Clinton and Obama on the streets of Beijing

If China had a Democratic primary, which way would the Middle Kingdom go?

By Andrew Leonard
January 29, 2008 9:39PM (UTC)
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Anna Sophie Loewenberg is the fluent Mandarin-speaking on-air talent for "Sexy Beijing," an Indie Internet TV production that marries "Sex and the City" stylings to the Beijing streets. In the latest episode, Anna, whose Chinese name is Su Fei (which unfortunately also happens to be the name of a best-selling brand of Chinese feminine napkins), goes in search of advice on whom to vote for in the Democratic primary.

Not surprisingly, a picture of Hillary Clinton receives considerably more recognition on the chilly streets of China's capital city than does a photograph of Barack Obama. But even while most interview subjects identify her as "Bill Clinton's wife," several respondents decisively dismiss the idea that a woman can't be president.


"China has had an Empress, why can't the U.S. have a woman president?" says one woman.

Another explains why Su Fei should vote for Clinton.

"She's a woman. She's a bit gentler. You Americans like to go to war." And then he laughs for a long time.

Finally, one English-speaking young woman bucks the trend.


Su Fei asks:

"You're a woman, I'm a woman, Hillary's a woman. If it were you, would you support the first American woman to become President?"

She's a good choice," replies the Beijinger carefully. "But I think the first black man to be President of the United States is also a good choice."


Andrew Leonard

Andrew Leonard is a staff writer at Salon. On Twitter, @koxinga21.

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