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Old 02-09-2011, 01:12 PM   #721
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Hillary is "shockingly beloved by everyone"? Could've fooled me.

Anyone will be more liked and appreciated once they "return to their rightful place." It happened for Nixon and Carter and Dubya and Hillary, and someday it will happen for Obama too.
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Old 02-09-2011, 01:32 PM   #722
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Hillary is "shockingly beloved by everyone"? Could've fooled me.
Totally agree with you.

As for Palin, I don't think that she can be king, but she can be the king-maker, if she stays in the race long enough and has enough troops to rally. And that in itself may be worth something to her since she has an elephantine ego.
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Old 02-09-2011, 01:56 PM   #723
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Hillary is "shockingly beloved by everyone"? Could've fooled me.

Anyone will be more liked and appreciated once they "return to their rightful place." It happened for Nixon and Carter and Dubya and Hillary, and someday it will happen for Obama too.


really? sure, it's a bit of hyperbole, but she's been given universal (nearly) kudos as Sec of State, and i think that when you compare that to her vilification in the mid-1990s and the haphazard outrage at everything she said or did, from health care to "i guess i could have stayed home and baked cookies ..." to even Obama's "likeable enough" dig at her, there's been a wild swing in her favorable ratings.

in mid-summer, 2010, Gallup had her at 61% favorability, and her unfavorability rating at 35%. compare that to her past, particularly given that she's hardly in her "rightful place" as Secretary of State, and it's remarkable.

scrolling down that page, it's true that her favorability fluctuates over time, from a low of under 40% in 1994 to a high of 67% in 1999, but for a highly visible politician, those are great numbers. in a direct comparison with Michelle Obama, Gallup notes:

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Despite their many differences, in terms of time as a public figure and roles held, Obama and Clinton are currently quite similarly liked by most demographic segments of the population. Obama in most cases holds a slight edge similar to that seen in the national average. Republicans give Obama a nine-point edge over Clinton (37% to 28%), while her ratings among independents (67% to 61%) and Democrats (91% to 88%) are closely matched.

Clinton's work as a politician in her own right makes her image more vulnerable than that of Obama, whose public career to date remains more tethered to her role as first lady. That said, Americans have 14 times named Clinton as their "Most Admired Woman," including in 2009, when she easily won more mentions than Obama.
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Old 02-09-2011, 02:00 PM   #724
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Maybe it's the contrast with some other women out there. I won't say anything more...
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Old 02-09-2011, 02:03 PM   #725
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WASHINGTON — President Barack Obama has finally done what millions of fellow Americans are still struggling to achieve – he's given up smoking.

"Yes, he has," his wife, Michelle, said Tuesday at the White House when asked whether he had conquered a nicotine habit that began as a teenager.

"It's been almost a year," she said, offering no details on exactly when or how he quit.

But is the breakup with tobacco final?

One in five adults, about 46 million people, still smoke, and brain research shows that nicotine is powerfully addictive. Three out of four smokers who try to kick the habit relapse within six months, and repeated attempts often are required to quit long term, according to the National Institute on Drug Abuse.

Obama, who has one of the world's most stressful jobs, has walked this tobacco road before. He announced in February 2008, during his presidential campaign, that he was quitting smoking – again.

"He's always wanted to stop," Mrs. Obama said Tuesday. She said he wants to be able to look daughters Malia, 12, and Sasha, 9, in the eye and deny that he smokes should they ask.
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Old 02-09-2011, 02:04 PM   #726
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Maybe it's the contrast with some other women out there. I won't say anything more...

i think the #2 most admired woman was the former half-term governor of Alaska.
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Old 02-09-2011, 03:11 PM   #727
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really? sure, it's a bit of hyperbole, but she's been given universal (nearly) kudos as Sec of State, and i think that when you compare that to her vilification in the mid-1990s and the haphazard outrage at everything she said or did, from health care to "i guess i could have stayed home and baked cookies ..." to even Obama's "likeable enough" dig at her, there's been a wild swing in her favorable ratings.

