There is good news and bad news in this poll’s results. The good news is that Hillary Clinton is being treated like any other front-runner would be treated. That’s also the bad news.
Most Americans reject the charge that other presidential candidates are “piling on” Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton, according to a new Fox 5/The Washington Times/Rasmussen Reports poll.
Only 25 percent of voters said recent criticism of Mrs. Clinton constitutes piling on, the survey found, and of those, less than half said she was the target because she is a woman.
“The vast majority of Americans are treating Senator Clinton as a front-running presidential candidate, not as a women who happens to be running for president,” said pollster Scott Rasmussen, adding that the poll’s questions, taken together, show less than 15 percent of Democrats think she’s being picked on as a woman.
“She’s being accepted as a serious candidate, rather than anything else,” he said.
Her campaign is trying to play it both ways, so that she can be seen as any other candidate when it suits them and as a victim of the boys club when that suits them. Of the 25% that thinks she’s actually getting unfairly piled on, only half think it’s for the same reason that the Clinton campaign is trying to project.
Meanwhile, the Norman Hsunanigans still aren’t getting anywhere near enough major press coverage and Clinton’s rivals aren’t exploiting it effectively. That’s obviously not the result of any pile-on.
The entire pile-on meme is dumb and deserves to die. If she wants to be the leader of the free world at a time of peril and uncertainty, then she should act like a leader and accept that criticism is going to come her way. The pile-on carries with it a subtle and not at all useful subtext: I’m a whiner. Of all the things we do not need leading us right now, whiner might be on top of the list.