July 17, 2007

"Elizabeth Edwards didn't call Hillary Clinton a man."

Noted.

ADDED: Salon's Joan Walsh wrote:
I knew Edwards was making news when she criticized Clinton, but she was definitely not calling her a man, which is one of the GOP's favorite slurs against Hillary Clinton. This is the last, best hope of the Republicans to hold onto the White House: to brand the leading candidate, who happens to be female, as too mannish, while slurring the leading men -- John Edwards and Barack Obama -- as girly. Meanwhile, President Bush is the swaggering moron who won't ask for directions even though he's 100 miles off course, and the 2008 GOP lineup is a parody of masculinity -- not to mention a Mount Rushmore of infidelity. According to an Associated Press poll released today, GOP primary voters are still longing for someone different to throw his or her hat into the race. Elizabeth Edwards' point was to question Democrats who are making a straight gender pitch for women to support Clinton -- or for African-Americans to support Obama -- which is absolutely fair game.
Walsh is complaining about one of Drudge's headlines. But when does the GOP use the word "man" against Hillary? I mean, there may be insinuations that she's insufficiently feminine, but I'm not seeing anyone actually calling her a man. So why is Walsh bitching about Drudge idiocy and then committing the same offense?

Anyway, there is an elaborate gender subtext in the 2008 campaign, and Elizabeth Edwards is playing her part in it. She's pretty subtle about it, but she is using gender to score points. So what Drudge did worked as hyperbole. I could see blogging that interview and making a wisecrack to the effect that Elizabeth Edwards is saying Hillary's a man. Drudge sets his own standards for what his page is supposed to be. It's not quite normal headlines. Sometimes he twists things around for comical effect.

The main problem, I think -- and I've blogged about this before -- is when he puts something in quotes that doesn't appear in text at the link. Today, he had: "Gender Bender: Wife Edwards Says Hillary 'Behaving Like a Man.'" And "behaving like a man" did not appear at the link. You could do fake quotes. The Onion does. But I don't think that's Drudge's standard approach. That's what makes it seem wrong.

MORE: Katharine Q. Seelye writes in TimesSelect:
[I]t seems that there’s something about Mrs. Clinton that is clearly frustrating to Mrs. Edwards....
Yeah, she's beating the hell out of her husband.
The Edwards campaign may find that such pointed remarks help Mr. Edwards raise money, as Mrs. Edwards’s confrontation with Ann Coulter did a few weeks ago. But it may also find that they overshadow her husband and his message.
I'm thinking it's actually pretty smart of EE to strike out like this. There's something a little annoying about sending the woman (who's a wife) out to attack the woman (who's a candidate), but EE is very appealing, and the Edwards marriage is quite a bit more appealing than the Clinton marriage. And Hillary has been using Bill.

66 comments:

XWL said...

But Mrs. Edwards did imply that her husband has more womanly virtues and would be more in touch with feminine issues and govern in a more feminine manner than a second President Clinton.

Clearly we know who is mas macho between Sen. Clinton and Sen. Edwards.

It's not even a contest.

Ann Althouse said...

I agree. I wrote more in an update.

Mike said...

I didn't read her post, because as I was starting to, my eye happened to catch this phrase a couple of posts further down the page: "As usual, Glenn Greenwald beat me to one of the day's most amazing stories (he's not only smarter..."

Nuff said. Thanks for the warning, Joan.

XWL said...

Mrs. Edwards statement does more for Sen. Clinton than it does for Sen. Edwards.

Clinton has carefully tried to craft a campaign that convinces middle of the road voters that she can be 'macho', and would have 'balls' on the world stage, while Sen. Edwards is already fighting against perception of him being a silky-haired pretty boy.

Having your wife extol your feminine virtues doesn't help him. Reminding voters that Hillary's got cojones doesn't hurt her.

Which campaign is Mrs. Edwards rooting for?