in mid-summer, 2010, Gallup had her at 61% favorability, and her unfavorability rating at 35%. compare that to her past, particularly given that she's hardly in her "rightful place" as Secretary of State, and it's remarkable.

scrolling down that page, it's true that her favorability fluctuates over time, from a low of under 40% in 1994 to a high of 67% in 1999, but for a highly visible politician, those are great numbers. in a direct comparison with Michelle Obama, Gallup notes:
Why is she not in her "rightful place" as SoS? Look where past ones were drawn from. Anyhow, keep in mind I do associate with more foreign policy progressives than the average person, and few of us are much pleased with this Administration's foreign policy, of which Hillary's style is symptomatic (all competence, no vision). My point was more that the 1990s outrage was strategic and calculated (not unlike what Obama's getting hit with now), and not a proportional response to her actual (numerous) shortcomings. Which, on the one hand, inevitably left a permanent taint--hence "divisiveness," before the campaign even started--yet on the other hand does soften with time and lowered profile, as these strategic caricatures always do. Unlike Sarah Palin, Hillary didn't have to invent boogeymen to demonstrate her pat-the-spunky-little-scrapper-gal-on-the-head bona fides against (not to say she never exploited that gag-inducing status, but there's a difference between capitalizing on it and frickin' fabricating it). And of course Michelle Obama evokes less resistence! She's cooperated wholly with expectations that a First Lady choose nice, uncontroversial, womanly causes to busy herself with (please note, that's NOT a comment on the general worthiness of those causes nor her competence in handling them), plus she's got that Jackie O natural elegance gestalt, which upgrades your man's dignity factor.

Ugh. Just thinking about this stuff makes me feel the need to take a fucking shower all over again. You're gonna see this calculated outrage cycle replay many many times during your life, BTW, and the more it happens, the more you'll find yourself looking at the apoplexies people going through it for the first time work themselves into, and just sighing resignedly. Different weapons, same shitstorm.
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Old 02-09-2011, 03:57 PM   #728
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Why is she not in her "rightful place" as SoS? Look where past ones were drawn from.

then i was confused by your post -- you had pointed to previous presidents and their post-White House improvement in their ratings, and i had assumed that their "rightful place" you meant that once they were out of the day-to-day trench warfare of politics, public perception is naturally going to soften. why, even Dubya has come out with several moderate-sounding comments of late, in regards to worrying about "nativism." the difference here being that Hillary is still very much in the trenches, and not at home writing her memoirs, and her approval ratings continue to grow. i don't think it's at all a stretch to say that she is much more liked by independents now than she was as a First Lady or a Senator, and i think the perception is, as you pointed out, the projection of competence (even at the expense of vision).



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My point was more that the 1990s outrage was strategic and calculated (not unlike what Obama's getting hit with now), and not a proportional response to her actual (numerous) shortcomings.

really? i thought much of the 1990s outrage was a cultural reaction to an uppity, resentful woman who represented the gains (or losses, depending) women made in the 1970s, and came as a huge contrast to Nancy Reagan and Barbara Bush (despite her traditional willingness to "stand by her man" like the ladies who came before certainly did). her lack of traditional softness and was something that Republican men found hugely emasculating about her, and i don't think any first lady then or since would have the "bitch" label thrown at her like Hillary (remember Newt Gingrich's mother and Connie Chung?)

so perhaps this cultural panic that i noted was, also, strategic, as a way to continue the cultural wars of the 1960s that still continue to this day, and one of the reasons why i was such a vocal Obama supporter is that i thought the first post-Baby Boomer would help us say goodbye to all that. so certainly painting the First (Feminist era) Lady as some type of break with past models as a "bitch" would have it's advantages as it helps to emphasize this pervasive cultural divide and motivate those who find this new female role model offensive to throw them out of office so that we could restore our National Greatness. but i really do think that there was something so visceral to the reaction of Hillary -- a one-worder, like Bono or Cher, or, should certain people have their way, Our Sarah -- that it had to be more than a Crystal City GOP think tank machination.


