November 25, 2007

"Being first lady is sort of half job and half life but good experience in either case."

Writes Michael Kinsley, analyzing Hillary Clinton and her recent jab "We can't afford on-the-job training for our next president."
... Clinton was clearly referring to work experience. But there is also life experience. Being first lady is sort of half job and half life but good experience in either case.

She has to be careful about making a lot of this. Many people resent her using her position as first lady to take what they see as a shortcut to elective office. More profoundly, some people see her as having used her marriage as a shortcut to feminism.

Count me as one of those people!
But being the president's spouse has to be very helpful for a future president. It's like an eight-year "Take Your Daughter to Work Day." Laura Bush, as far as we know, has made no important policy decisions during her husband's presidency, but she has witnessed many and must have a better understanding of how the presidency works than all but half a dozen people in the world.

And does anyone think of her as qualified for the presidency? How about Nancy Reagan?
One of those half a dozen is Hillary Clinton, who saw it all -- well, she apparently missed one key moment -- and shared in all the big decisions. Every first lady is promoted as her husband's key adviser, closest confidant, blah, blah, blah, but in the case of the Clintons, it seems to be true. Pillow talk is good experience.

Oh, let's direct these questions at Hillary Clinton, can we? Do you mean to say that pillow talk is good experience?
Clinton mocks Obama's claims that four years growing up in Indonesia constitute useful world-affairs experience. But they do.

I'm interested in seeing if her mockery silences him. Will he shut up about this idea that he is what Kinsley calls "a world man." Or will he figure out how to say it better and not her allow her to squelch him. If he can't do that, his vaunted oratorical skills mean little.

Kinsley owns up to supporting Obama. Here's how he explains his reason:
When I hear him discussing issues, I hear intelligence and reflection and almost a joy in thinking it through.

Oh, good lord. You can say that about people you meet every day in academia, and there's no reason at all to trust those characters as President. I'm sorry, but I hear patronizing in Kinsley's words.

24 comments:

rhhardin said...

The qualities you need to be President come up when none of the engaged competitors have any.

Edwards has the best hair, Obama is clean, and Hillary would crush the Islamofascists if they ever ran against her, but not out of foreign policy expertise.

dave™© said...

More misogyny from the Blithering Idiot.

Too bad Hitlery isn't mobbed up like Ghouliani. Than BMI would give her an instant pass.

Unfortunately, she's got tits, and we all know what the Blithering One thinks about THEM!

Ann Althouse said...

BMI? Body mass index?

I'm sure the Hillary campaign appreciates your words of support. Really helping her there.

Ron said...

Pillow Talk? Boy, that's an evil road to go down! "Someone who slept with the person with their finger on the button knows more about the executive branch than, who, John Foster Dulles?"

And how much does Monica know? Or do interns not count?

Best stay outta that fray!

Paco Wové said...

"When I hear him discussing issues, I hear intelligence and reflection and almost a joy in thinking it through."

Not to mention that he's articulate and bright and clean and a nice-looking guy!

rcocean said...

Obama' growing up abroad may win him Democratic diversity points but will hurt him in the general election if nominated.

Many Americans will find it hard to connect with Obama given his atypical parents, foreign upbringing, and privileged schooling. And I'd keep quiet on the whole going to Muslim school thing.

Luckyoldson said...

Anybody who thinks Hillary was sauntering around the White House while Bill ran the show is out of their mind.

This was a "power couple" before people even referred to such relationships as such.

She's was there for him from day one, and now he's there for her.

P.S. 6 Comments - Show Original Post Collapse comments

rhhardin said..."...but not out of foreign policy expertise."

Oh, you must mean like the experience we'd get from...Rudy...Huckabee...or Thompson?

Luckyoldson said...

Paco Wové said: "...and bright and clean and a nice-looking guy!"

Got something a tad more current?

Good lord...

The Emperor said...

You can say that about people you meet every day in academia, and there's no reason at all to trust those characters as President.

