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Thursday, April 19, 2018

Published with permission from AlterNet

To succeed in her first match-up with Trump, she must meet his simian displays with the finesse of a ballerina.

Everybody who’s ever watched Hillary Clinton in a debate knows just how very good she is in that format. No one comes more prepared on matters of fact; she has a keen sense of debate strategy and can land a zinger—even while bearing the burden of gender, that weight that deems a woman to not only prove herself smarter than her male opponent, but to do so while smiling more than he does (though not so much that she lacks gravitas) and being very careful not to completely emasculate her male opponent, lest she be seen as a knife-wielding bitch.

This is the challenge Clinton, the Democratic presidential nominee, has faced in her past debates against Democratic opponents in two presidential primaries, and against her Republican challenger in her successful bid for a seat in the United States Senate—all events in which her opponents generally adhered to the norms of behavior in such forums (except for that time when Rick Lazio strayed toward her podium, which didn’t work out so well for him). She’s now one of the best on the political debate stage.

But on September 26, she will face a completely different challenge: debating a male opponent whose trademark is a defiance of behavioral norms. In fact, the success of Republican presidential candidate Donald J. Trump stems, it seems, from repeated transgressions of the standards of public behavior in politics. Clinton’s difficulty lies in the fact that for a woman, especially one facing off against a man, behavioral norms are still evolving, and she must dance around the obvious discomfort broadly experienced in American culture with the notion of female leadership.

On the September 21 edition of NPR’s Morning Edition, Republican debate strategist Brett O’Donnell explained Clinton’s dilemma. “Her biggest weakness is likability,” he said of Clinton, “and this is a big tightrope, particularly for a female candidate because gender communication research tells us that men, when they are aggressive, are received pretty positively, when women are overly aggressive, they tend to be received negatively.”

Read that quote carefully. In O’Donnell’s seemingly impassive analysis, his own bias is subtly evident. In describing different perceptions of aggression in male and female candidates, he inserts the word “overly” in his description of the attribute in a woman contender. And here, he’s just talking generically. He’s not even factoring in the spectacle that is Trump.

Meanwhile, Trump appears to adhere more to the behavioral norms of non-human primates.

In a stroke of genius, James Fallows of The Atlantic interviewed the renowned primate specialist and anthropologist Jane Goodall for an assessment of Trump’s antics. From Fallows’s article:

“In many ways the performances of Donald Trump remind me of male chimpanzees and their dominance rituals,” Jane Goodall, the anthropologist, told me shortly before Trump won the GOP nomination. “In order to impress rivals, males seeking to rise in the dominance hierarchy perform spectacular displays: stamping, slapping the ground, dragging branches, throwing rocks. The more vigorous and imaginative the display, the faster the individual is likely to rise in the hierarchy, and the longer he is likely to maintain that position.”

And for these displays, Trump has been richly rewarded—with the Republican nomination, with real-estate riches, with poll numbers. It is not possible that any woman could succeed at anything by throwing rocks and slapping the ground (though, at this point in my career, I’m tempted to try it).

By contrast, Hillary Clinton will be expected to turn in the performance of a ballerina, exuding a form of feminine grace that demands extraordinary muscular strength and mind-body coordination. In short, she must perform a pas de deux with a stamping, branch-dragging display junkie, stepping out with a big, likably womanly smile to do a perfectly executed pirouette en pointe while balancing a briefing book on her head, all the while appearing ready to be the commander-in-chief.

We’re told that women excel at multitasking, and we know that Clinton is determined to excel at all things. Excelling at debating Trump? She might just pull it off.

Photo: U.S. Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clianton arrives at a campaign event in Orlando, U.S. September 21, 2016. REUTERS/Carlos Barria

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Copyright 2016 The National Memo

