Melissa Harris-Perry and Rand Paul Agree on One Thing: Hillary Clinton's “Appalling Choice”

Reporting on Politics and Policy.
Feb. 11 2014 5:11 PM

Melissa Harris-Perry and Rand Paul Agree on One Thing: Hillary Clinton's “Appalling Choice”

The choice has worked out well for her so far.

Photo by Andrew Burton/Getty Images

Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul has started responding to questions about a Republican "war on women" by baiting the perceived 2016 Democratic front-runner. What authority did Hillary Clinton really have, given her husband's "predatory behavior" regarding a 20-year old White House intern? The attack is ready-made for cable news, but it hasn't been discussed at all on MSNBC's Melissa Harris-Perry. The eponymous host, an academic whose segments about race, poverty, and gender are roughly 20 grade levels above the rest of TV, hasn't touched the Paul line. 

Here's one possible reason why. In Big Girls Don't Cry, her book on the gender politics ramifications of the 2008 election, Rebecca Traister notes that "it was fallout from the Lewinsky scandal that did in Hillary with some feminists." Yes, her overall popularity surged—it made her a stronger candidate for New York's open Senate seat. But for a second opinion, on Page 23, Traister quotes Harris-Perry (née Harris-Lacewell).


I don't doubt that Harris-Perry still feels that way, or would refrain from saying so when the issue came up. But she's not forcing it. And Rand Paul is not wrong that the issue makes some progressives queasy.

David Weigel is a Slate political reporter. 


Medical Examiner

The Most Terrifying Thing About Ebola 

The disease threatens humanity by preying on humanity.

I Bought the Huge iPhone. I’m Already Thinking of Returning It.

Scotland Is Just the Beginning. Expect More Political Earthquakes in Europe.

Students Aren’t Going to College Football Games as Much Anymore

And schools are getting worried.

Two Damn Good, Very Different Movies About Soldiers Returning From War

The XX Factor

Lifetime Didn’t Think the Steubenville Rape Case Was Dramatic Enough

So they added a little self-immolation.


Blacks Don’t Have a Corporal Punishment Problem

Americans do. But when blacks exhibit the same behaviors as others, it becomes part of a greater black pathology. 

Why a Sketch of Chelsea Manning Is Stirring Up Controversy

How Worried Should Poland, the Baltic States, and Georgia Be About a Russian Invasion?

Trending News Channel
Sept. 19 2014 1:11 PM Watch Flashes of Lightning Created in a Lab  
  News & Politics
Sept. 20 2014 11:13 AM -30-
Business Insider
Sept. 20 2014 6:30 AM The Man Making Bill Gates Richer
Sept. 20 2014 7:27 AM How Do Plants Grow Aboard the International Space Station?
  Double X
The XX Factor
Sept. 19 2014 4:58 PM Steubenville Gets the Lifetime Treatment (And a Cheerleader Erupts Into Flames)
  Slate Plus
Slate Picks
Sept. 19 2014 12:00 PM What Happened at Slate This Week? The Slatest editor tells us to read well-informed skepticism, media criticism, and more.
Brow Beat
Sept. 20 2014 3:21 PM “The More You Know (About Black People)” Uses Very Funny PSAs to Condemn Black Stereotypes
Future Tense
Sept. 19 2014 6:31 PM The One Big Problem With the Enormous New iPhone
  Health & Science
Bad Astronomy
Sept. 20 2014 7:00 AM The Shaggy Sun
Sports Nut
Sept. 18 2014 11:42 AM Grandmaster Clash One of the most amazing feats in chess history just happened, and no one noticed.