When elderly feminists speak.
One of Hillary Rodham Clinton's best-known supporters, feminist author Gloria Steinem, belittled John McCain's ordeal as a prisoner of war and the torture he endured as a captured Navy airman.
"I mean, hello?" Steinem told a Texas crowd Saturday night as she was discussing McCain's captivity by the Viet Cong.
"This is supposed to be a qualification to be president? I don't think so," The New York Observer quoted her as saying.
The red-faced Clinton campaign quickly denounced Steinem's remarks.
"Senator Clinton has repeatedly praised Senator McCain's courage and service to our country," campaign spokesman Howard Wolfson said.
Doesn't anyone brief these speakers before they are sent out there? But she has an excuse.
Her anti-military riff was part of her claim that the press has a gender-based bias against Clinton.
"Suppose John McCain had been Joan McCain and Joan McCain had got captured, shot down and been a POW for eight years," she said.
"Reporters would ask, 'What did you do wrong to get captured? What terrible things did you do while you were there as a captive for eight years?' " Steinem said.
She went on to slam military experience in general - an unusual tactic in a state with some of the country's largest military installations.
"I am so grateful that she hasn't been trained to kill anybody," Steinem said of Clinton.
On a similar tangent, retired generals and admirals say that Hillary as First Lady is more qualified as CINC than war-hero McCain.
On a just-finished conference call in which retired military leaders endorsed Hillary Clinton to be commander in chief, retired General Wesley Clark said John McCain's military experience is not the right kind of experience to command the nation's armed forces:
In the national security business, the question is, do you have — when you have served in uniform, do you really have the relevant experience for making the decisions at the top that have to be made? Everybody admires John McCain's service as a fighter pilot, his courage as a prisoner of war. There's no issue there. He's a great man and an honorable man. But having served as a fighter pilot — and I know my experience as a company commander in Vietnam — that doesn’t prepare you to be commander-in-chief in terms of dealing with the national strategic issues that are involved. It may give you a feeling for what the troops are going through in the process, but it doesn't give you the experience first hand of the national strategic issues.If you look at what Hillary Clinton has done during her time as the First Lady of the United States, her travel to 80 countries, her representing the U.S. abroad, plus her years in the Senate, I think she's the most experienced and capable person in the race, not only for representing am abroad, but for dealing with the tough issues of national security.
Speaking just after Clark, retired Admiral William Owens, former vice chairman of the Joint Chief of Staff, said, "I would just say that I agree with Wes on that."
Now if retired military officers want to back Hillary that's fine, but the above says more to me about General Clark and Admiral Owens that it does about Hillary.