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Which, on the one hand, inevitably left a permanent taint--hence "divisiveness," before the campaign even started--yet on the other hand does soften with time and lowered profile, as these strategic caricatures always do.

or we're simply more comfortable now with powerful women, and they're much less emasculating than they were perceived to be 20+ years ago.

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Unlike Sarah Palin, Hillary didn't have to invent boogeymen to demonstrate her pat-the-spunky-little-scrapper-gal-on-the-head bona fides against (not to say she never exploited that gag-inducing status, but there's a difference between capitalizing on it and frickin' fabricating it).

and she did shed a tear in NH about 2 years ago exactly, and talked about how difficult it was to eat healthy on the road when it was so easy to eat pizza. so that's pretty everywoman.



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And of course Michelle Obama evokes less resistence! She's cooperated wholly with expectations that a First Lady choose nice, uncontroversial, womanly causes to busy herself with (please note, that's NOT a comment on the general worthiness of those causes nor her competence in handling them), plus she's got that Jackie O natural elegance gestalt, which upgrades your man's dignity factor.

and i think the point of the Gallup write up was that you'd expect there to be greater distance between lovely, inoffensive Michelle and scrappy, SecState Hillary, but there wasn't. and that's striking, and indicative that Hillary has made serious gains in her general approval with the American public at large.

she also seems much more comfortable, to me, being in power rather than seated right next to it.
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Old 02-09-2011, 04:48 PM   #729
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There's nothing wrong with his style. It's meant to be less an "interview" and more a conversation, and Obama fully knows that.
quite frankly, if i were having a conversation like that with a friend i'd walk away when they kept trying to score points without letting me respond.
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Old 02-09-2011, 05:04 PM   #730
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6:40 is exactly what I'm talking about, and I'm glad Obama caught him trying to do it and stopped him. He also did it around 2:30 and Obama let it go.
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Old 02-09-2011, 05:35 PM   #731
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then i was confused by your post -- you had pointed to previous presidents and their post-White House improvement in their ratings, and i had assumed that their "rightful place" you meant that once they were out of the day-to-day trench warfare of politics, public perception is naturally going to soften. why, even Dubya has come out with several moderate-sounding comments of late, in regards to worrying about "nativism." the difference here being that Hillary is still very much in the trenches, and not at home writing her memoirs, and her approval ratings continue to grow.
Yes, in some ways her position is unprecedented compared to others I named--she's still in politics--but with a much lower profile (the SoS is largely invisible to the average person), and in a position where she's presumed to be dutifully supporting the Chief, not angling to be one.
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so perhaps this cultural panic that i noted was, also, strategic, as a way to continue the cultural wars of the 1960s that still continue to this day, and one of the reasons why i was such a vocal Obama supporter is that i thought the first post-Baby Boomer would help us say goodbye to all that. so certainly painting the First (Feminist era) Lady as some type of break with past models as a "bitch" would have it's advantages as it helps to emphasize this pervasive cultural divide and motivate those who find this new female role model offensive to throw them out of office so that we could restore our National Greatness. but i really do think that there was something so visceral to the reaction of Hillary -- a one-worder, like Bono or Cher, or, should certain people have their way, Our Sarah -- that it had to be more than a Crystal City GOP think tank machination.
Sure, it's visceral, but it's not like our only options are Pulled out of Crystal City's ass vs. Raw, blind subconscious rage. When people solemnly and with a straight face declare that Obama is a Muslim who pals around with terrorists, or compare him to Hitler, that's not visceral, there's no longstanding association in our culture of black people with fascism or fundamentalist zealotry that they're unexaminedly spitting out. When I managed a bookstore in grad school and we were selling piles (at one point) of this whackjob book declaring Hillary meant to use the Rio summit to propagate goddess worship and lesbianism, or when I was standing at a Greyhound station in Memphis in 1994 listening to a group of rednecks trade testimonies about how Bill and Hillary were swingers and they personally knew people who'd fucked both of them, that wasn't visceral either, they were getting that stuff from somewhere.

