- Madeleine Kunin
former governor of Vermont for three terms from 1985 to 1991. She is a Marsh professor at the University of Vermont and the author of The New Feminist Agenda: Defining the Next Revolution for Women, Work, and Family. Kunin’s new article for The Boston Globe is called “When Bernie Sanders Ran Against Me in Vermont.”
Voting has begun across New Hampshire for the first primary in the country. A half-million voters are expected to cast ballots. Just after midnight, voting took place in three small towns. In the Democratic race, Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders got a total of 17 votes to former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s nine. In the Republican race, Donald Trump, Texas Senator Ted Cruz and Ohio Governor John Kasich each received nine votes. We speak to Madeleine May Kunin, who served as governor of Vermont from 1985 to 1991. She is a professor at the University of Vermont and the author of “The New Feminist Agenda: Defining the Next Revolution for Women, Work, and Family.” Kunin’s new article for The Boston Globe is called “When Bernie Sanders Ran Against Me in Vermont.” She has endorsed Hillary Clinton.
JUAN GONZÁLEZ: Voting has begun across New Hampshire for the first primary in the country. A half-million voters are expected to cast ballots. Just after midnight, voting took place in three small towns. In the Democratic race, Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders got a total of 17 votes to former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s nine votes. In the Republican race, Donald Trump, Texas Senator Ted Cruz and Ohio Governor John Kasich each received nine votes.
AMY GOODMAN: Donald Trump and Bernie Sanders have been leading in almost every poll taken leading up to today’s vote in New Hampshire. On Monday, Sanders urged voters to join what he’s described as a “political revolution.”
SEN. BERNIE SANDERS: What this campaign is about is asking people to think outside of the status quo, not to accept the fact that there are veterans sleeping out on the street, not to accept the fact that we have the highest rate of childhood poverty of almost any major country on Earth, not to accept the fact that millions of seniors in this country are trying to get by on $12,000-, $13,000-a-year Social Security, and nobody can get by on $12,000, $13,000 a year, especially a senior. Our job is not to accept what the establishment has told us is the way it is supposed to be. Our job is to break through that and look at where this country should be.
JUAN GONZÁLEZ: Hillary Clinton also made a last-minute pitch to voters, speaking in Manchester, New Hampshire, on Monday.
HILLARY CLINTON: Middle-class families will not have a tax increase when I am president, but I’m going after the millionaires, the multimillionaires, the corporate loopholes, the gimmicks, the money through the Bahamas, through Bermuda. Imagine that we can once again believe that it truly is a government of the people, by the people and for the people. That is—that is what we must imagine and create together. … I’m telling you, folks, we can’t let any lobby, we can’t let any unelected force for money, for guns, for drugs, for big oil, for insurance—you name it—they cannot control our government any longer!
AMY GOODMAN: Yesterday on Democracy Now!, we spent the hour looking at the last Republican debate leading up to today’s New Hampshire primary. Today we turn to a debate on the Democratic primary.
We’re joined by three guests. Madeleine May Kunin served as governor of Vermont from 1985 to 1991. She’s a professor at the University of Vermont, author of The New Feminist Agenda: Defining the Next Revolution for Women, Work, and Family. Her new article for The Boston Globe is headlined “When Bernie Sanders Ran Against Me in Vermont.” She is the first woman governor of Vermont. She has endorsed Hillary Clinton. Ben Jealous is also with us. He is the former president and CEO of the NAACP. Last week, he officially endorsed Bernie Sanders. He is joining us from North Carolina. And Darnell Moore joins us in New York, a member of the New York City chapter of Black Lives Matter, which has opted not to endorse anyone in the Democratic primary. Darnell is also a senior correspondent at Mic news and a co-managing editor at The Feminist Wire.
We welcome you all to Democracy Now! Governor Kunin, let’s begin with you in Burlington, Vermont. Can you talk about why you think this first primary—Iowa was a caucus—is so important and why you’re endorsing Hillary Clinton?
MADELEINE KUNIN: Well, I’m very pleased to endorse Hillary Clinton. And my answer is simple. I believe she is the most qualified and will be the most effective person in the White House. And I’m supporting her for that reason. In addition, I am thrilled that we have a strong possibility of having a woman in the White House. But I want to make it clear: I’m not supporting her just because she’s a woman—I don’t think anybody should—but because I think she is the top qualified person for the job. And I’ve known her over the years. And I’ve also had the experience of being the first woman governor of Vermont and the fourth woman in the country.
And I believe there’s still some gender issues at work. They’re more subtle than they used to be. Now, nobody is going to say, “I won’t vote for a woman,” like a barber said to me in Springfield, Vermont. People feel that, you know, it’s obviously politically incorrect. But I think both men and women have some subtle gender issues. For example, Bernie’s style of waving his arms and getting laryngitis from shouting is something a woman can’t do, because she would be considered hysterical. People don’t like angry women. But there are also some gender issues on the positive side, that I feel that as a woman, as a working woman, as a wife, as a mother, we have different priorities on the agenda. And women’s issues, like child care, equal pay for equal work, paid family and medical leave, those are gut issues for women, because we’ve lived them. So, the world still looks different through the eyes of a woman, just as the world looked different through the eyes of a black man, Barack Obama. Not on everything, but on some key issues, there are positive gender differences, because these issues will get higher attention when Hillary is president.
JUAN GONZÁLEZ: And, Governor Kunin, in that piece that you wrote at The Boston Globe, you say that, quote, “Women draw on a different network than men and can share an alternative definition of 'qualified.'” And you specifically raised the composition of the actual campaign staffs of Bernie Sanders and Hillary Clinton. Could you talk about that?
MADELEINE KUNIN: Well, yes. You know, as a leader, you draw on your network—the people you went to school with, the people you hang out with. And so, when I was governor for the first time, half of my Cabinet was female. Hillary’s advisers and campaign staff is 50 percent female. And that matters. Bernie’s staff is more composed of men in the top echelons, so—and it makes a difference. And it’s, again, something you can’t dictate, but it makes a difference for how you will govern and who will be your close advisers.