NEWS

Democratic Debates Mirror Life: Men Yell And Interrupt. Women (mostly) Wait Their Turn

Opinion
By Robin Abcarian
Los Angeles Times

WWR Article Summary (tl;dr) As Robin Abcarian sharply points out, “The men talked and talked, but the women had the best lines.”

Los Angeles Times

Like millions of Americans, I closely watched two nights of debates among the Democratic presidential contenders. I came away persuaded that the party is indeed bending left, and that any one of the candidates presents a welcome contrast to the corporatism, cruelty and mendacity of the current administration.

Their policy positions are broadly similar — they all embrace universal healthcare and some version of free college. None would deport otherwise law-abiding immigrants who are in the country illegally. Some are terrified of the word “socialism.”

But I was watching for something more subtle.

How would they treat each other?

With a record number of women vying for the nomination, would the debate dynamic be altered by their presence?

Would there be less interrupting and grandstanding, less mansplaining, fewer insults?

Or would the men be tempted to patronize the women in the style of then-Sen. Barack Obama, who turned to then-Sen. Hillary Clinton on a New Hampshire debate stage in 2008 and said, “You’re likeable enough, Hillary.”

That insult, by the way, did not endear him to New Hampshire’s female voters. Three days later, Clinton whomped Obama in the primary. Women had given her an edge.

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