Friday, January 02, 2009

Madame Secretary

Today's NY Times has an article on the challenges Hillary Clinton will face with respect to the current Israel-Palestine crisis. I found the article a bit trite and more than a little offensive. See if you can find what set me off this morning:

Mrs. Clinton brings several strengths, according to current and former aides and Middle East experts, including her knowledge of the region and experience in navigating it, as well as lingering good will among Arabs and Israelis won by her husband, Bill Clinton, for his efforts to broker a peace deal in the waning days of his presidency.

But Mrs. Clinton will have to reassure the Palestinians that she, too, can be a broker, working with Egypt and other Arab neighbors, and putting pressure on the Israeli government, when needed.

Now, I have to agree that, because of her last name ("she's a Clinton"), she's coming in with brownie points. President Clinton was and is popular in the Middle East because he did attempt to be even-handed when dealing with the issues of Israel and its neighbors, pressuring Israel when it was needed. Still, to define the Secretary of State-designate almost solely in terms of her husband seems, well, sexist, as if her knowledge and experience (which is stated throughout the article) is dependent on who she is married to.

Am I being too sensitive? I don't think so, not in an article that refers to her throughout its length as Mrs. Clinton, not Senator Clinton, not even Ms. Clinton.

Look, dudes at the NY Times and every other media outlet, the woman has established her credibility as a person. She ran for and was elected as a senator for New York (and was re-elected). She worked hard as a senator, just as she worked hard as First Lady. She even ran for president and came close to winning the Democratic nomination. She is not just Bill Clinton's wife.

After eight years of doting on the White House, the media is back in Clinton-attack-mode. Apparently it's going to be a long eight years in that respect.

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Blogger Shaw Kenawe said...

My prediction is that Mrs. Clinton will be a powerful Secretary of State, work very, very hard, and, unlike the present one, actually accomplish much.

She will once and for ever bury the idea that her accomplishments derive from who she is married to.

Go Hillary!

Happy 2009 to you and Ruth!

I call it the Year of Deliverance!

5:23 AM  
Blogger Mithras said...

You're arguing with the NYTimes' style book. They habitually will refer to politicians as Mr., Ms. and Mrs.

6:03 AM  

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