Mickey Kaus has more on Senator Clinton's attempt to play the victim card:
It's never attractive for a frontrunner, male or female, to complain about "rough treatment," especially if it comes in the form of mere questioning--and Russert's illegal-license question was standard fare. Adding an implicit gender charge to the Hillary response didn't make it any better. (By attempting to get away with something--complaining--that male pols can't get away with, she arguably made it worse: a claim of special privilege.) ... In other words, Hillary's damned if she does complain. But she's not damned if she doesn't complain. Indeed, not complaining seems like an easy way to project toughness without being seen as "harsh and shrill."Barack Obama has criticized Hillary effectively on this point:
In an interview with NBC, Obama scoffed at the New York Democrat's complaint that she was being forced to "compete in the all-boys club" of presidential politics, saying he would never use his race -- Obama is black -- to shield him from political attacks.He could have been more pointed, but it's something.
Obama's comments marked the first time that the undercurrent of identity politics has become an issue of open contention between the two trailblazing candidates.
"I am assuming and I hope that Sen. Clinton wants to be treated like everybody else," Obama said on the "Today" show.
Referring to debates where he has come under attack, Obama said, "I didn't come out and say, 'Look, I'm being hit on because I look different from the rest of the folks on the stage.' "
Edwards' campaign has prepared a very effective ad:
As has the RNC:
And what is the immediate result of all this? Hillary has gained 5 points. I think that's likely to change, but we'll have to watch and see.