(subconsciously sabotaging her husband's campaign, maybe?)

Seven Machos said...

XWL -- I have often wondered if Edwards is somehow in league with Clinton. I'm no conspiracy nut, so I don't really think so, but it's like everything Edwards does ends up helping Clinton.

Mike said...

Per XWL's comment: My major voting issue is security. Forced to vote for Clinton or Edwards, I'd vote for Clinton.

Mortimer Brezny said...

Elizabeth Edwards' point was to question Democrats who are making a straight gender pitch for women to support Clinton -- or for African-Americans to support Obama -- which is absolutely fair game.

Elizabeth Edwards didn't say jack about African-Americans aupporting Obama. Joan Walsh is using EE as a platform to include Obama in this fight because Walsh is a Hillary supporter, and Obama gains from all these attacks on Hillary in light of Hillary's scheme to eliminate smaller candidates from the election, which, by the way, did not involve Obama, either.

These attacks work because they show just how transparently bad a politician Hillary Clinton is -- not as a woman, not as an ugly woman -- just as a bad politician.

MadisonMan said...

Elizabeth Edwards and Bill Clinton are the only two Candidate spouses that I'd like to have a drink with. I think they'd be very interesting to talk to. None of the candidates strike me as similarly interesting.

Revenant said...

Meanwhile, President Bush is the swaggering moron who won't ask for directions even though he's 100 miles off course, and the 2008 GOP lineup is a parody of masculinity -- not to mention a Mount Rushmore of infidelity.

I realize that Salon is pretty much a part of the leftie echo chamber, and hence can't be expected to make much sense to those of us who live outside it... but Mount Rushmore has more than one face on it. Or is Walsh claiming that Romney, McCain, and Thompson cheat on *their* wives, too?

For that matter, the one Republican candidate who actually belongs on the Mount Rushmore of Infidelity -- Rudy Giuliani -- is routinely mocked by the Left for dressing up in drag. That conflicts with the "they're a bunch of macho macho men" meme Walsh is pushing here, wouldn't you say?

delagar said...

Ooo, Brezny, is Clinton an "ugly woman"? Snap, dude!

Ruth Anne Adams said...

I just want to know when being the wife of a candidate began to count as authentic political experience.

And Edwards' wife doing his dirty work raises the sissy factor off the charts. Why don't Hillary and Elizabeth just have it out in the playground after law school?

Cat fight!!

reader_iam said...

bitching

Damn near Freudian, that word choice is.

Isn't it?

Or isn't it?

Explain your answer.

EnigmatiCore said...

I don't get it. Walsh writes "Matt Drudge is linking to my Elizabeth Edwards interview, with a banner headline: "Gender Bender: Wife Edwards Says Hillary 'Behaving Like a Man.'" Of course, that's not what Edwards said; the full context is:"

Wait a sec. The full context does not matter in what she said. It only matters in what she meant. But in any case, here is the quote, with some comments from me:

"I think one of the things that make me so completely comfortable with [John Edwards running against Clinton] is that keeping that door open to women is actually more a policy of John's than Hillary's ... Look, I'm sympathetic,..."

Sympathetic to Hillary.

"Look, I'm sympathetic, because when I worked as a lawyer, I was the only woman in these rooms, too, and you want to reassure them you're as good as a man."

She is sympathetic to Hillary because she was the only woman in these rooms, *too* (like Hillary) and in that position one wants to reassure 'them' that one is as good as a man. She is saying how she felt, and saying that she sympathizes with Hillary because that is how she must feel.

"And sometimes you feel you have to behave as a man and not talk about women's issues."

Who is she referring to with the anonymous 'you' here? Why, the way she felt way back when, and the way Hillary must have felt. She is most certainly saying that Hillary must feel pressure to behave like a man.

"I'm sympathetic -- she wants to be commander in chief. But she's just not as vocal a women's advocate as I want to see. John is."

