Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign recently launched “The Briefing”, a fact-checking resource to call out inaccurate attacks on the presidential candidate. Its first installment? A video and clear rebuttal to the unsubstantiated claims made in the book Clinton Cash.
Regardless of political affiliation, for women candidates, setting the record straight is make or break.
Barbara Lee Family Foundation research shows that women candidates can and must respond directly to negative attacks, telling voters what they will do for them. We also know that women are walking a tightrope on the campaign trail – there is little room for misinformation when their every move and message is under scrutiny. It’s important to correct negative attacks immediately and clearly.
We’ve seen women candidates quickly responding on both sides of the aisle and up and down the ticket: Current presidential candidate Carly Fiorina does it as she defends her record as CEO of Hewlett-Packard. U.S. Senator Jeanne Shaheen did it through a “fact check” section of her website during her re-election campaign. Women must bounce back immediately from setbacks and call in validators to vouch for her qualifications and integrity.
That’s why laying out the facts in something like “The Briefing” is not only fair to voters – it’s smart strategy.