Political%20Memo%20Different%20Rules%20When%20Rival%20is%20a%20Woman%202007

Political%20Memo%20Different%20Rules%20When%20Rival%20is%20a%20Woman%202007

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POLITICAL MEMO; Different Rules When a Rival Is a Woman? By ADAM NAGOURNEY AND PATRICK HEALY Published: November 5, 2007 A critical question in this campaign -- how to run against a female presidential candidate, or as one -- has burst into the foreground in the aftermath of a Democratic debate last week at which Senator Hil- lary Rodham Clinton was repeatedly challenged by her rivals and the event's questioners. Some of Mrs. Clinton's supporters are accusing rival candidates and the questioners of ''piling on,'' to use the words of the Clinton cam- paign, at the debate, which rattled the Clinton camp. They noted that John Edwards had been especially critical of Mrs. Clinton. ''John Edwards, specifically, as well as the press, would never attack Barack Obama for two hours they way they attacked her,'' said Ger- aldine A. Ferraro, the 1984 vice presidential candidate who supports Mrs. Clinton. ''It's O.K. in this country to be sexist,'' Ms. Ferraro said. ''It's certainly not O.K. to be racist. I think if Barack Obama had been attacked for two hours -- well, I don't think Barack Obama would have been attacked for two hours.'' Mrs. Clinton's opponents, and some prominent women, countered that Mrs. Clinton was resorting to using her sex as a shield against substantive criticism in a hard-fought race.
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''It's outrageous to suggest that it's sexist for the other candidates to ask her tough questions or criticize her,'' said Kate Michelman, a
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Political%20Memo%20Different%20Rules%20When%20Rival%20is%20a%20Woman%202007

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