August 18, 2016

"That is the lesson we're inscribing into American history as we create The Story of The First Woman President. "

So I wrote in an afterthought to the previous post. I'm restating it at the top of a new post because I'm reminded of something I've been wanting to say for a while.

I find myself utterly un-thrilled at the prospect of the First Woman President that is Hillary Clinton. Her team presents her as if she's the fulfillment of a lifetime of hoping and dreaming — an especially deep and lovely feeling for older women (like me), whose life stretches back before the successes of the women's movement, who grew up in an America where young girls were not yet encouraged to go for great power and wealth... other than through marriage to a great man or a good enough man that she could make great.

I'm not surprised that a woman with Hillary's talents chose to be the woman behind a man and to support and assist him as he attained greatness. That was the convention, and many women did it. It's what I thought I was modern to reject, circa 1970, when I came of age. The woman could make it on her own, in her own right, in a way that was new and different from the age-old patriarchy.

I remember Ella Grasso:
Former Gov. Ella T. Grasso of Connecticut, the first woman to be elected governor in her own right in the United States, died here today. She was 61 years old....
That's the NYT obituary, dated February 6, 1981. You see the key words: in her own right.
When she was elected Governor in 1974, Mrs. Grasso drew national attention as being in the vanguard of a new era in politics.... [S]he was the first woman to be elected governor who was not the wife or widow of a governor....
There were women governors before Ella Grasso. There was Nellie Tayloe Ross, elected governor of Wyoming, in 1924, after her husband the governor died. And there was Miriam A. Ferguson — Ma Ferguson:
After her husband's impeachment and conviction, Ma Ferguson sought the Democratic nomination for governor, and was elected to office. She told voters that she would follow the advice of her husband and Texas thus would get "two governors for the price of one." A common campaign slogan was, "Me for Ma, and I Ain't Got a Durned Thing Against Pa." Against the odds, Ma Ferguson was elected governor, becoming the first female chief executive of Texas. 
That happened in 1924.

But the one we really thought about, back in the 1970s — when it felt so important to use that phrase "in her own right" for Ella Grasso — was Lurleen Wallace:
Lurleen Brigham Wallace (September 19, 1926 – May 7, 1968)... was the 46th governor of Alabama from 1967 until her death in 1968. She was the first wife of Alabama Governor George Corley Wallace....

The 1966 [gubernatorial election] results showed that George Wallace, strengthened at the time by his opposition to desegregation, could have easily won a second term had he been constitutionally eligible to do so. In Alabama (as in most southern states at the time), governors were not allowed to serve two consecutive terms...
When Wallace failed in 1965 to get the constitutional ban on his candidacy lifted, he devised a plan in which Mrs. Wallace would run for governor while he continued to exercise the authority of the office behind the scenes....

Oh, wait, that's the wrong picture.

So you see what I'm saying. Bill Clinton is term-limited out of the presidency. His wife, a woman who rose to prominence behind him — who even said "two for the price of one" like Ma Ferguson — now runs to reclaim the office for the twosome.

Some day, some other woman whose husband did not build the platform for her will get elected President and we will be able to say about her: She is the first woman to be elected President in her own right.

50 comments:

traditionalguy said...

I for one look forward to Melania being elected President in her own right after the SCOTUS reinterprets that tricky the Natural Born American business like Lying Ted wanted.

jaydub said...

Hillary is not running to reclaim Bill's presidency, but to continue the cash flow to the Clinton Foundation.

David Begley said...

An excellent reason for a feminist NOT to vote for Hillary. She's riding back to the White House on the coat tails of an alleged serial rapist.

How can any one be proud of voting for Hillary?

rhhardin said...

Yoko Ono made it in her own write.

Original Mike said...

"How can any one be proud of voting for Hillary?"

Hillary would be losing badly against virtually any other candidate.

rhhardin said...

Women get their power from men liking them.

Imagine the world without men, just women hating each other.

rhhardin said...

Bella Abzug. Hats. Being with her is like living in an airport, somebody said.

PB said...

