May 19, 2016

Clinton surrogate Ed Rendell said: "There are probably more ugly women in America than attractive women. People take that stuff personally."

The ex-governor and former DNC chairman was trying to explain why more women will vote for Clinton than for Trump. Later the same day he called his own comment "incredibly stupid and insensitive"... which is kind of a gaffe in itself, no? He's not saying it's untrue, just the kind of truth you shouldn't say. It's a Kinsley gaffe, right?

I found that via Scott Adams, who's "Evaluating the Political Chess Board" today and observed:
Clinton surrogate Ed Rendel [sic] said something that was probably harmless in person, and in the proper context, but taken out of context by outragists it sounded like he was saying Clinton supporters are mostly ugly women. That didn’t help.
Ha. I like the word "outragists." Nice coinage from Adams.

Anyway... this story reminded me of something I said 3 days ago after the NYT published its rather bad exposé "Crossing the Line: How Donald Trump Behaved With Women in Private" — you know, the one where they interviewed 50+ women and came up with basically nothing but pumped it up embarrassingly? I was trying to imagine how the NYT would defend itself after its prime informant, Rowanne Brewer Lane, said the Times distorted her story, making it seem as though Trump had demeaned her when in fact she felt flattered. I said:
I can imagine the NYT defending itself by saying that often young women do not understand the way they are being manipulated and exploited. Within that explanation, to say "I was actually flattered" is to reveal your naivete. That's how the manipulation works. He got her into a bathing suit and then, presenting her to the crowd, said "That is a stunning Trump girl, isn’t it?" How was she a "Trump girl"? Ah, but it felt flattering. Even now, she feels the relationship was very nice, very rewarding, but she doesn't know the import of her own words, the NYT will (I suspect) say. It will say, I predict, that her story was not distorted at all. The facts are all true. They are just viewed from a more sophisticated perspective.

Now, there's a big problem with that explanation. It's saying the woman doesn't understand the meaning of her own experience. That feels like a putdown — a putdown and a stereotype: Women are simpleminded and can be bought off with pretty clothes and flattery. There's a way to say that without provoking the ire of the great masses of women who matter when it comes to an election: Only the young and very pretty women are segmented off and treated so well they only have good feelings about it, and only they are being put down.
See how that connects back to Ed Rendell? The young and very pretty women who hope to be segmented off and treated well by rich/powerful men may — in Rendell's view — gravitate toward Trump because they think they have the kind of power that works within a Trump regime, but most women see themselves as losers in a competition like that and they're going to look to Hillary to save them from the depredations of the patriarchy. But poor Ed! He didn't know how to talk about that sort of thing.

Meanwhile, here's Camille Paglia enthusing about the power of the beauty of Rowanne Brewer Lane:
Small and blurry in the print edition, the Brewer-Trump photo in online digital format positively pops with you-are-there luminosity. Her midnight-blue evening dress opulently cradling her bare shoulders, Rowanne is all flowing, glossy hair, ample, cascading bosom, and radiant, lushly crimson Rita Hayworth smile. The hovering Trump, bedecked with the phallic tongue of a violet Celtic floral tie, is in Viking mode, looking like a triumphant dragon on the thrusting prow of a long boat. “To the victor belong the spoils!” I said to myself in admiration, as seductive images from Babylon to Paris flashed through my mind. Yes, here is all the sizzling glory of hormonal sex differentiation, which the grim commissars of campus gender studies will never wipe out!
I'm making a tag for Ed Rendell and going back and adding it to old posts, like this one from December 2008: "'Janet's perfect for that job. Because for that job, you have to have no life. Janet has no family, perfect.' What Gov. Ed Rendell said about Gov. Janet Napolitano."

89 comments:

Brando said...

The once-vaunted Clinton machine seems to have gathered rust.

HoodlumDoodlum said...

Gee, Paglia enjoys some purplish prose, huh?

She made me look at the NYTimes article for that picture, though; when it first loaded I thought of a young Jane Seymour. She was a Bond girl, you know.

Michael McClain said...

Why are Lib-Cong such sexists?

