We just finished up an Atlanta Press Club panel that included Randy Evans, a member of the Republican National Committee and Newt Gingrich confidante, and House Minority Leader Stacey Abrams. As you can imagine, things got a little heated.
There were audible gasps in the room when Evans made this prediction, should Democrat Hillary Clinton wins the White House: "Hillary will do for gender relations what Obama did for race relations." Evans elaborated afterwards:
"She will galvanize or divide us into groups and bring out some of the worst in us, rather than the best. ...I think a meritocracy is blind to gender, race, ethnicity. It's based on results. When we look at how a player performs in a basketball game, we don't look to see if it's a man or woman, what their religion is, their race. We look at how many points they scored."
Abrams, for her part, said she was not offended by Evans' comments:
"What President Obama has done for race relations is move a conversation that tended to happen in the shadows and in the margins to the center of the dialogue as Americans. But it also exposed how critical it is for us to have broader conversations about race than the ones we were having. I think the same thing will happen with Hillary Clinton. She will be able to bring to the fore conversations that women will have to grapple with."
She added: "I see this as a celebratory moment. He seems to see this as a challenge to our democracy. And I think he's wrong."