Ann Friedman, Los Angeles Times – August 24, 2016
Hillary Clinton is sick and tired, declared Donald Trump at a rally this month. “She’s actually not strong enough to be president,” he added. You’d be forgiven for taking his comment metaphorically, but he and his supporters mean it quite literally. Even though Trump is two years older than Clinton, and her doctors have declared that she’s perfectly healthy, the latest anti-Clinton campaign is focused on her physical unfitness for office.
Dianna Anderson, Rolling Stone – March 9, 2016
There’s a long history of presidential races becoming contests over masculinity and virility. When Thomas Jefferson was running against John Adams, for example, Jefferson accused Adams of having “neither the force and firmness of a man, nor the gentleness and sensibility of a woman.” Stephen Douglas accused Abraham Lincoln of having a “hatchet face,” while Lincoln called Douglas a diminutive mama’s boy.
Jeff Guo, The Washington Post – February 9, 2016
“Traditionally, the New York City accent has been stigmatized as rough and not necessarily intelligent,” Holliday says. “But people do perceive it as authoritative. So he’s got an accent that people don’t like, but that they find credible. Trump sounds like he knows what he’s talking about, because of his accent.”
Ashley Parker, New York Times – February 6, 2016
The man who stood at Jeb Bush’s rally here Saturday morning had not a question but a comment. A metaphor, really. About a boxing match.
Anne Gearan and Abby Phillip, The Washington Post – January 1, 2016
The attacks — often coded, always personal — seem to be aimed at raising questions in voters’ minds about a factor that has long been whispered in some GOP circles: how Clinton’s age could affect her ability to serve. The regularity of Trump’s attacks on Clinton’s alleged physical weakness suggest that the magnate thinks he has touched on a legitimate campaign failing.
Thomas Edsall, New York Times – December 9, 2015
When voters look at equally experienced male and female politicians, “the man will still be seen as more capable on issues of national security and defense,” Meredith Conroy, a professor of political science at California State University, San Bernardino, wrote me in response to my inquiry about the current election. But “Hillary is able to overcome this and other gender stereotypes. She turns much of the scholarship on voter perceptions of Democratic candidates, and furthermore female politicians, on its head.”
Matthew Boyle, Breitbart News – August 6, 2015
Carly Fiorina, the winner of the undercard GOP primary debate early on Thursday evening, told Breitbart News in the spin room after her performance that former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush can’t be an effective GOP nominee based on the way he’s behaving at this time.
Jenna Johnson, Washington Post – April 27, 2015
Just in case her intentions were not perfectly clear, Fiorina added: “When the general election rolls around, we better have a nominee who can throw those punches all day long.”
Eleanor Clift, Daily Beast – April 22, 2015
It was hard to tell who was more taken aback, former CEO Carly Fiorina, or the reporters assembled to question her, when one of them prefaced his question with the comment, “I’ve never met a presidential candidate who had fingernail polish on.”
Damon Linker, The Week – March 3, 2014
Would the GOP be less inclined to accuse a female president of weakness? I suppose it’s possible, if the Democrats manage to persuade the media (and its donor base) to view “the Hillary wimp factor” as yet another front in the Republicans’ ongoing “war on women.”