Do you think that Obama's term thus far has seen us "saying goodbye to all that?" Because I'm sure not seeing it. Nor did I expect to. I did hope he would benefit more from his blank slate than he has, but I'm not shocked he hasn't. Times have changed, it's true, and they'll continue to, but it's a slow process, and moments like the Civil Rights movement or the women's movement don't remake the world so totally that everyone born after them is free of the old hangups; it's more that a certain segment of those was successfully called out by name, tackled and contained, but that still leaves a lot of the old structure standing, a lot of things that haven't actually been reckoned with yet.
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and she did shed a tear in NH about 2 years ago exactly, and talked about how difficult it was to eat healthy on the road when it was so easy to eat pizza. so that's pretty everywoman.
Hmmm, well that was funny, but I'm not quite sure what you're getting at. She got better at playing Everywoman? Or she was too Everywoman for your liking? Or she had only herself to blame if people thought she was incapable of emotion and a fondness for pepperoni...?
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Old 02-10-2011, 05:41 AM   #732
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i do think it's pretty clear that Palin is in this for the money, and that she wants to be some sort of Red State Oprah, but perhaps the best media strategy of all is to get into the primaries so the boys can be mean to her, she loses but gains piles of sympathy and creates the same kind of bond that we saw with women and Hillary -- who now is kind of shockingly beloved by everyone, when she was incredibly polarizing through the 1990s and bitterly hated by the right wing -- thus making her brand ever stronger.

the issue would be if she won the primaries. that would be scary, but she'd have to know that she'd be crushed by Obama -- she's losing to him in, like, Kansas right now -- so maybe she does try to go all the way knowing that she won't ever win.

the mind boggles at what her long term strategy could be.
Yes, I was thinking about Brand Palin being the main, deciding factor.

She would obviously run if she was a clear frontrunner for the nomination. She’s not.

And I don’t think she’ll run if it looks like she’s a likely possibility for 2nd or 3rd place, risking months of doing the things she has thus far avoided – things like formulating and defending ideas and policies, or even just answering questions – while playing ‘the game’ to win, and coming up short. She needs to have it handed to her. If she has to compete, the risks are huge. She would have to move (a bit, a nudge or two) closer to the centre. The base won’t like that. She will have to compete properly, she won’t be able to duck everything as she can now. She’ll have to be articulate and intelligent, and come across as trustworthy in that office. That will be really, really tough. Probably impossible. Even her base might then take off the rose coloured glasses. And ‘coming up short’ or failing with no excuse other than her own poor showing, does not fit the narrative, destroys the brand.

Dodging 2012 all together doesn’t fit the narrative either. Her nutcase fanbase think she’s the Chosen One. They’re sure she’ll run, and sure she’ll win. They think she’s Ronald Reagan II, and they’re the same people who think he was Jesus Christ II. If she ducks it, she takes a hit. The momentum is seriously stalled, and the narrative shifts a bit because of that. The Presidency is off the table. She can play King-maker, but for the fanbase, the dream is dead.

But if she’s got absolutely no chance, there is a way she can enter the race, get nowhere, and re-energize that narrative. She basically runs in there as everything the Tea Party dream of. Brings the crazy by the bucketload. Goes in there representing perfect, extreme, far right stuff from healthcare to guns to immigration to foreign policy to Obama Is A Socialist Nazi Kenyan Muslim type stuff. She’ll get blasted out the other side in a heartbeat, but the narrative – The Establishment vs The Real American – probably only gets stronger. And thus, Brand Palin gets itself at least another four years of serious earnin’!
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Old 02-10-2011, 10:09 AM   #733
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And ‘coming up short’ or failing with no excuse other than her own poor showing, does not fit the narrative, destroys the brand.

i disagree, and this is what i was getting at earlier with my posts about Hillary.

coming in second is, arguably, what has made Hillary so popular these days. she certainly proved herself a superstar politician, she created an enormous bond especially with certain female voters (remember the PUMA's), and she has now found herself as one of the most visible, powerful women in the world, and has high approval ratings to boost. she's loved in a way, now, that she never would have been had she won. i don't think Hillary was ever running to come in second and win our hearts and minds, but that's what's happened.