80 Responses to Debate Prep: How Sexism Makes Hillary’s Task Infinitely More Difficult Than Trump’s

  1. In my experience, I’ve seen innumerable women who have managed to stay on task for long periods of time. In other words, if you want something done diligently and within a specific period of time, ask a woman to do it. Men tend to excel during short periods of time, but they tend to get distracted the longer a task takes. Now, Donald Trump would appear to have a major problem, and its name is attention span. He can’t even speak a full sentence without interrupting himself. And then there’s the problem of repetition. He tries to say the same thing several times in hopes that people will believe him when he concludes with his final, “Believe me!” The repetition and the Believe Me! plea are pretty good indicators that even he doesn’t believe what he’s said–whatever that was. Hillary Clinton has a distinct advantage tonight in that she will speak in coherent sentences without interrupting herself, she’ll remember what she said (and what he said), and she won’t have to ask people to believe her. She’ll convince people that she knows her stuff while viewers will still be wondering what Donald Trump was trying to say. Of course, we can hope that Trump decides that the cards have been stacked against him, and he’ll just walk off the stage, having been beaten by a mere woman. More likely, though, he’ll try mightily to hold his bloviation in check, but the nature of his beast can’t be completely hidden.

    • I agree with everything you said. Unfortunately, half of the audience is as interested in facts as they were when Jimmy Carter showed the American people detailed charts to demonstrate the state of the economy, or Al Gore’s dissertations about the environment and job creation.
      What a large segment of the American people is to see someone who they believe has the strength to lead, a rebel willing to speak his mind, a man willing to defy the establishment and conventional wisdom.
      Competence and temperament, in today’s world, are almost liabilities. The outcome of this debate depends more on which Trump emerges, than whatever Hillary has to say.

      • All of the speculation, soon to be rendered moot, concerns Trump, not Clinton. The low bar for Trump’s performance means that he can only exceed expectations. Clinton, by contrast, can only slip vis-a-vis expectations. So as long as Trump doesn’t vomit or faint, he’ll probably be declared the winner. On the other hand, as long as Clinton performs well, she will lose no voters and might solidify the voters who are leaning toward voting for her. The bottom line has nothing to do with winning or losing the debate.

        • Donald’s performance last night demonstrated that he is totally unqualified and unfit to be President.
          Hillary demonstrated knowledge, experience, a a sense of responsibility that Donald clearly lacks. I wish she had spent a little more time talking about her accomplishments, her record, and herself to dispel some of the misconceptions that currently exist.

    • Sorry but even the Vegas odds makers have her 22-1 no not EVEN finish the 90 minute debate. She does horrible in front of crowds, even though she only draws a couple hundred compared to the thousands that Trump draws. She will begin to cough when she gets slammed and then they’ll fake some sort of excuse that President Trump is picking on the poor female. It will ring well with women who will vote away their conscience for a woman, but it will cause those rational females to flock to President Trump’s camp.

      • Vegas odds makers?
        Wow, you really are desperate, aren’t you?
        Again: are you really stupid enough to think that pointing out how many idiots like you support Trump is going to impress anyone with any intelligence? Certainly you have none.

        • Why you insist on proving you’re low information truly baffles me. Since when does being the best qualified have anything to do with getting the job. Look at Reagan and the first Bush. Then look at GW and finally look at Obama. Obama had NO qualifications (he still doesn’t have any) to be president (which accounts for why he’s done so poorly and is ranked somewhere between 31-38). Yet all these “unqualified” folks won didn’t they? So you trying to say Trump isn’t qualified means nothing. He’s more qualified than HilLIARy and only staunch lefties claim otherwise. What matters is that the public is looking for the change that Obama touted. HilLIARy is the incumbent in their eyes and public mood and opinion is looking for change (’cause Obama has spoiled just about everything).

      • What does gambling have to do with Trump’s inability to form cogent and intelligent response to anything? In case you didn’t know, an odds maker’s bet on an outcome will not give Donald the sudden ability to think clearly, nor you.

  2. Hillary will be brilliant tonight ….because she is brilliant. Trump will try to behave but his followers want blood so at some point he will attempt to give it to him….but Hillary is the grown up and way to much in control of her emotions to allow him to rile her. He, on the other hand, will at some point explode and show us his 5 year old side.

    • His sheeple love it when he shows his 5 year old side. The only question is how many undecided voters want a child-like man running the country. If the Trump who has drawn so ,many hateful worshippers with his puerile antics remains who he is, he can draw those undecided voters who think like his current acolytes.

    • HilLIARY has never done well in debates. She is not likable or charismatic. When she has a rally, she gets a few hundred to show up. When Trump has a rally, he gets thousands to show up. HilLIARy will start coughing when she gets slammed. Vegas odds makers have her 22-1 to NOT last the entire debate.

