November 16, 2006

1. Who I thought I heard. 2. Who it really was. 3. What I think it means.

1. Roseanne Barr. 2. Hillary Clinton. 3. Hillary Clinton will not get have a tough time getting elected President.

When I got home from work today, I flicked on the TV, but I didn't look at it. The channel happened -- just happened -- to be C-Span. Hillary Clinton was giving a speech about the minimum wage, but I wasn't paying attention to what was being said. I was just hearing the voice, thinking it sounded familiar, and wondering who it was. I concluded it was Roseanne Barr and started to focus, waiting for the punchline. I glanced over at the screen and saw it was Hillary.

Oh, no! No, no, no!
How is that going to resonate with ordinary Americans? Personally, I like -- or have liked -- Roseanne, and I don't have a problem with women sounding like that. And maybe I shouldn't put myself in the place of other Americans and imagine their resistance to certain womanly types. I'm just offering up my observation for whatever it's worth. I can't see into the future, and I don't know who the first woman President will be. (I assume there will be one some day.)

I don't know what psychological barriers people will need to cross to accept a woman President. She has to be strong enough to overcome the doubts people will have that a woman won't be strong enough, and she has to have some undefined additional quality that makes it acceptable for her to be a woman and to be that strong.

Can the first woman to get at all close succeed in leaping the whole way? I'm not going to say she can't.

IN THE COMMENTS: Someone posts a link to this clip of Don Imus and Rush Limbaugh listening to and freaking out about Hillary's voice. I think there's a pretty simple solution. Hillary Clinton needs to be carefully miked so that her voice is plenty loud for the room without her trying to project as if she were not miked, and she needs to remember to speak in a microphone voice. Her problem is very similar to Howard Dean's disastrous scream: What might seem fine and even thrilling in a crowded, lively room sounds ugly on the recording. I realize that you've got to excite the people in the room and the recording will also be bad if the crowd is listless and unresponsive, but it's the recording that millions will hear, and anything awful will be replayed endlessly. In that clip, Hillary Clinton goes into what Don and Rush hear as an insane hag voice because she's trying to make sure that when she gets to the end of that line the crowd will burst into a great, roaring cheer. In person, she gets her crowd roar and feels successful, but she's generating audio clips that will be used to make people hate her.

87 comments:

SteveR said...

Her voice, especially when she gets going, is hard to take. Not a good reason not to vote for her (I have others) but I do believe it works against her.

Carson said...

I'm a man and there are plenty of women that I would vote for if they were running for President. In fact, I would vote for you. You seem to have integrity and I believe you could learn to be President as quickly as Hillary or Barack.
-Carson Sasser

Doyle said...

I agree. If she doesn't develop a slow Southern baritone, and quick, she's doomed.

reader_iam said...

How well does she play on a baseball field?

Joseph Hovsep said...

I'm not sure I follow. What about her voice is disturbing. I can see the annoying monotone midwestern thing in both of their voices, but I don't see what that has to do with Clinton's ability to win over voters. Rosanne, despite all her personal eccentricities, I think resonates with a lot of middle class people, the so-called NASCAR dads and security moms and such.

Revenant said...

Can the first woman to get at all close succeed in leaping the whole way?

I don't think a male Hillary could get elected either. She's got no charisma, little experience, and no significant accomplishments she can point to. Imagine Kerry without the military service and with only eight years in politics. That's the male Hillary.

Hillary could sell herself as the second coming of her husband, but I don't see it working (since nobody thought the good days of the 90s were Hillary's doing). She could sell herself as the antidote to 8 years of Bush, but so can the likely Republican candidates -- they're all either Washington outsiders (Giuliani, Romney, etc) or people famous for opposing Bush (McCain).

There's also the question of whether a Democrat from a liberal state can win the Presidency these days. That hasn't happened in nearly half a century, and Kennedy could at least credibly claim to be a war hero and anti-Communist hawk. To find a real blue-state liberal President you've got to go back to FDR.

Internet Ronin said...

For some strange reason, I'm prepared to bet Hillary Clinton could throw a fastball strike from the pitcher's mound at Yankees Stadium without a warm-up.

Clinton's voice is ok. Given that most of the campaign is done on the airwaves, adjustments in the sound booth can be made to make her sound "better" (whatever the focus groups say is better) in commercials, interviews, major speeches, etc.

If Brooks is right, and the Midwest is the real battleground for the next few elections, that would be greatly to her advantage as there is little doubt where her accent comes from, is there?

Christopher Althouse said...

Her voice is shrill and nasal, and she needs to work with a vocal coach if she ever wants to be President.

Derve said...

Yeah, but don't you think the segment of the population who vote on voice or looks/wardrobe is overemphasized by the NYT and such? Especially when times are tight (for lack of a better word) and people are looking around to see who can get the job done, not how pretty they look doing it.
-------
Rahm Emanuel.
The only reason I've seen lately for not counting Sen. Clinton out alreay.

