Clicking on banner ads keeps JWR alive
Jewish World Review July 12, 1999/ 28 Tamuz 5759

David Limbaugh

David Limbaugh
JWR's Pundits
World Editorial
Cartoon Showcase

Mallard Fillmore

Tony Snow
Michael Barone
Dave Barry
Kathleen Parker
Dr. Laura
Michael Kelly
Bob Greene
Michelle Malkin
Paul Greenberg
David Limbaugh
David Corn
Marianne Jennings
Sam Schulman
Philip Weiss
Mort Zuckerman
Richard Chesnoff
Larry Elder
Cal Thomas
Jonathan S. Tobin
Don Feder
Linda Chavez
Mona Charen
Thomas Sowell
Walter Williams
Ben Wattenberg


Gore's gender gap -- A CURIOUS THING has happened along the campaign trail. It seems that heartthrob Al Gore is having difficulty with women.

The New York Times reports that a recent CNN poll shows Bush leading Gore by 11 points.

The so-called "gender gap" has been a mainstay for Democratic presidential contenders, and studmuffin Al Gore doesn't want to be the exception. He needs a substantial majority of female voters to win the general election. Not to worry. When it comes to pandering politics, Al Gore is among the best. He has a chameleon-like ability to become anybody he wants to be when it suits his purposes.

Take for instance his 1996 Democratic convention speech, where he passionately told of how he had dedicated his life to fighting the tobacco industry following the death of his sister from lung cancer. He failed to mention that he had already broken the pledge by accepting major contributions from big tobacco companies after her death. In case you think that was just a temporary lapse, you should be advised that Gore just hired media consultant Carter Eskew to be a lead strategist in his campaign. Eskew was the one who masterminded the big tobacco companies' 40 million dollar media blitz that helped defeat a 1998 Senate anti-tobacco bill.

The move prompted the otherwise gracious RNC Chair Jim Nicholson to remark: "They better open the windows at Gore campaign headquarters, because the hypocrisy is so thick in the air that it burns your eyes. ... Gore has hired the biggest tobacco guru since Joe Camel." Gore hasn't changed his mind again about tobacco. He just says or does what he needs to do at any given time to further his political ambitions. Even Democrat-friendly Bill Schneider of CNN observed: "With this hire, Gore is taking a calculated risk with Eskew. He's counting on Eskew's worth as an adviser to outweigh any questions people bring up about the tobacco issue."

But Gore isn't really worried about losing the support of anti-smoking groups. They are hardly going to abandon him to the Republican nominee. But the soccer moms are a genuine cause for concern. And believe me: Gore will do what it takes to try to bring them back into the fold.

Some of Gore's transparent techniques to re-establish the traditional gender gap are amusing. Even the NY Times admits that they are "not terribly subtle."

For example:

-- He told crowds that he "had been reared by a mother who grew up poor, got on a bus to Nashville with her blind sister in tow, waited tables for quarter tips and, in 1936, became one of the first women to graduate from Vanderbilt Law School."

-- He quipped that when he listened as a child to his parents talking, "it was clear to me that (women were equal to men) -- if not more so." (That one is particularly "Goorish" -- meaning something boorish uttered by Gore). -- He always makes it a point to be introduced to his audiences by women. -- His speeches are loaded with promises to women concerning day care, earlychildhood education and gender equality. Listen to this one, and see if you can avert nausea: "This pledge is in honor of my mother: an equal day's pay for an equal day's work." (He better hope that not many women read US News, which reported that payroll records show that women staffers for Gore earn about 86 cents for every dollar his male staffers earn).

-- He was so desperate to showcase women that he begged several to attend a $1,000 fund-raising luncheon at the discounted price of $300.

Not all women are so easily wowed. One of the discount-luncheon attendees complained that "he kept bringing up women's issues. ... I wanted to hear about something more relevant to my life, like economic development."

As with his tobacco issues, Gore's rhetoric about women rings a little hollow. If he is going to continue to claim expertise about women, he needs to understand that they have good memories. Many of them remember his unflinching loyalty to the most womanizing character in modern history.

Gore's new pollster Celinda Lake even acknowledges that the Lewinsky scandal is suppressing Gore's ratings with women. She calls this "delayed reaction to the Clinton factor 'unfair.'" No, Ms. Lake. When Al Gore chose to stand by his man over the rights of women, he knew what he was doing. That he is being made to pay for it today is eminently fair.

JWR contributor David Limbaugh is an attorney practicing in Cape Girardeau, Missouri, and a political analyst and commentator. Send your comments to him by clicking here.


07/08/99: Clinton’s faustian bargain: our justice
07/06/99: The key to Bush's $36 million
06/30/99: Gore: a soda in every fountain
06/28/99: 'Sacred wall' or religious barrier?
06/23/99: GOP must lead in foreign policy
06/21/99: Crumbs of compassion
06/16/99: Compassionate conservatism: face-lift or body transplant?
06/10/99: Victory in Kosovo? Now What?