Hillary Clinton has been dashing around Iowa this week in a push to show voters she’s likable and reverse her slide in presidential polls, The New York Times reported Wednesday. The blitz came as conservative radio host Rush Limbaugh asked whether “looks-obsessed” Americans would elect "an aging woman,” after Matt Drudge posted a photo online showing Clinton with bags under her eyes and wrinkles. (Salon)
What the commentators said
It’s “pretty pathetic,” said Maureen Dowd in The New York Times (free registration), that after so much time in the public eye Hillary Clinton has to “wage a major offensive, by helicopter and Web testimonials, to make herself appear warm-blooded.” Clinton has her faults, but this “Old Hag” attack is just the latest “sexist” attempt by conservatives to put down a powerful woman they don’t like.
Rush was only asking whether voters would give a woman a “fair shake” at an age where she has the experience to run, said Ed Morrissey in his Captain’s Quarters blog. He has “sympathy” for women in the face of this “unfairness.” But rest easy—Republican hopefuls from Rudy Giuliani to Fred Thompson also “wear their experiences on their faces,” and they have endured far more digs about age than Clinton.
Come now, said Lisa Takeuchi Cullen in Time.com, it’s silly to suggest that “the only female candidate for president” isn’t “subjected to scrutiny that wouldn’t befall her male competitors.” What about the constant commentary on Hillary’s pantsuits? “Seems like women leaders not only have to be smarter, cooler and more competent than the men; they have to look better, too.”