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. Erik

    I post this some where else but it needs to be repeated...To anyone who defends Clinton on this all I have to say is Harriet Tubman, Oprah Winfery and Condolezza Rice! These women fought and/or are fighting an "all men’s only club” through out their lives and in their professional careers. I never heard any of them say the men a piling on. With all of this nonsense they are black so you know it's even worse for them. Clinton is wrong and she got caught in her political mess. She has set the feminist movement back 50 years. If I'm blessed to have a daughter I will never tell to her to use cheap tricks like this to get by in life.

    November 1, 2007 05:37 pm at 5:37 pm |
  2. jw, canadian,ok

    CBN – Clinton Bashers Network. Hey, you guys got your own, spew that crap over there.

    November 1, 2007 05:40 pm at 5:40 pm |
  3. DB Arlington, Texas

    As an educated woman (registered Democrat), I think that whining about an "all boy's club" is insulting to women. With this statement, she's essentially proving the criticism that a woman is not strong enough to be President. Frankly, I'm disappointed in Sen. Clinton's "Oh, I'm just a girl" line. She is the front runner, what does she expect? She must respond to difficult questions, even from candidates in her own party.

    November 1, 2007 05:44 pm at 5:44 pm |
  4. Christopher M Shanahan Buffalo NY

    Why is she considered a "strong" woman? She stood idley by during Bill's complete presidency and said not one word publically regarding her husband's infidelities. What an example she set for young women everywhere on what they should expect from marriage and how to address those issues in a "strong and dignified" manner. This woman is a phoney, she "grabbed" a seat in government through a state which she had no relationship with or allegience to (NY). She is way too liberal in her policies (and socialist), which will only further drive this great God fearing nation further into an atheistic hell and leave us as a people and CULTURE vulnerable to attack. She not a good woman candidate, she is just a woman candidate, and unfortunately that may be all she need be to get the female vote, minority vote, and liberal vote. Absolutley disgraceful!!

    November 1, 2007 05:46 pm at 5:46 pm |
  5. Lukas

    People are wrong in saying Hilary is a Bush-Lite.

    She is Bush-Heavy Concentrated Dose.

    November 1, 2007 05:47 pm at 5:47 pm |
  6. Steve, Pittsburgh PA

    Cheap and sad.

    Can you imagine the uproar if Obama responded to harsh questioning by the competition by comparing it to six white men lynching a black man?

    November 1, 2007 05:54 pm at 5:54 pm |
  7. John Adkisson, Sacramento, California

    What an offensive, divisive thing to say! It is no more okay to attack men because they are men– than it is to attack women because they are women– or to attack people because of their race, religion, or orientation.

    New low!

    November 1, 2007 05:57 pm at 5:57 pm |
  8. Roger - IL

    I don't believe the other Candidate's are attacking her because she is a woman. I believe they are attacking her because of her policies.

    November 1, 2007 06:01 pm at 6:01 pm |
  9. Nick, Eden Praire MN

    So it's okay for Hillary to claim all the other candidates are sexist pigs, even though she just got done telling us how personal attacks are wrong. I'd love for one hillary supporter to explain how that makes any sense. SHE'S THE NEGATIVE ONE! Obama would be trashed if he played the race card, Hillary should be equally bashed for playing the sexist card.

    November 1, 2007 06:05 pm at 6:05 pm |
  10. Jesse, Burnsville, MN

    The beginning of the end for Hillary. The Clinton advisers really messed up on this one. They thought this whole "the men are picking on me" thing would help garner women sympathy votes. Instead, it just makes her look pathetic. Answer questions honestly and nobody would have any reason to question your integrity.

    November 1, 2007 06:07 pm at 6:07 pm |
  11. A. Thomas, New York, NY

    Even with Hillary's imperfection here and there (then again, nobody is perfect), my wife and I and all our 4 daughters will vote for her. In our books, she is the best of all presidential candidates, dems or republicans.

    I see that all other dem candidates are getting desperate and go for broke as the primaries will be here in about two months. Hillary's polls have surged with larger lead over them.

    In Iowa, with Hillary's lastest lead over Obama by 10 points (with larger leads in other states), Obama's presidential pursuit looks like a nightmare. JOhn Edwards campaigned first in Iowa and have visited Iowa the most (99 counties), his poll there has been dropping since day one. He cannot even win his own state. Edwards' 2nd presidential pursuit will be his last, and will be over in about 3 months. Then, he can have his $400 haircut and chases after the insurance companies.

    November 1, 2007 06:08 pm at 6:08 pm |
  12. Ty Web - Bushwick, NE

    I agree. I don't think she was attacked because she is a woman. What bothers me, is that she is alluding to that.