Elizabeth is sympathetic to why she is the way she is, feeling all that pressure to be like a man-- and therefore not being as vocal and advocate for women as Elizabeth, who has walked in her shoes, mind you, would like.

Drudge gets things wrong quite often. Not this time. Elizabeth Edwards certainly meant to say that Hillary was trying to act manly and as such wasn't as good of a woman's advocate as her husband (who, I guess, successfully resists any pressure to not act womanly, if one has seen the hair video).

This is like the spat where Ron Paul went on some flake's radio show, was asked if the administration might stage a terrorist act, started his answer with "Yes" and then tried to say he never said such a thing because his point was longer. No. He said it. He may have had a bigger point which may, or may not have, mitigated the comment, but he absolutely did say that he felt the administration would stage a terrorist act. Same here. Edwards most certainly did communicate very clearly that she felt that Hillary was not a good advocate for women, because she felt the pressure to act like a man (and obviously had given in to such pressure, lest she be as good an advocate as John Edwards).

EnigmatiCore said...

'And "behaving like a man" did not appear at the link.'

The line was "And sometimes [people like Hillary now, and me before, and anyone like us] feel you have to behave as a man and not talk about women's issues."

Should the headling have been "Gemder Bender: Wife Edwards Says Hillary "Behave[s] Like a Man?" I am not sure the more accurate quotation here does a better job of communicating Edwards' point.

EnigmatiCore said...

"Elizabeth Edwards and Bill Clinton are the only two Candidate spouses that I'd like to have a drink with"

Fred's wife seems pretty interesting.

Luckyoldson said...

Oh, please.

This should pretty much tell you that the Republicans are toast.

Duh.

PatCA said...

One reason I'm glad Hillary is running is precisely because it will bring out all these inconsistencies and incoherence in gender politics and identity politics in general. And I predict the one who panders to women the most will lose the biggest.

Someone once told me I write like a man. I took it as a compliment.

Luckyoldson said...

Who anyone like to bet on who, between Bush and Hillary, which one has the highest I.Q.??

HA!!

Luckyoldson said...

would... sorry.

Luckyoldson said...

"Someone once told me I write like a man. I took it as a compliment."

Wrote like or looked like?

Seven Machos said...

The best presidents are third-rate intellects. This is indisputable.

Jeff said...

"Ruth Anne Adams said...
I just want to know when being the wife of a candidate began to count as authentic political experience. "

Probably when Eleanor Roosevelt took the First Ladyship out of the parlor and into the newspapers and newsreels.

Definitely when Hilary was elected Senator.

EnigmatiCore said...

Luckyoldson, in your rush to post something inane, not only did you use an incorrect word, but you seem to have forgotten any need to find any relation to the subject matter.

How does any of this at all have to do with who is smarter, Hillary or Bush?

How does any of this have to do with the Republicans?

Edwards took a shot at Hillary. Some are defending Edwards, some (myself included) are defending Hillary.

Someone once told you that you write like a retard. Oh, wait, that was just now, and it was me who wrote it.

Luckyoldson said...

And once again, Seven distinguishes himself as an intellectual midget as he says: "The best presidents are third-rate intellects. This is indisputable."

Now...let's see if Seven can name these "third rate intellectuals" he rates as ...the ''best Presidents??"

EnigmatiCore said...

Great Presidents who were third rate intellectuals?

I'd say that short list starts and ends with Truman.

Seven Machos said...

Forget it, Enigmatic. He's rolling. Clearly, Elizabeth Edwards and Hillary Clinton are fighting because of Bush, who probably has hatched a devious conspiracy to make all this happen but is also the stupidest human being in human history.

EnigmatiCore said...

Seven, I am becoming a big believer that every lefty on the blogosphere is a plant to turn me into a Republican, while every Republican in Congress is a plant to turn me into a Democrat.

Seven Machos said...

In the last 50-odd years:

Roosevelt
Reagan
Truman

Luckyoldson said...

