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Slaughter with Clinton in 2010 at a town hall meeting with Department of State employees. (KAREN BLEIER/AFP/Getty Images)

Email trail

Author of “Why Women Can’t Have It All” was “devastated” by Hillary Clinton’s apparent comment about her

December 1, 2015

So far, the emails from Hillary Clinton’s private server that have been released by federal authorities have revealed nothing to incriminate the Democratic frontrunner during her years as secretary of state. But they have provided details that make for some amusing, if not distracting, borderline gossip. On Monday, a new trove of emails was released, and contained in it was an interesting exchange between Clinton confidant Huma Abedin and Anne-Marie Slaughter, the first woman appointed, by Clinton, to be the State Department’s director of policy planning.

After about two years into that role, Slaughter, a mother of two, abruptly left the job and later wrote a controversial essay in The Atlantic explaining her unexpected departure. In the article, titled “Why Women Can’t Have It All,” she wrote that “juggling high-level government work with the needs of two teenage boys was not possible.” She went on to lament that the “feminist beliefs” that became the foundation of her entire career seemed to be upended.

Eventually, Clinton gave an interview to Marie Claire magazine, and some of Clinton’s remarks looked as if she was commenting directly on Slaughter’s essay. “Some women are not comfortable working at the pace and intensity you have to work at in these jobs,” Clinton told the magazine. “Other women don’t break a sweat. They have four or five, six kids. They’re highly organized, they have very supportive networks.” Clinton went on to declare, “I can’t stand whining,” seeming to imply that’s all Slaughter’s essay amounted to.

Those words stung Slaughter. She emailed Clinton’s staff saying, “I am really devastated,” and asking, “Is she really talking about me?” Slaughter begged to speak with Clinton, but Abedin and Slaughter kept her at bay for the time being, and offered an explanation. Abedin told Slaughter that Clinton’s remarks were about a famous fictional character and taken out of context by the magazine, and that Clinton wasn’t remotely talking about her or the essay. Thanks to the email investigation, Abedin’s explanation and Slaughter’s reaction to it are preserved for posterity and beyond.

Read the full story at The Washington Post.


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