      • Yeah, Trump has lots of ignorant, nasty, and violent people show up. You’d fit right in. Even have trouble spelling, or are you being “clever”?
        Are you actually stupid and ill-informed enough to think that popularity has anything to do with competence and ability to govern rationally?

        • You are so out of touch. The only violence has come from the left during President Trump’s rallies. Of course HilLIARy only gets a couple of hundred paid folks to show up but President Trump gets thousands. So it’s easy for paid infiltrators to show up and cause a disturbance. As mentioned in an earlier post, popularity have EVERYTHING to do with winnings. Obama proved that and don’t even mention competence. Once more, Obama has proved one does not have to be competent to screw up the country.

          • Keep telling yourself that the only violence is from the other guys; you look more foolish and deluded every time you project your candidate’s and his supporters’ faults on the opposition.
            You can’t spell the opposing candidate’s name; why would anyone believe any of your lies.
            The only information you seem to have is that you get by constant study of the lini9ng of your rectum.

          • One of your problems (the main one is credibility) is knowledge of the facts. Many on your side of the debate claim that Trump supporters are violent. The TRUTH is that EVERY instance of violence has come from the President Trump protesters. The MSM has tried to cover this up but there are too many recorded instances showing it’s the President Trump protesters carrying out acts of violence. Don’t respond that having protesters removed from President Trump rallies shows violence. Those protesting animals tried to cause as much disturbance as possible and having them drug out was justified.

          • One of my problems is that I’m sick and tired of dealing with arrogant, delusional morons like you spouting made-up “facts” and calling those who know better “low information.”
            Protesters “dragged” from Trump rallies were subjected to violence by his supporters with his encouragement.
            I don’t care to attempt to refute your lies and delusions further.
            Over and OUT.

          • You are wrong and you know it! Protesters were escorted out of the rallies by professional security officials. No complaints of abuse have been made against these professional security officials. None of your low information crowd can produce even one link to show otherwise. Please note that booing is not violent. Meanwhile, there are dozens of links showing President Trump protesters committing acts of violence against peaceful Trump supporters.
            You seem offended by the label of low information. i didn’t make that label up. Social-psychologist labeled your crowd that. They are professionals and recognize your ilk for what they are – low information and large on violence and mouth!
            HilLIARy is going down the tubes. She has pulled out of Ohio and Florida is next. If she did so well in the debate, then why are her advisers in such a panic? Chelsea tried to keep Michigan (that hasn’t voted red since 1992) in the fold, but now even Chelsea is getting booed and taken down by some of Bill Clinton’s rape victims. Michigan hasn’t voted red for a generation, and now black voters are flocking to Trump’s side. No one who was not already a HilLIARy supporter decided to vote for her. Meanwhile, many independents, per the post-debate polls, have declared their intention of voting for Trump.
            Regarding Michigan, Grand Rapids and Detroit, large urban cities voted for Obama. The remainder of the state voted red. Black leaders are frantic because if only 5% of the black vote changes or doesn’t vote, then Michigan goes red. Guess what, estimates put HilLIARy almost 10 points behind Obama in Michigan. With that delta, Michigan goes red. There are same stats for other blue states.
            I hope you keep believing the lies the left are telling you. Most or your low information crowd will not vote and by doing so, will help ensure the GOP retains the House and Senate and grabs the White House.
            Have a nice day low information voter.

    • This the morning after the debate, and you were 100% right in your prediction of Hillary’s brilliance! She was absolutely terrific I thought. Now, I wonder if our, self named,”Informed Voter,” is any more informed today, than misinformed yesterday? Doubtful.

      • I believe those who adore him still adore him. There are those among us who do not know how ignorant and arrogant they are and those are the ones he appeals to.

        • Exactly, if one adored Trump before the debate because he is a lying gutter snipe bully, an ignoramus, and tax cheat. Trump said nothing, or did nothing, to disappoint them in that regard. My sense is they would have liked to see some kind of physical violence against Hillary at some point. A quick backhand would have sent them into fits of beer fueled ecstasy! The WWF barbarians truly are at the gate. IMO.

