During her nearly two terms as a U.S. senator, the median salary for women in Hillary Clinton's office was much less than the median salary for men.
As first reported by the Washington Free Beacon's Brent Scher, women in Clinton's office earned 72 cents to the dollar that men earned. That's even less than the oft-cited (and highly misleading) 77-cent figure for all working women in the United States.
The suggestion that Clinton was somehow discriminating against women is "a ridiculous proposition," says the presumed 2016 presidential candidate's spokesman Nick Merrill.
"A majority of her Senate staff were women," Merrill told the Washington Examiner in an e-mail. "Women held most of the senior-most positions — including her Chief of Staff. Four of the five highest paid positions in her office were held by women."
He added: "If the American workforce looked more like Senator Clinton's staff, we would be in far better shape on this issue, one that she's been a fierce advocate for throughout her entire career."
Clinton's chief of staff throughout her time as Senate was a woman — Tamera Stanton Luzzatto. And women did hold senor-level positions. At least three times throughout Clinton's tenure, she had a female legislative director. She also had multiple female communications directors, press secretaries, state directors and regional directors. Many of her close senior advisers were women, including Huma Abedin, the wife of disgraced former Rep. Anthony Weiner.
Merrill's explanation for Clinton's own wage gap strikes at the heart of problem with the wage gap in general. Even in this liberal female-led workplace that prides itself for putting women in top positions,it always ends up looking likewomen make far less, based onan analysisusing the exact same metrics used in the America Association of University Women study that is the source of the infamous wage gap myth.
For Clinton, the excuse for women making 72 cents on a man's dollar number was that, despite the lower median salary, women held high positions in the office. When the White House had its own wage gap problem, the explanation was that men held higher-paying positions than women, but that when men and women held the same jobs, they were paid the same.
But such explanations also help explain away the blanket statistic that women earn 77 cents to the dollar that men earn, since it doesn't take into account any of these possible explanations. And so even though the number is often used to claim women are discriminated against in the workplace, the reality is that the gap is almost entirely due to the different choices men and women tend to make about their careers.
So no, this doesn't prove that Clinton was a sexist employer. But it does show she is knowingly misleading everyone each time she cites the "wage gap" statistics to claim that women are not paid equally as if it were evidence of discrimination. If she wants to play that game, she's going to have to explain her own wage gap in the Senate. She's also going to have to explain how she can paint the wage gap in her own office as perfectly acceptable, but the wage gap at large as unacceptable.
She can't hide from that by making excuses for her own wage gap but trying to sell the idea that everyone else's wage gap is due to discrimination.