Nation-Building >> Focus on Dr. Steinberg | return to front page

"America has two great dominant strands of political thought - conservatism, which, at its very best, draws lines that should not be crossed; and progressivism, which, at its very best, breaks down barriers that should never have been erected." -- Bill Clinton, Dedication of the Clinton Presidential Library, November 2004

Add to Google Reader or Homepage Subscribe in Bloglines Subscribe in NewsGator Online Add to netvibes

website stats

Previous Posts
Netflix, Inc.
ThinkGeek T-Shirts will make you cool!
illy coffee - 2 cans, 2 mugs for just $26.

Tuesday, January 13, 2004


Focus on Dr. Steinberg

posted by Aziz P. at Tuesday, January 13, 2004 permalink View blog reactions
I am frankly uncomfortable with the increased media hunger for details about Dr. Judy Steinberg. This NYT article does a good job of explaining how Dean does not intend to use his wife as a prop on the campaign trail, but it also takes absurd detours into discussing the state of their marriage and invokes a ludcrous system of categorization for First Ladies by one Myra Gutin:

Political experts say spouses often help humanize the candidates they are married to. A spouse, the person presumably closest to the candidate, also provides a window into a politician's character, they said, and acts as a kind of validator.

"The whole thing has just struck me as a little odd," said Myra Gutin, who has taught a course on first ladies at Rider University in New Jersey for 20 years. "There may be some voters out there who say, `well, why isn't she here? Why isn't she supporting him?' It's the most outward manifestation of support."

In her book, "The President's Partner: The First Lady in the 20th Century," Ms. Gutin outlined three broad categories: "ceremonial" (Bess Truman, Mamie Eisenhower), whose White House role was mainly entertaining; "emerging spokeswoman" (Jacqueline Kennedy, Pat Nixon), who seized the podium to promote issues important to them; and "activist" (Eleanor Roosevelt, Betty Ford). Dr. Steinberg, she said, fits nowhere.

Note the desperate attempt to fit square pegs into round holes - and the dark speculation of What it All Means that Dr. Steinberg actually has a life beyond Her Husband's Wife. Coupled with the religious conservative obsession about why a "supposedly devout" Dean would marry a (gasp!) Jewish wife - and (gasp!) raise his kids to be Jewish, there's a pattern emerging here that suggests that maybe the media isn't quite ready to abandon its precious sterotypes.


Post a Comment


View blog top tags
The Assault on Reason

Obama 2008 - I want my country back

I want my country back - Obama 2008

About Nation-Building

Nation-Building was founded by Aziz Poonawalla in August 2002 under the name Dean Nation. Dean Nation was the very first weblog devoted to a presidential candidate, Howard Dean, and became the vanguard of the Dean netroot phenomenon, raising over $40,000 for the Dean campaign, pioneering the use of Meetup, and enjoying the attention of the campaign itself, with Joe Trippi a regular reader (and sometime commentor). Howard Dean himself even left a comment once. Dean Nation was a group weblog effort and counts among its alumni many of the progressive blogsphere's leading talent including Jerome Armstrong, Matthew Yglesias, and Ezra Klein. After the election in 2004, the blog refocused onto the theme of "purple politics", formally changing its name to Nation-Building in June 2006. The primary focus of the blog is on articulating purple-state policy at home and pragmatic liberal interventionism abroad.