MSNBC’s O’Donnell Rips Electability Arguments Against Women: Haven’t Heard Same Questions About Gay or Jewish Men


MSNBC’s primetime hosts Lawrence O’Donnell and Rachel Maddow ripped into the electability questions aimed at Amy Klobuchar and Elizabeth Warren in their respective runs for the Democratic presidential nomination.

“You discussed with Amy Klobuchar this issue that we, I’ve heard about on a lot of television talk about politics. ‘The electability of a woman. Does a woman have a particular challenge?’ And I thought she dealt with that pretty wisely, obviously. That discussion is occurring repeatedly,” O’Donnell said.

O’Donnell then claimed that he hadn’t heard the same kinds of criticism about the male candidates seeking the Democratic nomination, such as former mayor turned 2020 hopeful Pete Buttigieg.

“I, for one, and I don’t watch every minute of cable news, but I’ve not heard one discussion of the electability of a gay man,” O’Donnell claimed. “I have not heard one discussion of the electability of a Jewish man. Why is it that women, and apparently at this time, women alone, are left to have to fight for the notion that they can actually win?”

Maddow then noted that many Democratic voters have become risk averse and are highly anxious about who would be best to beat President Donald Trump in November. She went on to note that one other demographic attribute, age, has become a contentious factor in the 2020 Democratic campaign, with three top candidates — Bernie Sanders, Joe Biden, and Warren — in their seventies.

“And you do hear about some other demographic factors, but it is sort of inescapable,” she conceded. “Every little worry that everybody has about what might be something that might interrupt a person’s otherwise promising trajectory to beat Trump ends up open for discussion. And I think if Pete Buttigieg continues to over-perform to expectations, having done so well in Iowa and New Hampshire, some of those discussions about him being the first openly gay presidential candidate will surface.”

O’Donnell did try to find a silver lining in some of the absence of questions about Sanders and Bloomberg and Buttigieg, however.

“I hope the good news is that we are, as a country, past the point where people will even care about whether a candidate is Jewish and we’re past the point where a majority of people care whether a candidate is gay,” O’Donnell said. “I hope that’s the case.”

“I find this discussion about the women’s electability to just be maddening,” O’Donnell added.

“And the maddening thing is, for all these factors, you never talk to anybody who says, ‘Yeah, my issue is that she’s a woman. My issue is that he’s old. Or my issue is that he’s…” Maddow explained. “It’s always worry by proxy. Asking for a friend.”

“That’s how you know how disingenuous some of these expressions [of female electability] are.”

Watch above, via MSNBC.

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