Birkel said...

Remember, anybody who desires and pursues the goals of big government necessarily supports the people who believe this way.

It is unavoidable.

Ignorance is Bliss said...

There are probably more ugly women in America than...

...Janet Napolitano.


Probably.

Ignorance is Bliss said...

My previous comment was "incredibly stupid and insensitive".

Tarrou said...

The problem for that formulation is that a whole lot more women THINK they are attractive than are actually attractive. And perception is what matters in politics.

Whether or not the formulation is accurate, I am agnostic.


Limited blogger said...

He's a big liberal who tries not to come across as a big liberal. Of course these attempts are transparent, and just make his liberalism more glaring. Thanks, though, Ed.

themightypuck said...

Wasn't there an episode of Seinfeld where Jerry comes to the conclusion that only 5% of women are dateable? https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=C-a64OwOYqU

tim in vermont said...

I think women are very much aware of how they rank. We men delude ourselves because it's a successful strategy sometimes.

campy said...

Prediction: before this election is over somebody somewhere will attribute Rendell's quote to a republican.

n.n said...

Mother Nature is notoriously prejudiced, but not a bigot.

robother said...

Note that Rendell issued the classic non-apology apology: "IF anyone was offended...." On the theory that the actual number of self-identified ugly American women is vanishingly small?

amielalune said...


Tarrou:

CHICKEN!!

eric said...

Ok, so Democrat women, or maybe, Hillary supporters, are ugly women. Right? That's what he is saying.

Now, ask this question to women on the street after you preface it with the above....


"Are you a Democrat, or Hillary supporter? You know, ugly?"

I mean, if this becomes a meme, and it should,what woman would identify as Democrat or a Hillary supporter?

wildswan said...

Hags for Hillary

Quite the slogan. Maybe a picture of Debbie Wasserman Schultz

"I'm really ugly like most of you and I'm for Hillary."

mikee said...

The true ugliness of the Hillary voter is the vote for Hillary.
Why, oh why, does anyone want this person to hold a position of authority, responsibility and trust, when we all know her previous life history?

wildswan said...

My Trump slogan

"Trump towers"

buwaya said...

Ed Rendell is objectively correct.
To reform the party, they should be encouraged to tell the truth.

wildswan said...

For Bernie

"1984 - A future we can believe in"

Will said...

Ann should make a Diane Reynolds tag for these women..we will surely be discussing them constantly between now and November.

As Obama once defined Julia, I see Diane Reynolds as a simplistic cartoon version of the people Hillary and Madeleine believe should be in a special place in Hell if they don't vote solely based on their lady parts

wildswan said...

You could have little sidebar things

See 10 Hollywood stars who aged badly endorse Hillary

David Begley said...

The implosion of the Clinton campaign. Add this to the "no more coal miners" comment and putting the alleged rapist and abuser of women in charge of the economy.

I'm now hoping Obama doesn't indict Hillary. I want a complete beat down and we will finally be rid of these grifters.

Rick said...

The young and very pretty women who hope to be segmented off and treated well by rich/powerful men may — in Rendell's view — gravitate toward Trump because they think they have the kind of power that works within a Trump regime, but most women see themselves as losers in a competition like that and they're going to look to Hillary to save them from the depredations of the patriarchy.

I don't think this accurately describes reality. It's the women who engage the rich and powerful who are subject to depredations, not those who refuse to play their game by their rules. Not all are simply naive either. Some think the benefits are worth the depredations while others believe their own skills will prove sufficient to avoid them. But women outside the game are not mistreated, they just don't have the opportunity to win the lottery prize, the bait.

But this is not unfair, they've avoided what I see as a poor risk. Why do they need compensation for doing so?

Bob Boyd said...

"...it sounded like he was saying Clinton supporters are mostly ugly women. That didn’t help."


It would also not be helpful for Rendell offer an opinion about how many cats a woman should keep in her trailer house.

Tommy Duncan said...

Yes, here is all the sizzling glory of hormonal sex differentiation, which the grim commissars of campus gender studies will never wipe out!

