Following Veronica de la Cruz’s use of the Huffington Post and the Daily Kos as sources for a story on Thursday, CNN’s Kyra Phillips read an excerpt from a recent piece by The Nation’s Betsy Reed during a segment on Friday’s "American Morning" about Hillary Clinton’s future. After her guest Gail Sheehy of Vanity Fair argued that Clinton "spoke so strongly, so -- with such assurance about world affairs and who was a tough warrior," Phillips lamented, "And it wasn't easy. Just to take -- Betsy Reed put this together for ‘The Nation.’ I want to get your reaction.... ‘She’s been likened to Lorena Bobbitt, a hellish housewife, described as witchy, a she-devil, anti-male, a strip teaser. Her loud and hardy laugh has been labeled the cackle, her voice compared to fingernails on a blackboard. And as one Fox News commentator put it, when Hillary Clinton speaks, men hear take out the garbage.’"
At the beginning of her interview of Sheehy, Phillips underscored the typical mainstream media take on the Obama/Clinton match-up: "[N]o matter what happens and even what has happened to this point, she has truly made history. Barack Obama has made history, obviously, with regard to race. She has for gender." Sheehy responded by taking a shot at the U.S.: "Oh, for gender, and for women all over the world, I think. You know, at least America is beginning to catch up with many other countries that have had women leaders."
Sheehy then continued that "a great milestone was passed when a majority of voters came to believe a woman could be Commander-in-Chief -- this woman, this Hillary Clinton, who spoke so strongly, so -- with such assurance about world affairs and who was a tough warrior." This, according to the Vanity Fair contributor, was Clinton’s "persona during this campaign."
Phillips then read the excerpt from Reed’s article, which is titled "Race to the Bottom." Sheehy sympathized with the former First Lady in her response to the excerpt, despite being the target of the Clinton "spin and counterattack machine" herself (as she put it) in the past: "I think Hillary Clinton came into this campaign emotionally-scarred from her eight years in the White House with that kind of attack constantly and all of the scandals and also having to compartmentalize what was going on with her husband and pretend it wasn't happening so she could keep getting up every day."
Later, Sheehy bemoaned how Clinton didn’t make a "gender speech" after Obama made his much-hyped "race speech:" "We saw [the] ugly underbelly of, you know, this ugly stream that's been going on in American life for a long, long time, and she had to really take that to a higher level, as she did when she went to China and talked about ‘women’s rights are human rights and human rights are women's rights.’"