RogerA said...

If the US can handled 12 years of Bush sytax (both father and son), a1000 days of Kennedy Massachusetts twang, and 4 years of LBJ texan, we can handle a Hillary accent.

Anonymous said...

Can she do a better job with the National Anthem?

Eli Blake said...

There's a better reason why Hillary Clinton won't be the next President. The people who dominate primary voting and even more so caucuses are grassroots activists. I am one. And yes, Republican activists do the same in their party.

Like most Democratic activists, I was very excited about Hillary getting elected to the Senate in 2000. But then she turned out to be quite conservative, especially since she was elected from a liberal state. Conservative on taxes, conservative on civil liberties, conservative on working issues-- but then, worst of all, conservative on Iraq. She not only voted the wrong way on the war (like about half of Democrats-- the President had many of us fooled), but has since continued to be way too hawkish on the war.

Then in 2004, I went to hear her speak at an event down in the valley (Phoenix, though in fact I think it might have been in Chandler). She was speaking to a roomful of Democrats, and in the middle of her speech she praised John McCain and said we should vote for his re-election to the Senate. Of course all our statewide candidates had been introduced before the keynote speaker and had a table in the front of the room. So Stu Starkey, who was running against McCain, was sitting about twenty feet from Hillary when she was praising John McCain. Now, I don't think that even Stu thought he had a prayer of winning (though he did fight the good fight that year right up until election day) but it was still discouraging to everyone in attendance to hear our featured 'guest' cutting the legs out from under one of our candidates.

I have not met very many activists in our party who are at all enthused about Hillary Clinton.

Oh, and those glowing comments about McCain? If she ends up running against him they may come back and bite her in the behind, so it was also stupid politically to do that. And you need more savvy than that if you are going to be elected President.

Derve said...

Don't most people see by now that it's the administration team we're electing? If HRC can sell her people as the freshest/most qualified, there doesn't seem to be too much credibly shaping up on the other side. McCain? Guiliani? I just don't see it. The first lost the nomination 8 years ago, and is on the downside of being all things to all people. The latter pulled out in a Senate race (yes, I know why) is too tainted, they say.

Best thing HRC can do now is hope people pound away at her personally in blog comments and on the air. It loses effectiveness over time and what will they have in two years, esp. if she sells that "new team concept" and the Republicans/Dem. old guard continue to fade.

If we're talking with folks like Syria over the next year or so, and Israel/Palestine is de-escalating and thinking ahead, HRC has a shot. Imho

Derve said...

Eli Blake: Who is her competition in the Dem. party? Realistically, I don't see many.

Doyle said...

If I could venture two possible legitimate opponents: Edwards and Gore.

Dave said...

"Conservative on taxes, conservative on civil liberties, conservative on working issues-- but then, worst of all, conservative on Iraq."

Huh? Where do you get those drugs because I want some?

If Slick Willie the Second is "conservative" then what the hell is someone like Santorum?

Oh, yeah, that's right. He's a fascist, not a conservative. Blake, my man, you need a sense of perspective if you are that addled to think that slick willie (either of 'em) is conservative.

Internet Ronin said...

I'm with you Derve: McCain has enjoyed a "free pass" because of his maverick status, which is beginning to disappear. There is a lot not to like in his record once it begins to receive close scrutiny instead of the pr gloss afforded him by the star-struck and agenda-laden, and he isn't a young up-and-comer these days but pushing the age envelope of electability. Absent another horrific terrorist incident in the next 18 months, I really do doubt that Giuliani can win a GOP primary, given the make-up of primary voters.

As eli says, Clinton needs to survive the primaries, too. Feingold would have solved her left-wing faction problem by taking their votes but going nowhere. I continue to believe that she needs someone running far to the left of her in order to succeed because her reasonably moderate Senate record is viewed by many (such as eli) as being conservative. A head-to-head with either Gore or Edwards would not be to her advantage, but a 3-way could.

altoids1306 said...

I think a good analogy would be, if a single, unmarried male ran for President, what barriers would he have to being elected?

Is there something about married fathers that makes us inherently trust them? Do fathers in stable marriages give exhibit certain behavioral cues? Do childhood memories of protective dads influence us at the ballot box?

If this is true, then women will not be president for a long time - we will have to wait for the majority of voters to have been born in 1970's or later, when the destruction of the nuclear family really began to accelerate.

Dave said...

What I can't figure out is why Germany has elected a woman as president, and America seems, at best, hesitant.

Even Pakistan had a lady prez!

Derve said...

Gore hasn't done much in the last 8 years to shed that loser label in mainstream opinion, from what I can see.

