NYT: Hillary Might Have Won If She Had Acted More Like Merkel

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Grace Carr Reporter
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Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton would have had a much better chance at beating Trump if she had acted more like German Chancellor Angela Merkel, New York Times senior editor Susan Chira wrote Saturday.

Chira compared Merkel’s highly successful under-the radar political strength to Hillary’s impassioned embrace of running for office as the female candidate in her piece titled “The World’s Most Powerful Woman Won’t Call Herself a Feminist.

“Angela Merkel has spent her political career playing down her gender: shunning a feminist label, offering modesty, caution and diligent preparation as an implicit contrast to male swagger,” Chira wrote. She added that Merkel is simply Germany’s leader rather than Germany’s female political voice. “Her gender [is] immaterial.”

White women voted against Clinton in the primary and presidential elections gave into pressure from their husbands, fathers, boyfriends and male bosses, Hillary told NPR during a promotional tour of her book, “What Happened.” But Chira thinks there’s another reason why Hillary didn’t garner the votes she was looking for. (Related: Hillary Says Women Who Voted Against Her Caved To Pressure From Fathers, Husbands).

Stealth strategy seems to be the best way for women to gain and hold power, according to Chira, who said that Hillary would have had much better luck campaigning on policy rather than as a woman who sought to make history by shattering the highest glass ceiling there is. “In response, a misogynistic backlash gripped segments of the United States,” Chira said. People resented the fact that Hillary was running not as America’s candidate but as the woman’s candidate.

Merkel understood that by avoiding hammering constituents with the fact that she could be Germany’s first female leader and cultivating what Chira calls “a resolutely boring public persona.” She had a much easier time gaining office in a conservative country like Germany. “She learned to cloak her purpose in a veil of blandness,” Constanze Stelzenmüller, a senior fellow at the Brookings Institute told TheNYT.

Had Hillary adopted a more subtle campaign strategy, her path to power would have possibly been more successful, Chira concluded.

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