Tactics and Substance in the 2004 Elections GoogleNews: Howard Dean

January 19, 2004

by J

Judy Steinberg Dean - Private Citizen

The assault on Judy Steinberg Dean, private citizen, has begun. Oh, there've been murmurings out there in the wacko wilderness for awhile, and supporters of other Dem candidates have planted a few seeds here and there. But in the past several days, the beginnings of the 'something's just not right about her' smear have hit the New York Times. The folks over at Wilgoren Watch have covered this well [here, here, and here] and this diary at Kos provides another nice deconstruction.

Wilgoren (a NYT reporter) used loaded and slanted terms like "puttering around" to describe what Dean does with her time and quoted a 'scholar' who claims that Judy Dean "fits nowhere." I think this speaks more to the paucity of the 'scholar's' model, but then I'm not a clever NYT reporter. Wilgoren also made clear to point out that "most of the time, [Dean wears] sensible slipper-flats and no makeup or earrings [...]." The horror! Definitely worth frontpage coverage, indeed!

Around the time of this piece, that brilliant intellectual cough Maureen Dowd decided to weigh in with a catty little piece casting aspersions and claiming that the Dean marriage is "beyond transcendentally wacky." To that I say, "What. the. f***???" There's other ridiculous viciousness, and reading it again all I can do is shake my head. Hellsheet has some more commentary. In a subsequent column, Dowd whined that Howard Dean didn't make a scheduled phone call to her (although, there's no proof that it was definitely scheduled). Gee, I wonder why?

The Deans also got some coverage in People magazine this week. I couldn't find the article online, but the complete interview is available. Pretty sad when you can't depend on the Times for reasoned coverage and analysis and you have to go to People magazine to get non-snide coverage. What is the world coming to?

Judy Dean campaigned with Howard yesterday (the day before the caucuses) in Iowa. She said a few words:
Hello -- for those who might be wondering -- my name is Judy Dean

I wanted to come here today and say thank you to the people of Iowa for being so kind and gracious to my husband -- Howard Dean

Howard has phoned me many times from Iowa with stories of how people in this state have opened up their homes and shown him kindness and given him hospitality.

I haven't been here with Howard as much as I would like - because we have a son in high school -- a daughter in college and I have a medical practice in Vermont -- with patients that depend on me daily.

But I wanted to come today. I wanted to say thank you to Iowa -- and to support my husband for President -- Howard Dean.
I watched the event live on C-SPAN and I thought she was great. There was a wonderful brief moment while the two were waiting behind the curtain and Harkin was waxing effusive about Dean -- maybe when he called him the new Harry Truman -- that Judy sort of turned her head and looked at Howard as if to say, "Well, look at you!" which made me grin. I can hear Dean's mother saying "Preposterous!" which is how she allegedly characterized Dean's initial idea to run for President. Hee.

Of course, Nedra Pickler, writer for that bastion of objectivity cough, the Associated Press, spun the event poorly for Dr. Steinberg, claiming that she "appeared nervous" and "her voice shook" but her write-up does not match my impression at all. My voice has been known to shake while public speaking even when I'm not nervous, but I didn't hear any quavering from Judy Dean yesterday.

I'm thinking about starting a subpage here that is just about calling out the double standards and the smears in the press's coverage of Judy Steinberg Dean. Stay tuned while I figure out whether I have time or not.

This was my favorite picture from the coverage. I love the notion of what it presages.
The L.A. Times also had coverage of Judy Dean's campaigning in Iowa. It's much better than what either the NYT or the AP manage to provide. I've generally been impressed with the LA Times recently and wish they didn't have such an arduous online registration process.
Judy Dean's trip to Iowa came after Ruth Harkin, the wife of Sen. Tom Harkin, suggested to her husband that Iowans would like to meet the candidate's wife, a Dean advisor said.

Tom Harkin, who endorsed Dean last week, passed that onto the candidate, who then told his wife about Ruth Harkin's advice. Judy Dean said she couldn't attend the caucus results tonight because she would miss patients, but readily agreed to a trip on Sunday, the advisor said.
A quote from the People interview:
Q: When people say your husband has a temper

Judy: I think that's crazy. I really do. I look up and say, Where does this come from? Because he's not like that. He does not lose his temper. He's very considerate. And he forgives everything, always, easily.
Here's hoping that the national media turn their attention to the lies and the economic and national security incompetencies of the current Administration instead of focusing on whether Judy Steinberg Dean, private citizen, has decided not to wear heels to work in snowy Vermont.
Posted by J at January 19, 2004 12:15 PM

"I'm thinking about starting a subpage here that is just about calling out the double standards and the smears in the press's coverage of Judy Steinberg Dean."

If there's anything I can do to help with this, let me know!

Posted by: Dori at January 19, 2004 08:36 PM

Yes, I want to help too!

Also, do you know what Dr. Steinbburg's legal name is? One of the things that always annoyed me about Hillary Clinton was the way her name changed in relation to her husband's distance from the White House (from Rodham to Rodham Clinton to Clinton back to Rodham Clinton and I suspect back to Rodham any day now). I've been very curious to see how Dr. Steinburg (or her advisors) might deal with the same issue.

Posted by: Katxena at January 20, 2004 08:33 AM

She goes by Steinberg in her medical practice. Originally, when she and and Howard were working together, it was to avoid confusion when someone asked for "Dr. Dean." Completely understandable, and nothing for Bob Novak to have a hissy fit about.

As far as I know, she's Judy Dean everywhere else.

Posted by: J at January 20, 2004 10:03 AM

Thanks for the explanation!

Posted by: katxena at January 20, 2004 12:55 PM

Kerry and Edwards seem as slick as snot, Leiberman is too laid back and casual, Clark has never held any elective office, Dean has some rough edges but is right on the issues and on the character issue. And what's wrong with Judy Dean-Steinburg staying home to keep an eye on their teenager and working hard at a real career, and not as a stage prop.

Posted by: Gary at January 23, 2004 08:47 PM

Dr. Dean is the only candidate who shared a
room with two African Americans at Yale. It is easy to say that racial descrimiation is wrong, but it is hard to practice it.

Posted by: JapaneseFan of Dr.Dean at January 28, 2004 08:05 AM

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