Edwards might be that candidate to the left of HRC who ironically could be viewed more as pretty lightweight.

If you're going to run on a fresh beginning or team approach, you probably don't want too much association with losing memories of the past. HRC has won, or held her own, these past 8 years, not lost. She's active, so there's a bit of momentum there. I suspect she would win at raising funds, and if she heeds her advisors more than the current president, it doesn't really have to be about her. There are a lot of promising names in the upcoming Dem party, and after 12 years, I suspect this new president will be a Boomer too. Now it's their world to shape/ war to win.

Derve said...

Dave--

Ireland too.

Derve said...

"...and after 12 years, I suspect this new president will be a Boomer too."

Actually, it'll be 16.
Damn.

Dave said...

I can see Ireland electing a woman. There is at least a part of Irish culture that venerates women. See all their folk songs, to wit, Dunmore Lassies.

Ron said...

If Streisand dumps Brolin, marries Prince Bandar of Saudia Arabia, and goes on her 'final tour...last stop The White House', we would totally mess up the minds of the entire Middle East!

Ron said...

What would make the Hillary/Roseanne comparison even worse, is if Bill started looking John Goodman again...or worse still, Tom Arnold!

Ron said...

If she doesn't develop a slow Southern baritone, and quick, she's doomed.

At that point, wouldn't it be easier to just put Gore in drag?

Revenant said...

What I can't figure out is why Germany has elected a woman as president, and America seems, at best, hesitant. Even Pakistan had a lady prez!

I don't think either country has ever had a female President. Germany has a female Chancellor, and Pakistan had a female Prime Minister, but in both nations the President has always been male. Both the Germany Chancellor and the Pakistani Prime Minister are elected by the legislature, not the people. The closest parallel in the modern American government is the Speaker of the House (who is, as of the next Congress, a woman).

It is doubtful that either Bhutto or Merkel could have actually won a nationwide election. Bhutto would have had to overcome the bigotry of the general population of Pakistan (rather than that of the more educated and enlightened representatives), and Merkel's party won only 35% of the popular vote in the last election.

Systems like ours generally encourage politicians to seek out the middle. Parliamentary systems encourage politicians to seek out a niche and then achieve power by cutting deals with the other winners. A weakness of our system is that even tiny bigotries can make it virtually impossible for the victim to win (e.g. if 5% of Democrats refuse to vote for any woman that works out to around a 2.5% penalty in the popular vote, which is huge). A weakness of the parliamentary system is that the people can much more easily wind up being ruled by ideological extremists.

downtownlad said...

It depends on her opponent. If she's running against Newt Gingrich or Romney, she would win in a heartbeat.

Gahrie said...

If I could venture two possible legitimate opponents: Edwards and Gore.

Oh man I can only wish! Through in Kerry, and we can make it pay per view and erase the national debt.

Maxine Weiss said...

This is totally Off-topic, but:

I just saw the Althouse "Photo Session" Vlog, and I've never laughed so hard in all my life.

My video player is sticking, so it pauses after every sentence, leaving me time to contemplate the brilliance.

Never seen anything more shallow or meaningless in all my life.

I liked the "Mike Douglas/Dreary Day" VLog, that's a little bit more substance.

But the "photo session", with Ann's 'formal' makeup...she did up her eyes?.....because this was going to he very hard-hitting?

The comments on that, on YouTube, are priceless.

The innocent bystanders, including the photographer, who are roped into that exercise are just lovin' it, aren't they?

Priceless.

Send that to Woody Allen. He's who'd get it, and understand, actually!

"This is how we do things around here".

"This is how we do it".

Sitcom worthy.

Ann, call your Agent!

Love, Maxine

Revenant said...

I can't picture Gore being allowed to run again after blowing the 2000 election as badly as he did. Plus, of course, he has pretty much the same Iraq War problem as Hillary.

paul a'barge said...

If she's running against Newt Gingrich or Romney...

Gingrich, absolutely. Romney, I wouldn't bet on it.

Please, universe, don't make it Hillary vs McCain. Aieeeee!

SGT Ted said...

Hillary is a controlling bitch. It comes thru in her voice in her unguarded moments.

Polling always shows she has more people against her than for her. Bob Geldoff pretty much nailed her when he said that ambition alone is not reason enough to be elected President.

Thats why she won't get elected if she manages to win the Dem primary.

Doyle said...

It was 69 degrees in New York today, and Gore didn't vote for the war.

Simon said...

If I were Hillary, I'd be wishing that my principle disability in seeking the Presidency were my gender. I think America is perfectly ready for a femake President - the question is, which one. Hillary is not it.


downtownlad said...
"It depends on her opponent. If she's running against Newt Gingrich or Romney, she would win in a heartbeat."