Some would say that Bill was a figurehead and that it was Hillary that pulled the strings, so this would be a 3rd Hillary Clinton presidency.

khematite said...

Contrariwise, there was Coya Knutson of Minnesota. Elected to the US House of Representatives in 1954, she served only a couple of terms before her husband decided that he'd had enough and launched the "Come Home, Coya" campaign that defeated her.

http://www.nytimes.com/1996/10/12/us/coya-knutson-82-legislator-husband-sought-her-defeat.html

Bob Dylan even alluded to her story in Tarantula.

Quaestor said...

We may have own Evita, complete with a proto-fascist hubby in the background. Since the accession of Obama we've been swirling down into banana republic status as high-ranking politics time and again escape laws that would destroy the lives of lesser citizens.

Thank fully it seems that Trump's candidacy is on the mend. Perhaps we'll avoid the fate of Athens for another four years.

Comanche Voter said...

Ma Ferguson? Hillary is more like Ma Barker, head of the criminal gang down at the "Barker Foundation and Political Slush Fund".

Quaestor said...

Typo alert "politics" should read "politicos". Thanks, Safari. What would I do without you?

Gusty Winds said...

Sarah Palin became Governor of Alaska on her own while husband Todd played on dog sleds. The left didn't seem to want to acknowledge that. They despised her and made every effort to tear her apart.

So now the feminists get Hillary. Congratulations.

Eric the Fruit Bat said...

A woman, behind a man supporting and assisting him to greatness.

buwaya puti said...

Individuals dont matter very much, especially these days.
In the past it was only the occasional extraordinary figure that could turn the world upside-down. Im not sure thats even possible anymore.
Whatever Mrs. Clintons faults and corruptions, the real problem for you all is the failing system, the decadent clique for which she is merely the figurehead.

n.n said...

Female chauvinists hate women, men, and babies, too. Chauvinism is the ultimate narcissistic orientation, particularly for females.

bagoh20 said...

If she wins, it will be due to a famous powerful man, but not Bill. She found the only man who could get her there, or rather he was found for her.

mikee said...

Your concern is noted, comrade citizen, and will be addressed in the mandatory re-education courses you WILL attend starting immediately after the inauguration of our first female President. Please look in the mail for your schedule and tickets.

Please arrive at the Amtrack station early for your January trip to the reeducation center in the lovely Wisconsin countryside, as large crowds are expected and the cattle cars take some time to be filled.

Hagar said...

As far as platforms go, you might perhaps better say Hillary! built Bill's.

Michelle Dulak Thomson said...

Let's just say that right about now I am missing Maggie Thatcher. And Denis. Who was definitely not tomcatting around No. 10 in the Thatcher years.

Bob Boyd said...

"Some day, some other woman whose husband did not build the platform for her will get elected President and we will be able to say about her: She is the first woman to be elected President in her own right."

Ouch!
That's going to take a toll on the ash trays and table lamps.

Brando said...

Very true. Hillary is sort of an anti-feminist figure, at least by the definition of feminism as promoting gender equality and not just pushing leftism.

I've heard people say "she's the brains of that operation" and "Bill wouldn't have gotten so far without her" and "she would have done amazing things even without Bill." Ok, even if we agree that's true (a very dubious proposition) the fact is she did not do anything on her own, but decided to go the route of backing her husband and using that to gain power. There's nothing necessarily wrong with going that route (though it does tend to promote not on merit but on connection, but what else is new in politics) but to paint this as a feminist victory is absurd.

As "first female president" she should have an asterisk.

machine said...

Palin quit when it got tough...unlike Madame President.

traditionalguy said...

I await the Enquirer's headlines at grocery checkout about Bill raping Huma and Hillary having to chose between her lovers or come out for Free Love Without Limits as a traditional American civil right.

I might even buy that one.

dbp said...

Dixie Lee Ray was the governor in Washington when I was in High School. I never thought she was the first woman Gov. but I didn't realize how close she was to being first in her own right. She was two years behind the CT Gov.

