While promoting her new book — What Happened? — on NBC’s Today show, Hillary Clinton expounded upon her ever-growing list of reasons why she lost the election by detailing the role sexism played.
Clinton acknowledged that misogyny played a unique role in her loss, citing research carried-out by Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg which shows women have a difficult time balancing success and likability while in public life:
“I write in the book about an incredible conversation I had with Sheryl Sandberg, who has done so much work to untangle what it really is, what you have to do to be effective and what is tinged not to be determined as sexism. She says the research is absolutely clear — the more professionally successful a man becomes, the more likable he is. The more professionally successful a woman becomes, the less likable she is… When I was secretary of state, I came out of that job with I think a 69% approval rating because I was in service to my country it. I was in service to our president. I was proud to do it — but when a woman walks into the arena and says ‘I’m going for this myself,’ it really does have a dramatic effect on how people perceive.”
However, Clinton’s thoughts on sexism weren’t exactly an answer to Today host Savannah Guthrie‘s original question, which was comparing the difficulties Barack Obama faced as the first African-American president verses what Clinton dealt with as the first female major party nominee.
“Do you think it’s harder for Americans to elect a woman than it is an African-American man?” Mused Guthrie — which Clinton then dodged by offering a roundabout answer, rather than a direct one.
Clinton appeared on Today Wednesday morning in what is her first live television interview since losing the 2016 election.[image via screengrab]