Barack, Hillary Swap Gender Roles for '08

Frontrunners attempt opposite-sex appeal, Salon's Scherer says
By Jonas Oransky,  Newser Staff
Posted Jul 12, 2007 9:08 AM CDT
Sen. Barack Obama, D-Ill., listens to Sen. Hilary Rodham Clinton, D-N.Y., right, as she responds to a question during the first Democratic presidential primary debate of the 2008 election hosted by South...   (Associated Press)
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(Newser) – In the Democrats' dramatic race to the White House, Michael Scherer writes in Salon, “the leading man is a woman and the leading woman is a man." While Barack Obama soothes audiences with his nurturing baritone, Hillary Clinton attempts to parry the disadvantages of a female candidacy with broad-shouldered tough talk, borrowing military metaphors for her campaign and even waxing Reaganesque.

Hillary still leads among actual women—a lead Obama is striving to contest by positioning himself as “the warm candidate.” The Illinois senator pipes in the Indigo Girls at one event, and nearly sucks the machismo out of the room: “The decision to go to war is not a sport," he gently reminds us.