I would tend to think that Hillary is just about the only person that the Dems could put up in 2008 that Newt could beat in the present electoral college math, insofar as Hillary and Newt mutually annihilate each other's lightning rod status. What's your angle?

Revenant said...

It was 69 degrees in New York today

If that's a global warming reference, I'd like to point out that "don't you wish it was freezing?" isn't much of a campaign slogan. If the election was held in the middle of the summer and it was 105 degrees that'd be one thing. But you can't sell people on "global warming is a threat" by saying "look! the weather's nice, instead of cold and shitty!". That makes them think "huh, this global warming stuff kind of rules".

and Gore didn't vote for the war

Or do anything else of consequence for the last six years. But he did give lots of embarassing speeches about the necessity of getting rid of Hussein and dealing with those WMDs, and the left isn't likely to forget it when offered alternatives who were against the whole thing from the beginning. Plus, unlike most Democrats Gore can't claim to have been tricked by Bush -- he said, at the time, that he personally knew from his time as VP that Hussein was a threat.

Anonymous said...

Never seen anything more shallow or meaningless in all my life. Except the actual post where you go totally off-topic just to criticize the host. Nice, Maxine. Very classy. It didn't make you look obsessed at all.

Internet Ronin said...

As to Senator Clinton's electability, yes, her negatives are high, but all she has to get is 270 electoral votes. The question I have for the Democrats here is, if Hillary Clinton gets the nomination and Mitt Romney is the GOP nominee, do you:

A) Vote for Clinton
B) Vote for Romney
C) Vote for someone else
D) Stay home and not vote

Just wondering...

Internet Ronin said...

Linus: Well said. (I wasn't sure if it was meant to be funny or cruel. In either event, it was unsuccessful.)

Zeb Quinn said...

I can't see into the future, and I don't know who the first woman President will be. (I assume there will be one some day.)

Been there, done that. Her name was Jimmy Carter.

Anonymous said...

would you be willing to trade spots on each others blogrolls? i can guarantee that over the next few weeks, my traffic will triple.

downtownlad said...

Hillary won upstate New York. Underestimate her at your peril.

Goatwhacker said...

I can see Ireland electing a woman. There is at least a part of Irish culture that venerates women. See all their folk songs, to wit, Dunmore Lassies.

Dave, you need to check out more titles than that. Have you forgotten Hag at the Churn and I Buried My Wife and Danced on Top of Her? Then there are songs like Cod Liver Oil and There Was an Old Woman From Wexford which involve Irishmen doing away with their wives.

Sorry for the thread hijacking but I love Irish music.

AlaskaJack said...

I think the "undefined quality" that a woman must possess in order to appeal to enough men to win a presidential election is, for want of a better term, "feminine warmth". This is a necessary condition though not a sufficient one. Condi Rice has it; Hillary does not.

I suspect that in Hillary's case many men suspect that her lack of this quality combined with her brittleness signifies a superficial strength that will quickly vanish in a real crisis.

I would also argue that men, in general, are able to percieve this quality (or the lack or it) in a woman more easily than are other women.

On this very subject, Alaska has just elected its first woman governor in a landslide, a republican conservative. She has this quality (in addition to others). Interestingly enough though, many women up here (mostly of a liberal bent) could not understand how any man could find her to be an attractive candidate. These women appeared to be oblivious to the very quality that many men found appealing about her.

Eli Blake said...

Derve and Doyle:

There are plenty of Democrats who are very legitimate contenders to bump her off in the primary. I'm betting on Bill Richardson myself, though I wouldn't bet the house on it. Tom Vilsack could be a dark horse as well, and obviously will do well in the Iowa caucus.

I love it when Republicans try to tell us who we are going to nominate. Even more so when the only candidates they can name are retreads from old campaigns.

Anonymous said...

We`ve got a woman president in the white house already.

Sorry, could`nt resist.

Anonymous said...

I do not know about Romney much, except that the's a gov on the wrong coast, but what I do know makes him look pretty awesome. If we can't have Arnie for president, Mitt might just work.

Johnny Nucleo said...

Bill Richardson? Tom Vilsack? Those guys are pussies! You really have no idea who you are dealing with, do you Eli Blake?

The gentle-lady from New York will easily overcome her vocal handicap.

How is this possible? Super-discipline and intensive training.

Tom Cruise did it. Watch an early Tom Cruise picture. His voice is very high, like a girly-man. Tom Cruise did not like that. So, using his legendary super-discipline, he engaged in intensive voice training. Now he sounds like a manly-man!

DBrooks said...