EnigmatiCore,
Gosh...I don't know.

Could YOU explain?

EnigmatiCore said...

Certainly. When you were a baby, the nurse dropped you on your noggin. It was all downhill from there.

Although, we did all get a chuckle when the doctor slapped your mom instead of you...

Luckyoldson said...

Seven,
So you think Roosevelt (either one) and Truman were intellectually inferior?

To who??

As for Reagan...you may have a point...the man was far from intellectual...but in other ways, a genius.

Did you yourself attend high school?

Luckyoldson said...

EnigmatiCore said..."Seven, I am becoming a big believer that every lefty on the blogosphere is a plant to turn me into a Republican, while every Republican in Congress is a plant to turn me into a Democrat."

Do you even know the difference?

*And you're asking Seven??

EnigmatiCore said...

Seven, I don't think either Reagan or Roosevelt belongs on that list. You should read the book that had all of Reagan's personal writings; you won't consider him an intellectual lightweight after that. Same for "FDR: The Beckoning of Destiny."

Now, Truman on the other hand, proved that you don't need to be a mental powerhouse to be a leader.

Luckyoldson said...

Seven says this of Bush: "but is also the stupidest human being in human history."

Finally...

EnigmatiCore said...

"Do you even know the difference?"

Between a plant on the blogosphere and a legitimate Democrat, or between a plant in Congress and a legitimate Republican, or between a sentient human being and a commenter who would be out of his depth in a parking lot puddle?

I admit confusion over the first two pairs. On the last, I am crystal clear.

Seven Machos said...

Does anyone doubt that Clinton, Nixon, and Carter would do better in school and on an SAT than Reagan, Roosevelt, and Truman?

Also, Oliver Wendell Holmes -- a great intellect or, at least, a great writer -- once famously described Franklin Roosevelt as a man possessed of a second-rate intellect but a first-rate temperament...

EnigmatiCore said...

"So you think Roosevelt (either one)"

There were two Roosevelts in the last "50-odd years"?

Man, that Teddy must have had a long and glorious life! Heck, FDR barely qualifies-- you have to make it 50-really-odd years...

Luckyoldson said...

It will be interesting for those who are here...25-50-100 years from today...how history will treat Bush...the Roosevelts, Truman and Reagan.

Anyone want to take a wild guess??

Seven: You're a moron.

EnigmatiCore said...

Seven, leaving aside Truman, I would wager that Carter would come in below every President since McKinley with the possible exception of Eisenhower.

Luckyoldson might actually be Jimmy.

Seven Machos said...

I predict three to eight failed zingers in a row from my least favorite troll coming up here...

Luckyoldson said...

EnigmatiCore: Ohhhhh, the "50-odd years" argument??

Like I said...you people are desperate.

And really, really, dumb.

EnigmatiCore said...

"Anyone want to take a wild guess??"

Sure, I'll play.

FDR and Reagan will be remembered as the two best Presidents of the 20th Century.

Teddy will be remembered as a great, as well, as will Truman. Both will be viewed on a tier below FDR and Reagan.

Bush will either be remembered middle of the road if Iraq eventually works out, or as Jimmy Carter's peer if it does not.

Luckyoldson said...

Enema...do you live with Seven??

Seven Machos said...

Reagan is my favorite president. I'm not a fan of intellectuals.

EnigmatiCore said...

"Like I said..."

One of three to eight down, two to Seven to go. Pun intended.

EnigmatiCore said...

'Enema...'

Two down.

You are about to make Seven look pure genius with prognostication!

Luckyoldson said...

Enema says...with a strait face: "Bush will either be remembered middle of the road if Iraq eventually works out..."

IF Iraq "EVENTUALLY works out?????" (uh, and when would that be..?? - Oh, sorry...NO TIMETABLES...duh.)

You people are absolutely delusional...and...really, really, really...DUMB.

EnigmatiCore said...

