Hillary's Not a True Test of Gender Bias

Dowd: Maybe you want a woman president —but not this woman
By Jason Farago,  Newser Staff
Posted Feb 13, 2008 1:03 PM CST
Democratic presidential hopeful Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton, D-N.Y., claps during a campaign rally at Don Haskin Arena in El Paso, Texas, Tuesday, Feb. 12, 2008. (AP Photo/LM Otero)   (Associated Press)
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(Newser) – Barack Obama's sweep of eight primaries in the past four days has put Hillary Clinton on the ropes, and New York Times columnist Maureen Dowd wonders if women will once again come to her aid as they did in New Hampshire. But the "national seminar on gender and race" that is this year's Democratic primary has a strange tenor: while Obama aims to transcend race, Clinton often tries to use her sex as a tool, or worse, as an excuse, says Dowd.

Clinton, she argues, is not the "best test case" to see whether a woman can be elected president. "We'll never know how much of the backlash is because she's a woman or because she's this woman." It's possible that Obama's winning streak might inspire female voters to rally behind one of their own. But for Dowd the stakes are clear: " If Hillary fails, it will be her failure, not ours."