Very interesting article in the NYT (Dean’s Wife Shuns Politics) about Dr. Steinberg, Howard Dean’s wife, during all his campaign efforts. It seems to me that the writer was drawing attention to how strange it seemed that a wife could be so removed from such an important part of a husband’s life.
Lots of issues abound here.
1. It’s a blow for feminism. Great that a woman can be successful career mom and mother. Does that mean a wife couldn’t also support her husband’s goals. He’s running for the President of the US and is the leading Democratic nominee for crying out loud.
2. Blow against traditionalism. How is it that a woman balancing personal, professional life can not also support her husband’s personal and professional goals? Dr. Steinberg is quoted: “I think a lot of couples are like us, where they have two career-couples, and both careers are very important to the individuals,” Dr. Steinberg, 50, said in an interview this fall. “Each individual has to do what works for her. What works best for me, and what I’m best at, is being a doctor.”
Yes, but the perception is there is no visible support for Dean’s husband’s presidential efforts . How does that play out when you’re asking voters to support Howard Dean but his own wife stays at home? See John Kerry and Terry Heinz. Slate had an article questioning why Heinz wasn’t supporting her husband financially when he was trailing so badly in the polls. Seems like a case of too little too late for them now. Kerry is going down like a Gore, career politician going down and who will never be president.
In today’s age, balancing two careers, family and personal needs is really hard (I think life has gotten a lot more complex than past generations). I think this is an example of the balance being out-of-whack. Dr Steinberg comes across the article as overly self-centered on her own needs. Being a politician and running for office, this she-goes-her-way, I-go-my-way doesn’t fly well. It’s a big sacrifice for everyone and everyone needs to be on the same wagon pulling the same horses.
Latest polls claim that Clark and Dean are neck and neck and both liked by the Dems. We’ll see how it goes. Looks like the Dean express has hit some bumps. Clark is becoming a viable candidate and alternative to Dean who still comes across to me as being too slick and untrustworthy.