it sounds awful to say it, but many female politicians are at their most compelling when they are perceived to be under attack by "the boys" -- note how she spends her days trolling for the latest attack and she fires one right back (she just called Santorum a "knuckle-dragging Neanderthal") so she can be the plucky little lady who may not have won because we're still too sexist as a society but gosh we sure do love her. *that* is her brand, imho, and running in order to come in second is precisely what will grow her brand as the nominee who will get to play king maker. so she gets all the trappings (and $$$) of power, without any of the responsibility.

and, quite honestly, i don't think she's quite as deranged as, say, Michelle Bachman, who probably would lead a third party insurrectionist movement against the GOP nominee should they not be sufficiently Tea Party enough.
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Old 02-10-2011, 10:14 AM   #734
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Hmmm, well that was funny, but I'm not quite sure what you're getting at. She got better at playing Everywoman? Or she was too Everywoman for your liking? Or she had only herself to blame if people thought she was incapable of emotion and a fondness for pepperoni...?


i think it was a moment of calculated honesty -- and it was one that people like, say, my mother really responded to. because for women who came of age in the 1960s and 1970s, they had to deal with a workplace sexism that's almost unimaginable today, so there is a latent but still powerful reflex to run to the defense of a woman who is perceived as being picked on by the boys. remember the PUMA's? do you think if Obama had beaten a male candidate for the nomination there would have been such worries about Party Unity (My Ass)?
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Old 02-10-2011, 04:19 PM   #735
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...i don't think Hillary was ever running to come in second and win our hearts and minds, but that's what's happened.

it sounds awful to say it, but many female politicians are at their most compelling when they are perceived to be under attack by "the boys" -- note how she spends her days trolling for the latest attack and she fires one right back (she just called Santorum a "knuckle-dragging Neanderthal") so she can be the plucky little lady who may not have won because we're still too sexist as a society but gosh we sure do love her. *that* is her brand, imho, and running in order to come in second is precisely what will grow her brand as the nominee who will get to play king maker.
I think Palin's 'victim card' tactics are a lot more multifaceted than you're giving her credit for here. Anyone running for president in this country needs an Every(wo)man schtick, a way of amplifying some recognizable signature feature of theirs--often a controversial one, whose import is ambiguous--into a larger-than-life, transcendent, symbolic persona capable of accommodating enough voters to make a difference at the ballot box. For Palin, it's--take the incredulous disdain at your lack of sophistication and pat platitudes, frame that in context of a broader attack on good old commonsense American values from a narcissistic, vengeful elite who don't respect our most fundamental social institutions, then bond with your audience through that shared sense of grievance. For Obama--take the wary uncertainty towards an aloof, professorial black man with an urban activist background, and counter it with soaring, preacherly "We" rhetoric that simultaneously anchors you in a familiar black archetype whose patriotism is trusted, while as a bonus also appealing to youth and independents who dislike open partisanship and want to see themselves as thinking outside the box. For Hillary--take the uneasiness evoked by a stiff, unanimated, yet high-achieving woman (is she a frigid, backstabbing bitch like they say??) and recast it as, I'm not some flash-in-the-pan pretty face or rockstar; I'm a no-nonsense, roll-up-my-sleeves working gal just like you.

We could argue 'til the cows come home in here about whose schtick is the phoniest, but at a minimum all three are vacuous bullshit insofar as you know damn well that once s/he's in office, s/he's of course going to pursue a fairly specific agenda aided by fairly like-minded staff handpicked for that reason, and not actually sit around emanating horse sense, transcendent universality, or can-do pluckiness 9-5 for our aesthetic completion. ALL presidential campaigns involve a considerable amount of cannily transforming an adversity into an asset in this way. I'm not sure what in our culture a woman who could credibly pull off the (rhetorically) all-inclusive "We" trick would even look like. An Ann Richards type, maybe? ...pinches your cheeks and bakes you cookies, but also cracks salty jokes with the best of them and you know just how hard she'll whup your ass if you step too far out of line...?

