George Stephanopoulos was just the man to bring up “mansplaining.” He just couldn’t get women to agree.
The images from Wednesday night’s debate vice presidential debate had barely faded from the screen before the ABC “journalist” — who created his career by toadying for the Clintons in their 1990s prime — was slyly accusing Vice President Mike Pence of using his masculinity to bully his debate opponent and the event’s moderator.
But Stephanopoulos wasn’t getting much help.
As Breitbart reported, Stephanopoulos and former Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel were quick to play the sexism card.
Emmanuel, another Clinton White House alum who served as chief of staff during Barack Obama’s first two years in the presidency, claimed Pence’s handling of Democratic vice presidential candidate Kamala Harris and debate moderator Susan Page was going to turn off women voters.
“If you are attacking your opponent, who happens to be a woman, you can do that, but the journalist who is asking the question, I don’t think that helped them with the women vote in general,” Emmanuel said.
“You have a reporter and a woman candidate, and both of them you are interrupting, both of them you are attacking, not a good sign.”
Stephanopoulos then turned to guest Susan Fagen, a political strategist who served as a senior adviser in the George W. Bush White House, and said, “Obviously, Mike Pence, is a former television commentator, does have a very calm demeanor, but I think a lot of people were noticing some mansplaining going on tonight.”
The response wasn’t positive.
IRONY: Stephanopoulos mansplains to a woman about what he – a man – thinks mansplaining is.pic.twitter.com/fIDjv0UZmA
— Abigail Marone 🇺🇸 (@abigailmarone) October 8, 2020
“I don’t know. I didn’t see it that way, George. It didn’t come across to me,” Fagen said. “I do think that he should have stopped talking a little quicker, but I don’t think he was disrespectful of either woman.”
That might be understandable, considering Fagen’s politics, but Stephanopoulos couldn’t even get backup from Martha Raddatz, the ABC correspondent more often seen toeing the mainstream media liberal line on political issues.
“When I hear people say — talk about mansplaining and talk about these things with Kamala Harris and ‘a man shouldn’t interrupt her and it’s going to look bad’ — Kamala Harris is a vice presidential candidate. She should be able to stand up for herself,” Raddatz told Stephanopoulos.
“Yes, it’s history-making. Yes, you can talk about her history and who she is and she’s a woman of color there, but a man can interrupt another vice presidential candidate. It is up to that candidate to talk back, to interrupt themselves or to hold on to that debate in any way they could.”
“Kamala Harris is a vice presidential candidate. She should be able to stand up for herself. A man can interrupt another vice presidential candidate.”
Martha Raddatz disagrees with Stephanopoulos’ assertion that Pence did a lot of “mansplaining” in the VP debate. pic.twitter.com/odhOm4QLjN
— Washington Examiner (@dcexaminer) October 8, 2020
Washington Post columnist Megan McArdle, one of the rare, right-of-center voices at Jeff Bezos’s mouthpiece for the left, also shot down the point Stephanopoulos was trying to make. The fact that McArdle is no fan of President Donald Trump made her impressions of Harris’ ineptitude even more noteworthy.
Nor did Harris’ gender force her to leave points on the table. She left them on the table because she couldn’t think of a good response quick enough.
Stop grading us on a curve. We can make the grade.
— Megan McArdle (@asymmetricinfo) October 8, 2020
“Mike Pence is actually a good debater — full of nonsense, but a good debater. And you didn’t see him over there rolling his eyes and doing exaggerated high-school-theatrical ‘this is my disdainful face’ mugging. Harris’ X chromosomes did not force her to do that,” McCardle wrote.
As McCardle pointed out, Harris’s facial expressions were aggravating. Her answers to questions in general were vague and lecturing, and on some points, like Pence’s aggressive pressing on where she stood on Democratic proposals to “pack” the Supreme Court, she was arrogantly, deceptively dismissive.
Not even Biden supporters could have thought Harris did well. And as for Americans watching Wednesday considering the not-so-far-fetched possibility that a President Joe Biden will be unable to serve a full term in the White House, literally nothing Harris did made her attractive as a potential backup.
And that’s where Stephanopoulos’ “mansplaining” cover came in.
In all likelihood, Stephanopoulos cares as little about “mansplaining” as Hillary Cinton cares about email security (or Kamala Harris cares about black culture). It’s a political weapon for liberals to use to change the subject when they’re on losing ground, nothing more.
A guy who cut his teeth working for the Clintons — serving on a successful presidential campaign and as White House communications director — might lack a basic morality, but he understands practical politics.
And he understands that mainstream liberals needed to pull every card to cover up Harris’ disastrous performance on the Salt Lake City stage.
That made him just the man to bring up “mansplaining” in a lame attempt to defend Harris. But women weren’t going along.
Truth and Accuracy
We are committed to truth and accuracy in all of our journalism. Read our editorial standards.