to get one's underwear in a bundle about the comment.

    July 24, 2007 02:29 am at 2:29 am |
  18. Faith Ann, Victoria, MN

    Sen. John Edwards needs to double check his political correctness in the humor department. I wonder if he would have thought it "funny" to criticize the "coat" of one of the male candidates on the stage. Is this the man we think will be an instinctive champion for women's rights?

    July 24, 2007 02:49 am at 2:49 am |
  19. Margaret Itauma. Registered Nurse. Houston Texas

    I watched part of the debate during my break at work, I wanted a chance to tell Senator Hillary Clinton how beautiful and professional her jacket was, I didn't know some one was throwing a question to the candidates that gives me this opportunity to tell my story about her unique jacket.

    July 24, 2007 03:46 am at 3:46 am |
  20. Mary, Beaver, PA

    Who gives a hoot about her jacket? This is news?

    July 24, 2007 08:02 am at 8:02 am |
  21. DMW, Roeland Park, KS

    Typical. It is usually about how a woman looks or dress when the woman is strong and can whip all of the men on the stage with her intelligence.

    I know it was a joke, yet, jokes are one of the most used techniques to perform a 'got ya' on someone.

    July 24, 2007 08:30 am at 8:30 am |
  22. Rachel, Washington DC

    It's true – the jacket is hideous. But this is TV. While not a huge political issue, it does highlight how American politics reflects pretty minimal differences between candidates in our 2-party/rush to the middle system. It was a great opportunity for Obama to highlight his "I'm a regular guy who doesn't pick up his dirty socks". It was almost like and Edwards/Obama shtick.

    And yes, the jacket does make her look fat and short. Two things that TV-obsessed America does not like in it's representatives.

    July 24, 2007 08:39 am at 8:39 am |
  23. Joe Hunkins, Talent Oregon

    The jacket debate showed how trivial we want our candidates to be. We can't handle real issues so we force all these bright and well-informed candidates (Republican and Democrat) to discuss foolish things of no consequence so we can vote for people we like rather than people who can solve problems with the ruthlessly rational hand that is needed now. I'm ashamed of all of us.

    July 24, 2007 08:54 am at 8:54 am |
  24. Jennifer, Houston, TX

    Oh my gosh, it was a joke! It was a lighthearted way of saying "Well, the worst thing I can say is..."

    And yes, Faith Ann, I think if a man had been to his left, he might just have made the same joke, about their coat, or tie, or maybe even their haircut.

    Sen. Edwards said a lot of important, relevant and insipiring things last night. Where's the story about that, CNN?

    July 24, 2007 12:52 pm at 12:52 pm |
  25. jack, green bay, wi

    Get over it and take a joke for what it is. I have seen men joke about not liking another mans tie, by reading some of the comments on here I know realize the people talking about the ties must have been sexist towards men.
    Get Real

    July 24, 2007 01:04 pm at 1:04 pm |
1 2