November 1st, 2007
05:10 PM ET
14 years ago

Clinton: Wellesley prepared me for 'all boys' club

Watch Clinton speak at Wellesley Thursday.

(CNN) - Democratic presidential frontrunner Hillary Clinton returned to her alma mater Tuesday, the all-women’s Wellesley College in Massachusetts, as her campaign suggested this week’s debate could help her with women voters.

Clinton seemed to allude to sharp attacks from Democratic rivals in Tuesday’s showdown, telling the enthusiastic crowd, “in so many ways, this all women’s college prepared me compete in the all boys’ club of presidential politics.”

The New York senator’s comment came as aides told The Washington Post the criticism directed against her could attract more women voters. The paper quoted one adviser as saying, ‘Ultimately, it was six guys against her, and she came off as one strong woman."

The campaign prepared a video showing a montage of rivals saying her name in the debate, labeling it the politics of piling on.

On Wednesday, as she was presented with boxing gloves while accepting the AFSCME endorsement in Washington, union president Gerald McEntee said, “Six guys against Hillary. I'd call that a fair fight."

Related video: Analysis: Clinton and the 'boys'

- CNN Political Desk Managing Editor Steve Brusk

Filed under: Hillary Clinton
soundoff (137 Responses)


    November 1, 2007 03:38 pm at 3:38 pm |
  2. Neill C., Montgomery, Al

    "Wake up people. I know you're emotional about Bill's presidency, but he is NOT Hillary."

    Fortunately for us, she isn't Bill.
    Unfortunately for us, she's Hillary

    November 1, 2007 03:40 pm at 3:40 pm |
  3. Jake, San Diego CA

    A strong woman shouldn't be complaining all the time. There's an easy way to stop having them come after you and that's by actually answering the questions instead of giving us double talk. It'd be one thing if the stuff they were saying wasn't true, but it was true and Hillary did nothing to disprove it. They said she double talked, and she did, they say she isn't transparent, and she isn't (archives from the White House).

    Hillary stole the "change" campaign from Obama, but just because you say you're for change doesn't mean you are. She's the same old politician, she lies to you, takes both sides of tough issues, will say what you want to hear instead of what you need to hear, and won't disclose the entire truth.

    I thought people got tired of these type of politicians but apparently they haven't since there's good support for him. She is indead just a Bush-lite.

    I honestly want to know if she wasn't a woman and was just another white male and also wasn't a Clinton, would you still be supporting her?

    Look at her issues, look at her voting history and you'll see she isn't all she tries to portray herself as.

    November 1, 2007 03:40 pm at 3:40 pm |
  4. Ann Memphis, TN

    Len she is running for President of the United States not the Glee Club. Defend her policies. Not her gender. She must be vetted like everyone else. She is not special. When she attacks Obama, Obama does not say she is attacking me because I am black. So stop making excuses for her poor debate performance. If she can't take the heat of the Primary she will be an utter failure during the General. The RNC will be relentless. This proves she is unelectable. P.S. After not answering all those questions it proves that Clinton is an empty suit who is all fluff and no substance. I think all Clinton has is her husband’s record and she has done nothing on her own. Her performance proved that.

    November 1, 2007 03:42 pm at 3:42 pm |
  5. Tiffany, Los Angeles, CA

    Making Hillary the focus of their campaigns only helps her. She gets even more opportunity to share her message and define herself in the eyes of the American public, while all the others wring their hands and whine about her. Keep it up, also-rans. She comes out looking better with each go 'round, proving herself over and over to be a true force to be reckoned with and a leader. The haters are followers with a grudge.

    November 1, 2007 03:52 pm at 3:52 pm |
  6. Jon, Pittsburgh, PA

    Any candidate that thinks they can tell you today with certainty how they will act in 1-1/2 – 2 years in the future when in office – is being extremely disingenuous. Not to mention, putting themselves at risk of being called a “flip-flopper”. Hillary is too smart to be lured into that trap – so say she’s not willing to answer questions clearly if you wish. I think she knows full well what to say and when to say it – which is why she is often called calculating and frankly, why she has such a strong lead over the rest of them

    And to those that say she doesn’t stand for anything – you must not have been paying attention because that is a baseless accusation.

