March 30, 2007

Take your spouse to work day... for the next four years.

So Rudy Giuliani says to Barbara Walters:
Former New York mayor Rudolph W. Giuliani told ABC News's Barbara Walters that he would welcome his wife, Judith, at White House Cabinet meetings and other policy discussions if he were elected president next year.

"If she wanted to," Giuliani said in the "20/20" interview to be broadcast tonight. "If they were relevant to something that she was interested in. I mean that would be something that I'd be very, very comfortable with."

Giuliani, who is leading the Republican field in early polling, called his wife an important adviser to him. His wife, a nurse, said that she would probably play an important role in developing health-care policy in a Giuliani administration.
[ADDED: Richard Perez-Pena has more in the NYT.]

Why is it that behavior that would be embarrassing or insane in the private workplace -- bringing your spouse along -- is considered not just acceptable but laudable in a President?

You want Judith Giuliani doing national health care policy? She was a nurse, you know.

Let's all vote for the most uxorious man to be President. Absurd!

And, yeah, I know there's a woman in the race. That's a whole other issue. And not because it will be weird to have a "First Man."

("First Man" sounds like a cave man, doesn't it? Or, for religion fans, Adam.)

It will be overwhelmingly strange to have a former President back in the White House in the spousal capacity. Can we talk about that a little? I think it's quite odd that we're talking about how Judith Giuliani will be contributing to national policy, but we're not talking about what Bill Clinton will be doing. Why the big silence?

38 comments:

hdhouse said...

Your point(s) are well taken here except I am not so sure there has been silence on the First Man .... and shouldnt that be First Gentleman as in Lady/Gentleman or Woman/Man pairing.

I can't figure out why Rudy would go there as it points to his marriage issues, his now wife/x public mistress and the constant dredging up of the "two for the price of one" Clinton statements.

I actually really like the idea of Hillary. What about Bill is an issue that I hope she addresses. Her answer will be interesting but I hope it will be to the "no role" as, mark my words, Rudy's answer or statements will prove to be a mistake.

Bissage said...

Feh. It’d be far more impressive were he to promise to appoint his horse Consul to the Senate.

WV: “Incitatus.

MadisonMan said...

Paging Rosalyn Carter.

Timothy K. Morris said...

Better Judith Giuliani than Hiliary Clinton. In either role.

George said...

Wouldn't you love it...if one of the candidates...

when asked what role his wife would have...

in his administration would just say....

"Other than the ceremonial duties as First Lady, none whatsoever. Of course, if she'd like to have a, umm, pet cause like Lady Bird's beautify America project, that would be fine, but only so long she cleared it with me first. You're voting for me, not my wife, children, or pet goldfish. Next question..."

Bissage said...

I'd vote for George.

(But then I voted for Perot.)

Ron said...

No wonder they want to pull out of Iraq; if Hillary wins, we'd have to beef up the intern budget! Don't think of Hillary as a hawk; she's just trying to save her marriage!

Ron said...

"First Man" sounds Randian. Howard Roarke for President, anyone?

Richard Fagin said...

The Big Silence is intentional on the part of Clinton's supporters in the media. Any open discussion of having Bill in the White House would reopen all the discussion about his personal behavior, and that would jeopardize Hillary's election chances.

Shame on NOW (see last night's comparison to the Japanese Army) for "standing by their man" after he was credibly accused of rape.

Balfegor said...

I think it's quite odd that we're talking about how Judith Giuliani will be contributing to national policy, but we're not talking about what Bill Clinton will be doing. Why the big silence?

It's orders of magnitude less bizarre than the Rudi-Judith situation. Doesn't everyone assume he'll be functioning as a senior adviser, a kind of Dick Cheney to his wife? Unlike Judith Giuliani, he actually has some qualification to serve in that role, having been President himself for eight years, so it doesn't seem particularly untoward, any more than Bush II consulting Bush I occasionally does. I'm sure there's a lot to be spun out in the media about it, but I think it's already been done, no? People were talking about a "second Clinton Presidency," earlier, during Clinton's senatorial race, so it's not like the issue hasn't been pointed out.

That said, a good analogy to the Judith Giuliani situation is probably a combination of the way Clinton I apparently let his daughter sit in on cabinet meetings, and the way Clinton I let his wife formulate his failed healthcare policy initiative.

Cat said...

I agree. Can you imagine, "I'll take the board of directors job, but only if my wife has a board vote too." Ludicrous, people would say.

It's one thing to say in private, "honey, I saw what you said at that news conference and I think you're wrong." That's going to happen.

I'll have to see the interview to get the context, but hello, Rudy, remember HillaryCare? Big bomb-o! You know why Laura is so popular? She stays clear of things.

Too Many Jims said...

I find it surprising that Giuliani would make any sort of commitment to even having this woman around in 22 months.

Too Many Jims said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Doug said...

I saw this interview, though I was kind of groggy, but I felt very uncomfortable with how he explained what her role would be. I found his wife to be somewhat charming and they seem to have good chemistry. But I don't want someone's spouse roaming around doing whatever the hell they want in the Oval Office.

I thought Theresa Heinz was a disaster as a candidate's spouse, and I think Judith Gulliani will be a plus to his campaign.

