New York Republican Rep. Elise Stefanik emerged as something rare on Wednesday: an incisive questioner who eschewed grandstanding and pursued answers instead.
For her trouble, she got a nasty tweet from ABC News’ chief political analyst Matthew Dowd. If I were the sort who threw around the term sexist, I’d be inclined to characterize Dowd’s tweet that way.
Here (via National Review) is what Dowd tweeted:
Elise Stefanik is a perfect example of why just electing someone because they are a woman or a millennial doesn’t necessarily get you the leaders we need
Can you imagine the outcry if Dowd has tweeted that about a Democratic member of Congress?
And Stefanik, the youngest person elected to Congress before Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez took that honor (imagine if Dowd had tweeted something similar about AOC!), was not elected on the basis of sex or age.
The same day Dowd issued his slur Stefanik was listed as one of Time’s “100 Next” rising stars. This quote about the Time story is more illuminating that Dowd’s nasty tweet:
“Elise has built a record as an authentic, respected voice for ideas and common sense. And she has built an organization to recruit more women to run for office in a party that needs more inclusivity. This is a fight she has taken on personally and passionately,” former Speaker of the House Paul Ryan wrote in Stefanik’s Time profile. “ . . . Elise isn’t just the future of the Republican Party. She is the future of hopeful, aspirational politics in America.”
Dowd followed up with one of the worst non-apology apologies in recent memory:
I think people are misunderstand my tweet. So I will delete. I am saying just saying we need more millennials or more women isn’t going to solve the problem of needing more leaders with integrity. Vote integrity no matter what.
So he’s saying Stefanik has no integrity?
Perhaps Mr. Dowd should have quit while he was behind?
But he didn’t, going on to tweet:
I deleted the tweet and apologize. I in no way meant to suggest that we don’t need women or millennial leaders. In fact to opposite is true and I have advocated for that. I will be more careful in how I phrase my thoughts. Lesson learned.
Perhaps Mr. Dowd simply lacks the ability to express his thoughts clearly, an ability Ms. Stefanik displayed in gratifying abundance on Wednesday.