It would be very foolish to underestimate Mrs. Clinton. If the absolute empty suit that is John Kerry could get as close as he did to the White House, anyone who thinks HRC couldn't jump the last hurdle under the right circumstances is being intellectually dishonest. That being said, I think Rudy Giuliani will be the next President in a comfortable electoral victory. He probably beats HRC in New Jersey, Ohio, and Florida, and he might beat her in Pennsylvania, New York, Wisconsin, and Minnesota. I keep reading how Rudy can't win the Republican nomination, and how he won't do well in the South. Those who are saying either of those things either aren't paying attention, or have fundamental misunderstandings about national politics. Giuliani has quietly built a strong relationship with state party reps and candidates, and his polling numbers in the South are incredibly strong. You don't read or hear much about it because 1-it doesn't mean that much yet, and 2-the Hillary machine inside the Beltway, and in media circles worries about a Giuliani candidacy, and hopes to prevent it. Good luck--he will be a very formidable candidate who attracts voters from all sides of the political spectrum.

Jake said...

It's the nasally "Chicagoland" accent that is so hard to take. "Bahb" instead of Bob (remember Kevin Kline in French Kiss?). "Dahllers" instead of dollars (why do Americans use the name of their currency instead of the word "money"?). It is the same unattractive accent that Bob Woodward has. You'd think with all the time those two had spent with upper middle class easterners, their vowels would be a bit longer by now.

reader_iam said...

Tom Vilsack could be a dark horse as well, and obviously will do well in the Iowa caucus. [Emphasis added.]

You sure?

He's a decent man, and my 1st-grader is on board since having met him a couple years back, but ...

but ....

but ....

I've got some hard-core Dems, and Iowa Dems, and active(-e, +ist) Iowa Dems, among my milieu who would, I am--sure, very much beg to differ.

But, really, who knows, right now? I don't.

reader_iam said...

Internet Ronin: My earliest comment (about four in) about Hillary's play on a ballfield was a tongue-in-cheek reference back to Ann's Roseanne reference. I was thinking of the crotch-grabbing incident.

Not that I can imagine Hillary doing that for real. In the strictly imaginary realm, however, it's pretty darn funny.

Revenant said...

If the absolute empty suit that is John Kerry could get as close as he did to the White House, anyone who thinks HRC couldn't jump the last hurdle under the right circumstances is being intellectually dishonest

Um, how's Hillary less of an empty suit than Kerry is? Has she actually achieved something in life that I should know about?

john pearson said...

What two things do Kerry (and Edwards), Gore (and Lieberman), Dole (and Kemp), Dukakis (and Bentsen), Mondale, McGovern, Humphrey, and Goldwater have in common? All were presidential losers and all were US Senators.
In contrast, Bush (twice), Clinton (twice), Reagan (twice), and Carter were governors AND southerners (maybe Reagan doesn't qualify as a Southerner). Bush Sr., and Ford (unelected) were House members.
You need to go back to 1972 to find a US Senator elected president, and Nixon only served two years- two decades before assuming the presidency.
The moral?
1. You can't win without the South.
2. Senators face the handicap of defending their votes (ala Iraq) in highly visible debates.
3. Governors are able to run like mini-presidents on policy achievements (ala Bush's No Child Left Behind initiative in Texas).
Other pluses: it helps to be tall, white, male, and have good hair. There are very few exceptions to these rules. But...rules are made to be broken, right?

dave said...

the problem with hillary's voice is the tone, not the accent. she should really work on it if she wants to be elected president.

and revenant, you're just wrong about al gore having an "iraq problem." he was an outspoken opponent of the iraq war from the moment the administration started talking it up post-9/11. here's a speech from 9/23/02 opposing the doctrine of preemptive war, opposing the iraq war resolution, and ruefully wondering if the administration had any plans to secure the peace after the initial military victory. gore was correct in his judgement and his concerns were prescient.

"iraq and the war on terrorism" - al gore 9/23/02 commonwealth club

so al gore doesn't share hillary's problem with the iraq war, since he's been against it from the beginning, didn't have to vote on it, and would've voted "no" anyway. i'd like to see these "embarrassing speeches" you're referring to.

Cedarford said...

There are people with attractive, mesmerizing voices that attract listeners no matter what they are saying - Reagan, MLK, FDR, Larry King, Hitler (the original great orator of the mass media age), Obama. And there are those that no matter what the merits of what they are saying - grate on listeners. Hillary has a shrill voice which she goes monotone on, then rises and gets nasal and strident when she thinks she reaches some Important Point That the Stupidest Democrats in the Base Shouldn't Miss.

Awful. Awful.

(And to be fair, Bush II has the same or worse irritating overemphasis on Important Points, talk--ing---slower and adds his trademark giggle, smirk, and head-bobbing)

******************

Pastor_Jeff said...
Can she do a better job with the National Anthem?


Nobody except Whitney Houston in her pre-drug phase has any right to sing the unsingable. No one, even Whitney should HAVE to sing the awful Anthem. (It's not just unsingable, it is a rip-off of a British drinking song, 100% pure militaristic, commemorates a non-battle in which 4 Americans were killed no Brits, and the Fort played no part in the decision of the Brits to move on.)

