December 2, 2007

Barack Obama "is trying to turn years of feminist thinking on its head and argue that the best candidate for women may, in fact, be a man."

Robin Toner effuses on the front page of today's NYT. Never mind that John Edwards played exactly that theme a couple months ago. Obama is the one designated for Timesglow.

It's Sunday, so pour it on:
The pitch for Mr. Obama, in a new video, speeches and talking points aimed at women, presents him as deeply sensitized to the needs and aspirations of women, raised by a single mother, “a man comfortable with strong women in his life,” as his wife, Michelle Obama, puts it, and a man committed to the issues they care about.
In other words, he's pandering in utterly banal terms that apply just as well to most of the other candidates.
The breakthrough nature of Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton’s presidential candidacy has a powerful appeal for many women...
Count me out. I think she's popular with women because they adore her husband — who's deeply sensitized to the needs and aspirations of women blah blah blah — and she's what she is because of him.
But even as [Obama] pursues a first of his own — a black president — Mr. Obama, like the rest of the field, has little choice but to compete for women’s votes; 54 percent of Democratic caucusgoers in Iowa four years ago were women, as were 54 percent of Democratic primary voters in New Hampshire.

Around the country, but especially in the early voting states, many of these women are engaged in a complicated conversation, with a hunger to make history often pushing them in one direction while more conventional considerations, like a candidate’s stand on the war in Iraq, pushing them in another.
Can someone please verify that the support for Hillary represents "a hunger to make history"? I don't believe it... unless the "history" in question is: first President to make an end run around the 22nd Amendment.

Eventually, the Times around to John Edwards:
The gender factor is rarely addressed head-on by Mrs. Clinton’s rivals.

Elizabeth Edwards, wife of former Senator John Edwards, was a notable exception when she told Salon.com last summer that Mrs. Clinton was “just not as vocal a woman’s advocate as I want to see” and relied too much on her sex as a rationale for her candidacy. But in less-noticed, more subtle ways, rival campaigns are advancing the argument that it is acceptable for a woman, even a feminist, to back someone other than the woman.
So Barack Obama is “a man comfortable with strong women in his life,” but Elizabeth Edwards represents her husband's failure to take the gender issue head on? Come on, that was way down in the article. You weren't supposed to perceive an inconsistency or even to read that far. Edwards is not designated for Timesglow.

11 comments:

Ron said...

Ah, a mere 15 minutes of fame is no longer enough if everyone can have it! Only the special get Timesglow! (tm)

The whole thing is starting to feel like Pokeman...

rhhardin said...

The question for all news is, who are they writing for?

I claim it's the 40% of women who are into soap opera storylines.

They're writing for them because they can sell that very reliable audience to advertisers.

Men have long ago left the room. The 60% of women who don't like it are still marginally attracted before rejecting it. Those neurons still fire.

Timesglow would be the soft aura that the hard-core 40% favor.

peter hoh said...

Back in 1982, in the New Jersey race for US Senate, NOW argued that the best candidate for women was a man, Frank Lautenberg, over Millicent Fenwick, a grand, old feminist.

P. Rich said...

Let's see. President of the United States. A moderately important position. Should I use as primary selection criterion:

A. Person with vagina, or
2. Person with more than [US] average amount of melanin in skin?

Difficult choice. Ow! Head hurts. Must read more NYT articles to achieve clarity.

Bruce Hayden said...

I don't see anything wrong with Obama being the first female president, since Hillary's husband was the first Black one. That only seems fair.

rcocean said...

P. Rich:

You're forgetting the two most important criteria for POTUS:

1) Being Tall*

2) Executive Hair**.

* - only to males.
** - does not apply to Obama.

Eric said...

It's sickening to think that this country would vote for someone as a way of doing an end run around the Constitution.

If the people feel so strongly about bringing back the Clintons, isn't the proper way to get rid of the 22nd Amendment first?

Cedarford said...

peter hoh said...
Back in 1982, in the New Jersey race for US Senate, NOW argued that the best candidate for women was a man, Frank Lautenberg, over Millicent Fenwick, a grand, old feminist.


By then all the major feminist groups had gone into the tank and were made, effectively, auxilliaries of the Democratic Party.
And any Democrat, no matter how unenlightened (and Lautenberg as CEO ran a fairly anti-feminist shop) would be favored over the non-Democrat, even a pro-choice lifelong old school feminist who had not joined with the NYC red diaper baby feminists.

The problem was Roe, of course. And the Stalinist femmes of NYC and the NYC media conglomerates had made it a Party Line mainstay that Dems were to be supported no matter what because they would reliably Bork anyone that threatened lefty activist judge supremacy.

That is why it was so amusing to watch the NYC crowd of Feministas fall on their swords of hypocrisy over Bill Clinton's harassment and elevate their Hero, Hillary, to full Victimhood status. She was given the full Feminist Mystique - a powerful, but thoroughly victimized woman who endured her trials and deserves to be President for it.

Beth said...

Hah! I love Bruce's comment at 1:05.

Fen said...

But even as [Obama] pursues a first of his own — a black president — Mr. Obama, like the rest of the field, has little choice but to compete for women’s votes

I think Obama should be given 15 electoral votes as affirmative action. We need diversity in the Oval Office.

/s

jeff said...

"I don't believe it... unless the "history" in question is: first President to make an end run around the 22nd Amendment."

oh, if Hillary gets elected I think she will be the president, no matter what Bill thinks. I wish, should she be elected, that Bill WAS the one calling the shots. I don't think it's any more of a end run that W election was a end run to give his dad three terms. Like it or not, if elected, she will not be letting anyone else make the decisions. Unless their unpopular. Then I suppose she might throw Bill under the bus.