Ben said...

How about First Guy, or First Dude?

Fen said...

Too Many Jims: I find it surprising that Giuliani would make any sort of commitment to even having this woman around in 22 months.

Zing! :)

Hey, if we elect Hillary, we get Elanor Roosevelt contributing to national policy again.

Jim said...

"You want Judith Giuliani doing national health care policy? She was a nurse, you know."

Are you channeling Hillary?

Hillary excluded all medical professionals from her botched 'health care task force', yet included plenty of lawyers.

Lawyers have their place, but in my book having real hands on experience in health care doesn't disqualify someone from contributing to health care policy.

Joe Baby said...

Even more so than his liberal beliefs, Judy Nathan is a problem for Rudy. She's practically kryptonite in her dinginess. America would perhaps allow for an odd first wife, but a third? No. Can't blame her on a "youthful indiscretion."

Wish I could find the link to the video where she introduces Rudy to the crowd at the fundraising event. Awful. Talking about how they met, how they flirted, etc. How he was so romantic. (And, um, married.)

Very surprised Rudy said this. Very surprised.

And come to think of it, America would more likely excuse a woman making a bad choice in matrimony (but staying married, cred to Hillary), then they would forgive a supposedly shrewd, savvy man striking out twice then picking a breathy dolt.

Fen said...

It will be overwhelmingly strange to have a former President back in the White House in the spousal capacity. Can we talk about that a little?

[If the Clinton's were Republican]

MSM: "Senator Clinton, if elected, what steps will you take to ensure your husband does not sexually assault the staff, as he did during his own term?"

amzbd said...

Fen:
I'm a big Bill Clinton fan, but your comment made me giggle.

And First Gentleman is the correct terminology, per all the states that have had women governors.

AllenS said...

How about First BJ?

Mickey said...

More about, why the hell would I vote for rudy here

I heard bill was running for hillary`s spot in case she wins.

Hey said...

If Hillary wins, the first they do is hide the interns!

Golf clap for Too Many Jims. Classic.

I have to bet that Leno, Conan, Letterman, and Craig Ferguson (the boss from Drew Carey, competes with Conan, he's really good) are doing all that they can to get Hillary! elected. Comedy gold. The jokes write themselves, as we're demonstrating here.

Ann Althouse said...

"First Gentleman" sounds ridiculous. I'll bet we find something better... whatever those states have done.

Revenant said...

we're not talking about what Bill Clinton will be doing. Why the big silence?

Personally, I don't speculate about what Bill will do as First Spouse because I think Hillary hasn't got a snowball's chance in hell of becoming President.

blake said...

First Dude.

Daryl Herbert said...

Why is it that behavior that would be embarrassing or insane in the private workplace -- bringing your spouse along -- is considered not just acceptable but laudable in a President?

Who finds it laudable? I can only see two groups of people who want to let women tag along with their husbands:

1: Women who don't have enough talent to achieve that kind of access on their own

2: Men who will be in a position to provide that perk and want to improve their marriage prospects

So what was Giuliani's motive in saying this? Is he appealing to the helpless women's vote? The women who still believe in some sort of anti-feminist "princess" fantasy whereby they meet a wonderful rich guy who sweeps them off their feet, commits romantically, and makes his wealth available?

Or was Giuliani advertising for a new wife?

Daryl Herbert said...

Personally, I don't speculate about what Bill will do as First Spouse because I think Hillary hasn't got a snowball's chance in hell of becoming President.

Hillary has a decent chance of winning the Democrat primary.

After that, she goes head-to-head with... McCain? Giuliani? Romney? These are not awesomely capable candidates. They don't have great conservative bona fides, they don't have great campaigning skills, and they don't command the kind of respect and adulation (yet, at least) that we'll need to get people to the polls.

I think under the right conditions Hillary could beat any of them. Especially if the war takes a turn for the worse and Dems can hide their glee from the public.

Freeman Hunt said...

No one (at least no one in a certain kind of marriage) doubts that a spouse can exert great influence on a person's work. That influence, however, is not generally thrown in others' faces and inserted into some sort of official capacity.

I prefer a maintenance of the pleasant fiction that spouses are not involved in a person's workplace decision making.

Revenant said...

Hillary has a decent chance of winning the Democrat primary. After that, she goes head-to-head with... McCain? Giuliani? Romney? These are not awesomely capable candidates.

First of all, Hillary herself is not a capable candidate. Bill was a great candidate. His wife is a lousy candidate with a lot of money behind her.

Secondly, setting aside the question of whether those three Republicans are capable candidates (I think all three are), none of those men has Hillary's big disadvantage -- namely the fact that she's widely hated by a lot of people and loved by basically nobody. McCain comes close, but the people who hate him pretty much hate Hillary more.

Finally, her political position sucks -- she's got a pro-war voting record, which eliminates the only real advantage the Democratic candidates have over Republicans. She's widely disliked by the left wing of the Democratic Party, has few accomplishments in office, and lacks the charisma of similarly unaccomplished senators like Obama and Edwards.

hdhouse said...

Well Revenant....then just trot out the band of thieves you have running on your far right wing and we will just roll over dead.