Even the song's central image of "rocket's red glare and bombs bursting in air gave proof through the night that Our Flag was still there"is a lie or artistic license. Probably both when you consider Key was both a lawyer who knew "gave proof" as a euphemism and an aspiring, besotted poet.

The Forts defenders had hauled the flag down for the night but left a small storm pennant up. The British themselves saw no flag or pennant - they were having difficulty seeing the Fort itself in the storm.

We've lived with that ode to war and attendent Flag veneration as symbolic of America since 1930.

75 years too long.

Time for a replacement Anthem. "America the Beautiful, This Land Is Your Land" are mentioned. "God Bless America" out for obvious reasons. "My Country Tis of THee" is like the Star Spangled Banner - a ripoff - but more than that, a cheeky ripoff of the UK and Commonwealth Anthem "God Save the King (Queen)". [Yeah, that song has "God" in it, but it was before lawyers had the ACLU and activist judges holding power over the Masses.] Maybe a new tune contest for a whole new replacement song open to all..run by Simon Cowell with Ollie North watching what he does so he doesn't pull a sneaky British trick on us. It can even be bloody and jingoistic like the Red Anthem or La Marseillaise - just as long as a crowd, not just a few gifted Idols.. can carry it..

Something's gotta be done. Americans don't like to sit down and eat uneatable crap, we don't like to watch unwatchable crap proffered by the mass media. Why should we all be forced to rise by peer pressure and to mumble or be silent for unsingable crap foisted on us??

(Leave it for the military where it had it's cultural home for generations before 1930 and where Sousa composed it for the military brass bands designed to play it.)

Bruce Hayden said...

Well, my vote is for Romney. He has good hair, and was a governor of one of the most bluest of states, where he did some interesting stuff. He also talks well, has a good sense of humor, and is very smart (both a Harvard MBA and JD). If the midwest is going to be the battleground, he was raised in Mich., where his father was the governor. Right now, he is doing the most important thing he could do for a good run - wooing the religious right, and doing it fairly successfully by all indications.

And I think that the one person who he could really do well against is Hillary. Why? One thing is that he would (IMHO) trounce her in the debates. He is probably smarter, has a lot more charisma, sounds a lot better, has a much better sense of humor, and is much better looking.

rhhardin said...

The famous Hillary screech critiqued by Imus and by Rush Limbaugh http://rhhardin.home.mindspring.com/imuscut.hillaryrush.ram

Anne Carson (_Glass, Irony and God_ ``The Gender of Sound'') ``Very few women in public life do not worry that their voices are too high or too light or too shrill to command respect. Margaret Thatcher trained for years with a vocal coach to make her voice sound more like those of the other Honourable Members and still earned the nickname ``Attila The Hen.'' p.120

Carson has her own theory of what it all means ; my own is that women nag and it has the same sound whenever their voices are raised. Time to go outside and mow the yard or something until whatever it is this time blows over.

Nagging in turn is a specialization of sending men on quests, to test them ; the usual followup is to show them that you're satisfied with them from time to time. If this step is eliminated, you get nagging.

Which is probably the association that kills women in public life.

Both Imus and Limbaugh spontaneously respond to Hillary with nagged-husband references.

Christy said...

Some voices I do find unbearable; Hillary's isn't one. Didn't Lauren Bacall famously sit in her car and practice talking as low as she could to get that fabulous voice she has? Early Princess Di had an awful, high, hard voice when speaking publicly IIRC.

I was a big Hillary fan up until the "vast right-wing conspiracy" moment. I've only seen her as paranoid since. Truly, she reminds me of no one so much as Nixon. Smart, untrusting, paranoid. Not sure that won't make for an okay president, but it may be painful to watch.

cokaygne said...

There's not much there in the potential Democratic field. Although I'm a Democrat, I really like Condi Rice and Giuliani; but the Republican base now is a bunch of bible-thumping, rednecked yahoos. I don't know how Rudi or Condi would ever get past those whackos in a primary. I would enthusiastically support Hillary against any other GOP candidate. It starts with the "conservative" voting record that Eli Blake dislikes so much. The best part of all is that Bill Clinton would be in the White House again. What's not to like about that?

Anonymous said...

Yes, I am a sexist. I do not believe there is a woman in this country that is electable to the Presidency.

Her voice, her personality and her husband to me seem to be all negatives.

For those of us who served under President Clinton, I dont have the space to get into detail but it was not a very happy time.

True or not the Democractic party needs to somehow do away with the impression that they are 1. distrustfull of the Armed forces 2. think that all the men/women serving are stupid and 3. acknowledge that yes the world is indeed a scary place and you need to do things that your average person finds distasteful so that we can be free.

bearbee said...