And I'll back Palin up on calling Santorum a knuckle-dragging Neanderthal, frankly (though I have my doubts as to whether she came up with the phrase). And I can already hear you interjecting that it's the height of hypocrisy for her to say that , which I agree undermines it considerably, but the sniveling runt deserved it. If he'd stuck to insinuating that she's only in it for the money I'd have agreed with him, but tacking on the textbook chauvinist dig that Mommy's hormonal ball'n'chain ties to the copious produce of her (ewww) girl parts compromises her ability to focus--never mind that he's a father of seven--that was beyond the pale, and he needed to be called on it.
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i think it was a moment of calculated honesty -- and it was one that people like, say, my mother really responded to. because for women who came of age in the 1960s and 1970s, they had to deal with a workplace sexism that's almost unimaginable today, so there is a latent but still powerful reflex to run to the defense of a woman who is perceived as being picked on by the boys. remember the PUMA's? do you think if Obama had beaten a male candidate for the nomination there would have been such worries about Party Unity (My Ass)?
You don't think the perception that Obama was being picked on by Hillary's campaign rallied undecided black voters to him in the Southern primaries? Have you forgotten all the Obama supporters who insisted they wouldn't vote at all if Hillary won? (I recall at least two individuals in here saying that.) Why does it irk you so much when women, particularly, exploit latent archetypes which are going to accrue to them anyway in order to build their base, when all candidates do that? Do you see it as particularly and inherently toxic in some way?
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Old 02-10-2011, 05:50 PM   #736
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You don't think the perception that Obama was being picked on by Hillary's campaign rallied undecided black voters to him in the Southern primaries? Have you forgotten all the Obama supporters who insisted they wouldn't vote at all if Hillary won? (I recall at least two individuals in here saying that.) Why does it irk you so much when women, particularly, exploit latent archetypes which are going to accrue to them anyway in order to build their base, when all candidates do that? Do you see it as particularly and inherently toxic in some way?


i'm thinking this conversation has lost the plot a bit, as all i said was that Hillary is now more loved than she has ever been because of her performance in the 2008 primaries, where she lost but proved herself as the first genuinely electable female candidate for the presidency. i'm not sure where that became debatable, but setting that aside, i can respond to the above.

i do, of course, think that all politicians use adversity to their advantage, and plucky-go-getter gals is another exploitable "type" that a female politician certainly could use to her advantage -- reminiscent of Peggy in Mad Men, i think -- and i think that this is so resonant precisely because of the experience of American women over the past 50-60 years or so. i genuinely *don't* recall anyone mainstream saying that they wouldn't vote for Obama if Hillary lost, nor do i think you would have ever seen the PUMA issue arise had Hillary won, perhaps because she would have absolutely selected Obama as her running mate but also because i don't think there was as visceral a bond between O and his die-hards in the way that there was between H-Bomb and her die-hards. even looking at race and gender, i think H was much more identifiably "female" than O was "black" (remember the "black enough" discussions?)

as for women exploiting their own latent archetypes ... it certainly does irk me when Palin does this, and she's certainly the most visible female politician aside from Hillary, but my issues with her on the basis of gender are unique to Plain because she puts her gender front-and-center in a way that Hillary does not and that Michelle Bachmann does not. you'll notice that i don't react to Bachmann on the basis of gender, just on the basis of being hypnotized/insane. Bachmann doesn't use her motherhood as the basis for her policy decisions. for Palin, however, her womb is the reason so many love her and would vote for her. her gender is far more front-and-center in the way that Obama's blackness ever was, and probably even more so than, say, McCain's (or Kerry's) service ever was. her whole appeal to the pro-life base (who had issues with McCain) was that she had a Down's baby. i mean, really, what on earth were her qualifications beyond that? that she's hot? that her family is big and photogenic? that Republican men get one glimpse of her sexy-librarian clothes and want to put their own semen into her womb? or was it, at the core, that she had a womb which she uses to justify everything while crying out for the media to leave what came from that womb alone?

