Analysts believe Podesta’s excessive attack on the Republican candidates is a harbinger of the Democratic party’s return to a well-worn playbook. “What they’re trying to do, early on, is bring back the ‘GOP War on Women’ mantra,” says Bonjean. “And this is a really nasty way to do it, by comparing Bush and Jindal to ISIS and the Taliban in how they might treat women. This is an early indicator that they’re going to start pounding the drum.”
“I think you have a Democratic party that is continually emboldened on what they call ‘women’s rights issues,’” says Gonzalez, explaining that Clinton and the rest of her party feel that they’re on solid ground when taking the fight to Republicans on such issues as abortion and birth control.
It’s an unexpected strategy, since Democrats were widely criticized for overplaying the “War on Women” hand in 2014. Defeated former Colorado senator Mark Udall was roundly mocked for his strident claim that his opponent would “outlaw birth control,” earning the nickname “Mark Uterus” for his obsession with the subject. Uninspired by the vitriol, women nationwide voted Republican — or simply didn’t vote at all. A slew of news articles after the November election discussed how the “War on Women” strategy had backfired.