Can Obama Win Clinton’s Female Supporters?

By Alan Stewart Carl | Related entries in Barack, Gender, Hillary

Kirsten Powers of the New York Posts wonders if Barack Obama can win Hillary Clinton’s female supporters who feel wronged by the events of the primary. She points out numerous cases of both overt and tempered sexism and notes one group, “Clinton Supporters Count Too”(some info here), is threatening not to vote if Obama is the nominee.

There is no doubt that there have been both racist and sexist remarks uttered by all manner of Democrats this year. Most have been mild although the responses have often been shrill. If Clinton supporters really want to dwell on the matter, they won’t have a hard time convincing themselves that Clinton’s loss is some kind of male-chauvinist slap in the face to all women. Question is, will enough women feel that way to damage Obama’s chances in November?

My guess is no. When the election arrives, most of Clinton’s supporters will be voting for Obama. They will probably decide that defeating John McCain is more important than making some statement about Clinton’s perceived mistreatment. After all, if these are the types who can convince themselves that sexism and not Clinton’s grossly incompetent campaign is what gave Obama the nomination, then they’re also the type to buy into the Democratic spin that McCain is some evil Republican doom-bringer whose election would ruin us all.

Obama will probably have to make the appropriate speeches to women’s interests groups, but I don’t think he has too much to worry about. He’ll get the votes of most of Clinton’s supporters.


This entry was posted on Wednesday, May 21st, 2008 and is filed under Barack, Gender, Hillary. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

18 Responses to “Can Obama Win Clinton’s Female Supporters?”

  1. Grant Gould Says:

    The Democrats will pull back in female voters the same way they have every election cycle for two decades: “Think of the judges!” Supreme Court nominations have been the gift that keeps on giving for the Dems to pull in women (and for the Republicans to keep hold of religious voters as well — it’s a bipartisan thing).

  2. Jan Says:

    Millions of women and blue collars will vote for McCain in November. Obama promised us unity, and instead he gave us a civil war. It’s not about the issues anymore – it’s personal. Welcome to identity politics.

  3. Jan Says:

    I will gladly vote for McCain in November. And yes, I know it will be Bush’s third term. And yes, I know he will appoint judges that will try to overturn Roe vs. Wade. Well, you know what ? I don’t care. Since young women supported Obama, they shouldn’t mind going to Canada for their abortions. In the end, emotion always beats logic. Never forget that hell hath no fury like a woman scorned.

  4. vote hillary Says:

    He will NOT get my vote! No Obama 08,Mcain all the way 08. Mcain will be happy to count our votes!

  5. Rob in Denver Says:

    Clinton campaigned like it was 1996.

    Clinton raised money like it was 1992.

    Clinton agreed to the rules in Michigan and Florida.

    Clinton hired a primary-campaign expert and then allowed the PR expert — the one with the conflict of interest — to shout him out.

    Clinton permitted chaos to reign in her campaign leadership.

    Clinton assumed she had the nom in the bag… until it was too late.

    And it’s Obama’s and the DNCs fault?

    As a diehard St. Louis Rams fan, all of this drama draws a striking comparison to Super Bowl 36 when a heavily favored Rams team got shocked by the upstart New England Patriots. All game long, the Pats dared the pass-first Rams to run the ball. Mike Martz wouldn’t have it… he wanted to win the game his way.

    The Rams rallied late and tied the score at 17-17… only to drop back into a prevent defense for the final minute of play. The Pats capitalized by marching down the field and kicking a field goal as time expired, a would-be dynasty thwarted.

    In the aftermath of the game, Rams fans around the globe cried foul… that the Patriots used shady tactics to stop the Rams, and that the refs — in the first Super Bowl after 9/11 — conspired with the league to ensure a team named “Patriots” would win the game on a grand stage broadcast all over the world.

    Never mind that the Rams didn’t play well enough — or overcome their own mistakes — to win

    To those who claim an Obama/DNC conspiracy aimed at keeping Clinton down, I’ll tell you exactly what I told my fellow Rams fans: Get over yourselves. Your guys didn’t get the job done and it was nobody’s fault but their own.

