During Friday’s “Overtime” segment of HBO’s “Real Time with Bill Maher,” Newsweek columnist and Daily Beast “The Dish” blogger Andrew Sullivan made a comparison between Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and former British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher.
According to Sullivan, Thatcher’s legacy was “amazing” because she never played the sex card.
“Thatcher was amazing to me because … she never allowed another woman in her own cabinet, by the way, ever, in 11 years,” Sullivan said. “She’s also a woman in the ’50s, got educated in chemistry and had a family and ran as a single woman, and never once in her entire life played the sex card. Never, never played it.”
Wendy Schiller, associate professor at Brown University, rejected Sullivan’s argument and said that Thatcher had used her gender for political benefit. But Sullivan explained that Thatcher merely employed the same kind of victim politics played by other women, including Clinton.
“She absolutely used her femininity, her beauty, her wit [and] her humor to run rings around these stupid men around her,” Sullivan replied. “But she never — she never said, ‘I’m a woman. I’m being attacked unfairly because I’m a woman.’ She never played that card. She never played the card that Hillary [Clinton] played at some points. She never played the ‘oh you can’t do this to me’ [card]. She played the ‘I’m as hard as nails as everyone, I’m a feminist who doesn’t believe there’s a difference between men and women in the public square and we abide by the same rules and God help you fight with me’ [card].”
Schiller again rejected Sullivan’s claim and defended Clinton.
“That woman was maligned and abused since the minute she stepped into public life with her husband,” Schiller said. “And in 2008, she took more abuse, and Sarah Palin might be a close second, more abuse than any human being in politics. She never played the woman’s card. She was tough as nails. And she’s running around the world securing peace now.”
But Sullivan took a shot at Clinton, explaining that Thatcher didn’t have a politically successful husband to help her along the way.
“Unlike Hillary Clinton, Margaret Thatcher made her own political career, [and] didn’t latch on to her husband. That’s called real feminism,” Sullivan said. “[W]hy did she subordinate herself to her husband’s career in politics? She made a choice to put a man ahead of her. That’s not a feminist.”