Tactics and Substance in the 2004 Elections GoogleNews: Howard Dean

October 17, 2003

by J

Judy Dean's Potential New Path

Ellen Goodman writes about how Judy Dean might forge yet another new path for women whose spouses are politicians.
This internist, wife and mother, with one daughter at Yale and one son in high school, seems wonderfully unaware that conducting business as usual is unusual. It's a blitheness that may be one part personality and one part survival instinct.

But this is how this two-career family has lived ever since Dean began moving, gradually, out of practice and into politics.

[...] In some ways, the Deans are like millions of American families working out their own set of rules. Dean may be the college favorite, the hip candidate, but his wife laughs, "Hip is not the word our kids would use for him." He may be speaking on a national stage, but when he got home from his last trip, he did his own laundry -- including some shirts that, his wife says archly, should have gone to the cleaners.

At the same time, this couple presents something new to politics. We've been through a generation of changing roles and relationships, running through a Rolodex of candidate's wives and first ladies from a repressed Pat Nixon to a two-for-the-price-of-one Hillary Clinton. Now the Deans ask us to imagine a candidate's wife or a first lady who simply goes about her own, independent life. Not out of political pique, but out of professional commitment.

Posted by J at October 17, 2003 07:54 PM

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