I've always been conservative and even though she was a Democrat, I thought she did a solid job. I don't think any governor before or after her would have taken the political risks she did; one of which was the forced evacuation of the area around Mt. St. Hellens, which resulted in thousands of lives being saved.

AprilApple said...

Hillary is a congenital liar. Most women with morals and ethics get this, and are - repulsed by her.

Matthew Blaine said...

The ladies' tees are always closer to the pin.

rhhardin said...

The ladies' tees are always closer to the pin.

That's so they don't have to use a wide stance. Bees.

Left Bank of the Charles said...

What does Althousian feminism make of the rapey allegations against Donald Trump, such as this one reported in The Daily Beast:

"When Lost Tycoon was about to be printed, Donald Trump and his lawyers provided a statement from Ivana, which was posted on the first page of the book. In it, Ivana confirms that she had “felt violated” and that she had stated that her husband had raped her during a divorce deposition. But Ivana sought to soften her earlier statement.

“During a deposition given by me in connection with my matrimonial case, I stated that my husband had raped me,” the Ivana Trump statement said. “[O]n one occasion during 1989, Mr. Trump and I had marital relations in which he behaved very differently toward me than he had during our marriage. As a woman, I felt violated, as the love and tenderness, which he normally exhibited towards me, was absent. I referred to this as a ‘rape,’ but I do not want my words to be interpreted in a literal or criminal sense.”"

If the debates get into this territory, we would have a good old-fashioned Mexican standoff. That's why Gary Johnson can't be allowed on the debate stage, with his pistols pointed at both Clinton and Trump.

rhhardin said...

It isn't rape if feminine modesty isn't violated. Ivana should have said assault and battery, if that's what it was.

If not, it's nothing.

The Clinton case is the opposite.

Bad Lieutenant said...

Left Back, if you would just instead of posting all that sort of rot all the time, just say:

"I want power. Please give me and my bunch power."

it would save everybody so much time.

Because that's all you ever mean.

Quaestor said...

Palin quit when it got tough...unlike Madame President.

Absurd. HRC has NEVER had it tough. Not once.

readering said...

If she wins, Clinton will have been elected in her own right just like JQ Adams, B Harrison, F Roosevelt and GW Bush were and RF Kennedy should have been.

FullMoon said...

machine said... [hush]​[hide comment]

Palin quit when it got tough...


Assume you are not actually stupid enough to believe that.

Char Char Binks said...

Women NEVER have political power in their own right. It's always somebody's wife or daughter, or other woman close to a powerful man, from days of monarchs to Indira Ghandi to Christina Fernandez de Kirchner, who rides the coattails. Maybe Thatcher and May are exceptions, but the UK is only a secondary power now. True, women hold high office in the Scandinavian countries, including prime minister, but those countries have no power at all.

Bad Lieutenant said...

FullMoon said...
machine said... [hush]​[hide comment]

Palin quit when it got tough...

Assume you are not actually stupid enough to believe that.

8/18/16, 11:00 AM

No, but cynical enough to say it.

Readering,

Huh? I suppose that is a poke at nepotism or privilege or something?

mockturtle said...

Women NEVER have political power in their own right. It's always somebody's wife or daughter, or other woman close to a powerful man, from days of monarchs to Indira Ghandi to Christina Fernandez de Kirchner, who rides the coattails. Maybe Thatcher and May are exceptions, but the UK is only a secondary power now. True, women hold high office in the Scandinavian countries, including prime minister, but those countries have no power at all.

Char Char, I would say Golda Meir was a BIG exception.

Unknown said...

Hear hear Readering.

The woman succeeded despite her husband not because of him. For that alone she deserves credit.

rehajm said...

Best joke about politics in 2nd grade:

If governor Grasso marries Darth Vader she'll be Ella Vader!

tim in vermont said...

The woman succeeded despite her husband not because of him. For that alone she deserves credit

What bullshit. How does she get the Senate seat cleared for her in New York State if she is not Bill Clinton's wife? It wouldn't happen. How does she go from that unlikely freshman Senator's seat to a viable candidate for President if she wasn't Bill Clinton's wife? Her one bill she got passed was to name a Federal building. It was "bipartisan." How does she get to be Secretary of State if she wasn't Bill Clinton's wife?

