In this issue
April 9, 2014

Jonathan Tobin: Why Did Kerry Lie About Israeli Blame?

Samuel G. Freedman: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Jessica Ivins: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Kim Giles: Asking for help is not weakness

Kathy Kristof and Barbara Hoch Marcus: 7 Great Growth Israeli Stocks

Matthew Mientka: How Beans, Peas, And Chickpeas Cleanse Bad Cholesterol and Lowers Risk of Heart Disease

Sabrina Bachai: 5 At-Home Treatments For Headaches

The Kosher Gourmet by Daniel Neman Have yourself a matzo ball: The secrets bubby never told you and recipes she could have never imagined

April 8, 2014

Lori Nawyn: At Your Wit's End and Back: Finding Peace

Susan B. Garland and Rachel L. Sheedy: Strategies Married Couples Can Use to Boost Benefits

David Muhlbaum: Smart Tax Deductions Non-Itemizers Can Claim

Jill Weisenberger, M.S., R.D.N., C.D.E : Before You Lose Your Mental Edge

Dana Dovey: Coffee Drinkers Rejoice! Your Cup Of Joe Can Prevent Death From Liver Disease

Chris Weller: Electric 'Thinking Cap' Puts Your Brain Power Into High Gear

The Kosher Gourmet by Marlene Parrish A gift of hazelnuts keeps giving --- for a variety of nutty recipes: Entree, side, soup, dessert

April 4, 2014

Rabbi David Gutterman: The Word for Nothing Means Everything

Charles Krauthammer: Kerry's folly, Chapter 3

Amy Peterson: A life of love: How to build lasting relationships with your children

John Ericson: Older Women: Save Your Heart, Prevent Stroke Don't Drink Diet

John Ericson: Why 50 million Americans will still have spring allergies after taking meds

Cameron Huddleston: Best and Worst Buys of April 2014

Stacy Rapacon: Great Mutual Funds for Young Investors

Sarah Boesveld: Teacher keeps promise to mail thousands of former students letters written by their past selves

The Kosher Gourmet by Sharon Thompson Anyone can make a salad, you say. But can they make a great salad? (SECRETS, TESTED TECHNIQUES + 4 RECIPES, INCLUDING DRESSINGS)

April 2, 2014

Paul Greenberg: Death and joy in the spring

Dan Barry: Should South Carolina Jews be forced to maintain this chimney built by Germans serving the Nazis?

Mayra Bitsko: Save me! An alien took over my child's personality

Frank Clayton: Get happy: 20 scientifically proven happiness activities

Susan Scutti: It's Genetic! Obesity and the 'Carb Breakdown' Gene

Lecia Bushak: Why Hand Sanitizer May Actually Harm Your Health

Stacy Rapacon: Great Funds You Can Own for $500 or Less

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Ways to Save on Home Decor

The Kosher Gourmet by Steve Petusevsky Exploring ingredients as edible-stuffed containers (TWO RECIPES + TIPS & TECHINQUES)

Jewish World Review Sept. 19, 2007 / 7 Tishrei 5768

Hillary's real rivals are called Mrs.

By Kathleen Parker

Kathleen Parker
Printer Friendly Version
Email this article

http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | The presidential candidacy of Hillary Clinton has unleashed something new upon the political landscape: the wives.

More than any previous presidential campaign, the candidates' wives — especially on the Democratic side — are stepping forward, speaking out and strutting their own stuff.

Outspokenness is suddenly a virtue.

Hillary is, in fact, running not only against front-runners Barack Obama and John Edwards, but against their equally powerful and ambitious wives.

Ironically, the trend of first lady as co-contender began with Hillary when husband Bill introduced a twofer presidency. Elect me and you get my smart wife, too, he told voters. That worked out well.

Thanks to the debacle of Hillary's attempted health care plan, the likelihood of her ever becoming the first woman president seemed nil to impossible. In yet another irony, it was her husband's betrayal that saved Hillary from obscurity.

Public sympathy — as well as Hillary's dignified public response to humiliation — trumped her lousy record as a policymaker and, voila, she was the junior senator from New York. Now she's nearly the presumptive Democratic nominee for president.

The shift in perception of Hillary as aggressive presidential wife to self-deprecating presidential candidate has caused a shift in the estrogen ecosphere. With a woman leading the race, the other females have ramped up their own roles and rhetoric.

Republican wives are less out-front than their Democratic contemporaries, in part because Republicans tend toward more traditional roles, but also because those who have been outspoken have been slapped down. The once-talkative and confident Judith Giuliani has begun confining her commentary lately to golf, following a few hard knocks in the media ring and a particularly bruising Vanity Fair profile.

Other front-runner wives — Ann Romney, Cindy McCain and Jeri Thompson — tend to participate more quietly or behind the scenes.

Because of Hillary, however, the Democrats are another story. Michelle Obama and Elizabeth Edwards both have taken their places front and center as they challenge the other candidates and defend their own husbands. Like Hillary, they're both lawyers who are unaccustomed to letting the men do all the talking.

When Ann Coulter attacked John Edwards, for instance, Elizabeth Edwards called the columnist live on "Hardball" and "politely" asked her to stop. And in a deft move that both objectified and minimized her husband's opponents, Mrs. Edwards said: "We can't make John black. We can't make him a woman. Those things get you a lot of press, worth a certain amount of fundraising dollars."

Mrs. Edwards has become bad cop to her husband's good cop, in other words. She carries the family aggression for him so that he can remain the laid-back, deeply caring guy. While he opposes same-sex marriage, she stars at the kickoff event at San Francisco's Gay Pride Parade and declares her full support.

What Elizabeth Edwards is doing for her husband, we all do to some degree in our marriages. And though we're all entitled to our own opinions, those opinions have consequences in politics. First wives — or first husbands, as the case may be — don't get to serve as first mates during pillow talk and then pretend their voices are irrelevant as policies take shape.

Michelle Obama has taken a slightly different tack. She carries the family values, making sure voters know she's at home each night to tuck in the couple's two girls. As opposed to Elizabeth Edwards, perhaps, whose young children are on the road with their parents?

While Barack Obama stays above the fray, drawing adoring crowds and focusing on issues, his wife fleshes out his human dimension. He's not the "next messiah, who's going to fix it all," she told USA Today.

Sensibly noting that a man deified is a man people will try to take down, Michelle might have skipped telling Glamour magazine that Obama is "snore-y and stinky" in the mornings. There's a significant amount of wiggle room between deification and halitosis.

Whether voters want their first ladies to be full presidential partners rather than silent sidekicks remains to be seen. Meanwhile, Hillary is learning that becoming the first woman president of the United States requires not only defeating the men.

She has to beat their wives, too.

Every weekday JewishWorldReview.com publishes what many in in the media and Washington consider "must-reading". Sign up for the daily JWR update. It's free. Just click here.

JWR contributor Kathleen Parker can be reached by clicking here.

Kathleen Parker Archives

© 2006, WPWG