Tactics and Substance in the 2004 Elections GoogleNews: Howard Dean

September 19, 2003

by J

Judy Steinberg Dean's Involvement

Howard Dean's wife, Judy Steinberg Dean, has not played a highly visible role in her husband's campaign. As far as I can tell, Governor Dean has been steadfast and scrupulous about respecting his wife's and children's privacy and has been unwilling to use them as political props. It's one of the things I like about him. His wife has a full-time job and is responsible for 1000 patients in her medical practice. I respect that they have mutual respect for each other's career choices and goals.

A couple of weeks ago on Kos, though, there was an ugly comment thread (and there are so many threads there that I'll never be able to find the link) in which people suggested that her lack of involvement in the campaign meant there was something wrong with their marriage[!], and that Americans would never vote for someone whose wife didn't do the adoring-gaze bullshit. I was appalled that these kinds of comments were being made on a nominally Democratic-leaning site.

My question is: if the wingnuts went nuts over Hillary for being "too" involved in policy, then why would they go nuts over Judy Dean for not being involved? I know, I know, I shouldn't even begin to attribute logic to the bigots who will attack any woman who doesn't behave exactly as they think she should.

Anyway, Judy's written a fundraising letter that will be sent to donors sometime soon, a Vermont paper reports.
The letter, a copy of which was obtained by The Associated Press, is a much more personal appeal than is typical of campaign fund-raising pleas.

She recounts how she and Dean met while both were attending the Albert Einstein medical school and then moved to Vermont for their residencies. Both are medical doctors and Steinberg Dean still has a thriving practice in suburban Burlington. That’s why she has done little with the campaign, she writes.

"I enjoy helping people on a one-on-one basis getting to know them and their families and helping them deal with illness,” she writes. "That is my way; while Howard is much more talented at improving things for people on a bigger scale."

[...] "Despite his intense passion for public service, Howard has never made his public aspirations become my personal obligations," she writes. "As a doctor and a partner in a medical practice, I have responsibility to my patients. That’s why my time ‘on the campaign trail’ is limited; when people are sick they want and need to see a physician who knows them."

Posted by J at September 19, 2003 02:31 PM

I would like to hear Judy blast Barbara Bush
for bashing the party of Fdr, John Keenedy,
lyond Johnson.

Posted by: Sean at October 27, 2003 11:44 PM

Why doesn't every fagot Democrat move to New Hampshire and start their own gay state...that way that piece of crap Dean won't have to venture far to suck on more peters!

Posted by: Rob at January 7, 2004 08:18 PM

Rob, your eloquence is such that I feel compelled to disclose your IP address:

Please, spew your intolerant, hateful bigotry elsewhere.

Posted by: J at January 10, 2004 02:03 PM

Does Dr. Steinberg understand that being First Lady of the United States is a full-time job? In the interview with Diane Sawyer last Thursday on Prime Time she made no commitment to (a) move to Washington D.C. (b) play the appropriate role of the President's wife or (c) get out of her defensive "me generation" attitude. I am sure that she is a good and dedicated physician and loves her work, but being the wife of the President and an asset to our nation requires a totally different commitment, which she blatantly did not make in the interview.

Posted by: Martha at January 24, 2004 10:24 AM

First of all, thinking that the notion that being a primary care physician who makes frickin' house calls is evidence of being part of the "me generation" betrays an incredibly shallow world view and lack of intellectual depth, Martha.

Second, who are you to define what is "appropriate" for a President's wife, given that we've had 43 (or so) of them and all of them have been very different from each other.

Third, in previous interviews Judy Dean has made it clear that she will move to Washington, D.C. and find a way to work in medicine there, should this country be fortunate enough to have Howard Dean as President -- that wasn't the point of this interview, however, nor did Sawyer raise the question, as I recall.

Fourth, I would be delighted if the Deans (or any other 'first couple') would challenge the very recently imposed model of what the role of First Lady is. There are many options - we are a creative country and should be able to think outside of the box once in awhile.

Fifth, closed-minded attitudes such as yours are part of the reason our country has the problems it does. Try to get over it.

Posted by: J at January 24, 2004 11:16 AM

i for one would loooove to see the Deans make it to the White House. Kudos to Dr. Steinberg for putting her patients first. I, as a patient with longstanding medical issues, appreciate the consistency of a doctor who knows my good days and bad days. I am sure her patients appreciate the same. There is nothing more anxiety-causing then trying to find another doctor that you click with -- especially for the elderly.

Posted by: tsv at February 7, 2004 01:21 AM

Recommended Reading:

The Politics of Truth: Inside the Lies that Led to War and Betrayed My Wife's CIA Identity: A Diplomat's Memoir
The Politics of Truth... A Diplomat's Memoir

Worse Than Watergate: The Secret Presidency of George W. Bush
Worse Than Watergate: The Secret Presidency of George W. Bush

Against All Enemies by Richard Clarke
Against All Enemies: Inside America's War on Terror

LIES by Al Franken
Lies and the Lying Liars Who Tell Them: A Fair and Balanced Look at the Right

The Great Unraveling
The Great Unraveling

The Great Big Book of Tomorrow
The Great Big Book of Tomorrow

Clinton Wars
The Clinton Wars

Blinded by the Right
Blinded by the Right: The Conscience of an Ex-Conservative

Waging Modern War: Bosnia, Kosovo, and the Future of Combat

Subject to Debate: Sense and Dissents on Women, Politics, and Culture

Living History

The Hunting of the President: The Ten-Year Campaign to Destroy Bill and Hillary Clinton

John Adams

Founding Brothers: The Revolutionary Generation

Code and Other Laws of Cyberspace

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