Kind of puts the transgender bathroom issue into perspective.

wildswan said...

See what plastic surgery did to these ten women who support Hillary

LYNNDH said...

I just want the Democrat women talking heads to accuse him of being anti woman, etc. and throw him out of the party.

s'opihjerdt said...

Clinton surrogate Ed Rendell. said: "There are probably more ugly women in America than attractive women."

Was that said on Bill's behalf or Hillary's?

wildswan said...

Ten women who Donald Trump ignored tell their heartbreaking stories

Hagar said...

When women go to discussing their own or other women's appearance, any man with good sense will find something urgent to do elsewhere.

wildswan said...

"No Senator in Washington would grope me".
One woman's agonized journey toward becoming a Hillary supporter

M Jordan said...

Trump.

Doug said...

"There are probably more unserious women in this country than there are serious ones." There, Ed. Fixed it for ya.

wildswan said...

"Predatory men turned vegan when they saw me."
Why I am a Hag for Hillary - one of a series of interviews by Tom Brokaw.

wildswan said...

"Basically men are sh_t". A two-bagger breaks her silence.
One in a series sponsored by Hags for Hillary

The Godfather said...

There's a country song with the lyrics: "She don't know she's beautiful (never crossed her mind) / She don't know she's beautiful (no she's not that kind) / She don't know she's beautiful / Though time and time I've told her so." (Sammy Kershaw)

I think that's very rare. I think most beautiful women know they're beautiful, and plain women know they're plain. Hillary! for example, knows that she's a frump, with tree trunk legs and a big caboose. (I saw her with Bill in his inaugural parade -- they walked the part of the route where I was -- and my wife observed "Look at her legs!" So far as I know, that's the last time Hillary! wore a skirt that showed her legs.)

Men, on the other hand, often think that they are a lot better looking than they are. Go to any beach and notice the guys in bathing trunks sucking up their beer bellies to impress the beach bunnies. Or look at the elaborate comb-overs sported by men who are hirsutely challenged.

Or look at Tromp's hair.

Static Ping said...

Actually, given that men have different concepts of beauty, I would suspect that the majority, perhaps a large majority, of women in the country are considered attractive by someone. So stupid, insensitive, and probably wrong. If you are going to be an idiot, might as well go for the gusto.

tim in vermont said...

A person who doesn't know they are beautiful is either a unicorn or fictional.

Hagar said...

It s all right to tel your wife she looks great, but do not do it in such a way as to start a conversation on the subject.
Whatever you say will be remembered and held against you until your dying day.

jacksonjay said...

Ugly Lil Lena Dunham will have something to say about Mr. Rendell and his big mouth. You know as the old saying goes, "with friends like this, ...!"

traditionalguy said...

Trump boldly stepped into it big time when he insisted on Making Women Great Again. Some women want to be themselves.

I loved Paglia's description of Trump as seeing a beautiful women they way a Viking does a city for his conquest. That's a Nice little Irish town you have here, Dublin.

chuck said...

I mostly remember Ed Rendell from when he introduced the Democrats' secret super weapon, the new logo.

Achilles said...

Trump is trying to drive the Democrat party into pulling Hillary out of the race and installing someone else.

In other news the Obama administration just slapped a 522% tariff on Chinese Steel. Because China's economy is centrally controlled they put way too much capital into steel production. Now they are destroying the world steel market.

Trump is already in charge. Going to be crazy when he is president.

buwaya said...

"Actually, given that men have different concepts of beauty,"

On the whole, not so. There are people with odd tastes, but there are very few in any category. Beauty is beauty. There are varieties of beauty, but in any variety there is a range. There is no case, for any significant subset of men, where one mans ugly is another's beauty.The King of Swazilands wives would be considered at least moderately attractive, by consensus, anywhere.

"I would suspect that the majority, perhaps a large majority, of women in the country are considered attractive by someone. "

Men are (usually) much more forgiving of imperfections than women may give them credit for, but there is a bare minimum. The majority of women are old, fat, plain, and very few men, strangers, passing on the street would give them a glance. Nature is cruel.
Women you know are another matter. Affection is like beer goggles.

