Monday, February 11, 2008


Reinforcing an ugly stereotype? Who? Me, Mark Halperin?

Good grief.


Meanwhile, let's play "separated at birth":

Inside the campaign, [Michelle Obama has] been dubbed "the closer" because she often pushes harder to seal the deal with voters than [her husband] does.

--Monica Langley, "Michelle Obama Solidifies Her Role in the Election," from page 1 of today's Wall Street Journal

Aides learned that Hillary was "the closer": no decision was final until she had signed off on it.

--Sally Bedell Smith's Clinton-bashing book For Love of Politics: Bill and Hillary Clinton: The White House Years

Women! Doing jobs men are supposed to do!

Actually, the Journal article on Michelle Obama isn't bad at all -- it actually seems admiring. But I say that as someone who doesn't expect women to be zombified helpmeets like the current First Lady. Compare the wives of the three top GOP candidates this year: Do you have any empirical evidence that the wives of John McCain, Mitt Romney, and Mike Huckabee have larynxes? I don't -- I've seen each one of them standing stoically by her husband, sometimes flashing a chipper smile, but i've never heard any of them utter a word. If that's your idea of a First Lady, and if Barack Obama is on the ticket, it's clear that you're gradually going to be told that Michelle is Hillary II: It Lives Again.

On a conference call to prepare for a recent debate, Barack Obama brainstormed with his top advisers on the fine points of his positions. Michelle Obama had dialed in to listen, but finally couldn't stay silent any longer.

"Barack," she interjected, "Feel -- don't think!" Telling her husband his "over-thinking" during past debates had tripped him up with rival Hillary Clinton, she said: "Don't get caught in the weeds. Be visceral. Use your heart -- and your head."

The campaign veterans shut up. They knew that Mrs. Obama's opinion and advice mattered more to their candidate than anything they could say....

On the campaign trail, she has emerged as an influential adviser whom aides watch as a barometer for how both they and the candidate are doing. They watch for "the look" between her and Mr. Obama, on stage or in private moments, as an indication of his mood....

But sometimes her approach can backfire. When she told audiences that her husband is "snore-y and stinky" in the morning, doesn't put the butter back in the fridge and one morning "put on his clothes and left" while she juggled her own schedule to deal with an overflowing toilet, some voters and observers cringed that she was emasculating her husband.

...Her all-female staff works hard to protect her on the stump and she's protective of her aides as well. Last week when a TV reporter physically moved Mrs. Obama's press secretary out of his way, she stopped him cold: "Did you place your hand on my staff?" Mrs. Obama demanded. "You do not touch my team." ...

Oooh, she's capable of anger! Oooh, she gets her husband to do things he wouldn't have done otherwise -- and she doesn't use "feminine wiles," she actually tells him to do stuff. And he does it!

Unnatural she-demon!

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