On the night of April 26, Trump had just swept primaries in five Northeastern states: Pennsylvania, Maryland, Connecticut, Delaware and Rhode Island. He was giving his expected Victory Speech in Trump Tower in New York. This time, he introduced a fresh attack on Hillary Clinton. “ The only card she has is the woman’s card; she’s got nothing else going. Frankly, if Hillary Clinton were a man, I don’t think she’d get five percent of the vote. The beautiful thing is, women don’t like her.”
Meanwhile, Clinton was in Philadelphia, celebrating her huge primary victories in Pennsylvania, Maryland and Delaware. She paused in her speech to the excited thousands in the crowd, and declared in clear slow terms, “I’m told that Mr. Trump has accused me of playing ‘ the woman card’. Well, if fighting for women’s health care and paid family leave and equal pay is playing the woman card……then, deal me in!” By the time she finished her sentence, the thunderous voices and applause of the cheering audience showed that Trump had made a serious blunder.
Millions of women were watching television that night and heard Trump and Clinton. The interchange went viral and the following day political commentators played her response to his derogatory charge. By the weekend, reporters and Op Ed writers were making Trump’s “the woman card” their columns in newspapers cross country. When interviewed on CNN, Trump doubled down and told Chris Cuomo , “ She is a woman. She’s playing the woman card left and right….. She will be called on it.” Cuomo then asked, “How do you call someone on being a woman?” Trump shot back, “If she were a man and she was the way she is, she would get virtually no votes.”
While you are searching for logic in that response, let’s review some of the current facts about women in the United States in this election year. Women in recent presidential elections make up a broader number of voters than men. They are slightly more than half the national electorate. In two new national surveys, by Suffolk University/USA Today and by NBCNews/Wall Street Journal, Clinton defeated Trump overall 50 percent to 39 percent. In the Suffolk poll, men split between the two candidates at 45 percent each. But women strongly sided with Clinton, 55 percent to 34 percent. In that poll, 42 percent of women had a favorable view of Clinton. Only 24 percent of women had a favorable view of Trump.
When Hillary Clinton ran for President in 2008, she faced many gender based insults. Young men in the audience chanted, “Iron my shirts!” There was a plastic ‘Hillary nutcracker” on the market , looking like her that had the serrated blades lining the inside of her slacks. There were no depths to the gender insults hurled at her. She likes to say with a big smile, about all the mud that has been thrown at her for decades, “I’m still here and I’m still standing. “
Republican leaders had an “autopsy” report published after they lost the second time to Barack Obama in 2012, a rout of 332 votes in the electoral college. They made public their plans to attract more African Americans, Hispanics and female voters. Donald Trump is aiming to win the necessary 1237 delegates on the first ballot in Cleveland. He has declared himself the “presumptive nominee” of the Republican party. Ted Cruz has chosen his running mate in Carly Fiorina, but most observers call that a desperate Hail Mary pass. He and John Kasich launched a Stop Trump attempt to share their resources that may disintegrate when Indiana voters cast their ballots on Tuesday, May 9.
Hillary Clinton at her victory rally on April 26, was seeking Democrats, Independents and Republican women when she delivered her “deal me in” challenge to Donald Trump. She has spent her adult lifetime working and fighting for women, their issues and their rights. Clinton began her political career at The Children’s Defense fund. She was First Lady when she made her landmark speech in 1995 in Beijing, China calling ” women’s rights , human rights.” As Senator from New York, she worked across the aisle to create CHIP which covers 11 million children today. As Secretary of state, she traveled to 112 countries, celebrating women’s deeds and championing their causes.
Donald Trump has already said that Hillary does not have the “strength or stamina” to serve as president. He falsely accused her of leaving her post during the Behghazi attack and going home to sleep —calling it a “dereliction of duty”. That scenario never happened! Clinton testified under oath at the eleven- hour House hearing on Benghazi , “I went back to my home office and never went to sleep the entire night. I was calling all over the world for ways to rescue our beleaguered ambassador and his staff.”
Hillary Clinton will be ready to debate Donald Trump on the issues that face our nation from July to November. She has proved to be a formidable debater over the years. Ask Barack Obama and Bernie Sanders. Trump would be wise to drop the “woman card” and concentrate on learning more about this nation, our federal government and what it actually means to be president. It’s not about “making deals”, domestically or throughout the world —- that’s for sure.