Pelosi on Sexism and Clinton's Run for President

The House speaker says she isn't sure if sexism is responsible for Clinton's loss.


Sen. Hillary Clinton has complained of "sexist" treatment from pundits, the media, and others during her failed presidential bid. But the highest-ranking woman in government in U.S. history isn't sure.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, at a breakfast with reporters, was asked whether sexism played a significant role in Clinton's defeat in the nomination contest. "Is there sexism? Probably so. Is it responsible for the defeat? I really wouldn't have all of the information to know that. But I do think that being a woman had a positive upside in the campaign—probably offset by more sexism, I don't know."

Pelosi, who as chair of the upcoming Democratic national political convention did not take sides in the hard-fought primary, noted that Clinton got a boost from being a woman since she drew female supporters "wildly enthusiastic" about her candidacy, talent, intellect, commitment, and stamina.

The California lawmaker added: "I'm a victim of sexism myself all the time, but I just think it goes with the territory. I myself find that I get a tremendous upside being a woman, and I don't spend a lot of time worrying about sexist remarks that people make."

For now, she'll let scholars examine the question, since she's picked up her helmet and shield to bolster Democrats' 236-to-199 House majority. As to whether sexism sank Senator Clinton, Pelosi demurred. "I'll be more interested in that after November," she remarked. "I'm in the arena right now."