‘Grandma Hillary’ Coverage Brings Out The Sexism

CNN’s Jake Tapper echoed a complaint on Friday that’s been brought up quite a bit throughout the incessant and at times ridiculous coverage of
Hillary Clinton’s newfound grandmother-to-be status.

“I have to be honest, I have a tough time imagining any potential male presidential candidate who is expecting a grandchild anyone talking about what it will mean for his 2016 race,” Tapper said.

Vox’s Ezra Klein made a similar point.

“If Jeb Bush was becoming a grandfather for the first time would anyone care?” Klein asked his Twitter followers. “If not, why do we care with Hillary?

Chelsea Clinton’s announcement that she and her husband Marc Mezvinsky are expecting their first child was met almost immediately with breathless speculation about her mother’s political future. And some critics believe that’s largely because the former secretary of state is a woman.

When New York Times financial columnist Andrew Ross Sorkin insisted Friday that the pregnancy will “change the dynamic of the campaign,” his fellow “Morning Joe” panelists scoffed.

But whereas Sorkin argued that the grandchild will benefit Clinton politically, others have suggested that the news casts doubt over her presidential ambitions.

As Politico put it, “having a grandchild may make the Iowa State Fair a less appealing place to spend the summer of 2015.”

USA Today wrote that it’s “unclear how Chelsea’s pregnancy will affect Hillary Clinton, who is considering a race for president in 2016.”

And the Christian Science Monitor topped them all with a story under the headline, “Chelsea Clinton baby: Will Hillary Clinton be less likely to run in 2016?”

There’s been plenty of ridicule heaped on these stories. Journalist Jim Newell, writing for The Baffler, penned a tough piece on the media coverage.

“Hillary Clinton’s would-be chief rival for the Democratic nomination, Joe Biden, has five grandchildren, and you don’t hear much about how that weighs on his mind when he’s considering another run,” Newell wrote.

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