Jewish World Review Nov. 9, 1999 /28 Mar-Cheshvan, 5760
Gore could benefit from a
secret in Wolf's clothing
IN THE NEWS-MEDIA WORLD,everyone's atwitter over the
revelation that feminist-author/glam-girl Naomi Wolf has
been advising Vice President Al Gore in his bid to
become Numero Uno. Or the "Alpha Male," as Wolf
reportedly put it.
So gleeful has been the response, you would have
thought the VP had been discovered exorcising the
demons of his unfortunate childhood with a navy-blue
dress. Alas, he was only taking wardrobe advice from
the raven-haired Wolf, who, frankly, has nothing but my
envy and admiration.
Talk about it. The woman was raking in $15,000 a
month to chat it up with the VP about clothes 'n hair!
Not to butt in, but I'm ready to talk taupe.
The giddiness of news reports thus far seems to suggest
an underlying nefariousness to the Wolf/Gore alliance. A
Washington Post headline declared: "Gore Campaign
Paid Controversial Feminist." Then, "Vice President
Gore acknowledged yesterday . . .," as though he
should be ashamed.
Of what? Of paying a beautiful woman high wages for
advice? Of hiring a middle-of-the-road feminist? Of . . .
keeping a secret?
Frankly, I'm skeptical about reports that Gore
sheepishly tried to cloak Wolf's involvement in his
campaign. The story goes that Gore funneled Wolf's
retainer through other consulting firms to keep her name
off financial reports.
I don't doubt the funneling part. Everybody in
Washington funnels money. Washington is a funnel. The
part I doubt is that he didn't want people to find out.
Let's face it. Finding out that Al Gore, the unsexiest man
alive, was keeping a secret adviser -- who at a glance
could be the sister of another well-known, raven-haired
former Washington belle -- has sex appeal. It's the single
thing this beta-male has been missing.
Suddenly, without having to do anything really
objectionable -- further underscoring how different he is
from the current lead dog -- he's in the spotlight with a
woman who is, inarguably, one of the more attractive
headliners in the feminist lineup.
The fact that Wolf is controversial via her published
works only adds pizzazz to a lackluster campaign. Her
books include The Beauty Myth, a 1991 national best
seller that tackled the confusion of women who, though
accomplished, still feel compelled to look like movie
More recently, Wolf wrote Promiscuities: The Secret
Struggle for Womanhood. Writing in "first person
sexual," Wolf argued that we have to find a balance
between abstinence, an unlikely goal, and sexual
intercourse. Teaching kids about masturbation and oral
sex -- neither of which, you'll recall, is really sex -- is "as
sensible as teaching kids to drive."
Is it any wonder this woman found a place in the White
Gore did a good day's work when he hired Wolf, no
matter what negative spin her lesser-paid colleagues
invent. The wooden straight man whose pulse is often in
question now has not only a pulse but also a libido by
association. He's not exactly sexual, thank goodness, but
the air does hint of pheromones.
Heeding Wolf's clothing advice, meanwhile, has made
Gore seem warmer and more reassuring, as Wolf
projected. But having Wolf hovering in the shadows,
suggestive as it is of something an itsy-bitsy bit illicit, is
Wolf also has advised Gore to distance himself from
President Clinton, sage advice too late for most
skeptics. Even so, Gore already has done that which the
president failed to do. He told the truth about "that
woman" as soon as possible. "I did hire Naomi Wolf,"
he told reporters without shame.
And Alpha Al's looking better for
JWR contributor Kathleen Parker can be reached by clicking here.
11/03/99: Who needs 'birds and bees' when we have MTV?
11/01/99: Women Can't Hear What Men Don't Say
10/26/99: Children's needs must take priority in divorce system
10/19/99: The deadbeat dad is less a scoundrel than an object of pity
10/15/99: Bullying boys ... and girls
10/12/99: Divorced dads ready to wage a revolution
10/04/99: A father's best gift? His presence
09/30/99: Sorry, guys, Faludi is no friend of yours
09/28/99: Science's new findings: Scary future for families
09/23/99: The great blurring of need and want
09/21/99:Focus on more than baby's first 3 years
09/16/99: Commentary from kids sheds no light on day-care debate
09/14/99: Fathers' group seeks to right inequities
09/09/99: Son now has a license to grow up
09/07/99: A slap in the face of domestic violence
09/01/99: No, ma'am: Legislation on manners misses the mark
08/26/99: For better boys, try a little tenderness
08/24/99:The ABC's of campaign questions
08/19/99: Male 'sluts'
08/11/99: Language doesn't excuse bad behavior
08/09/99: When justice delayed is still justice
08/03/99: Unemployment? Not in this profession
07/30/99: It's not about race -- it's about crack babies
07/22/99: Tragedy tells us what's important
07/19/99: Study denouncing fathers sends danger signals
07/15/99:'Happy marriage' belongs in the
Dictionary of Oxymorons next to 'deliciously low-fat.'
07/11/99: 'Brother Man': An American demagogue in Paris
07/08/99: Only parents can fix broken families
07/06/99: America is home, sweet home
07/01/99: Tales out of Yuppiedom
06/28/99: Men aren't the only abusers
06/23/99: Is the entire country guzzling LSD punch?
06/20/99: The voice remains -- as always -- there beside me
06/16/99:Stating the obvious, a new growth industry
06/14/99: Calling for a cease-fire in the gender war
06/10/99: We owe children an apology
©1999, Tribune Media Services