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The Many Attacks on the Hillary Clinton Candidacy

The Many Attacks on the Hillary Clinton Candidacy

Former Secretary of State, Senator and First Lady Hillary Clinton may be running for president. If so, the Republican party wants you to know that their messaging machine is already on it, and they have the buttons to prove it.

According to Huffington Post, a California Republican Party convention featured a table of buttons comparing the politician and potential presidential candidate to a KFC chicken special, sort of. “KFC Hillary Special: 2 Fat Thighs 2 small breasts…left wing,” the buttons read.

The buttons quickly disappeared from the table, but the sentiments have been simmering for a long time. As PhillyMag reported, back in 2007 when Clinton was running for president, it was her ankles everyone was obsessed with. “Yes, ankles. In Carl Bernstein’s controversial 2007 Hillary biography, A Woman in Charge, hers were described as ‘thick,’” writes Gail Shister. “A conservative columnist likened them to those of ‘a rogue elephant’–an insult more appropriately directed at Palin, if you ask me. We’re talking ankles here, people. They’re like opinions–everybody’s got two.”

So we’ve covered the ankles, the thighs and the breasts. Surely that’s enough at this point, right? Wrong.

Joining in on the bandwagon to preemptively attack Clinton based solely on her physical appearance is right wing columnist Erik Rush. His mature debating tactic? Name calling, saying the former Secretary of State looks like Miss Piggy. “It’s pretty apparent to anyone paying attention that unless Barack Obama declares himself emperor prior to 2016, Hillary Clinton (whom I affectionately call ‘Miss Piggy’ due to resemblance rather than personal habits) is more or less a lock for the Democratic nomination,” writes Rush in a recent column, where he bemoans the lack of credible GOP candidates to run for the presidency.

If pundits like Rush truly represent the party, it’s no wonder they have so few popular options for higher office.

The attacks on her aren’t just goading about physical looks, either. A recent talking point among the far right wing “traditional values” arm of the party is that Clinton is actually a lesbian. Even better? She’s involved with Huma Abedin, longtime aid and wife of the scandal-ridden former New York Congressman Anthony Weiner. While the mainstream press offers subtle “how close are they?” headlines, conservative press and websites go straight to full blown rumor-mongering.

The claim was most recently repeated by Bryan Fischer of the American Family Association, who spent one of his radio shows discussing the alleged secret lesbian affair. “So, the bottom line is that if Hillary Clinton becomes president in 2016, she will not only be our first female president, she could be our first lesbian president,” said Fischer.

Then again, Bryan Fischer is constantly on the watch for America’s “first gay” president, so that sort of speculation from him is to be expected.

Tearing down candidates based on their physical appearances does occasionally happen to men (such as the “I wouldn’t like to see Chris Christie frolicking down the beach” quote from New Jersey gubernatorial candidate Sen. Barbara Bono.) But on the whole, the ceaseless and vitriolic attack on a candidate’s physical appearance and potential sexual orientation is a tactic that hits female candidates far more often than their male counterparts.

If this is where we are before Clinton announces a run, just think of what it will look like if she really does campaign for president.

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94 comments

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9:25PM PST on Dec 2, 2013

absurd and stupid!

8:11PM PST on Nov 6, 2013

Hillary Clinton is the best candidate. So lets vote for her. It does not matter who you voted for before, what party you belong to, who your friends are and so on. What matters is that we vote for the correct person in 2016. Hillary will rebalance the budget, reduce the debts, bring the budget back to a surplus as it was during the Clinton years, she will bring the soldiers back to the USA, she will implement governmental health care, she will create green incentives, she will protect the last standing forests, employment will go up and she will create equality for all.

7:21PM PDT on Oct 20, 2013

(cont'd) as well as President Obama and whose temperament mirrors Obama. Pres. Obama has spoken sternly, emphatically, even critically, but he has never engaged in name calling or finger pointing even when his critics questioned his citizenship and even after this shutdown. Democrats should never assume that they will take the Presidency in the next election just because of what's happening now. Voters have been shown to have very short memories.

7:18PM PDT on Oct 20, 2013

As much as I would love Hillary Clinton to win the Presidency, the next election may not be the best time for her to run. The GOP, and particularly the Tea Party faction of the GOP, are vicious as you can see. They've become very adept at clouding the real issues and problems with this type of personal attack that appeals to people's prejudices and emotions as opposed to their intellect. (They'd totally lose an intellectual battle). And they haven't even gotten started. Wait until they start dredging up Bill Clinton's escapade with Lewinsky. I can just hear them - a lesbian married to an adulterer. Moral decay in the White House. If she can't even control her husband, how can she run an entire nation. It won't matter how much good she's done or that she's conducted herself with grace. That is all that the people will hear and then we'll be facing the possibility of a Republican president, even perhaps one affiliated with the Tea Party but quite so verbal. Like Paul Ryan who has been exceptionally quiet during the shutdown - some speculate that's because he knew that for his own political ambitions, it was better now to be seen as a workhorse and not a "showhorse". Everyone remembers him, right? He didn't get the nickname "Lyin Paul Ryan" for nothing.

So I think that if the Democrats want to win the next election, they have to select a candidate who's background is impeccable, who is VERY knowledgeable about global economics and able to speak as well as Pres.

9:53PM PDT on Oct 19, 2013

Sara Pailn earned EVERY SINGLE riducule thwon her way, She was horribly prepared for the job the Republican party threw into her lap. She wasnt mocked because she was conservative. She was mocked because she was a laughing stock. SARA put her baby out there as a political prop. THATS what she was mocked for. Not one mocked the poor child. Sara is a circus side show. Nothing more nothing less.

11:10PM PDT on Oct 18, 2013

Sara Palin had more vile vitriol spewed at her and her than any human being on the planet. I suppose making jokes about her special needs child is less offensive to you people than rude remarks about Hillary's ankles. Keep up your Democratic campaigning, Robin Marty. Looks like you're getting a good head start with your propaganda, too! Now hurry up and go write a yet another piece of "journalism" drumming up some more Ted Cruz hysteria. It's all the rage, you know.

1:13PM PDT on Oct 18, 2013

Ya' think they might be a little bit worried?

7:03PM PDT on Oct 16, 2013

VOTE 2014 & 2016 end the GOP EVIL !!!

7:22AM PDT on Oct 16, 2013

Anne, that's the first time I've heard anyone call Obama a white boy.

7:07AM PDT on Oct 16, 2013

Hillary is SO GREAT the only thing repugs can find to criticize her about is her physical appearance. And they know she will win. She is a great candidate & the repugs will never come up with someone who can beat her. GO HILLARY!!

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Julie M. Rodriguez Julie M. Rodriguez is an arts, green living, and political writer based in San Mateo, CA. Her work... more
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