so i think you're taking my objections to Palin and casting them further than i think is justified -- yes, i think Hillary works her femaleness to a degree and notions of sisterhood, especially when she looked like she was going down in the primaries. there is a "female card" that can be played, and is played, and were i said candidate, i'd do it too. i mean, obviously. make it seem like the mean boys are beating up on you or the older men are chomping cigars and making "iron my shirt" jokes when you leave the room. and if you're a Republican and dealing with men who can't understand women outside of daughter/sister/mother, answer every question with, "well, Tim, as a mother ..." it's more how women react to women doing such things that strikes me as very interesting, kind of bogus, and certainly unique from other aggrieved minority archetypes, and ultimately patronizing because it's women patronizing other women (... "oh dear, are the boys being mean, sweetie? let's have some strawberry ice cream"). female candidates get (from other women) the Oprah trademarked, holding-back-tears, head-nod reaction shots, silently mouthing "yes, yes ..." in a way that a black man, or an Asian man, or whomever, would never quite get on the basis of race. perhaps because it comes from other women, and 51% of the electorate are women, and only 13% and 3% (?) are black or Asian. and it's not more or less moral or calculating than anything else, it just seems much more obvious to me, and rather unique. a black candidate would do whatever possible to transcend his/her race (excepting majority black Congressional districts or local government), and gay people do everything they can do prove just how "normal" (i.e., just like you) we are (we want to get married! just like you!).

so, at the end of the day, what i'm saying, ultimately, is that identification with a candidate on the basis of gender is a much different, much more complex animal than identification on the basis of race. and working female adversity at the hands of the "mean Boys" gets a whole lot more traction, and is far more effective, than anyone who ever complained that Whitey's On The Moon.
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Old 02-10-2011, 05:57 PM   #737
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I think both of you are right here. I think Irvine's thoughts on Hilary's reception now vs. when she ran for president are spot on, as are yolland's thoughts on narratives, too, as well as your Obama point. I definitely think some of the stuff people lobbied at Obama when he ran helped him gain votes among certain groups of people, too.

I also think yolland's analysis of people presenting images for everyone to get behind also speaks to many Americans' simplistic voting rationale, too. Many people flocked to Hilary not necessarily because they actually thought she would make a good president, but because she was a woman and oh, my god, how cool would it be to have the first woman president?! Same with Obama and the "first black president" thing. Just like some men flocked to McCain because they couldn't stand the thought of a woman or a black person being president. And so on.

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it sounds awful to say it, but many female politicians are at their most compelling when they are perceived to be under attack by "the boys" -- note how she spends her days trolling for the latest attack and she fires one right back (she just called Santorum a "knuckle-dragging Neanderthal") so she can be the plucky little lady who may not have won because we're still too sexist as a society but gosh we sure do love her.
Sadly, this does seem to be true quite often. And quite frankly, I get really irritated with it. Do the media and male politicians tend to assume/ask things of women in politics they'd never think to ask men? Yes. For instance, Sarah runs, it's "Well, how's she going to take care of the children if she's working?" 'Cause, you know, it's not like she doesn't have ANYONE else around to help out, not like there's a husband over there who could do it or anything. Men never get asked that question.

And of course there was the hubbub over how we pay more attention to what women wear-though, then again, we've been a bit scrutinizing of Obama's outfits, too, mainly in the sense that he doesn't look "presidential enough" sometimes, which could perhaps fall back to the stuff yolland was referring to with him and the way he's trying to present himself). If a man flexes his muscle, he's just being tough, if a woman does it, she's a bitch, or too aggressive, or something of that sort. I certainly don't argue that still occurs, and it is insanely stupid and sad that that mindset still prevails in this day and age.

But at the same time, I think it's just as insulting, if not more so, to expect everyone to treat women who are in politics with kid gloves and walk on eggshells around them for fear you'll upset and offend them or something. It's politics, people. It's dirty and corrupt and unfair and tough and I don't care who you are, you know that going in. We can't sit here and complain that there needs to be more equality only to turn around and then expect special treatment. When Biden and Palin were up in the vice-presidential debate they had, there were SO MANY moments Biden could've called her out on something. But he didn't, because he was advised not to lest he appear "mean" or come off as a "bully" towards a woman who could have become the next vice-president. Give me a break.

