The Stepford First Wives Club
Major headline breaking at Drudge. Total scoop. Big News. 40 point font type news.
Howard Dean's wife does not accompany him on the campaign trail!!
There it is. Shook you to your very foundation, didn't it? Sorry to do that to you so early, but if Drudge super-fonts it, it must be earth-shattering.
To be fair to Drudge, it's a New York Times story. But NYT didn't announce it in a headline as if they just uncovered the Scandal of the Century.
So where is Mrs. Dean? Why is she not following her husband around like a good woman should, smiling like a Stepford First Lady and hugging babies? Oh, she has a job. No, a career. She's a what? A doctor? Women can be doctors? What has this world come to?
Call me silly, but I just don't care whether or not a candidate lugs a spouse along while he or she is stumping for votes. It's such a non-issue that I never even noticed that Mrs. Howard Dean wasn't tethered at the end of her husband's leash. Oh, this has nothing to do with women standing strong, equal rights, burn your bra, etc. Sort of. Maybe. I suppose if they made just as big a deal that Carol Mosley-Braun's husband wasn't tagging along on her quest for respect, I wouldn't be so rankled by the Mrs. Dean story, but no. It's just a woman thing, I guess. Or maybe it's just a Howard Dean thing. I suppose it could be the case that the Times is just trying to fill space; it's like the week preceding the Super Bowl, when every question has been asked and every angle covered and a reporter inevitably ends up asking a player what kind of tree he would like to be. You gotta fill the space.
But in Drudgeville, it's Big Font Time.
The Times article presses the point of Judith Steinberg Dean's "invisibility" factor. She skips a lot of functions, she's rarely seen at her husband's side, she doesn't give interviews.
I suppose if my husband ever ran for office (and if they ever put " Official Stealth Ninja" on the ballot, he just might), I would be the invisible woman. I have a social disorder; I hate being social. I don't like crowds. I'm afraid of strangers. Put me in a room with more than ten people and I'll melt into the wall. Hey, maybe Mrs. Dean just needs a dose of Zoloft or Prozac or something to make her overcome her shyness! Or not. Maybe she just wants to concentrate on her career and her children, which is admirable. I'd much prefer a first lady (be it state or country) that prefers to do her job and be there for her kids than walk around Iowa like a grinning puppet.
I suppose that's what it could boil down to; on the issue of this campaign, Dr. Steinberg chose her kids over her husband. Is that so bad? Is it terrible to want to be there for PTA meetings and football games instead of holding your husband's hand while he's on a 2003 Blast Bush Tour? Sure, I could be wrong. I'm engaging in a little mind-reading here. Maybe Dr. Steinberg-Dean is staying in the background because she hates politics or is selfish or is having a secret lesbian affair with her child's gym teacher. Maybe she's a secret double agent who is planting dissenters in Howard Dean's audience to wreck his career, after which she will dump him for Dennis Kucinich, who is in the market for a life partner, anyhow.
Ah, conjecture thy name is mass media.
Coming soon to a Drudge headline: Why is Scott Peterson's Wife Absent During His Most Trying Times??
*I'm sorry. That was really tasteless.