Everyone seems to love to rehash the "Is Clinton running as a woman?" argument over and over again. Gender will of course play into Clinton's candidacy. She's often said she "can't run as anything other than a woman." It's unavoidable, so the campaign will take advantage of it to the best of its ability. And of course, as in the debate on Tuesday, when the only woman standing on stage is attacked by her male competitors, there is a subtext of gender politics, even if it is focused on a foreign policy disagreement. It feels different then when it's just men arguing.
This goes back to when Clinton was accused of "pandering" for targeting women in her campaign rhetoric and policy proposals. That accusation suggests women aren't a worthwhile portion of the electorate to spend time and money on. I would love to read stories about how Clinton is just a candidate and not a "woman candidate," but unfortunately, we don't live in that world. I sort of agree with Ezra here, that by simply pointing out that gender politics are at play here doesn't give Clinton a cop-out. It's totally legitimate to continue to criticize her views on foreign policy, but it's also legitimate to recognize that when a bunch of men gang up on a woman in an argument, that plays into why so few women run for office. Gender politics exist, and it's maybe okay to recognize when they're at play.