Life Imitates Onion, Part a Zillion

Hey, kids, let's play compare and contrast!

Meghan Daum in the Jan. 12 L.A. Times, "Hillary's gotta have it":

For a lot of people, Hillary Clinton just wants this too badly. Her Achilles heel is not that she cries (or doesn't) from disappointment, but that she is visibly salivating from hunger. That may be OK for male candidates, whose appetites tend to be selling points. But if there's anything that's drilled into women's heads before we're old enough to even ask for something, it's the importance of playing hard to get, of pretending we don't want anything at all....

As difficult as it to say out loud (which is why you haven't heard it), Clinton's aching need for the presidency is freaking voters out. Like a bachelorette whose obsessive focus on finding a mate has reduced the other aspects of her life to blank, negligible spaces, Clinton has somehow managed to give people the feeling that, should she not get the nomination, she has nothing to go back to....

We want, on some level, for her to win the White House according to the dating guide "The Rules" -- acting aloof to the point of indifference.
Yeah, emphasis mine.

And now here's Gerald Collins in the May 24, 2006 Onion, "Hillary Clinton Is Too Ambitious To Be The First Female President":
I'd rather see a female presidential candidate who wasn't so focused on herself and her political aspirations. It seems like she puts a lot of thought into every decision that she makes, as if every little move were planned ahead of time down to the smallest little detail. It's hard to pin down exactly why, but it just wouldn't feel right to see someone who is so politically calculating win those precious 270 electoral votes in the next election....

What's more, nobody asked her to run. In fact, a lot of people on both sides of the aisle don't even want her to run, and many other politicians are planning on running against her. Yet she's stayed in the race, blatantly ignoring the wishes of some people. Shouldn't the first woman to break the gender barrier of the American presidency be the type of woman who listens to those who doubt her and bows to public opinion more often?

Ever heard of letting others take the lead, Sen. Clinton? If you're going to become the first woman in the Oval Office, you should start thinking about acting a little more ladylike.
The most irritating thing about Daum's editorial -- and boy, it's a competitive race for that prize -- is that she tries to wriggle out of the patent absurdity of her premise by implying that these aren't her opinions, they're just some people's, and she's just saying.

The problem is, political campaigns aren't won by following "The Rules." That's why we may be further from electing a female president than we'd care to admit.
Ah, yes. It's the "I'd love to vote for a woman, but I don't think the rest of the country is ready" argument again. Meghan Daum totally did not just write an editorial claiming that a woman running for Leader of the Free World ought to take a leaf from a dating book instead of, you know, relying on experience from multiple winning campaigns she's run for herself or been intimately involved with in the past -- including, you know, two for President. She's just saying what SOME PEOPLE are thinking, you guys!

But here's the funniest part. The very first rule in The Rules is, "Be a creature unlike any other."

Being a creature unlike any other is really an attitude, a sense of confidence and radiance that permeates your being from head to toe. It's the way you smile (you light up the room), pause in between sentences (you don't babble on out of nervousness), listen (attentively), look (demurely, never stare), breathe (slowly), stand (straight) and walk (briskly, with your shoulders back). When a relationship doesn't work out, you brush away a tear so that it doesn't smudge your makeup and you move on!
Except for the part about looking "demurely" (barf) and the make-up smudging thing (double barf), that's really not a bad description of Clinton. And if the first woman ever to run a viable campaign for President of the United States isn't "a creature unlike any other," I don't know who is. Hillary Rodham Clinton might just be more of a "Rules" girl than Meghan Daum thinks.

And it might just be that SOME PEOPLE would be freaked out by the concept of a woman president no matter who she was or how she held herself. And it might just be that those people are douchebags.

(H/T for the Onion piece to my friend Susan, who found it in the comments section at Jezebel today.)

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