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In the waning days of the 2016 election, and with her once healthy lead in the polls withering like a snowball on a grill, Hillary Clinton and her supporters are returning to what they do best — crying sexism.

At a campaign rally in Ohio, President Obama told men to get over their sexism and vote for Clinton, saying, “You know, there’s a reason why we haven’t had a woman president before, and I think sometimes we’re kind of trying to get over the hump.

“I want every man out there who’s voting to kind of look inside yourself and ask yourself if you’re having problems with this stuff, how much of it is that we’re just not used to it.”

Not much, we’d guess. Many countries have chosen women to lead their governments, and Americans are not more backward than most of them about women’s equality. Members of the public, of both sexes, probably regard it as neither here nor there if a woman is president. It’s her character, politics and policies that matter. It’s far less likely to be sexism than an innocent combination of other factors that have kept women from the top job so far.

But sexism is a drum the Democrats have been beating the entire campaign: Anyone who doesn’t support Clinton must be suspected of sexism. In February, former Secretary of State Madeline Albright said that there’s a “special place in hell” for any woman who doesn’t vote for Clinton.

It was part of Clinton’s original strategy before she even announced her presidential campaign. She was going to make the fact that she is a woman running to be the first woman president central to her campaign. Maria Cardona, Clinton’s senior adviser from her failed 2008 bid, said that back then people told the candidate not to “play up being a woman.” But now, Cardona said, things are different and Clinton should embrace that aspect of herself.

Clinton reminded voters of her sex and her potential to make history at nearly every debate, campaign stop and speech. She did this so often that it began to hurt her, because people aren’t stupid and didn’t need to be reminded of the fact. The Clinton campaign had poll-tested comments about being the first woman president (because Clinton does nothing unless it’s poll-tested or focus-grouped), and found that donors were tired of hearing about it.

That didn’t stop her campaign from making her acceptance speech at the Democratic National Convention all about her lack of a Y chromosome. Now that the polls are tightening and her campaign is flailing in the wake of FBI Director James Comey’s announcement that he has reopened his investigation of her email server, Clinton and her surrogates are returning to what they know, and getting plenty of help from their friends in the news media.

TIME ran an article claiming the scandal surrounding Clinton’s email server is sexist. Seriously. “It’s not about emails; it’s about public communication by a woman,” wrote Robin Lakoff, a Berkeley professor. She argued implausibly that the email server would never have become a scandal if Clinton were a man. Numerous outlets published stories about the historic nature of Clinton’s candidacy, including some featuring women excited to vote for the first woman president. There was Vickie Wilkinson, who was filmed crying tears of happiness after she cast her ballot for Clinton. There was also Jerry Emmett, a 102-year-old woman born before women even had the right to vote, who cast her ballot for Clinton.

State Dept.set to release final batch of Clinton emails before election

Also from the Washington Examiner

State Department officials are set to publish up to 350 pages of Hillary Clinton’s deleted emails.

11/04/16 12:01 AM

On several occasions during the campaign, Trump has accused Clinton of playing the “woman card,” and the Washington Examiner’s Byron York reported that she threw a whole deck of them during a speech in Florida this week. To this, Clinton has always responded that if standing up for women’s rights is playing the gender card, then “deal me in!” Expect to hear that tired phrase a lot in the next few days.

How history will judge 2016

Top Story

On the surface, each of the major parties has broken one of the ancient rules of presidential politics.

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