'IF Iraq "EVENTUALLY works out?????" (uh, and when would that be..?? - Oh, sorry...NO TIMETABLES...duh.)'

Dude, put down the whiskey and read your own comment which started the whole tangent-- you put down the timeframe.

"It will be interesting for those who are here...25-50-100 years from today...how history will treat Bush."

In 25-50-100 years, if in retrospect Iraq looks successful, he'll end up a middle-of-the-road President, along the level of Eisenhower or McKinley or his father.

If it looks unsuccessful, he'll be down with Carter and Nixon.

EnigmatiCore said...

"says...with a strait face"

Link provided for the thinking impaired.

Dust Bunny Queen said...

Taking this back to something remotely resembling the original post....the issue of being a woman in a "man's" world and how to cope with that is something that I do everyday as does (I presume to say) Ann and Ruth Ann.

Being "sensitive to women's issues" a phrase I detest can make you seem to be weak in the eyes of your co-workers. On the other hand, ignoring or rising above those issues for the larger picture can make you seem like a cold bitc... I mean woman. It's walking a very thin line.

I have no love or admiration for Hillary, but I do have a sense of empathy for her precarious position. (Hey, can I be on the Supreme Court...I empathize!! I feeeeel your pain.)

From what I read of the article, I don't think that E Edwards was trying to completely insult Hillary. Of course, we women are masters at the backhanded complement.

Luckyoldson said...

Wittle Bunny says: "I have no love or admiration for Hillary..."

Well, of course not. I mean, someone of your stature, accomplishment, grace...

...why would someone like you even consider such a thing?

But, hey...maybe you could list all of your accomplishments in life...all you've ever done to help Americans, or women for that matter...you know, just for the hell of it.

Luckyoldson said...

EnigmatiCore said..."says...with a strait face"

oh, "g".

my bad.

I so sorry be.

Luckyoldson said...

Enema: "...you put down the timeframe."

uh...irony...sarcasm?

duh.

Seven Machos said...

Five.

PatCA said...

"Wrote like or looked like?"

I'm trying to think of an insult as stupid as that....sorry, can't do it.

Luckyoldson said...

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Seven Machos said...

Almost there.

Dust Bunny Queen said...

lucky says "But, hey...maybe you could list all of your accomplishments in life...all you've ever done to help Americans, or women for that matter...you know, just for the hell of it."

You first sweetheart.

Luckyoldson said...

PatCA said..."Wrote like or looked like?"

I'm trying to think of an insult as stupid as that....sorry, can't do it. "

I found it pithy.

Luckyoldson said...

wittle bunny,
You're the one who apparently has no admiration for Hillary.

I only asked what major accomplishments of your own, that would allow you to make such a shallow and graceless comment.

Especially since most women would consider her to be an inspiration and very successful.

And probably why she'll be the next President of the United States.

Seven Machos said...

Victory! Let's go for the record here. Let's make this thread count!

Luckyoldson said...

seven,
i've never encountered people that are soooooooooooooooooooooo easy to fuck with.

why do you continue to respond...if you think what you say you do?

you'd make a very poor texas hold'em player.

Seven Machos said...

You would sound more convincing if you used the letter "o" more times, dude.

Luckyoldson said...

seven,
and once again...you're back.

c'mon...you can't be this dumb.

Roger said...

In terms of "intellect" (as measured by academic achievement) were not Woodrow Wilson and Herbert Hoover the most academically accomplished of 20th century presidents?

Christy said...

Would you guys please stop feeding the troll! It bores the crap out of me and usually kills the discussion.

I for one do not find Elizabeth Edwards appealing. Anyone who builds a mansion and then complains in disdainful tones about the run down property next door that has been there for generations qualifies as a 1st class shrew in my book.

Then she talks of how she wanted to reassure the men with whom she worked that she was as good as a man! Reassure! One reassures children, not colleagues.

Hillary is actually looking better and better to me.