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)
  1. WANT columbus ohio

    On top of the debt we already have in this country, if HILARY is voted into office, we'll sink. She wants a universal health care plan. That cost will be the end of us. VOTE FOR RON PAUL! Balanced budgets, civil rights, didn't vote for war, fiscally conservative, smartest candidate running.

    November 1, 2007 04:53 pm at 4:53 pm |
  2. Danny G, Boca Raton FL

    When did she come out crying??? she took it on the chin, she answer the questions I believe truthfully, some people just didn't like her answers, but they happen to be the truth. whoever has all the answers already lies or is bias... to take money from groups is "LEGAL" why must Edwards and Obama continue to try to make that comparison, to define a group which our military (don't we support our troops???) has found to be a terrorist group, why would that resolution be the "improper" thing to vote "yes" to. she voted not to fund the continuation of the war, she has a plan that calls for "FISCAL RESPONSIBILITY" I don't understand, I saw a very mature speaker that did not get rattled even when other's try to put words on her mouth (like saying that she supported Gov. Spritzer's plan to give out driver's licenses to illegals) she supported a man that was trying to bring a solution to a complicated issue, one she believes should be address at the federal level, but because congress can't get their head off the ground some states are taking a lead... somehoe that makes her a bad person? I'm proud of the lady, she stood up and she took those punches well... I think this may be an even turning point for her...

    November 1, 2007 04:57 pm at 4:57 pm |
  3. Phyllis, Dallas, TX

    Ok, here she goes again. Hillary which way do you want it. You're either up for the fight are you're not.

    You want to use gender to get the none-thinking women out there to vote for you. Any other time you're all about being able to take on the establishment (which you are a part of).

    How about this. Just start answering questions that are asked of you. Stop saying a lot of words but very little substance. You got wacked at this weeks debate because you were being too evasive, just as always. When you tell us where you really stand, you'll get no votes.

    November 1, 2007 04:59 pm at 4:59 pm |
  4. Lyle Adams, Spokane, WA

    Yes! I agree to what Ken of San Diego wrote. We do not want any republican in the White House in 2008, not beacuse these are republicans. But one and all are followers of Bush's failed policies, except Ron Paul. Enough of misery and draining of national trasure under Bush. Hillary is not making an excuse of getting attacked being a woman, but she is constantly questioned on whatever statements she makes. No other candidate is being harassed or put into the "gotch you" situation like Hillary. If any of these democrats think that they will score points by attacking her, then they are under illusion. Lets play fair game, and gain votes by your fair presentation of the policies and not by swift boating.

    November 1, 2007 05:03 pm at 5:03 pm |
  5. Jed in Texas

    Now that she has boxing gloves,lets see her take on a real man like Ann Coulter.Now that would make for great head lines!Cant wait to see the Vegas

    November 1, 2007 05:04 pm at 5:04 pm |
  6. Cyndy Nelson, Gilbert, AZ

    You need a new proofreader.

    November 1, 2007 05:05 pm at 5:05 pm |
  7. Mark, Oklahoma City, OK

    It's the direction she choose... and she's making a statement that puts them men up in a tree house playing boys games and won't let the girl join. She's demeaning and immasculating. And, she uses that over bearing mother attitude to try to win points. It only makes me even more glad she won't get my vote.

    November 1, 2007 05:06 pm at 5:06 pm |
  8. James, Washington, DC

    It was 8 men against Hillary and she stood her ground. As a man she's earned my respect and admiration. I wasn't planning on voting for her but now she has my VOTE.

    Are the men right in challenging her on the issues? Of course they are. I want the next president to be vetted. Personal attacks and differences on the issues are two different things.

    At the end of the day Hillary will get her party's nomination and Barack Obama and John Edwards will travel around the country campaigning on her behalf.

    November 1, 2007 05:07 pm at 5:07 pm |
  9. Paul, Boston, MA

    Tuesday night's debate was ridiculous. It's one thing if all of Hillary's competitors running for office try to "get" her - that's the nature of the beast. But it was just so imbalanced that night, even the moderators were in on it, all of them trying to bait and corner and "get" Hillary Clinton. Tim Russert in particular should be ashamed of himself. A moderator, by nature, is supposed to be impartial. Peter Jennings, RIP, we miss you.

    November 1, 2007 05:07 pm at 5:07 pm |
  10. Lynn, Reno NV

    You can't just say, Oh everyone is picking on me. You can't claim victimhood if you want to be the first female president. It is a weak argument and makes it bad for future female candidates. All the criticism she got was well deserved, and I am a woman but I don't feel sorry for her. If that is the way she counters criticism, I don't want her to be the first female president. I don't respect her anymore. She has serious issues that she is avoiding and I frankly think she is becoming unelectable.

    November 1, 2007 05:15 pm at 5:15 pm |
  11. Winston Gregory, Toronto, Ontario

    Hilary is the best candidate (on both sides) to take the office of the presidency in 2008. All the other candidates and in particular the dems seem to be second tier candidates. Pile on the attacks she is a strong woman and a winner. Hilary and her husband beat the republicans before and they will whip them again.

    November 1, 2007 05:16 pm at 5:16 pm |
  12. Ed Mares, Rio Rancho, New Mexico

    If you can't stand the heat in the kitchen then answer the questions "honestly" and the attacks from the "BOYS" will deminish.
    Problem is honesty does not exsit in this womans world.

    November 1, 2007 05:16 pm at 5:16 pm |
  13. Kurt, Lone Pine, CA

    Poor Hillary. Feel sorry for her folks. It's the only way she can hope to get your vote. If you look at her qualifications, experience, and ability.. she's up the creek.

