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1/11/2008
The Wisdom of Prose or the Passion of Poetry?
In light of all the toy recalls and chemical scares lately, I'm concerned about what I buy. I'm not a freak about it, but if there is a safer alternative and it's not outrageously expensive, I'll give it a try.

But I have to admit that I'm skeptical. Vinegar just doesn't clean my floors as well as my usual cleaner, although it works great on windows. So when PBN gave me the chance to review Clean Well's new All-Natural Antibacterial Foaming Hand Wash, I came into it with an open, but cautious mind. Read More....

Now on to my post for the day:
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I can't be the only one annoyed by all the press about Hillary Rodham Clinton's "break down" in New Hampshire on Monday, can I?

It's no secret that Senator Clinton is not my candidate of choice. I'm all about Edwards. But it angers me that a show of emotion is automatically seen as a weakness in a woman. And HRC didn't exactly break down. She got a bit emotional and welled up in response to a question about how she does what she does day after day. In response, HRC said,

This is very personal for me. It’s not just political. It’s not just public. I see what’s happening and we have to reverse it. Some people think that elections are a game, it’s about who’s up or who’s down. It’s about our country and it’s about our kids’ future.
Perhaps I have a different perspective because I heard the segment on NPR on Monday afternoon in the car. I didn't actually see the segment until later. But, people! She didn't "break down." Here's the segment. Judge for yourself.



Frankly, I think Senator Clinton sounded passionate and authentic when she spoke about how important this election is for the future of our country. I completely agree with her. I've never doubted that HRC cares strongly about this country and its people, but that normally doesn't come across in her public speaking.

In Nashua, New Hampshire this weekend HRC quoted Mario Cuomo, "You campaign with poetry, but you govern in prose." While I don't believe that Senator Clinton is the right candidate to bring about the changes we need in the U.S., I have no doubt that Senator Clinton is well versed in prose. Her weakness is in the poetry. Unfortunately for her, the draw of poetry is usually more alluring to voters.

Monday's question and answer session was actually pretty much the first time I've listened to her speak and heard Clinton's passion. She's normally so self possessed that she comes across as too scripted. It was nice to see that a human heart does beat beneath her breast.

Clearly Senator Clinton's show of emotion didn't hurt her with New Hampshire voters, so maybe it's time for the press to give her a break. Even if she can't help reverting the emotional female stereotype.* I can't help wondering if the press would have reacted in the same way if a male candidate had showed the same emotion. I doubt it.

*I say this with sarcasm, just to be clear.

Cross posted at DC Metro Moms Blog.

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11 Comments:

Blogger Robin said...

Wow - THAT was the breakdown? That's not a breakdown!

I totally agree with everything you said - I too support Edwards, but that was probably one of the best 'speeches' I've heard HRC give. It really spoke from HER, not a script.

Blogger Mad Hatter said...

Ya, this has my feminist head ready to explode. All the press we get up here is HRC lost Iowa b/c she is strident; HRC cried to manipulate the voters; HRC is an emotional woman; HRC won b/c of the female vote. Just change the gender on this one and it would be obvious that she is being patronized and pigeon-holed.

Erg.

Blogger Julie Pippert said...

Yes, sick.to.dirt of hearing about it.

And I am amazed how allegedly slightly watery eyes became a tearful breakdown.

Oy the new...they chap my hide, every single last reporter. From the one who looks like a Bratz doll on CNN to the idiotic man who leaps about and talks on top of people all the time.

I consider Stefania a better resource.

But as to the feminist point? Yes, absolutely, I htink Gloria Steinem has a point. They are nailing he about female, even if they try to claim they aren't.

HOWEVER.

In one post-debate broadcast recap, they were nailing on HRC in some way (sorry so much info specifics fled the building) and I wondered aloud to Jon, "Would they talk like that about the male candidates?"

Then, as if they heard my question, they whipped around and began nailing Obama in the same way.

But they left the rest of the Democratic candidates (which def, included Edwards and Richardson still then and I am hardpressed to recall if anyone else was still in) alone.

Draw your own conclusions.

P.S. Have you gone over to Matriarch today? I did the share thingy in my Google reader if you use that. Do you? Are you a Friend? I am baffled by these things sometimes.

Blogger Michele said...

She always seems so cold that I thought the "tears" were fake. I really felt like her PR advisors must have told her she needed to seem more real so she pulled some fake tears out of her bag of tricks.

Blogger Keen said...

Did you see Tom Toles' cartoon about this in the Post a couple of days ago? I can't paste the link, but it was January 9. It was awesome.

Blogger flutter said...

I didn't see her "breakdown" as a weakness whatsoever. As a matter of fact, I found it incredibly disingenuous.

Blogger Lawyer Mama said...

Julie - I use Bloglines, but I just went over to her site & commented. That's my hot button topic!

Keen - I haven't seen it, but am off to go look.

Flutter - Disingenuous? You mean you think HRC was just being manipulative? I know many people who think that, but I'm having a hard time being that cynical about it!

OpenID realitytesting said...

My very first thought, in response to all of this, was that if it were a male who responded in this way, everyone would have lept to their feet and began waving their patriotic flags with great enthusiasm. Spot on about that, I say.

Blogger Mrs. Chicky said...

My husband is still wondering if the "break down" was staged. I don't even want to go there because I'm already distrustful of people.

Blogger Gwen said...

I'm sort of with flutter (sorry!) but I don't think so much that the reaction was staged as that the frustration it betrayed isn't about doing what's best for the country as much as it was about having one's ambitions thwarted.

I also think there's a feminist issue, but it's not just that. Hillary is such a "composed" person (I want to use something more pejorative there) that any emotion from her is news. Her husband, on the other hand, was all about the tears, so I think a similar reaction from him would have gotten less press.

Blogger Moobs said...

THe UK press are running this as a sign of guile rather than weakness.

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