WASHINGTON, DC - AUGUST 05: Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton answers questions after addressing the National Association of Black Journalists and the National Association of Hispanic Journalists August 5, 2016 in Washington, DC.
Win McNamee—Getty Images
By Samantha Cooney
August 5, 2016

“Can a first lady be both popular and opinionated?” That’s just one of the sexist questions Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton has been asked over her 40-plus years in the public eye.

The National Memo, a progressive political news website, released a video on Thursday showing some of the gender-charged questions and comments Clinton has fielded from reporters during her time as First Lady, U.S. Senator, Secretary of State and presidential hopeful. And it’s painful.

In 1979, an Arkansas TV reporter asked Clinton, then the state’s First Lady, why he got the impression that she wasn’t that interested in hosting state dinners and garden parties. In a 1993 interview, then-NBC anchor Katie Couric asked the then-First Lady why people compared her to Lady MacBeth. In 1996, Barbara Walters asked Clinton if America was ready to have a First Lady with strong opinions and a policy agenda.

The most common thread in the video is the concern about her likability, which is a criticism held by some voters in her 2016 presidential bid. Some say that the issue of likability is shaded with sexism, while Clinton’s critics say scandals like her email use while Secretary of State have made her difficult to trust. Yet how often have you seen reporters asking Donald Trump why he thinks people don’t like him?

The National Memo gives Clinton the last word, ending with a clip of her famous 1992 comments, “I could have stayed home, baked cookies and had teas.”


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