Hillary Clinton, twice-failed hopeful for president, first to Barack Obama, second to Donald Trump — cut to smiley face stadium scene — made a remarkable recovery from her Great Sadness of November to take the national stage once again, picking up pretty much where she left off and slapping Republicans for putting down the woman.
Has she forgotten the seeming no-diversity-allowed policies of the man she once served, Barack Obama? Apparently.
At a gathering of thousands of businesswomen in San Francisco, Clinton scolded Trump, without using his name, for having the “lowest” number of women in key administrative spots “in a generation,” various media reported. She shook her finger at White House spokesman Sean Spicer for chiding a black woman at a news conference for shaking her head.
“Too many women have had a lifetime of practice taking this kind of indignity in stride,” she said.
And she expressed outrage at a photo, widely distributed, of an all-male Republican cast of lawmakers who were seated about a table, debating health care reform. Planned Parenthood had run with the photo, simultaneously mocking and condemning Republicans for discussing the fate of women’s health care, minus the women.
But let’s take a little walk down memory lane, to the time before Trump, when Obama was president and headlines like this one from January 2013 from Diversity.com blared forth: “Obama’s Cabinet Diversity Record ‘Embarrassing as Hell.’”
“The president has surrounded himself with white male advisers,” the author noted. “Aren’t there any women, Blacks, Latinos or Asians qualified to sit on his Cabinet?”
And accompanying that story — a photograph of Obama sitting before a crowd of standing White Men Only. Planned Parenthood, care to weigh in on that one?
Even leftist Rep. Charlie Rangel jabbed at Obama for his penchant for whitey — for male whiteys, more to truth. He was the one in the Diversity.com headline that said Team Obama’s Caucasian-ness was “embarrassing as hell.”
Or, how about this headline from the New York Times, from a September 2016 look-back story on Obama’s record with women: “The clever strategy Obama’s women staffers came up with to make sure they were being heard.”
Isn’t that what feminists always groan about — that they have to resort to ploys and decoys to accomplish and achieve what men can do directly and boldly?
Here’s the opener of that story: “At the beginning of President Obama’s first term in 2009, about two-thirds of his top staffers were men and women staffers often felt their voices were not being included or straight up ignored. ‘It’s not pleasant to have to appeal to a man to say, ‘Include me in that meeting,’’ national security adviser Susan Rice told the Washington Post, explaining how women in the Obama administration sometimes had to force their way into important meetings.”
So you know what women in Obama’s administration did to make their voices heard?
They created a system called “amplification,” where one woman’s spoken views in a roomful of Obama men would be repeated by another woman, who would purposefully state the first woman’s name.
“This forced the men in the room to recognize the contribution — and denied them the chance to claim the idea as their own,” the New York Times article went on.
Wow. Makes you wonder if Obama’s female appointees were simply tokens — if Clinton, as Obama’s secretary of state, was a token.
Trump, whose Cabinet includes four women, announced just this week his daughter, Ivanka, was going to help lead a national initiative to promote women as business leaders and entrepreneurs, and would be traveling to Germany to assist Chancellor Angela Merkel do the same.
But none of that matters to Clinton, swept away as she is in her own version of political history, skewed as it is.
“Resist, insist, persist, enlist,” was her finishing message.
Just don’t think too hard about it, or dig too deep. Because inconvenient truths might surface that lead to the conclusion that “resist, insist, persist, enlist” might be best turned toward the Democratic Party, and to Democratic leadership, particularly if we’re talking about matters of diversity and women’s equality.