What I can't figure out is why Germany has elected a woman as president, and America seems, at best, hesitant.

Israel, India, England, Ireland, Phillapines, New Zealand , etc. and most recent Liberia
Current List
Since 1900

I would vote for a Golda Meir type in a heartbeat......basic, down to earth, fierce, tough...

knoxgirl said...

When I've seen Hillary interviewed, I have no problem with her voice. But when she's giving any sort of speech, even if she's saying something positive, she has this way of yelling that sounds like a drill sergeant* or something.

*no offense drill sgt!

Zeb Quinn said...

I'm betting on Bill Richardson myself

Which one are you betting on? The one that was drafted in the major league baseball draft or the one who admitted that was a lie he told everyone for 40 years? Richardson has one thing going for him: he's truth-challenged, and judging by the last three Democrat presidential nominees, that's part of the job description there.

Derve said...

Maybe this country needs a drill sgt. right about now?

Folksy sayings are cute,
in a Will Rogers-ish way, but many seem to be tiring of aw-shucks presidential charm with little to back it up.

bearbee said...

I would vote for a Golda Meir type in a heartbeat......basic, down to earth, fierce, tough...

And SMART!

Freeman Hunt said...

Carson has her own theory of what it all means ; my own is that women nag and it has the same sound whenever their voices are raised.

I don't know that I believe all women nag, but now that you mention it, that is definitely the vibe I get from her voice. I hate nagging. I hate overhearing it. Hearing Hillary has the same feel.

Nothing a good voice coach couldn't help with though.

(But I'd rather she wasn't elected, so here's to hoping that she nixes the coach and keeps nagging.)

Anonymous said...

I've spent countless hours engaged in conference calls to develop broadband products for an huge, national footprint telecomm, involving 20 to 30 persons over the length of a call. Interestingly enough, most leadership input was from women while men typically upheld engineering aspects of product development.

A principle observation was that women who had a business control over their voices were more accepted and therefore more successful than women with no control, i.e., from a weak debutante voice to a shrieking nag.

Personally, I prefer that Clinton keep the voice. Maybe she and Rosanne can create a political comedy show to follow the nightly news.

Jim said...

Those of you who rag on the Chicago accent need to know that if you were to teach English overseas, you would soon find out that, except for those students who want to learn to speak like a Brit, foreigners favor the Chicago (Midwestern) accent over all others.

So do Americans. That's why Dan Rather and Jimmy Carter had to take speech lessons.

TombZ said...

Fingernails on a chalkboard.

Proud Marine Dad said...

Its not the voice that is uncomfortable, its the message and the strident tone.

MadisonMan said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
MadisonMan said...

I would vote for a Golda Meir type in a heartbeat......basic, down to earth, fierce, tough...

And a midwesterner -- just like HRC.

Hey said...

cokaygne et al: I've seen these comments from the left and the right as to how Rudy just can't resonate with the base. He's got issues, too many divorces, lived with a gay couple after his divorce, etc. Then with Condi there's the obvious "problem".

The only problem with these analyses is that they don't match reality. The Southern Base LOOOVES Rudy, and they start speaking in tongues when Condi gets on stage. She tells the story of her Dad defending the neighbourhood from the Klan with the power of 10 "From my Cold! Dead! Hands!". Rudy is a financial machine, on par with the First Lady in fundraising ability, and has huge chits everywhere. He hasn't established quite as much of an organization as McCain and Romney, but he's got an in.

I don't think Condi will go for the nomination this time, as she still has a job to do and there is Bush fatigue (her organisation would be the Bush family's, with Laura being a prime mover). She's a credible VP candidate as well as a candidate for governor in California, Colorado, and Alabama. A Rudy-Condi ticket provides Rudy with 2nd Amendment bonafides, shores up the values voters, and has great demographics.

Rudy is also winning every internet straw poll and has been winning real straw polls too. Of course we'll be hearing that Southern Evangelicals just won't support Rudy even on his inauguration day.

Monkeydarts said...

In the entire history of the US only two sitting US Senators have been elected President. What about 2008 would make anyone think those long odds would be reversed for Hillary or McCain?

Internet Ronin said...

Monkeydarts: One could argue that past performance is not an indicator of the future, but we aren't talking stocks, are we ;-)

Then again, a lot of people here are saying Giuliani could win in a landslide. How many presidents were nothing more than a mayor before their election? (IIRC, there aren't any governors of Iowa or New Mexico who went on to be President, either.)

Revenant said...

How many presidents were nothing more than a mayor before their election?

Well, we've had a number of Presidents who weren't even that. Lincoln, if I recall correctly, was never anything more than a state legislator and political activist before winning the Presidency. I see Rudy's position as closer to that of a victorious general (Eisenhower or Grant) than a mayor, though. He's credited with saving our most famous city, thought for decades to be beyond saving, and also viewed as something of a hero of 9/11.

