« Is it cool? is it cool? | Main | bunch of idiots »

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??

Oh, nevermind.*

*I'm sorry. That was really tasteless.


Listed below are links to weblogs that reference The Stepford First Wives Club:

» Slow News Morning? from The Encyclopeteia
Michele is pointing out that Drudge is making much ado about nothing over the fact that Dean's wife isn't out on the campaign trail. I don't like the guy and I think he could possibly be the worst candidate for President in the entire country, but fr... [Read More]

» It must be Tuesday from d-42.com: the electronic home of Josh Cohen
FIRST UP: According to this Haaretz article, 90% of America's 5.2 million Jews would vote Democrat no matter who the candidate is. Perhaps they fail to realize that the Left supports those who would kill the Jews simply for being... [Read More]

» The amazing Mrs. Dean from One Fine Jay
Michele takes note of Drudge making it a big issue that Mrs. Judith Steinberg Dean, wife of Howard Dean is not a trophy wife in this election campaign. Michele assumes Good Faith: I suppose that's what it could boil down to; on the issue of this ... [Read More]

» Duck Hunt #5 from The American Mind
Let's begin this edition of the Duck Hunt with the Ed Koch's endorsement of President Bush. Here's the portion [Read More]

» My Morning Review from PunditFilter
In my moring review, a lot of folks are talking about Clark flip-flopping, The mysterious Mrs. Dean, and poor pitiful Paul O'Neil. Econopundit and Andrew Sullivan look at Wesley "Black Helicopter" Clark. Instapundit, Tacitus, and PoliBlog all look at t... [Read More]

Drudge made a big deal of this NYT story: Dean's Wife Shuns Politics and the story has caught the fancy of the blog world. Michele... [Read More]


I'm surprised this hasn't been an issue sooner. Apparently, she'll be on the national trail if he gets the nod.

I'm sure this will be fuel for the "roll back to the Fifties that never were" contingent. I mean, after all, she isn't a full-time wife! How dare she!

You know, like they did with Hillary.

Hi, btw.

This sort of thing is why I don't read Drudge. So much of his stuff is rumor and gossip, and sometimes, it's just plain silly.

Because this is silly in a bigger way than you think it is.

The fact that his wife doesn't accompany him on the campaign trail has been written about and discussed in the national press, and by talking heads on the news shows, for MONTHS. I mean, I have known this for six months, and not because I spend all my free time poring over data on Howard Dean. (I mean, I loathe the guy and hope either Clark or, better yet, Lieberman, cleans his clock. That's no secret. But it's not for things like this, which I couldn't give two shits about.

(I mean, maybe half a shit, because if your spouse is running for President it seems a little weird that you don't want to help, but I mean really? In the grand scheme of things? Would assign it very little significance. If she were First Lady she'd wind up being like Bess Truman. So what?)

But anyway (ramble ramble) this is WAY OLD NEWS. I mean, WAY OLD. It's not a secret, it's not even obscure. Even on th talk shows, guys like Sean Hannity can't muster up enough rage to do more than shrug and smirk a little when they bring it up, then move on with an "enh, that's a little weird."

Come on.

Your joke was tasteless, but very funny....

The way I see it, Mrs. Dean is in strong contrast to Hillary, because from the looks of things she's not offering to be co-president.

Given a choice between a First Lady like Judith Steinberg, and one like Hillary, it's Dr. Steinberg hands down.

(Laura Bush is still to be preferred, though.)

Very astute political commentary, M, with a bit of fantasizing thrown in, eh? "having a secret lesbian affair with her child's gym teacher" hmm

For crying out loud, if a President Dean will need someone to represent him for social things he can: a) pick a VP who will do that or b) hire somebody to be his social rep or c) quit wasting federal money on floofy crap anyway.

I don't see any reason Dr. Steinberg has to be out shaking hands and cutting ribbons. Shee.

Somebody has a bad case of the monday's

If I remember correctly it has been Dean himself who has made something of a deal of his wife joining him on the campaign trail on a couple of occasions. As for Carol Mosley-Braun, no one expects her to win squat. If they did, and if she's even married (I have no idea), she might discover, as vice presidential candidate Ms. Geraldine Ferraro did, that one's husband can be quite a liability.

Like it or not, people out there in flyover country do want to see a candidate's spouse, I assume that's why Dean keeps bringing this up. One's spouse says quite a lot about one, especially in the post-Clinton "two for one" world of presidential politics. Drudge sensationalizes, but then that's what Drudge does. Perhaps there is more than a tad bit of sexism in it, but in the end that's irrelevant if you want to win. If anyone thinks that Hillary Clinton's husband wouldn't play a major role (for good and ill) in any presidential run of hers or that Liddy Dole's husband didn't (for ill, apparently) play a role in her run, they haven't been paying attention.


I do think Drudge has highlighted some weird stuff before, but I always remember reading a transcript of a conference he had with several news reporters at some news conference. He has said he is not a news reporter and/or that he is not a journalist.

Dean's wife is probably more relevant than some of the things I've seen highlighted on his page. If he were claiming to be some serious news source, then I'd take umbrage with this Dean thing, but he doesn't.

In my opinion, he is the internet's Walter Winchell (spelling?).

Maybe Howie is trying to set a new trend by leaving the wifey at home with the kids.

Or maybe he's trying to win the gay vote.


Who gives a flying f*ck about any of the candidate's spouses? What people need to realise that what is far more important that the president's spouse is Who they will appoint to various cabinet positions.

Take the current president. I am sure that if George and Laura Bush were "normal" people, they would make great neighbours. Probably, a great couple to have around, watch the Superbowl with, have a barbeque in the back yard. But that is not the issue. The President appoints all of the hangers on, backroom numbers people, powerful people that he owes favours (or his soul) to.

How many people realised that when they voted for George W. Bush in 2000, that as well as the friendly Dubya and Laura couple, they were getting John Ashcroft, Donald Rumsfield, Karl Rove, and lots of other equally undesirable types?

So, I don't give a shit about Dean's / Clark's / Mosley-Brown's / Sharpton's / whoever's / spouse. I want to know who or what they will drag along with them.

I don't know about the current George in the White House, but his father wasn't a very good neighbor.

... or is having a secret lesbian affair with her child's gym teacher.

Don't give NewsMax any ideas.

(Drudge wouldn't go near that one, cuz ... well ... y'know.)

Doctor! Next you'll tell me that women can be senators.

Laura Bush is preferred? You like them Stepford Wives then, eh, McGehee?

I'd take Hillary over Laura any day of the week.

No, Scott, I just prefer women who won't try to turn me into a frog just because I want to be able to choose my own doctor.

I'm funny that way.

It seems like she ought to be supporting her husband if she can... but it also seems like the cause of saving lives is good enough to justify not being his arm decoration for a while.

Hmmmm...I'm just trying to remember what Denis Thatcher did all those year that his wife was running the UK. I'm not sure what else he did, but I do know he drank quite a lot. That's probably what I'd do if I was a political spouse (which I guess means not that much would change).

And no offense to Denis Thatcher, I know he was really a good guy and all, and probably did plenty of other stuff.

You mean she's not riding her husband's coattails to political power like some well-known feminist senator we all know and love ?

how about the best of both worlds....?
hop on a plane once or twice, meet her partner for some fun/bonding/support....
AND be there at home in the mother role too. why not? why does it have to be one or the other?