Yesterday, John Hickenlooper, former Governor of Colorado and current Candidate No. 53 in the race to capture the Democratic presidential nomination, drew raised eyebrows (and facepalms) in response to his comments regarding the possibility of a female running mate. At a “town hall” (am I the only one annoyed by the ubiquity of that phrase?) moderated by CNN’s Dana Bash, Hickenlooper was asked this all-important question:
“Governor,” CNN’s Dana Bash said at a presidential candidate town hall, “some of your male competitors have vowed to put a woman on the ticket. Yes or no, would you do the same?”
Hickenlooper’s reply was, perhaps, too clever by half:
“Of course,” Hickenlooper said, before saying he wanted to ask Bash a question.“How come we’re not asking more often the women, ‘Would you be willing to put a man on the ticket?’ ” he said with a shrug, to audible groans from the audience.
At first blush, this would appear to be an extraordinarily tone-deaf rejoinder. Particularly in this day and age. Was the Governor implying that this question is sexist? That men aren’t being given fair consideration for the No. 2 spot? Well, yes. And no.
Turns out, what Hickenlooper meant in asking this was that posing this question solely to the male candidates impliedly assumes that none of the female candidates will be atop the ticket. And, honestly, that’s a fair point:
Hickenlooper stood by the comment after the town hall, telling CNN that his point was “too often media discounts the chance of a woman winning” by asking questions like that.“They are never asked that question. Or at least, maybe I have missed it, but women I know feel that is a form of discounting, that they are less likely to win the nomination. That is what I am talking about,” Hickenlooper said. “People can take it out of context.”
— Linda Sarsour (@lsarsour) March 21, 2019
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