    She's going for the "vote for the woman ladies... and get your man to too. Do whatever it takes... we need to sink this country faster!"

    A vote for Hillary is a vote to sink the country. If you want the US to cater to every nut, freak or idiot with a 'cause' and a threat... then by all means bend your knee to the Clinton campaign.

    November 1, 2007 05:16 pm at 5:16 pm |
  14. Marie, Los Angeles, CA

    Hillary has always achieved her goals and will continue to do so. She is the most educated and competent nominee we've seen in a long time. Smarter that her husband, and the crap for brains waste of space we have now as president. The GOP hates her because they fear her and know she will win. No other reason.

    November 1, 2007 05:19 pm at 5:19 pm |
  15. Donny Minneapolis, MN

    Hillary Clinton isn't doing anything different then what every other presidential front-runner has done for generations, republican or democrat.

    In the end though, I don't care! No matter what, I'll be able to say, Ba-Bye Bush! Your 8-years will be looked back on with hate, laughter, disgust, and embarassment. And this is coming from a hardcore republican. What will you be doing in 8 years George? While I've never been a big fan of Mr. Clinton.....he's doing great work now. Will you? My guess is no.


    November 1, 2007 05:20 pm at 5:20 pm |
  16. KMK, Chicago, Illinois

    Hillary's responses in the most recent debate were evasive and misleading and now her spin machine is accusing the other candidates as bullying her because they called her on it?

    If anyone is at fault for degrading Hillary's integrity and character, it's Hillary herself.

    November 1, 2007 05:21 pm at 5:21 pm |
  17. MikePost, Bosie, Idaho

    Come on, guys. She did say that six men against one woman is a Fair Fight!
    She isn't crying, she's having a good time and making jokes. She's one tough gal! I like her.

    November 1, 2007 05:22 pm at 5:22 pm |
  18. Colin742

    saw no sign of "crying like a baby or Wimpering" as one shameless commentator said. For over 15 years she has taken "slings and arrows" from critics and become stronger from it. Aftter seeing the behaviour of at least 6 of the 8 men there, I would not say that she "took it like a man" as that would be an insult. Was it Dan Rather who once walked of a set because someone upset his feelings.Except for Biden, and who lacks the political intrastructure to win. None of the others comes close to her strength of character. Whether you like it or not, she is internationally well known and respected, as is Bill. It is essential to restore the Nation's reputation. After electing Dumbya, the USA would become a laughing stock if it elected someone like Pretty Boy Edwards or even Obama.

    November 1, 2007 05:22 pm at 5:22 pm |
  19. Fred, Clearwater, FL

    She keeps hanging onto the "I'm the victim." People are going to see through this smoke screen.

    Hillary needs to be able to handle "tough" questions...HOW IN THE WORLD IS SHE CAPABLE OF BEING PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES if she can't?

    Obviously, she can only excel when she has her spin masters leading the way. She is a WEAK candidate and cannot stand the heat of a campaign.

    November 1, 2007 05:27 pm at 5:27 pm |
  20. Maria, Los Angeles

    As a woman, I'm completely turned off by Hillary's comments about being 'teamed up against', and 'playing in a boys club'. It's a cowardly remark and turns her into a victim. It's cheap and ridiculous. Their remarks were timid.
    If she can't 'hang' with the boys now, how in the world does she expect to go up against most of the male world leaders - especially those in Muslim countries that have no respect for women?!
    She's constantly blaming others for her weaknesses.
    Her weak responses have nothing to do with gender - just her phony stands on just about everything.


    November 1, 2007 05:28 pm at 5:28 pm |
  21. Josie, San Diego CA

    Go, Hillary!!! Maybe with you as President, there will be less glass ceilings for the rest of us to bump our heads on!!!

    November 1, 2007 05:28 pm at 5:28 pm |
  22. Joe Ossai, Bedford, NH

    I knew this crap was coming. "oh! the boys are picking on me because I'm girl".

    Give me break, I thought you claim to be a very tough person. If you think this is an attack when all they did was point out your 'double talk", wait until the Republicans get a hold of you. Monica, cigar, cattle futures...etc.

    Be straight with the American people, and release the documents that prove that you have White House experience.

    Can't have it both babe.

    November 1, 2007 05:28 pm at 5:28 pm |
  23. Adam, Plano, TX

    hillary, the perpetual victim.

    November 1, 2007 05:29 pm at 5:29 pm |
  24. Terry, El Paso, TX

    Let's not feel sorry for Hillary nor be indignant. She is playing the game with great skill. Over the years, in one situation or another, we have ganged up on women who wanted to get into the boy's club. These women felt excluded. They felt that the rules were applied more forcefully in their cases. Much of the time it was true. Sometimes it was paranoia, which is the effect that racism and sexism has on its victims: they see conspiracies where there are none because there are so many conspiracies against them. If you're white, did you ever try to talk to a black person about the OJ trial?

    Now, those women (our wives, sisters, and daughters) are seeing it happen again to another very highly qualified woman. Hillary, after all, lived in the White House for 8 years, was consulted on many issues, was elected and re-elected to the Senate. She's a graduate of Yale Law School. She is more qualified than any other candidate. The women who are watching those debates are doing a slow burn.

    Come primary day and election day, I have a feeling, they are going to vote very disproportionately for her. I can hear the rumble of a stampede just getting started.

    By the way, Richardson is my candidate, but Hillary will be my president next year. I'll bet the rent on it.

    November 1, 2007 05:30 pm at 5:30 pm |
  25. Daniel, NY

    In more good news for Clinton, a new general election poll from Florida out this morning has her leading all Republicans.

    November 1, 2007 05:35 pm at 5:35 pm |
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