Sure, but Obama combines the ability to connect with people and the ability to think and reflect. There aren't too many people like him in academia or politics, where most people have only one of those skills.

Ralph said...

We do know that she was heavily involved in the first two, chaotic years of the Clinton presidency, but I haven't seen many books about the later years, when she was publicly shoved into the background, and Bill was raising funds (did she, also?). Did she give up her west wing office? They both went abroad frequently in the second term.

Fen said...

And how much does Monica know? Or do interns not count?

Heh. Good point. If we're going to go with pillow talk is good experience, then Monica has as much claim as Hillary, perhaps even more, as she spent most her "pillow talk" time under the desk while Bill was multi-tasking with heads of state.

Doyle said...

I'm sorry, but I hear patronizing in Kinsley's words.

Question: Is it possible to express the opinion that the black man in the race shows more intellectual curiosity than his competition without it being "patronizing"? Is there no possibility that it's true, or at least that one could hold that opinion without adjusting for skin color?

Oh, good lord. You can say that about people you meet every day in academia

But Obama's not in academia, he's in a presidential race. Obviously, as a Bush voter, intellectual prowess isn't a major criteria for you. But it's silly to pretend he doesn't bring a lot more to the table in that department than most of the field on either side. He, Hillary and Romney are the brightest bulbs on the 2008 tree.

Fen said...

Doyle: Obviously, as a Bush voter, intellectual prowess isn't a major criteria for you.

Again, Bush is a horrible public speaker. You think that means he's stupid, which says more about your intelligence than his.

As for Obama, he's a lightweight - too many sophomoric statements re foreign policy. At least Hillary understands how the real world works.

Fen said...

Obama: Probably the strongest experience I have in foreign relations is the fact I spent four years overseas when I was a child in Southeast Asia

I hope he was trying to be cute, that it was meant as a joke...

former law student said...

HRC was on the board of Wal-Mart, don't forget. Let's try to see Laura Bush or Rosalyn Carter match that!

reader_iam said...

I've now read the Kinsley piece a number of times, and, frankly, I'm not picking up on the patronizing element in what he wrote regarding Sen. Obama.

The bit in the piece which comes closest to patronizing, in my view, is this:

It's like an eight-year "Take Your Daughter to Work Day."

Crimso said...

"Got something a tad more current?"

Like HRC's White House experience?

"intellectual prowess isn't a major criteria for you"

I try not to nitpick, but the irony of this is too great...

Maxine Weiss said...

Mrs. Reagan was indeed considered a Petticoat President.

She was a better actress, though, and demure enough to express a type of contrived deference better.

(Hey, am I on-topic for once?)

Where's the thanks I should get?

Maxine Weiss said...

You really don't want the Pat Nixon model for first ladies, now do you?

reader_iam said...

Hey, Maxine: I keep watching this video, thinking of you ... it makes me restless .... sleepless, even. Especially when I think of how Pat Nixon was still First Lady when this song topped the charts for three weeks back in 1971.

(See, I can be simultaneously on- and off-topic, too!--we must be soulmates, Maxine! Can't you see it?

Also, note the manifest irrelevance--unfortunate or not--of eyeliner in the linked video. Or maybe I'm just blinded by the fashion choices of the day. What do you think, Maxine--is it all that white, or just the fabric? Or maybe the accessories?

Oh, well: I daresay that you and I can at least agree on the problems with the cut and fit. Am I right, or what?)

reader_iam said...

Speaking of OT ... hey, TITUS, did you catch that tantalizing 9-second bit ending about halfway through? (Please don't include me among those who aren't thinking of you!)

Revenant said...

There are any number of Secret Service guys who spent more time around Bill during those eight years than Hillary did. Why not nominate one of them? Of course, they're in law enforcement, so odds are they're Republicans anyway.

reader_iam said...

There are any number of Secret Service guys who spent more time around Bill during those eight years than Hillary did.

How can you possibly know that?

Revenant said...

How can you possibly know that?

Er, because that's their job?