None of that would have happened, and to think that New York State would clear a U.S. Senate seat for a lady lawyer from Little Rock, Arkansas? Well, that would require a level of self-delusion I doubt most people could muster.

tim in vermont said...

I hope Trump starts beating her up in the paid media. He can't get past the gatekeepers in the free media. He has to pay to put this stuff out there. The press are not his friends.

My first suggested ad? Glad you asked. It would be Hillary gloating about killing Qadaffi: "We came! We saw! He died!" Look at the youtube if you doubt my punctuation. After that, I would show that film from the Italian Navy of a ship overloaded with refugees fleeing Libya capsizing, maybe with some numbers of refugees drowning week by week fleeing that "shit show."

Horrific judgement. That is what Hillary offers us.

buwaya said...

"the UK is only a secondary power now."

So are all "powers" other than the US. If only the US counts, well, thats a bit of a manipulation of the argument.

Indira Gandhi was Nehrus daughter, but she could just as well have been Nehrus son. And Gandhi's sons were groomed to follow her, but couldn't. Indira Gandhi had her own political abilities. This was more or less a royal succession, because the Congress Party was the family business, but it wouldn't have happened without her own talents. This is a complex point in places with ubiquitous political dynasties, where politics is a family business.

The former President of the Philippines for instance, Gloria Macapagal Arroyo (2001-2010), is a daughter of President Diosdado Macapagal (1961-65). But she was a politician in her own right, starting her career long after his presidency, but leveraging his name recognition and good reputation, as well as her excellent education (she was Bill Clintons classmate at Georgetown) and wealthy marriage to a son of a great landowning family. This is where most politicians in that society come from. Diosdado Macapagal also had sons, but none entered politics.

Her father, interestingly, was born poor, his success was his own.

buwaya said...

"Char Char, I would say Golda Meir was a BIG exception."

Maggie Thatcher was an even bigger exception.

mockturtle said...

"Char Char, I would say Golda Meir was a BIG exception."

Maggie Thatcher was an even bigger exception.


I agree but Char Char already mentioned her as an exception.

Rockport Conservative said...

I don't know about you but I am still angry from the political attacks against Geraldine Ferraro because of her husband. She was a woman running for vice-president in HER OWN RIGHT, as a Democrat and it still wouldn't happen because of a man.

Char Char Binks said...

mockturtle said...
"Char Char, I would say Golda Meir was a BIG exception."

True, but when I said women NEVER have political power of their own I meant "NEVER (except for when they do)".

Wayworn Wanderer said...

Ma Ferguson!

Welcome to Texas!

SukieTawdry said...

Hillary did not chose to be the woman behind a man and to support and assist him as he attained greatness. Arkansas and marriage to Bill was Plan B, the only viable alternative after Plan A went down in self-inflicted flames.

richardsson said...

Palin quit when it was clear that her worst enemies were the Establishment Republicans and she lacked the resources with which to fight them. They hated her because she had a Wisconsin-Minnesota accent. It grated on their ears. They also hated her because she had guts, something no Establishment Republican ever had. The McCain staffers began whispering derogatory gossip to their "friends" in the media. While she was drawing crowds with mile long lines to get into see her, McCain was snarling at empty halls. After his loss, McCain consulted with Lindsay Graham, leader of the stupid wing of the Republican Party. After W's hapless Presidency and McCain and Romney's gutless performances, is it any wonder Trump's hostile take over of the Republican Party succeeded?

With Palin, nothing done to her was too low. I suppose one reason Joe McGinniss pulled that stunt of moving next door to Palin to spy on her and her family is because it was open season on her... anything that was done to her was fair game. How dare she run for office.

kevino said...

Sec. Clinton has such a positive message for young women everywhere: if you study hard, work hard, and marry a successful man, then you can can get rich while accomplishing nothing and leaving a trail of epic failure in your wake. And when it turns out that your husband is a serial sexual predator, you have to defend him because your career doesn't depend on your record of accomplishment; it depends on your husband's success.