Regina G. Lawrence and Melody Rose, Hillary Clinton's Race for the White House: Gender Politics the Media on the Campaign Trail

Richard L. Fox
Content Type
Journal Article
Political Science Quarterly
Issue Number
Publication Date
Winter 2010-2011
Academy of Political Science
No abstract is available.
POLITICAL SCIENCE QUARTERLY Volume 125 Number 4 Winter 2010-11 No part of this article may be copied, downloaded, stored, further transmitted, transferred, distributed, altered, or otherwise used, in any form or by any means, except: . one stored electronic and one paper copy of any article solely for your personal, noncommercial use, or . with prior written permission of The Academy of Political Science. Political Science Quarterly is published by The Academy of Political Science. Contact the Academy for further permission regarding the use of this work. Political Science Quarterly Copyright © 2010 by The Academy of Political Science. All rights reserved. The Academy of Political Science 475 Riverside Drive • Suite 1274 • New York, New York 10115-1274 (212) 870-2500 FAX: (212) 870-2202 • The quality of the scholarship in this book is high and reflects a great deal of work. Still, there are places where careful editing is in order. At times, the author's discussions are schizophrenic. This is true, for example, when he differentiates between polarization and sorting. Also, the data in the figures and their interpretation in the text do not always match up perfectly. These issues tend to be minor and do not substantially take away from the scholarship. They can easily be addressed. Anyone interested in American political behavior will enjoy this book. As a young scholar, Levendusky can provide the discipline a service by continuing his research agenda and producing updated editions of the book for years to come. It holds great promise as a useful text in the study of American political behavior. JOSEPH BAFUMI Dartmouth College Hillary Clinton's Race for theWhite House: Gender Politics the Media on the Campaign Trail by Regina G. Lawrence and Melody Rose. Boulder, CO, Lynne Rienner Publishers, 2010. 277 pp. Cloth, $65.00; paper, $26.50. In 2007, as Hillary Clinton geared up to run for president, there was a profound buzz among gender and politics scholars about the unique opportunity Clinton's candidacy would present to examine the role gender continues to play in U.S. politics. Many of us who watched intently as the campaign unfolded were struck by its many permutations and how voters, the media, and the political elite received Hillary Clinton and her campaign. We saw the predictable debates over the degree of sexism to which Clinton was subjected, about whether gender bias trumps race bias or vice versa, and about whether Clinton's sex attributed to her loss. By the time Clinton withdrew from the primary, many of us were left scratching our heads; we knew that gender had played a dramatic role in the 2008 race for the presidency, but we were not entirely sure what conclusions to draw. Regina Lawrence and Melody Rose's detailed account of Hillary Clinton's campaign transports the reader back to the drama of the battle for the Democratic nomination, and skillfully uses gender as a lens through which to analyze the major developments of the race. The authors' deft organization and insights place many of the campaign's individual moments into a theoretical framework that illuminates the role of gender in the 2008 presidential election. The authors focus on the literature on media and politics and gender stereotyping, but they also carefully consider the personal and political context of Clinton's run for the White House. Lawrence and Rose acknowledge the inherent difficulties of drawing broad lessons about gender politics based on the candidacy of one candidate, particularly one with as much history as Hillary Clinton. But they 712 | POLITICAL SCIENCE QUARTERLY still compellingly lay out the ways that gender mattered, including how it continually affected Clinton's campaign strategy and media coverage. The authors also successfully identify how the masculinity associated with the U.S. presidency provided challenges for Clinton, challenges that any female aspirant to the White House would probably face. The first two chapters of the book lay the groundwork for the analysis by establishing the theoretical framework for studying the interplay of the news media, gender, and Hillary Clinton. After providing a history of women who have run for president, the authors use the three central chapters of the book to apply a gendered analysis to all of the critical developments that occurred in the battle for the nomination. The two final substantive chapters present the results of an original content analysis of leading newspapers and network news broadcasts. The results are interesting, but not surprising. Clinton generally received less and more-negative coverage than did Barack Obama, though many of the expectations regarding gendered coverage revolving around family, appearance, and substance did not materialize. One omission from the book is the lack of any detailed attention to voter responses. The book would have benefited from an examination of some of the gender gaps in voting patterns that emerged in many of the primaries. Presenting some specific results from primaries in response to some of the gendered campaign tactics could have highlighted how the gender dynamics of the campaign played out. Ultimately, the strength of this book lies in its thoughtful and balanced discussion of the role that gender played in the 2008 presidential campaign; the authors draw careful conclusions about how gender affected the overall outcome. In this regard, those hoping for an answer to the question of whether Clinton lost because she was a woman might be a little disappointed. Regardless, Lawrence and Rose offer an excellent first look at the historic role of the Clinton campaign, and this book will probably become a benchmark model of research for scholars who examine women who seek the U.S. presidency. RICHARD L. FOX Loyola Marymount University The Culture of Military Innovation: The Impact of Cultural Factors on the Revolution in Military Affairs in Russia, the US, and Israel by Dima Adamsky. Palo Alto, CA, Stanford University Press, 2010. 248 pp. Paper, $23.95. How does a nation's strategic culture affect its ability to exploit revolutionary changes in technology that fundamentally alter the nature of warfare? In The Culture of Military Innovation, Dima Adamsky investigates the impact of the strategic cultures of the Soviet Union, the United States, and Israel to explain the different paths followed by each state toward the realization and BOOK REVIEWS | 713