      • We probably won’t hear from many of the trolls today…..they daren’t show their faces after the debate last night……Trump was his usual bloviating self and Hillary knew just the right buttons to push to get him going!

        • Hillary was absolutely brilliant. She looked rested, focused, and prepared to show the American public what the top of her game looked liked. And Trump the bully was clearly intimidated. And of course, I was delighted to imagine how disappointed all his bully boys must have been. Looking in salivating at the prospect, their coolers full of beer, to see their hero get his butt handed to him by this sharp classy World Leader. …Still smiling…

          • What was really funny was watching him pace the stage, trying to intimidate Hillary… didn’t work and just made him look stupid and impatient!

    • Done and done….she was brilliant in the debate and pushed ALL of Trump’s buttons. Then, she just stood back and let him dig the hole and bury himself! He did a great job of it too!

  3. This sexism is such bullshit. Hillary should be in jail – not on a podium insulting our intelligence. Trump will win – no doubt! Hillary Libtards better just accept it.

    • In jail for what? Being intelligent? Before you repeat the litany of right wing fake charges, please restrict yourself to proven ones. I know, you have none.

      • Anyone except HilLIARY would already be in prison. After Trump gets elected, the flood gates will open and President Trump will graciously grant HilLIARY a pardon because of her failing health.

        • What’s with you idiots and the misspelling? Do you imagine yourselves clever? You sound like ten-year old, and clearly you have the information level of one, if that.

        • Trump’s chief lackey, his honor “The InformedVoter”, has weighed in again with a haughty response. Speaking of failing health, your brain could use some revitalization which we noticed over a year ago. You should really attend to that.

          • HilLIARy’s health is surely in question now. She is not popular or charismatic. She gets a couple hundred to show up at her rallies while President Trump gets thousands. There are DNC meetings being held to pick a successor for HilLIARy. HilLIARy has vowed to hang on to the bitter end.
            The RNC held their meetings and tried to derail President Trump, but they have disappeared and more and more Republicans are “falling in line” and endorsing President Trump. On the other side of the aisle, Dems are like rats leaving the ship. Blacks have begun to question “what have they got to lose” and are jumping ship so to speak. Minority city newspapers are attempting to plug the leak but poll after poll show minorities crossing over. Obama planted the seed that change was necessary and he failed to deliver. Racial relations are rated as being what they were 50-60 years ago. More social experts support that opinion than “scientists” support climate change. How’s that for a startling fact!

          • I suppose that a cad who is misogynist, inordinately materialistic, lacking in religious morals and sentiments, a bully, and extremely bigoted are your definitions of popularity.
            That being the case, you are living in an alternate universe where evil and bad manners are considered signs of popularity and are the norm.

            Is this what you would have us believe is your definition of being human? Are you at all familiar with your own Religion, assuming you have one?

            Like Donald, you’re all bluster and possessed of a bellicose attitude, but you lack substance, are one-dimensional, and probably live a lonely life which would explain the churlish nature you constantly display. Is there anything in life that motivates you to want to aspire to heavenly ideals, rather than concentrating and projecting your lower nature?

            You should give more thought to what spiritual values you’ve accrued and have polished, because a mean-spirited attitude precludes the existence of saintly characteristics—the two are as fire and water. Right now, you’re a source of infernal fire by your comments.

            Now is the time to seize your chance because it will not come to you again once you exit this realm of existence.

            “O Son of Being! Free thyself from the fetters of this world, and loose thy soul from the prison of self. Seize thy chance, for it will come to thee no more.”

            Now, if you are in possession of specific knowledge that contradicts that admonition by Baha’u’llah, please share it with me and the rest of us. Surprise me and prove me wrong, InformedVoter.

          • You have destroyed any credibility you had remaining. You come right out with name calling and slander. Sure signs that you have lost your position. The Dem party has shown for years that they hate minorities and will do everything to keep them “in line” and in poverty. Minorities are starting to realize this and are turning towards the Rep party “what have they got to lose” is really resonating and you lefties are in panic mode.

          • That’s just your myopia kicking in again. What you think of me does nothing to improve Trump’s personality. Ranting, as Trump likes to do, will avail you nothing, dear friend.
            In the meantime, you just continue to be a water-boy for Trump and the GOP—you’re doing an admirable job by the way.

