ABC: TheHillaryIKnow.com Illustrates She's a Double-Standard Victim

Cuing up Hillary Clinton for an “I am Woman” moment, ABC's Cynthia McFadden on Wednesday's Nightline managed to turn the Clinton campaign's “TheHillaryIKnow” Web site, created to demonstrate her likeability, into evidence Hillary Clinton is the victim of a double-standard compared to men. McFadden oozed about how the site is “terribly sweet in so many ways, and yet, it sort of has this Sally Field quality to it. You know, 'they like me, they really like me.'” McFadden queried, without consideration for the possibility the other candidates really are nicer: “I wonder if there's not a double standard? I don't see the guys doing it. Are you judged differently, do you think, on the personal level?”

Clinton, naturally, agreed and used the prompting to channel Helen Reddy: “I think that that's the world we live in. I understand that. I accept it, but I don't let it deter me. You know that wonderful old line about women do everything, it's like Ginger Rogers who did everything that Fred Astaire did only backwards and in high heels? Well, we just have to go out and do it.”

Earlier, in concurring with McFadden that she was “reluctant” to ask friends to praise her, Clinton humbly explained: “I don't want to go around bragging about myself or saying, oh, you know, I helped to get health care for six million children or I helped to, you know, reform the education system in Arkansas. I'd rather just let that speak for itself.”

From the Wednesday, December 19 Nightline segment on McFadden's day in Iowa following and interviewing Hillary Clinton:

HILLARY CLINTON AT CAMPAIGN EVENT: I'm not really good at talking about me.

CYNTHIA MCFADDEN: So last week the campaign launched and effort to showcase those people: friends, constituents, including many of them in a new Web site called “The Hillary I Know.”

VIDEO OF WOMAN ON THE WEB SITE: The Hillary that I know is a compassionate woman.

MAN IN VIDEO ON THE SITE: The Hillary I know saved my life.

MCFADDEN TO CLINTON: Were you reluctant to ask friends to do it?

CLINTON: I was.

MCFADDEN: I bet you were.

CLINTON: I was, you know, because I mean, I just feel like, you know, I don't want to go around bragging about myself or saying, oh, you know, I helped to get health care for six million children or I helped to, you know, reform the education system in Arkansas. I'd rather just let that speak for itself. But in a presidential campaign, you don't have a luxury of that, which I have finally had to come to grips with because even in New York I could meet enough people, I could have a ripple effect of friends talking to friends and family talking to family and pretty soon a lot of people are creating a critical mass could say, hey I met her, I got to know her, she's not as bad as I thought.

MCFADDEN: But there is that element. As you know, there are people who despite what they admit is leadership skills, just don't like you.

CLINTON: Well, most of them have never met me. And most of them, I'm just going to keep getting up every day and telling my story. And talking about what I want to do.

MCFADDEN: I just want to go back to the Web site for a minute though because as I looked at it, it's terribly sweet in so many ways, and yet, it sort of has this Sally Field quality to it. You know, “they like me, they really like me.” And I wonder if there's not a double standard? I don't see the guys doing it. Are you judged differently, do you think, on the personal level?

CLINTON: I think that that's the world we live in. I understand that. I accept it, but I don't let it deter me. You know that wonderful old line about women do everything, it's like Ginger Rogers who did everything that Fred Astaire did only backwards and in high heels? Well, we just have to go out and do it. There's no point, you know, in worrying about it.
Brent Baker
Brent Baker
Brent Baker is the Steven P.J. Wood Senior Fellow and VP for Research and Publications at the Media Research Center