Angst said...

Someone far more clever than me REALLY needs to do
a re-mix of the current GhostBusters 2016 Trailer #2
and incorporate some of the above campaign suggestions:

"There are probably more ugly women in America than Janet Napolitano."
"Ok, so Democrat women, or maybe, Hillary supporters, are ugly women. Right? That's what he is saying."
"Are you a Democrat, or Hillary supporter? You know, ugly?"
For Bernie "1984 - A future we can believe in"
"See 10 Hollywood stars who aged badly endorse Hillary"
"See what plastic surgery did to these ten women who support Hillary"
"Hags for Hillary"

gadfly said...

In the past week, I have listened to Sean and Rush telling their audiences that people are deliberately lying about Trump - with not a single reference to the sad reality that The Donald is barely capable of finishing a sentence without lying.

Trump actually used the "lying" argument to bring down Cruz, the last remaining honest candidate running against him and the Trump Trolls were all in for this dishonest character assassination. But now, lying is not permitted by anyone but Trump.

The Trump administration will be far worse than anything that Prez Zero ever dreamed up. How did we ever windup with such terrible candidates? America is lost for yet another eight years.

richardsson said...

Too funny.

Achilles said...

gadfly said...
"In the past week, I have listened to Sean and Rush telling their audiences that people are deliberately lying about Trump - with not a single reference to the sad reality that The Donald is barely capable of finishing a sentence without lying."

Hillary is a textbook sociopathic liar.

Trump just says things you disagree with.

There is a difference. I can point to several videos that are pure montages of Clinton lying. Trump not so much.

dreams said...

"Actually, given that men have different concepts of beauty, I would suspect that the majority, perhaps a large majority, of women in the country are considered attractive by someone. So stupid, insensitive, and probably wrong. If you are going to be an idiot, might as well go for the gusto."

Thanks to testosterone.

Carol said...

Trump is hot.

OK, I said it. And so did Paglia, in her way.

Fabi said...

Carol said:

"Trump is hot."


That's the first full-out admission I've heard. I have asked several women and most say that he was very handsome when he was younger. I don't remember that either, but I digress.

tim in vermont said...

If I thought Lena Dunham was a decent person, she would be hot enough to me. If I thought Penelope Cruz was a complete bitch, she would still be hot.

dreams said...

"Trump is hot.

OK, I said it. And so did Paglia, in her way."

Still politically incorrect but not to worry, I'm sure you have strength in numbers as in the silent majority.

n.n said...

Beauty is objective. Attractive is subjective. Sluts can walk. Women should strive.

traditionalguy said...

I think Rendell wants to exam the photo IDs of women voters and send some to the voting line and the rest of them to the total makeover line where they become beautiful and no longer match the photo ID and are denied voting.

Char Char Binks said...

But what if he's right?

chickelit said...

Hillary supporters are only ugly inside -- all of them.

Michael K said...

Rendell needs a lesson on The Hot, Crazy Matrix.

Basic knowledge for thinking about Hillary.

cubanbob said...

It is said that politics is showbiz for ugly people. One look at Hillary is pretty convincing. Rendel is being made to walk the PC perp walk.

Fabi said...

Penelope Cruz' character in "Blow" was a bitch more often than not. It did not detract in any way. She was also entirely crazy in a few scenes, so a 10/10 on the Crazy/Hot Matrix. Sign me up. Please!

Skeptical Voter said...

Take it from me--an old white geezer. Old white geezers like Ed Rendell should not open their mouths where Gyno-Americans are concerned--unless they like the taste of shoe leather.

We never could figure out what they wanted. So Ed--suck on that shoe.

Rhythm and Balls said...

Lol. This is seriously something that warrants five paragraphs (minus the paragraph-length quotes) and 63 comments?

Big Mike said...

Her midnight-blue evening dress opulently cradling her bare shoulders, Rowanne is all flowing, glossy hair, ample, cascading bosom, and radiant, lushly crimson Rita Hayworth smile.

