On Tim Russert, Hitchens asserted Clinton's actions made her look "sort of alternately soppy and bitchy"

Video ››› ››› ERIC HANANOKI

On Tim Russert, Christopher Hitchens said regarding Sen. Hillary Clinton, "[I]f you think of women who really have been put upon by men and by male supremacy, like Benazir Bhutto, as well, you can't imagine her resorting to this kind of self-pity or suddenly decide to feminize herself in the most clichéd way, of such -- by welling up and sobbing." Hitchens later added: "I just think that if she knew how it made her look, sort of alternately soppy and bitchy, she'd stop it. But she can't help herself, can she? She just can't."

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On the April 5 edition of MSNBC's Tim Russert, host Tim Russert asked Vanity Fair columnist Christopher Hitchens if "we [are] seeing the gender card played" by Sen. Hillary Clinton in response to calls for her to drop out of the Democratic presidential primary race. Hitchens replied: "Oh, well, if you call it a card. It's just another side of her terrible self-pity and self-righteousness. If it isn't one, it's the other." Hitchens further asserted that "if you think of women who really have been put upon by men and by male supremacy, like [late Pakistani leader] Benazir Bhutto, as well, you can't imagine her resorting to this kind of self-pity or suddenly decide to feminize herself in the most clichéd way, of such -- by welling up and sobbing." Hitchens later added: "I just think that if she knew how it made her look, sort of alternately soppy and bitchy, she'd stop it. But she can't help herself, can she? She just can't." At the conclusion of the show, which included Atlantic senior editor Andrew Sullivan, Russert stated: "Thank you both for writing and thinking and talking with intelligence."

From the April 5 edition of MSNBC's Tim Russert:

RUSSERT: This last week, we heard Bill Clinton talk about picking on the girl. Former governor of Vermont [Madeleine] Kunin, of Vermont, saying that it was talking down to a woman, in effect, to tell her -- asking her to get out of the race. Hillary Clinton's confiding to -- according to The New York Times -- her advisers that she's not going to be bullied out by a bunch of guys. Are we seeing the gender card played?

HITCHENS: Oh, well, if you call it a card.

SULLIVAN: I mean, I'm a, I'm a --

HITCHENS: It's just another side of her terrible self-pity and self-righteousness. If it isn't one, it's the other.

SULLIVAN: I would -- I could not imagine Margaret Thatcher --

HITCHENS: No.

SULLIVAN: -- ever saying anything close to that.

HITCHENS: Or Golda Meir.

SULLIVAN: When I'm told I don't like Hillary Clinton because I'm a misogynist or whatever, I think, "I admired Mar--" I mean, she was my idol for many, many years. And she never, ever, ever -- when we were on very, very different sides --

HITCHENS: Yes, I know. Yeah.

SULLIVAN: -- extremely, miles apart -- she would never play the gender card.

HITCHENS: It would never occur to her.

SULLIVAN: Never occur to her. Because she is a feminist in the sense that we're post-gender. We're talking about -- you have to sometimes talk about it to some extent, but to use it as a reason to vote for anybody. Of course, Mrs. Clinton has said both. She said, "Don't use it as a reason to vote for me," and, "Please use it as a reason to vote for me," depending exactly on the circumstance. So, as usual, they've said it both ways.

HITCHENS: And if you think of women who really have been put upon by men and by male supremacy, like Benazir Bhutto, as well, you can't imagine her resorting to this kind of self-pity or suddenly decide to feminize herself in the most clichéd way, of such -- by welling up --

SULLIVAN: Or Angela Merkel.

HITCHENS: -- and sobbing, sobbing.

SULLIVAN: Or Golda Meir. I mean, we have examples --

HITCHENS: Or Indira Gandhi. It makes her look --

SULLIVAN: Or Indira Gandhi. The trouble is they were also, many of them -- well, go on, go on.

HITCHENS: No, no, I'd only be repeating myself. Well, no, actually, no. Why don't I do that? I mean, just -- it's -- I just think that if she knew how it made her look, sort of alternately soppy and bitchy, she'd stop it. But she can't help herself, can she? She just can't.

RUSSERT: Another quick break, Andrew Sullivan, Christopher Hitchens, right back.

[commercial break]

RUSSERT: And we're back. John McCain, going along, kind of revisiting the places that were important to him, high school, Naval Academy, and so forth. Raising money, watching this fight on the Democratic side. Are the Democrats going to be able to reunite, Andrew, or are they going to be overwhelmed by debates over gender and race?

[...]

HITCHENS: I very much doubt actually that that's true, that the resentment of foreign occupiers by Japanese people wouldn't be at least as intense as any resentment by --

SULLIVAN: But we didn't have --

HITCHENS: -- Arabs and Muslims. After all, a very large number -- the overwhelming majority of the people of Iraq did welcome the arrival of foreigners.

RUSSERT: To be continued. Thank you very much, both of you.

SULLIVAN: Thank you, Tim.

HITCHENS: It's always a pleasure.

RUSSERT: Andrew Sullivan, senior editor of The Atlantic. He blogs every day for The Daily Bush -- The Daily Dish, excuse me. He's the -- The Conservative Soul: How We Lost It and How to Get It Back. Christopher Hitchens -- Vanity Fair, Slate.com, God Is Not Great: How Religion Poisons Everything. Thank you both for writing and thinking and talking with intelligence.

SULLIVAN: Thank you.

HITCHENS: Thanks for having us.

Posted In
Diversity & Discrimination, Gender
Person
Tim Russert, Christopher Hitchens
Show/Publication
The Tim Russert Show
Stories/Interests
Hillary Clinton, 2008 Elections
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