JazzBass said...

I don't know what psychological barriers people will need to cross to accept a woman President. She has to be strong enough to overcome the doubts people will have that a woman won't be strong enough, and she has to have some undefined additional quality that makes it acceptable for her to be a woman and to be that strong.

People won't need to cross barriers if this woman has character. (and balls!) the appearance of substance, which politicians lack, precludes Clinton from the task. I would suggest a christian Southern woman who can shoot and drive fast with skill. While these traits might appear cliche to some, they are an indicator that big government socialist agendas won't be the focus. We need stewardship, not progressivism. The danger is that by pandering to the "gimme mine" crowd, we might actually slip upon the banana peel of national health.

Ann Althouse said...

About Giuliani only being a mayor... if NYC were a state, where on a list of the 51 states, ranked by population, would it appear?
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guess, then scroll down
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12th.

Mortimer Brezny said...

Wow, Guiliani has more experience than people give him credit for.

My problem with Hillary is that Susan Estrich supports her.

wv: myknurlc

Synova said...

"Although I'm a Democrat, I really like Condi Rice and Giuliani; but the Republican base now is a bunch of bible-thumping, rednecked yahoos."

And who told you that was true?

I know someone else said it, but Rudy plays great in the South to the conservative audience, and Condi is about as popular as can be.

The thing about Giulliani is that he's got no skelletons in his closests. (If he does have secrets they must be doozies, on the order of having committed murder or that he's really an alien from outer space.)

The thing about Condi is that "bible-thumping rednecked yahoos" simply aren't the racists they've been labeled.

The "thing" about the racist label and the "thing" about the homophobe label is that they have been defined for political purposes in such a way that people with no animosity or even prejudice to either racial minorities or homosexuals get hung with those labels.

It's not suprising that people who've been told that conservatives hate poor people, hate minorities, and hate gays, (and all those things because they oppose laws that are supposedly *for* those groups,) believe that what they've been told is true.

As one of the owners of the GayPatriot blog pointed out recently, conservatives might not be pro-gay as defined by the liberal gay lobby but they are definately anti-anti-gay. Actual homophobia simply does not play. I'd say the same is true about race. Conservatives oppose things like affirmative action which gets them labeled racist, but they've got no patience for actual racism.

People should be judged for themselves and not for what group they belong to. Simply believing that gets a person labeled as racist if they aren't careful.

The Exalted said...

at the end of a long day, i know i can always find astute and penetrating analysis here. hillary's voice is banal and unlikeable, omg!!

we should start talking about her breasts next -- has she ever posed with the Ravenous Molester In Chief with her breasts not totally obscured???

Synova said...

Why is it that people who complain about other people's failure to be invariably edifying never actually offer anything edifying themselves?

Internet Ronin said...

Synova: I was thinking that some men just can't control their obsession with breasts and feel the need to insert them into every conversation.

(Sort of like those who aren't getting any, and terrified that everyone knows they aren't, have this strange need to insert the f-word in inappropriate places just to prove they dimly remember what it means.)

YMMV, of course. ;-)

Revenant said...

Sort of like those who aren't getting any, and terrified that everyone knows they aren't, have this strange need to insert the f-word in inappropriate places just to prove they dimly remember what it means.

Boy -- David Mamet must not have gotten laid since the Carter administration.

Bill Woods said...

Nobody except Whitney Houston in her pre-drug phase has any right to sing the unsingable. No one, even Whitney should HAVE to sing the awful Anthem. (It's not just unsingable, it is a rip-off of a British drinking song,

"The Star-spangled Banner" is perfectly singable — you just have to pitch it right. The tune's history as a "drinking song" ought to prove that. It's just that professional singers like Houston use it to show off, and then other people realize they can't sing it like *that*, or try and fail.

hdhouse said...

Mortimer Brezny said...
Wow, Guiliani has more experience than people give him credit for.

My problem with Hillary is that Susan Estrich supports her.

wv: myknurlc

5:06 PM, November 17, 2006
Synova said...
"I know someone else said it, but Rudy plays great in the South to the conservative audience, and Condi is about as popular as can be.

The thing about Giulliani is that he's got no skelletons in his closests. (If he does have secrets they must be doozies, on the order of having committed murder or that he's really an alien from outer space."

Mortimer:

Please spend some time in NYC. He was getting beat like a rented mule by none other than Hillary when he dropped out of the Senate race...and is oft mentioned, he has that itsybitsy skeleton of a mistress, and a very public one, who he used to bring home while his wife and kid were in the house...

now rudy might be your cup of tea but if it were not for 9-11, he would be so yesterday's news as to make you cringe....

and who was his "business partner"? none other than bernard kerick...

end of story. end of rudy.