Senator Debbie Stabenow (D-MI) has heard the people who think Secretary of State Hillary Clinton's status as a member of the so-called "status quo" of the Washington, D.C. establishment. Her response?
A restrained, cheerful laugh.
"One hundred years after women getting the right to vote, and the first woman to be nominated by a major party is viewed as the status quo?" Sen. Stabenow told On Point host Tom Ashbrook. "It's like, 'Hello! This is change!'"
And her response to observers — like our own guest, Cook Political Report's Amy Walter — who think a woman who was lesser known would have a better chance at generating popular support in a national election?
Sen. Stabenow, a former county commissioner, state representative, state senator and U.S. Representative from central Michigan, has worked for decades trying to help other women achieve success in elected office. For every woman she's worked with, each one has needed to appear exceptionally over-qualified to be taken seriously.
"You have to be overqualified," Sen. Stabenow said. "I've been involved...helping to open doors for myself and other women, and in every case, every woman I know has had to be overqualified to be seen as serious. So the good news is we finally have somebody who's overqualified!"
Michigan, Sen. Stabenow's home state, was a surprise win for Sen. Bernie Sanders in the 2016 Democratic Presidential Primary.
Sen. Stabenow joined Walter, the Rothenberg & Gonzalez Political Report's Nathan Gonzalez and the Huffington Post's Howard Fineman in a lively political conversation from the Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia. Listen above to the whole conversation.
This segment aired on July 25, 2016.