Clinton laughing in response to question

Sounding Exactly Like an Onion Article, Sanders Campaign Attacks Clinton’s Ambition

Remember that Onion article from awhile back? The one headlined: “Hillary Clinton Is Too Ambitious to Be the First Female President.”

Well, apparently the Bernie Sanders campaign is now lifting talking points from that prescient 2006 piece. On CNN on Tuesday night, after Sanders’ win in the Wisconsin primary, his campaign manager, Jeff Weaver, warned Clinton and her supporters: “Don’t destroy the Democratic Party to satisfy the secretary’s ambitions to become president of the United States.”

In response, Clinton literally LOLed. Because really that’s the only appropriate response to a charge that was already satirized by The Onion.


As Rebecca Traister explains at The Cut, Weaver’s comment was a throwaway one, but this narrative — casting Clinton as a Tracy Flick-like character, a “woman who tries too hard, who competes with too much intensity, who applies too much focus to her own advancement” — is one that the Sanders campaign seems to be increasingly turning to in recent weeks.

Hopefully they’ll cut that shit out and remain committed to running on the issues, instead of invoking the tired stereotype of the overly ambitious woman and counting on our deep-seated double-standards around power and gender to kick in.

As for Weaver’s broader point — that even as the race between the Democratic nominees heats up in the final stretch, we should “not denigrate other people’s supporters” because “we want to have a party at the end of this we can unify” — I personally agree wholeheartedly. A poll out yesterday, however, suggests that there are more people feeling the Bern who could stand to hear that reminder: 25 percent of Sanders’ supporters, compared to 14 percent of Clinton’s, say they wouldn’t vote for the other one if their candidate doesn’t get the nomination.

Image credit: Vox

St. Paul, MN

Maya Dusenbery is executive director in charge of editorial at Feministing. She is the author of the forthcoming book Doing Harm: The Truth About How Bad Medicine and Lazy Science Leave Women Dismissed, Misdiagnosed, and Sick (HarperOne, March 2018). She has been a fellow at Mother Jones magazine and a columnist at Pacific Standard magazine. Her work has appeared in publications like,, Bitch Magazine, as well as the anthology The Feminist Utopia Project. Before become a full-time journalist, she worked at the National Institute for Reproductive Health. A Minnesota native, she received her B.A. from Carleton College in 2008. After living in Brooklyn, Oakland, and Atlanta, she is currently based in the Twin Cities.

Maya Dusenbery is an executive director of Feministing and author of the forthcoming book Doing Harm on sexism in medicine.

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