What a difference a vote makes. For a few days Barack Obama walked on waterat Times HQ. But with Hillary Clinton's shocking win in New Hampshire (and wouldn't that line have looked strange a month ago?) she has apparently resumed her place as the "historic" Democrat the Times rushes to defend, this time against America's latent sexism, in Jodi Kantor's piece Thursday, "Women's Support for Clinton Rises in Wake of Perceived Sexism."
"If the race wasn't about gender already, it certainly is now.
"Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton has been running for president for nearly a year. But in the past week, women in Iowa mostly rejected her, a few days before women in New Hampshire embraced her. All over the country, viewers scrutinized coverage for signs of chauvinism in the race, and many said they found dismaying examples.
"Even Democratic women with no intention of voting for Mrs. Clinton found themselves drawn into the debate and shaken by what briefly seemed like a humiliating end to the most promising female candidacy in American history.
"The process seems to have changed a few minds, at least for now."
"In New Hampshire, two hecklers yelled at Mrs. Clinton to iron their shirts - stray comments that angered untold numbers of women after the incident was widely reported. And Mrs. Clinton is the only candidate whose critics complain about the pitch of her voice."
"For many women, these moments are deeply personal. Though Sarah Kreps, 31, who is moving to New York, said she would vote for Mr. Obama, seeing Mrs. Clinton debate was a reminder of her time in the Air Force, and the discomfort of being the sole woman in a group of men. The criticisms of Mrs. Clinton's voice took Ms. Rees back to the time her boss pushed the mute button on a conference call to tell her that her voice was too shrill."
Kantor went back to find residual scraps of sexism against poor Hillary (who as Bill Clinton's wife, has been helped more than hurt by being a woman).
"Now that Mrs. Clinton has gone from a solid lead to a tie with Mr. Obama in the latest national Gallup poll, some voters are thinking back to incidents that they say now seem suspect to them: the debate in which Mr. Edwards critiqued the bright jacket Mrs. Clinton was wearing, or the one at which Mrs. Clinton was asked, by a woman, if she preferred diamonds or pearls.
"Other women mentioned how they were shocked to see how the only female candidate was perceived by some voters."