Right wing media have latched onto comments made by new Meet the Press host Chuck Todd, in which he suggested that Hillary Clinton would not be a frontrunner in 2016 if not for her gender, dismissing Clinton's support as merely “enthusiasm to break the glass ceiling.”
Chuck Todd Says Clinton Would Not Be A Frontrunner “If She Were Running To Be The Second Woman President”
Chuck Todd Doubts Hillary Clinton Would Be Frontrunner If She Were Not Running As The First Woman President. Chuck Todd, host of NBC's Meet the Press, appeared on the September 9 edition of PBS' Charlie Rose Show and said that if Hillary Clinton “were running to be the second woman president, I think she would not even be considered a frontrunner. She'd just be considered another candidate” :
CHARLIE ROSE: You think her chances have increased or slightly decreased since -- over the last year?
CHUCK TODD: I put it this way: If she were running to be the second woman president, I think she would not even be considered a frontrunner. She'd be just considered another candidate.
I think the -- one thing I think that Washington media gets wrong: There is a Clinton fatigue problem, but it's in the press corps. I think there is much less Clinton fatigue in the Democratic Party than there is in the press corps. Which, by the way, is going to be a separate challenge for her. The press that's going to cover her is going to cover her with less enthusiasm and more skepticism than the way Democratic activists are going to embrace her and be enthusiastic about her.
All that said, she is naturally not the populist liberal that I think the Democratic Party would like to have. And she's naturally not the -- I don't want to say isolationist, but she's not somebody who wants a more reserved foreign policy. She's much more hawkish than where the Democratic Party is on foreign policy, and she's much more pro-business than where the Democratic Party is.
So, position wise -- I would argue she's kind of out of step of where the Democratic Party is going to be in 2016, but I think the enthusiasm to break that glass ceiling may allow her to overcome those other issues. [PBS, Charlie Rose Show, 9/9/14]
Right Wing Media Use Todd's Comments To Denigrate Clinton's Support As Gender-Based
Limbaugh: “Chuck Gets It Right,” If Clinton Weren't Female, “Nobody Would Care.” On the September 9 edition of his radio show, Rush Limbaugh paraphrased Todd as saying “if it weren't for the fact that she's female, nobody would care.” He added that Democrats want a woman president because she would be “unassailable” :
LIMBAUGH: Well there's F. Chuck saying, “Hey, if it weren't for the fact that she's female, nobody would care. If there had already been a woman president, she wouldn't be the frontrunner, nobody cares, it's not a big deal. She's out of step.” That's what I mean. Liberals today getting up watching their icons on the news, the New York Times, NBC, “Whoa, whoa, whoa, wait a minute. Hillary out of step?” Yep. But then you see F. Chuck gets it right. The enthusiasm to break that glass ceiling. The Democrats' first woman, means she'd be unassailable.
You can't criticize the first woman or you'll be a sexist, just like you can't criticize the first black American president because that makes you a racist. And then they'll come up with an Hispanic nominee in 2020 or 2024. That's what they're going to try. [Premiere Radio Networks, The Rush Limbaugh Show, 9/9/14]
Weekly Standard: Todd Said Hillary “Wouldn't Be A Frontrunner” If She Weren't Running As First Woman President. The Weekly Standard highlighted Todd's comments under the headline: “Todd: Hillary Wouldn't Be Frontrunner 'If She Were Running to Be the Second Woman President'.” [Weekly Standard, 9/9/14]
Media Research Center: "Chuck Todd: Hillary 2016 Obstacle? Liberal Media Is Sick Of Her." MRC's Geoffrey Dickens said Todd's comments “handicapped Hillary Clinton's 2016 prospects” and said that he “stunningly predicted one of Clinton's biggest obstacles would be the liberal media.” He continued:
However, Todd admitted those hurdles may not be enough to stop Clinton this time around because “the enthusiasm to break that glass ceiling may allow her to overcome those other issues.” And when Rose noted that “part of the reason she lost to Obama...was she did not have that historical narrative which was as powerful as his was in 2008,” Todd responded: “This time hers seems that kind of powerful. It does feel that powerful. [Media Research Center, 9/9/14]