The photo could only be a let-down after Paglia's prose. And it was. The woman makes a living based on her looks and she really is lovely enough, but given that description ...

Bruce Hayden said...

I don't think that all men think that the same women are beautiful. A lot of guys are taken with my partner and her looks. But, my mother was tiny, and was the principal influence in forming my idea of female pulchritude. I thought initially that my partner (now) was too tall, muscular, and large breasted. My vision of female beauty is probably still 5'2", 100 lbs, etc. and this is probably why my partner and I are still together almost 20 years later - because I treated her like a person from the first, and not a sex object. I was apparently safe. By now, it really doesn't matter that much - you quickly get used to whomever you are with.

Some things though are universal - such as proportions and symmetry. A lot of things are cultural though. I am not the least attracted to most African American and Hispanic women, regardless of symmetry and proportions. And think the current fad of big butts is atrocious. I don't think I would do more than give Trump's wife the time of day if I met her on the street (and were still available). Of course, Hillary is far, far worse, but that is probably mostly her obesity (I think she was almost cute in college) and general sour and entitled demeanor. My ancestors tended to have long oval faces, and so my partner's classic French features are not maybe as appealing to me as if she had a rounder face (which is why I am somewhat surprised by Trump's choice in a wife).

Birkel said...

"Rhythm and Balls":

The misogyny of the Democrat Party does need some discussion. Why does the Clinton Foundation pay female employees so little compared to men? Why does Hollywood? Why does it support a rapist like Bill Clinton and an enabler like Hillary Clinton?

tim maguire said...

That Trump photo is total 50's rat-pack glamour. It's not just beautiful women who might gravitate towards it, but women who want to be--which is most of them. Does Rendell think fashion advertising uses regular people?

Dennis Braswell said...

Should the young and very pretty be disqualified from voting, because they don't understand the meaning of their own experiences? BTW, Althouse, do you have a crush on Scott Adams? BBTW, all this talk about feelings. When are they important and when not? When being flattered, they don't matter, but when choosing a bathroom, they do?

Paul said...

While I voted for Cruz, I'll back Trump, and from the looks of it, Trump is gonna win, and win big.

Rhythm and Balls said...

The misogyny of the Democrat Party does need some discussion. Why does the Clinton Foundation pay female employees so little compared to men? Why does Hollywood? Why does it support a rapist like Bill Clinton and an enabler like Hillary Clinton?

Go with that attack if you think it will do any good. I have no interest in seeing Hillary win.

At this point though the Trump-Clinton campaign would be about which candidate is more tone-deaf, since both of them like nothing so much as the sound of their own voice. Any attack that turns more people off than it excites just goes to the cumulative "loss" side of the electoral balance sheet.

William said...

It's wrong to disparage homely women, but it's praiseworthy to heap abuse on men with small hands.......Debbie Wasserman Schultz isn't all that ugly. It's the Medusa locks that sabotage her appearance. There's something hostile about her appearance. She doesn't want it to give comfort to the enemy........Hillary was an attractive woman when younger. I bet a lot of men would have been willing to ignore the cackle and the mirthless eyes, to discover what lies beneath. Only to discover more lies.

Laslo Spatula said...

The Girl with the Pony Tail on the Treadmill addressed this just a few days ago.

My ass says a lot about me. Fat girls don't understand this.

I have routinely identified a trend before Althouse eventually then comes across it in the 'Real Media'.

Has Althouse ever started a post with: "As Laslo noticed..."?

I am right here under your nose, Professor.

I am more accurate than Dilbert Dude.

I am Laslo.

buwaya puti said...

The archives of Laslo!
How has this been hidden away since 2014?
I'm going to be explaining myself to my wife for the next few days. It may not be easy.

Freeman Hunt said...

"The photo could only be a let-down after Paglia's prose. And it was."

My experience was different. I laughed out loud when I saw it because I thought it paid off entirely.

coupe said...

I used to call the handicapped parking slots outside our office the "overwight parking" spots.

It seemed we had no handicapped people, but we had about ten fat fucks that couldn't find their ass with a sheet of toilet paper, if their lives depended on it.

