“At 3:30 I attended The Hillary Panel! Actually it was called “Hillary ’08: Feminist Opportunities and Challenges.” The link for this is broken on the NCA website, which is a shame (I like to be thorough). This panel didn’t tell me anything I didn’t know about why Hillary’s campaign failed, but there was some interesting elaboration. There were many fine presenters, but I’ll only go into the ones that stand out in my weary mind. John M. Murphy talked about GWB’s disjunctive, disastrous, callous, and cruel presidency and how Hillary apparently didn’t realize that the country wanted “new” management, not “better” management. Susan Schultz Huxman played the Katie Couric clip where Katie discussed how negative coverage affected the Clinton campaign. Katie glossed over this, but Dr. Huxman read Couric’s incredibly stupid, sexist questions Hillary had to answer civilly in an interview when she was still a candidate. But poor Katie: she gets slammed for asking Hillary stupid questions and gets slammed for asking Sarah Palin intelligent softball questions. Ms. Couric just can’t catch a break, can she? Vanessa B. Beasley had examples from Hill’s speeches where Hill had to speak in tough masculine speech and then in the next paragraph speak in sensitive feminine speech. I’ve never enjoyed Hill’s speeches, but until yesterday I never realized the reason for that was I had a bad case of rhetorical whiplash from listening to her. (Sarah Palin, on the other hand, was allowed to use only masculine speech for her 15 minutes of fame. But we all know Hillary has always been held to a higher standard of everything. Often unreasonably so.) Justin L. Killian, one of Hillary’s Hellcats in Iowa (some book sez that Hillary wants to rule the world, emasculate all the men, and keep the population in line with her Hellcats [no, I don’t get it either, but this kind of thing gets published a lot]) and he saw reasonable people go mad with Hillary Derangement Syndrome. He also said, and this had an impact on me, that the country is ready for a female president, it’s just not ready for what that woman as candidate would have to do to get elected. Running for president is not easy or lady-like, and is pretty scary to watch. Then the double standard of what’s acceptable behavior for men vs. acceptable behavior for women kicks in and the party is really over. But Hill’s failure will make it more possible and sooner for a woman to be POTUS, so history will thank her, if no one else ever does. Karlyn Kohrs Campbell, and Bonnie J. Dow, and Shawn J. Parry-Giles said great things about misogyny, media bias, and just the stupid things Hill’s campaign did with whatever Hill’s message was at whatever stage in her campaign. What is odd now, here in Obama President-elect-land, is that the foreign policy experience Hillary was mocked for on the campaign trail is going to land her the top diplomat spot in Obama’s cabinet. As Diane S. Hope pointed out in her talk, we all might have hated the ringing telephone ad, but apparently it impressed Mr. Obama on some level. So, hooray for us! Oh, and by the way, if these panelists publish any of this stuff, I highly recommend you read it. I know I’ll be doing so. It was a fabulous hour and fifteen minutes of insightful, well presented thinking on Hillary’s campaign. It’s hard to do it all justice in a report like this.”
National Communication Association Convention 2008, by Ginger Mayerson, J LHLS, November 24, 2008
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