One of the pleasures of hosting the Monitor’s Washington breakfasts is watching some of the best political reporters in the business interact with top government officials.
Sometimes our guest manages to glide past questions with an unremarkable utterance.
But other times, the interaction between reporter and official in a relaxed, civilized setting produces a wonderfully revealing moment.
That was the case Tuesday when USA Today Washington Bureau Chief Susan Page asked House Speaker Nancy Pelosi whether sexism had contributed to Hillary Clinton’s failure to capture the Democratic presidential nomination.
Ms. Pelosi, making her eighth visit to one of our gatherings, responded in a way that acknowledged sexism but cast doubt on whether it placed a decisive role in the primary process, as some Clinton supporters believe.
“I think Senator Clinton got the benefit of being a woman because women are wildly enthusiastic about her candidacy, not just a woman for president but this woman, this talent, intellect, commitment, stamina, don’t forget stamina when it comes to these races,” Pelosi said.
She added, “Is there sexism? Probably so. Is it responsible for the defeat? I really wouldn’t have the scientific...all of the information to know that. But I do think that being a woman had a positive upside in the campaign, probably offset by more sexism, I don’t know. Of course there is sexism, we all know that, but it is a given.”