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.

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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."