            Until later, oh informed one, full of facts but unable to properly interpret them.

          • With post debate rating approval of 60% for Trump and 40% for HilLIARy, who do you think you’re fooling. HilLIARy has zip for personality. The general population is still waiting for the change that Obama reneged on and they see that change in President Trump.

          • You’re just a computer with lots of facts but you don’t understand how to interpret them properly. Your style of presentation is canned and mechanical, with no forethought or insight. You simply regurgitate what you’ve heard someone else say or showed on a TV screen but you lack the ability to properly process the information.

          • HilLIARy looked haggard and tired. The fashion folks are calling her look and outfit “so 1980s” and out of touch.
            Regarding facts: If you wish to upset a conservative, tell them a lie. If you wish to upset a liberal, tell them the truth. You low information lefties just hate it when presented with the facts. You can try to contort facts to support a false position, but most of you low information folks don’t possess the ability to pull it off. You just twist in the wind and hope you come up with something valid. As the saying goes “figures don’t lie, but liars figure”. That’s all you have left.

          • On another note, your shallow TV reality show approach to politics is a disaster for the process of democracy and runs totally counter to what a democracy is all about. Every slur you’ve uttered so far sounds like something out of a “Zippy The Pinhead” comic strip.

            Let me remind you that this isn’t a high school pageant where we’re voting for “The Best Dressed”, or “The Most Likely to Succeed”, or “The Best Looking”. That’s so sophomoric and suits you well, it would seem.

            Which explains Trump’s popularity by other high-school adults.

          • Nixon lost to JFK because he looked older and tired. So you can huff and puff all you wish, but the focus groups the media conducted after the debate show Trump coming out ahead. Look for his numbers to climb higher in the next polls and your low information crowd will be scratching your heads.

          • The problem with most of these trolls is that they have NO concept of critical thinking, NO concept of forming their own opinions based on what they have been fed by the GOP; and NO concept of ethics or professionalism!

          Subject: Re: Comment on Debate Prep: How Sexism Makes Hillary’s Task Infinitely More Difficult Than Trump’s

          • Lying under oath or to a congressional committee should qualify anyone for prison, but not HilLIARy. Why?
            FBI Director Comey confirmed several times that HilLIARy did not tell the truth during the FBI investigation. How’s that for proof? OK, let’s try a link that calls HilLIARy out for lying. I can’t wait to hear your condemnation of the source.

          • Where did you find this nonsense. He never said that she lied. He said she didn’t remember! Try again! Subject: Re: Comment on Debate Prep: How Sexism Makes Hillary’s Task Infinitely More Difficult Than Trump’s

          • Wrong! Trey said to Comey, on more than one question “HilLIARy said this but that was not true” and Comey responded “correct”. The exchange during the hearings lasted for several minutes and in each cast Trey nailed Comey that HilLIARy did not tell the truth. Comey did not say HilLIARy lied, only that what she said was “not the truth”. He never said she claimed she didn’t remember. Boy are you misinformed!

          • Still not cited! Where did you get this info? Also, if true, why no charges? Subject: Re: Comment on Debate Prep: How Sexism Makes Hillary’s Task Infinitely More Difficult Than Trump’s

          • Again, I have been asking you why no charges ever for all the 30 years of Clinton accusations. Near impeachment for lying about cheating on your wife was a total joke. As yet you and all the right wingers, who push this nonsense, have never answered. Subject: Re: Comment on Debate Prep: How Sexism Makes Hillary’s Task Infinitely More Difficult Than Trump’s

          • You missed the Bill Clinton impeachment point. If you or I had done what Bill did, we would have been terminated by our employer and been charged with sexual harassment. Bill should have been impeached! Ted Kennedy, guilty of the same actions (but not being president made it less of a crime?), led the charge to brush it under the rug.
            Back to HilLIARy, it is very clear she did not take the fifth amendment or say she didn’t recall (which would have been a lie). So why didn’t Comey recommend an indictment? The DOJ would have squashed it anyway (more crooked action), but Comey would have saved face. As of now, when Trump wins, Comey may well come under legal action for his handling of this. HilLIARy should have been charged and you know it!
            You can continue to ask why no charges, but it’s crooked behind the scenes actions that are the reason.