    November 1, 2007 03:52 pm at 3:52 pm |
  7. Frank, Los Angeles, CA

    I saw Tim Russert on Letterman spending ten minutes attacking Ross Perot one or two elections ago only for being short and therefore a preposterous joke as a candidate. I'm not surprised he'd resent a Woman are you? I counted Eight against Clinton too.

    November 1, 2007 03:53 pm at 3:53 pm |
  8. R. C. NY

    I'm a guy and I hope I can vote for you, Hillary.

    November 1, 2007 03:54 pm at 3:54 pm |
  9. Jen, Gaineville, FL

    The whole thing is absurd. Weeks ago, every candidated pounded on Obama about talking vs. not talking with enemies in a debate. Obama took it with humor and class. Obama merely pointed out the differences. There are three facts:
    1. Hillary avoided making a clear stand on almost every issue.
    2. She could not rebuttal because what Obama said was true.
    3. She threw the most vicious personal attack many weeks ago by calling Obama "irresponsibl and, frankly, naive," although she took a similar stand on the campaign trail a couple of weeks ago.

    Now after her weakness was exposed, she started to play a "victim" and a "woman victim." What a shame! Can't believe many people still support this woman. If the demoractic party chooses her as the nominee, we will see another 2004 and the party should dissolve.

    November 1, 2007 03:55 pm at 3:55 pm |
  10. enock kebati, Rosemount, Minnessota

    Whenever Tim Russert had a chance to ask Hillary a quastion, he did so with an intention of setting her. He should be ashamed and so should be Obama and Edwards who have told the American women that they are againest a female president.

    November 1, 2007 03:55 pm at 3:55 pm |
  11. Seth Schultz, Louisville, KY

    After the Democratic debate, Hillary Clinton's campaign focused not on the issues, but how the other candidates were picking on her. How will she feel when the Republicans, Congress or leaders of other nations come after her. I think it is time to relook at John Edwards. He seems to have the most clear picture of how to lead our Country.

    November 1, 2007 03:55 pm at 3:55 pm |
  12. Sarah

    Classic Clinton Triangulation:

    Play the gender card and everyone will talk about the boys against the girls and no one will remember the issue at hand.

    Here's the issue:

    She won't answer a question directly or take a stand on a position. Let's focus more on getting some clear idea as to where she stands and less on XX and XY chromosones

    November 1, 2007 03:57 pm at 3:57 pm |
  13. S. Wright

    Hillary's not a woman; she's a man, baby.

    November 1, 2007 04:02 pm at 4:02 pm |
  14. Anonymous

    James, Minneapolis, MN:
    Let me get this straight: Hillary Clinton is ONE woman and through ONE woman's actions the entire female gender looks weak?
    So based on that thought process using you as the test case, the entire male population stereotypes and is bogged down by antiquated thoughts?

    well played, sir.

    November 1, 2007 04:03 pm at 4:03 pm |
  15. LYNNE

    Oh pleez, stop it, stop it, poor little Hillary everyone was ganging up on her. She is the biggest pit bull on the planet, and the biggest fraud.
    Hey guys, how would you like her for your mother in law?

    November 1, 2007 04:08 pm at 4:08 pm |
  16. Ron, TX

    She is a disgusting excuse for feminism and disgraces every woman who has worked hard and long to get to the top. She proclaims to be a strong woman, but crumbles under scrutiny from 6 people?! So instead, she tries to play the gender-card. "She's just a woman! She has to beat all these MEN! Give her a break!" That should make women everywhere sick to their stomachs. The attacks were all fair. She's set herself up for this mess over the past year dodging and shifting against every policy question she has ever faced.

    I feel bad for any woman who actually looks up to her as a role model. I can see it now, a Rosie-the-Riveter-esque poster "Marry the right man! You TOO can be President, dear!"

    I think it -is- time that a woman has a shot at being President. But that doesn't mean we should sacrifice all political values and principles in exchange. That doesn't mean we should throw a deceptive, secretive liar into the Presidency because the liar happens to be a woman. We've had a liar for TOO LONG in the Presidency. It's time for REAL change! We need governmental transparency! We need to stop the war-mongering and saber-rattling! We need to be HONEST with the American people. I'm SICK AND TIRED of government as usual, and Hillary obviously offers no real change, voting in line with Bush on Iran... offering no ways to fix social security... hiding away her secretive past...