Frankly after (then if he survives) 8 years of President WooWoo, don't you think the GOP credibility issues is pretty much in the tank?

Oooops. think. oxymoron. me bad.

Finn Kristiansen said...

In a way I think it would be a hoot having Bill as "Adam" in the White House, chilling, head popping up behind Hillary's during interviews, beer in hand.

As for Hillary herself, I think some people dismiss her a bit too easily. Someone is funding her campaign, and voting for her by huge margins in NY state. She has the machine, the connections, and won't easily be dismissed by female or black voters. Further, the candidates she might face in the general election carry huge flaws of their own.

One could as easily dismiss Guiliani as Hillary, as neither is a perfect candidate for voters of the parties they represent.

Bob said...

The possibility of Bill wandering the halls of the White House, groping the female staff and otherwise disgracing himself again, is one of the reasons I'd never consider voting for Hillary. If she divorced him I'd at least consider it (and reject it a nanosecond later, but at least I'd consider it).

You're surprised about the silence? You shouldn't be. The MSM considers re-taking the WH by a Democrat far more important than reporting honestly on stories such as this.

hdhouse said...

Bob -

I play a little game when I read a thread. I go to my edit button and type MSM, which I gather you mean main stream media (I usually apply it in the context of the GOP's mindless stupid minions but then I don't use it in print), like in this one up you and Fen and your snarky ilk pop with regularlity.

So I wondered where a phrase like MSM came from as I've been in media/advertising for a couple decades and I don't use it, my friends don't use it, in fact no professional that I know uses it.

Isn't it interesting that it has a history of formation and usage that points to an alledged bias against the far right wing. Can you imagine, something of a left wing conspiracy.

Unfortunately, it has no meaning, no basis in fact, has no statistical foundation, and is generally used by morons who post the type of crap comment like Bob spit up just above "MSM considers re-taking the WH by a Democrat far more important than reporting honestly on stories..."

If 10 news reporters look at something, investigate it and report it with similar content it may be because they got it right. And instead of Rush, Sean, Savage, OReally? and the assorted felons populating right wing radio, they actually don't get their talking points faxed to them daily by Brent Bozell and friends.

Just wanted you to know that the use of the MSM brand is like putting a sign on your back at the office party saying "kick me, i'm an idiot".

cokaygne said...

Actually, one of the reasons to prefer Hillary is that electing her would put Bill Clinton back in the White House. Personally, he's a creep, but he put together a pretty good team and worked with the GOP opposition to enact some excellent policies such as welfare reform and NAFTA. Most people would prefer the 1993-2000 administration to the 2001-2008 administration. As president Hillary could use the Secret Service to ensure that Bill keeps his hands, and other appendages, to himself. As Secretary of State or UN ambassador Bill could win back some of our lost friends in the world.

Rudy wasn't married to his present wife when he cleaned up NYC. If he can find a way to show the public how he turned around the City from the basket case it was becoming into the world class metropolis it was on September 10, 2001 he's got a good shot. He did that in the face of bitter opposition from NYC's media, unions, and organized grievance-mongers. He's a fool to have brought up his present wife in this way.

Bob said...

hdhouse: I, too, play a game when I read a post. I look to see how many epithets and descriptives such as mindless stupid minions, you and Fen and your snarky ilk, etc., appear, and the more that appear, the lower I estimate your IQ at.

So I wondered where a phrase like MSM came from as I've been in media/advertising for a couple decades and I don't use it, my friends don't use it, in fact no professional that I know uses it.

Well, if you're on the Left, of course not. Amazing that people of differing ideologies/interests have their own jargon and catchphrases, isn't it?

Just wanted you to know that the use of the MSM brand is like putting a sign on your back at the office party saying "kick me, i'm an idiot".

Thanks, I'll bear it in mind the next time I'm in a blue state. How about I just wear an Ann Coulter t-shirt or something so you can identify me readily and get your kicking foot loosened up?

hdhouse said...

Bob, I'll take your last post as a missed extra point on every touchdown i made previously.

Advertising and media have a particular set of jargon. Main Stream Media isn't on the list unless you want to call what you believe FRINGE and what we believe as American Main Stream. But to do that you shoot yourself in the foot. Not that I don't want to loan you the bullet.

As to Anthrax Annie Coulter, I have the happy distinction of being banned from her blog because "You are too disruptive to Anne's message. We invite those who agree with her views to lend there support. This is, however, not a formum for contrary viewpoints". NO KIDDING.

Fen said...

hdhouse: So I wondered where a phrase like MSM came from as I've been in media/advertising for a couple decades and I don't use it, my friends don't use it, in fact no professional that I know uses it.

I'll bet you don't know any one who voted for Nixon either..

Look, if you're a fair broker of information, half your customer base isn't going to abandon you to start a parallel venue [AM talk radio]. Its basic economics. The fact that there's a market for conservative povs should tell how biased the MSM is.

Better yet, look at the Mary Mapes mess over at CBS. Ignore the forgery itself for a moment, focus instead on the carelessness of their coverup and stonewalling arrogance. They've been cheating for so long that they became complacent and arrogant about it.