          • NICE POINT BUT WRONG AS USUAL. SEXUAL HARASSMENT WAS HARDER TO PROVE BACK THEN. THAT IS WHY THE REPUBLICAN OPERATIVE HAD HER SAVE THE DRESS. Again you have nothing. If anyone actually thought they had a chance, they would press charges. Where are all the Republican Congress members, judges and prosecutors. Not one has stepped up. Just a bunch of nobodies like you gossiping. What if? What if any of you had the balls to back up your noise with actual action. Sue or shut up! Subject: Re: Comment on Debate Prep: How Sexism Makes Hillary’s Task Infinitely More Difficult Than Trump’s

          • Personally, as I’ve said before, I think the whole Monica Lewinsky deal was a frame up. She knew that he was a married man, yet she came after him. And, if this was just a “fling,” why did she keep the blue dress? Did someone pay her to seduce Bill and to provide evidence of it? It’s an interesting concept, but something to think about! It’s just all too iffy for me to believe that she wasn’t put up to it by someone to try to get him out of office!

          • Remember she had a “friend”, Linda Tripp, who told her to save the dress as is and then called her own literary agent to say she had proof of a presidential liaison.
            Subject: Re: Comment on Debate Prep: How Sexism Makes Hillary’s Task Infinitely More Difficult Than Trump’s

          • I wonder if they ever tested the dress for DNA…..I don’t think it was a “thing” back then, but it certainly is now. From what I understand, the dress has mysteriously disappeared.

          • That’s all these trolls have….opinions. And their opinions are not based on anything even close to the truth!

    • According to another lowlife moron.
      If you’re so damned concerned, you might try actually learning the facts, but obviously that never entered you pea-brain.

    • A knuckle-dragging comment from someone unconcerned about gender disparities. You’re probably reading this after having asserted yourself over a woman or child. You are a perfect template for what is dragging America back to the Stone Age.

      • You think you know me? HA! You’re such a Liberal asswipe. Can’t wait until we wipe you off the face of the earth for good! HA!!! buh-bye to you too! LOLOLOLOL

        • We know you by what you say and your tone. There’s a lot that can be determined by what a person says and how they say, even over the internet. You may think you’re hidden but your words portray accurately who you are. So, don’t be surprised if I or others already know who you are.
          If you want to change your appearance, you’ll have to start saying something that useful, less bigoted, show less hostility in your tone, and endeavor to speak more diplomatically using your brain rather than your gut.
          Fare thee well, friend.

      • Your Libtard IGNORANCE is showing Killary Lover. You are just as much a criminal as she is for that comment alone! Say goodbye to your little dykey criminal friend. She’s going down – much like you . LOLOLOLOL Sticks n stones libtard!!! sticks and stones……buh-bye

        • Why is it that when someone doesn’t agree with you, you deflect to calling them names? Is this a GOP/conservative thing? If so, it doesn’t work! It hasn’t worked for Trump, and it doesn’t work on this website either!

    • And why should she be in jail? She’s done nothing to warrant it. Trump, on the other hand, may end up there eventually based on all the lawsuits against him. Now the State of New York and the Federal Government are investigating his Trump Foundation for illegal acts…..this Foundation seems to be Trump and his family’s personal checkbook. People donate to it, and he spends it on himself. Only, this time, he’s been caught!
      Hillary wiped up the stage with Trump during the debate, and she’ll do it again during the Town Hall debate… and see!

  4. I would like to see the moderator set some ground rules and stick with them. No name calling, no personal attacks, stick to policy issues, no interrupting, no foul language, no threats, no yelling. Then eject the first debater who breaks the rule.

    • Holt did just that…..he tried to “fact check” Trump, which didn’t go over very well with Trump, and he went off the deep end and kept on going!

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  6. Hillary turned in a fantastic performance…..she baited him like a champion fisherman! She pushed all his buttons, and he fell! He was fine for the first few minutes of the debate, but then he erupted like a volcano! The first time he felt criticized, he went off! Meanwhile, she just stood there smiling, and she just let him go on and on! He spent most of the debate trying to get his foot out of his mouth so he could put the other one in! It was almost comical to say the least! I’m only hoping the Town Hall debate will be as entertaining and that she does the same thing! She gained quite a few points after this one!

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