    November 1, 2007 04:09 pm at 4:09 pm |
  17. Dave, Cheverly, MD

    This is needless complaining Period.
    Did Obama run to an all Black College after the debate that lead his fellow candidate to label him in experienced and Hillary called Obama Naive and irresponsible? Did he wine about the 9 NON-Black candidates "Piling" up on him. NO he did not! He handled the matter professional and tactfully. He knew that it was just candidates doing what candidates to win. It had nothing to do with Obama Race being Black. Just like this has nothing to do with Hillary being a women. There are women qualified to be President. It just is not Hillary.
    If Hillary cannot hack it now with her fellow Dems. Then she cannot handle it with the Republicans. If Obama or Richardson had tried that everyone would have immediately written them off as serious candidates. Hillary is NO exception.

    November 1, 2007 04:13 pm at 4:13 pm |
  18. Chip Celina OH

    She talks tough, but when pressed, resorts to whining. If she thought Tuesday was hard, wait until she gets to the big leagues!

    November 1, 2007 04:27 pm at 4:27 pm |
  19. Tom Dedham, Mass

    Raise your hand high, if you knew that as soon as it got tough she would use the "they are picking on poor wittle ol' me" card?

    She has been in cruise control and yes winning, for one reason only, the media (well, there you go again) annointed her and she was finally put in a forum and a situation where she is being made to answer questions by fellow DEMOCRATS.

    If most of the media wouldn't give her a virtual free pass and then barely reports other candidates ideals and yes, DIFFERENCES with her, what other forum but face to face can they show their differences?

    I honestly would give up my candidate possibly winning, if it guaranteed her NOT winning.

    She would be worse than Bush and our country would be even more divided than it is now (it is possible).

    November 1, 2007 04:45 pm at 4:45 pm |
  20. KJ, CA

    Now Hillary and her campaign are trying to use the fact that she is a woman to her advantage. Come on now... I want to respect you, I really do. But, I just can't until you stop showing the "two sides of Hillary". Please Hillary do the rest of us women a favor by showing you can give a straight answer to a question, that you can stick to your guns no matter what group that you are speaking in front of and that and that you can make it on your own – not on your husbands coattails or by using the fact that you are a woman.

    November 1, 2007 04:47 pm at 4:47 pm |
  21. Brian Tampa

    I thought we weren't supposed to consider sex {Hillary} or race {Obama}. I guess that is only if it is not considered a political liability. PC is BS!

    November 1, 2007 04:48 pm at 4:48 pm |
  22. Jerry, Boston

    Let me get the tissues out so I can cry for hillary...yeesshhh, if she can't take this heat, she'd better get out now! The world isn't going to be any more gentle with her and this is part of the process every one of them goes through. None of them are being mean – they are just bringing out the facts! So Hillary, let me go buy a ton of tissues so I can cry in my beer with you.

    November 1, 2007 04:49 pm at 4:49 pm |
  23. Tom Z, Deltona, FL

    Poor Hillary. Being picked on by other candidates... Cry me a river, build a bridge and get over it!
    What would she do as president if she got "picked on" by the likes of Putin, Chavez, Ahmedinijad, et al?

    November 1, 2007 04:50 pm at 4:50 pm |
  24. sonny c. v.p.,la.

    To any Republican who says that Hillart is hiding behind her gender when the going gets tough, just look at what George W. does: he hides behind the troops & the American flag every chance he gets.

    November 1, 2007 04:52 pm at 4:52 pm |
  25. Leo, VA

    Those guys were all desperate to get attention.. what a better way of showing they are 'the tough guys" than attacking THE woman.
    Their ideas about presidency? who cares.. just use the slogans of 'politics of hope' or 'I am coming from a working family', and focus on attacking the Clinton(s).
    The debate showed that Obama and Edward don't know how to play fair games based on intellectual challenge. Their behaviour was actually funny, they definitely looked like boys kicking each other on the playground.

    November 1, 2007 04:52 pm at 4:52 pm |
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