Today's date is neat! 6/16/16
This post is in lieu of* a proper (exciting, creative and short!) piece because of my writer's block. It's about two longer articles, both well worth reading, and about one shorter economics piece, just to make this post into a list.
1. First, Michael Arnovitz at the Medium gives us his thoughts about the possible role of sexism in the low approval ratings of Hillary Clinton over the ages.
As you may remember, I've asked if an otherwise identical but male clone of Hillary Clinton, with the exact same history, the same policies and the same statements, would have met with exactly the same public treatment and the same approval rates. For the want of that guy clone we cannot tell.
But Arnovitz tries, by posting the above graph of Hillary's approval and disapproval ratings over time and by arguing that the graph shows this:
So what do we see in this data? What I see is that the public view of Hillary Clinton does not seem to be correlated to “scandals” or issues of character or whether she murdered Vince Foster. No, the one thing that seems to most negatively and consistently affect public perception of Hillary is any attempt by her to seek power. Once she actually has that power her polls go up again. But whenever she asks for it her numbers drop like a manhole cover.
What do you think about that theory? I find it interesting. Some years in those trend lines seem to support it, such as her improving ratings when her role was pretty much the oddly traditional one of being the long-enduring woman with the philandering husband or when she quit her presidential race against Barack Obama, thus accepting defeat.
But the earlier reaction to her announcement to run for president in 2008 appears too anemic if the public is reacting to inappropriate power grab attempts by a woman. That, after all, is the really big attempt to seek power.
In any case, the piece is well worth reading for the historical background it offers.