In April, 2015, when Hillary Clinton announced her second bid for the presidency, she chose only to allude to the fact that she was a woman. “Although we weren’t able to shatter that highest, hardest glass ceiling this time, thanks to you, it’s got about 18 million cracks in it,” she said, referring to her defeat by Barack Obama and the proverbial barrier blocking women from the highest office.
With Donald Trump her G.O.P. contender, Clinton has all the mouthpiece she needs to make the woman question a prominent, if not deciding, factor in the race for the White House. Nearly a dozen women have come forth charging Trump with some form of sexual misconduct, and his assertion that Clinton was a “nasty woman” may have been his complete undoing.
“He thinks that because he has money he can call women fat pigs and bimbos,” said Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren about Trump in a speech Monday in New Hampshire, where she was campaigning with Clinton. “He thinks that because he’s a celebrity, he can rate women from 1 to 10. He thinks that because he has a mouthful of Tic-Tacs, he can force himself on any woman within groping distance.”
Warren’s comments came a week after First Lady Michelle Obama took the candidate to task. “Strong men don’t need to put down women to make themselves powerful,” she said.
On Thursday in North Carolina, the First Lady will be on the hustings again with Clinton at Wake Forest University, and Trump can expect a double-barreled barrage on his negativity towards women. Even staunch Republican women are voicing their discontent, no longer willing to abide by a man with “moral failings,” some have stated.
Several current polls show that a critical mass is shaping among women to soundly reject Trump. A recent survey of swing states has Clinton among women leading Trump by 15 points, which is higher than the national ABC poll among likely voters a few days ago. More than 70 percent of female voters believe that Trump has no respect for women. In effect, women have unendorsed him at almost twice the rate of Republican men.
Increasingly, the flight by women of all political parties from Trump may be the coup de grace, which would be ironic for a man who thinks he is God’s gift to the opposite sex.
“I am a mom and an American first,” New Hampshire Sen. Kelly Ayotte told the press, “and I cannot and will not support a candidate who brags about degrading and assaulting women.” Like so many Republicans running for office, Ayotte, a Republican, has found it politically wise to distance herself from Trump with whom she has been tied by her Democratic adversary, Gov. Maggie Hassan.
Despite the growing resentment of Trump, he remains a dangerous opponent for Clinton, less so for his sexual predilections than his appeal to a number of Americans who have a litany of complaints and see Trump as the answer.
But as we near the finish line, all Trump is groping for now are straws.