  6. Clinton Supporter Says:

    I can tell you right now a speach is not going to do it for me- anyway never cared for his speaches to preachy for me. Hilliary Clinton 08 or if she is not the nomoniee then can you say John McCain 08.

  7. goldenstate Says:

    When Hillary’s supporters tell you they are not going to vote for Obama, believe them. Those voters aren’t going to change their minds in November. They don’t think he’s qualified. I don’t trust him with national security. I hope Hillary runs as an Independent. If she doesn’t, I’ll write in her name in November. I am switching from Democrat to Independent after the elections.

  8. HG Says:

    Obama doesn’t only have the woman vote to worry about but the votes of the 17 voter’s votes who voted for Clinton to worry about.

    I’m a male who voted for Clinton. I don’t like Obama’s campaign and his supporter’s derogatory and dismissive attitudes to the values I consider important. They think they don’t need my vote to win. We’ll see.

  9. christel robinson Says:

    They can keep saying all they want ,that we will come around come november. I can’t speak for anybody else but I will never vote for Obama as a matter of facts the day he is nominated I will change to Independent. He is the one with his team who always played the racecard and he is the one who divided this party

  10. tiger Says:

    Exactly! Who cares about what Obama talks about, how he talks, what ads they would put together to fight McCain, how much Obama tries to lure the votes – none of these matter. Many of us already made our minds – not to vote for Obama! Nothing would change that, trust me! I’m one of them. That Obama guy is to cocky as someone he’s not yet, someone merely created by the stupid media – as a rock star (an ugly one, btw) other than a presidential candidate. Think of an unknown person got luck in a film that catches everyone’s eyes, then this person gets fame, fame that is beyond what he could imagine, then everyone, especially those star followers and youngsters who can shed their meaningless tears when they see the star, would embrace this newly found actor. But how good this person really is, they have no answer. They just blindly follow him. If this person is an immature person, I’d guarantee you he would be soon too proud of himself and forget who he really is. This is how I look at this Obama guy, and this is why I’m sick of him, especially when he talks with “uh, uh…” everywhere when it’s not scripted. Then his ugly wife kills the rest of my stomach.

  11. djthedj Says:

    Either you guys didn’t really believe Hillary (you think she’s a liar?) or you don’t care if the war goes on, America is bankrupt and no one can afford health insurance. Or maybe, the shade of a person’s skin is the most important factor in deciding who to vote for. People like you are why America is in the horrible shape it’s in, thanks.

  12. jaden Says:

    Women who will vote for McCain don’t truly support Hillary. They support a woman running for president. What an utterly selfish thing to do. Shame! Is that what Hillary wants? Hillary wants a Democrat in the oval office, so women who truly support HER will abide by her wishes. This country is in crisis, we need the best person to be president–it’s our children’s future. Please think about that. Some women are claiming sexist and mysogynist attitudes among male voters. This in itself is a sexist attitude by these women. I am a woman who wanted to voted for her in my state’s primary but didn’t because she went back on her word about campaigning in Michigan and Florida. If she was so concerned about having those delgates seated (and they should be seated), she should have chosen a more ethical way to go about it. Her gas-tax summer holiday was not realistic and she knew it. She said the oil companies would pay for it with their profits. How was she going to accomplish that so that highway workers’ jobs would not be lost. Think about it. Was she going to talk Bush into making it happen? Not likely. It was pandering pure and simple. We don’t need a president like that, male or female. There are other problems with her that I haven’t even mentioned, not the least being the way she gave the Republicans lots of ammunition against Obama in the general.

    Women who want Hillary as president just because she is female are not thinking about the best interests of America or the future of our children. We will have a female president. But even if it takes a while, she has to be the best possible person for the job at the time, just being female doesn’t qualify.