So, while I said this in private it was no problem, but when the company boss heard me say it, he said he was going to put a letter in my personal file, stating that I was insensitive to handicapped people.

I asked him if being fat was considered handicapped, and he told me to get the hell out of his office.

coupe said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
tim in vermont said...

I think that good looks are pretty universally recognized. There was a story about a porpoise that fell in love with a woman in a sexual way, his trainer, and a picture of the woman was included. Let me tell you, if I could start each day rubbing my weenie on her, I would have done it the same way that porpoise did. She was just ridiculously hot.

But I think men have their preferences too, and the flat out hot women are pretty rare and being really hot affects a woman in negative ways as well as positive ones, so we learn to find the beauty in the girls around us, there is almost always some little bit somewhere, around the mouth, the eyes, beautiful hair, that can work as a starting point, and as has been noted above, when the affection grows, the beauty grows.

tim in vermont said...

My eyes are up here Hillary!

knox said...

At this point though the Trump-Clinton campaign would be about which candidate is more tone-deaf, since both of them like nothing so much as the sound of their own voice.

Different from other politicians... how?

wildswan said...

BURN IN HELL
10 Dowdy Women Explain Why Other Dowdys Must Support Hillary

wildswan said...

NYT Shock Story
Donald Trump likes women!!!one was Czechoslovakian!!! another put on a BATHING SUIT at a pool party!!!!!!!!

NYT non-story
Bill Clinton likes women!!! and young girls!!! Hopes to party at the White House again!!!

wildswan said...

Maureen Dowdy, Andrea Mitchell, Lena Dunham - Dowdies for Hillary

wildswan said...

"Handsome Ed" Rendell explained that most of the women he sees make him sick and he thinks they are Hillary supporters. "At least they should be," he explained "Donald Trump is not a problem to them, he won't be tempting them with jewels and diamonds and parties. They look like Hillary and their husbands don't like them either. They should identify with her and burn in hell if they don't support her."

Todd Galle said...

We have a great family story regarding Ed Rendell...When he was governor here in PA, I was invited to an art show opening at the Governor's Mansion due to a position I held in the state Gov't. My daughter is an ardent artist and jumped at the chance to go along, as the invite had 'guest' privileges. She got all fancied up (around 10 years old fancied up) and was thrilled when the PA State Policeman (I knew him from an earlier administration) dressed up as a doorman checked our names off the invite list. She then proceeded through the gallery, when gazing upon some large work, she took several steps back to gain a better perspective and stepped on Rendell's feet, both of them, absolutely tromped on him. She had no idea who he was, and was very perturbed that he was in the way of her art enjoyment. She actually sniffed her nose at him as an unwelcome intrusion. She was correct.

mikeski said...

There's a bloggish sort of thing attached to OKCupid that goes into the guts of their data on dating. One of the better entries was "your looks and your inbox". They asked men/women to rate pix of each other, and then looked at who got the most interest on the site.

The men rated the women on almost a perfect bell curve, with a bit over half of on the high side of the curve, and a bit under half on the low side. So Ed has it backwards; "most" women are considered attractive (in at least one online study, heh).

On the other hand, women rated men on something like a bell curve, as well... but only one tail of it. 80% of the men's pictures were rated as below-average in looks.

So, Ed is worried that women will think he was telling the truth, because that's how they think attractiveness is distributed.

Birkel said...

"Rhythm and Balls":

Nice of you to ignore the misogyny of your preferred party and pretend it is about personalities. Predictable and stupid, as always.

Gahrie said...

Lol. This is seriously something that warrants five paragraphs (minus the paragraph-length quotes) and 63 comments?

If a Republican had said something this stupid, it would lead every news broadcast for days, and headline every newspaper.

Rhythm and Balls said...

Nice of you to ignore the misogyny of your preferred party and pretend it is about personalities. Predictable and stupid, as always.

It's about a non-story, you hyper-partisan dumbASS.

Gahrie said...

It's about a non-story, you hyper-partisan dumbASS.

Only because he's a Democrat, you hyper-partisan dumbASS.