Of course there's intense pressure. Of course it's stressful. But how you deal with all that pressure and stress is a test as to how well you'd do in the job itself. That should apply to men and women alike.

Also, I apparently missed what exactly Santorum said about Sarah here, but I can't say I disagree with her comment about him. That description fits him pretty nicely.

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Old 02-10-2011, 08:53 PM   #738
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...perhaps because it comes from other women, and 51% of the electorate are women, and only 13% and 3% (?) are black or Asian.
Yes, absolutely that's part of it. Because it means that showing people how "normal" you are requires you to underline, circle and capitalize that you're a woman in the process of developing your "brand." You certainly won't reassure or inspire anyone by "acting like a man" (whatever they take that to mean...which inconveniently is a rather large spread of things). On the upside, when it comes to directly calling out attacks on you on that basis, you're only highlighting your difference from 49% of the electorate rather than 87% of it.
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i mean, really, what on earth were her qualifications beyond that?
That she's an effective attack dog, "a direct counterpoint to the liberal feminist agenda for America," as McCain gloated on FOX. That's her real attraction, not her uterus. A culture warrior's attack dog. She's used by them and she also uses them. Grrrly-grrrl power, it's why Paglia slobbers all over her.
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...it's more how women react to women doing such things that strikes me as very interesting, kind of bogus, and certainly unique from other aggrieved minority archetypes, and ultimately patronizing because it's women patronizing other women (... "oh dear, are the boys being mean, sweetie? let's have some strawberry ice cream"). female candidates get (from other women) the Oprah trademarked, holding-back-tears, head-nod reaction shots, silently mouthing "yes, yes ..." in a way that a black man, or an Asian man, or whomever, would never quite get on the basis of race.
OK, now this helps clarify where you're coming from for me. But maybe we'll have to agree to disagree here, because I'm still not seeing the uniqueness of it. Many if not most of my black friends absolutely do keep track of every snide insinuation, disproportional criticism and looneytunes conspiracy theory directed at Obama(s), and yes they are vocally protective towards him and broadly speaking more insistent than I am on fingering the probable racism bound up in many of those attacks. Which I completely understand, and I'd be the same way with a female or Jewish president. (Hillary was never my preferred candidate, by a long shot, but I can recall, for example, fantasizing at one point about seeing Chris Matthews pilloried and pelted with various rancid objects. Wouldn't have made me vote for her by itself, but if I'd been near or straddling the fence, sure, it might've had an effect.) Obama himself never calls out these attacks in such terms, granted; that's part of his stoic-dignity appeal (which is also an image, a distinctly manly one).



Apologies if I lost the plot...I'm not trying to stage an inquisition or anything here, it's just I've never quite understood what reads to me as your intensity of contempt for Hillary and (somewhat more understandably for me) Palin, and was puzzled by it.
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Old 02-11-2011, 08:06 AM   #739
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Congress just extended the Patriot Act. Thanks a lot, assholes, and that includes you, Obams.
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Old 02-11-2011, 08:14 AM   #740
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i think the #2 most admired woman was the former half-term governor of Alaska.
Well everyone is entitled to admire anyone they want. I admire Hillary-she's not perfect but who is? In my eyes she's a survivor, and she's very intelligent and competent. Personally I think she'd kill that former governor in any debate. I don't know either one of them personally so all I have to go on is perception as far as their personal qualities.

I do think all the criticism of Hillary's tears are laughable now, especially in light of Boehner. Where is all the talk that his crying is calculated? OK, maybe some people are saying that he might have some "issues". She shed a few tears, so what. Women politicians who cry=calculated. Male politicians who cry=just in touch with their feelings and isn't that refreshing? I don't get the whole obsession with crying anyway. What exactly is wrong with it? I like humans, not robots.
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