  13. jaden Says:

    For those of you who are condemning Obama without knowing him, please read his book Dreams From My Father. You will get to know him then, and you will see that he is more than just a writer and speech maker. He is a thoughtful personm, meaning he knows how to rationally think through situations. If you are a fair minded person, you will learn that he is a very intelligent man. Intelligence is the ability to discern facts. Are you intelligent?

  14. Calvados Says:

    I see I’m a week late to the party, but as a Clinton supporter, I agree that there is virtually no way I would vote for Obama in November. I have no confidence that he has the ability or the intention to deliver on any of his rhetoric. His entire political juggernaut appears to have been designed with a single goal of rising to the top as quickly as possible.

    I would be more comfortable with John McCain in the White House and all the Democratic candidates in the Senate with a majority who would keep any unacceptable justices from being confirmed. As far as I can tell, Obama is the Democratic George W Bush. He seems likable, and gives a good talk about being “a uniter, not a divider,” but in reality he has been extremely divisive, and does not inspire confidence in his abilities to do anything other than market himself.

  15. Justin Gardner Says:

    His entire political juggernaut appears to have been designed with a single goal of rising to the top as quickly as possible.

    Juggernaut? You mean the one he built from the ground up based on his skills as a leader and his message that beat the Clinton juggernaut at nearly every turn? That alone doesn’t demonstrate the ability to deliver change? Honestly, what would be proof?

    See, this is the problem I have with many Hillary supporters. The reasons they give for why they’re not voting for Obama can nearly always be turned back on their own candidate, and it’s especially true in this case. What has Hillary done to demonstrate that she can bring change? What has she done to suggest she’s anything but a product of the Clinton political juggernaut?

    Sorry you’re not even considering Obama, but I really think your reasoning is way off on this and I hope you take another look.

  16. mike mcEachran Says:

    Wow. I know this doesn’t help Obama’s cause to “woo” over Clinton supporters, but to hell with it. You all sound like brats who didn’t get your way. I support Obama, but I would have voter for Hillary had she won the nomination. It just so happens that she didn’t. Nobody took it away from her except the voters, by way of her own flawed campaign. Vote your consciences by all means, and if that’s McCain, fine, but spare us the whining. You sound petty, chlidish and spiteful – which happens to be exactly how the opposition likes to characterize Dems. Thanks a lot for proving them right. And thanks to all of those who are vowing to hand back the presidency to a murderous bunch of idealogues all because you didn’t get what you wanted.

    By the way, I still love Hillary. :P

  17. Calvados Says:

    The juggernaut I refer to is Obama’s very quick rise to prominence with little time in any particular office to really evaluate his abilities. I was not talking about this campaign in particular, which has done a good job at creating a lead among the so-called pledged delegates.

    While I will grant that he is a thoughtful person, with useful takes on a lot of issues, that will not necessarily make him a good president. The last thoughtful president we had (I refer to Jimmy Carter) has been a much more successful ex-president than he was a president. Sadly, RFK never had the chance to set a precedent.

    As we can see from recent history, the ability to run a winning campaign also does not translate to the ability to be a good president. Clearly Clinton was overconfident at the beginning, and did not campaign seriously until it was almost too late. It’s good, though, that she was able to learn from that experience.

    With Democratic majorities in both houses of Congress, it should be virtually impossible for either the current or any future Republican administration to enact their desires to be “a murderous bunch of ideologues”. Sadly, the current leadership continues to knuckle under. One hopes that the Congress will live up to its obligation to make the laws for the executive branch to execute.

    In any case, I’ll be learning all I can up until election day. There could be something I don’t know yet that sways me. Nevertheless, just being a Democrat isn’t enough for me to vote for a candidate, and just being a Republican (or a Libertarian or a Greener(?)) isn’t enough to make me vote against a candidate. What matters to me is who convinces me he or she can do the job best. I’m sure at this point much of the Republican party wishes that Al Gore had been inaugurated in 2001.

  18. Eric Swanson Says:

    I would never vote for McCain, no matter who the Democratic nominee ends up being. While Senator Obama appears to be the presumptive nominee, there is always the possibility of and August surprise.

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