    Her campaign is very good at turning criticism into personal attacks on her and spin doctoring comments to other candidates.

    November 1, 2007 06:09 pm at 6:09 pm |
  13. Rose Hillrose, Chicago, IL

    Si, if all the other candidates think together they all agree and are against Clinton, why waste venom spits from 6 candidates instead of rallying one to confront Clinton. They were noisy, annying, hyper and ridiculous. But the lady ended up making them look stupid like Little Rascals.

    You Go, Clinton and May the Good Lord Stay With You All the Way to the Whitehous.

    November 1, 2007 06:12 pm at 6:12 pm |
  14. Gilbert De La Garza, San Antonio, TX

    If people think that she was being ganged on, then perhaps she should drop out. The world leaders of other countries are mostly male and if she can't handle the candidates she is running against then how will be able to handle national matters with the male leaders of the other countries. She should not be treated differently just because she is a female. Anyone who wants to be president must be able to take the hard knocks. Especially, when it comes to protecting America and its people.

    November 1, 2007 06:17 pm at 6:17 pm |
  15. Phil, Burke, VA

    All of the other candidates are . . . oh, men. If the male candidates criticize Hillary, they're accused of piling on. Okay, nobody criticize her please. Let's declare the primary over. Hillary won since she is above criticism. If you can't take the heat . . .

    November 1, 2007 06:18 pm at 6:18 pm |
  16. Lynne, Valley Village, CA

    I never heard Hillary suggest she was attacked because she was a woman, and I firmly don't believe that to be the case. She's attacked because she's dominating this race so completely. No other candidate, Democrat, Republican or otherwise is getting the attention she gets. She stands apart from the pack in many ways– the fact that she's a woman is the least of them.

    November 1, 2007 06:18 pm at 6:18 pm |
  17. Walter Pendelton

    "Pile-On Politics"? imagine if Hillary were behind in the polls. She would continually "Attack" her opponents, look how she "attacks" Bush. Hillary is just a huge hypocrite. She can't give us shining examples of her own leadership so she has to us smoke and mirrors to deflect us from questioning her and I will say she really knows how to work the system. All FLUFF and no SUBSTANCE wheres the meat and potatoes?

    November 1, 2007 06:24 pm at 6:24 pm |
  18. Chris, Washington, D.C.

    Notice how you don't hear Obama bragging about competing in the all-white club of presidential politics. If the other candidates ganged up on her in any way it's because she's the front-runner... don't let her confuse you into thinking it's because of her gender.

    November 1, 2007 06:26 pm at 6:26 pm |
  19. Linda, Edmond, OK

    boo hoo....what a cry baby! making it look like she's the innocent victim against "the boys." coward. i WAS a clinton supporter, but in the past several weeks, she had shown her true colors=bush lite.

    OBAMA 2008!!!

    November 1, 2007 06:29 pm at 6:29 pm |
  20. Joe, DC

    No, they are attacking her because she's way ahead. But the early, albeit far from definitive, evidence shows that it backfired. The Rasmussen daily tracking poll has Sen. Clinton increasing her percentage by two points while Edwards and Obama's percentages decreased by 2 points–for a net gain by Sen. Clinton over both Obama and Edwards of 4 points–based on polling in the first twenty-four hours following the debate. So, as a redblooded American male who supports Sen. Clinton, I hope these two wimps–neither of whom could fight their way out of a paper bag–keep it up.

    November 1, 2007 06:31 pm at 6:31 pm |
  21. Mike, Virginia

    Poor Hilary. Those bad boys are picking on her. They have valid arguments. If she is going to whine about this then what shall we expect when she encounters advisories on the world stage? Is she going to play victim in that situation as well? She is not fit to lead this country, she cannot make up her mind who she is and her so-called experience is locked up until after the election.....

    November 1, 2007 06:35 pm at 6:35 pm |
  22. Anonymous


    If you want to run with the big dogs you have to be able to &*&% in the tall grass.

    November 1, 2007 06:40 pm at 6:40 pm |
  23. Zeus Racine, WI

    Hillary Clinton = Next PRESIDENT of the USA!

    Deal with it...

    November 1, 2007 06:42 pm at 6:42 pm |
  24. PM Oldsmar,FL

    Poor Hillary – All the unfair verbal attacks her by these big, mean men. And all Democrats no less!? Isn't it a little worrisome to fast forward to her non-Presidency and she how she would have reacted to the likes of the world's truly evil tyrants. Come on folks, her entire 35 + year political life has been lived behind the tinted windows of a limousine. She's accomplished very little.

    November 1, 2007 06:49 pm at 6:49 pm |
  25. Dave, Cheverly, MD

    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 06:57 pm at 6:57 pm |
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