Stand By Your Man

Anne Martens

Who are these women? Mrs. Eliot Spitzer, Mrs. James McGreevey, Mrs. Bill Clinton? What kind of a person stands there, mute, herself an accessory in pearls while her husband admits to having a 10-year fee-for-service relationship with a hooker, or banging a intern or some other unaccounted for male or female.

Yes, most "political spouses" (Hillary included) have hitched themselves to their politicians because they are attracted to power, and the unspoken subtext is that they are rarely independent-minded people. But seriously. Ten years of hard-core kink with a hooker, and not even the most expensive hooker at that, and the political spouse (whats 'er name) is going to stand there being supportive, thinking that if (like Hillary) you say that you're not "standing by your man" that somehow makes it true.

What these wives should have done, what I would do, is put on my pretty red suit and pearls, and call my own damn press conference. Express, directly, how very disappointed I am in these hypocritical men who use sex as a power toy. How disappointed I am in my own lack of judgment for thinking that this husband could have been both a politician and an ethical, respectable man. Emphasize that real men, men who are worth marrying, treat their women with respect and treat sex with respect. Explain to all the young women out there that they should never, ever be treated like this - that if their husband is cheating, lying, or eating hamburgers off of hookers' hoochies - well, they deserve better. Discuss that it's hard when you love and trust somebody and you devote much of your life to them, it's hard to be betrayed, but for the love of god there is still such a thing as self-respect. Then I would hold up the divorce papers for all the cameras to see. And I would take half, plus emotional distress.

People talk about what a role model Hillary is, how great she is for Women (capitalized). She isn't. She  hitched herself to a man that she thought would carry her into power and glory, and she was willing to be treated like a rug on the way there. She let him lie and cheat, over and over, with some nasty ass skanks. She's not a role model. Not for me.

  • Callie (unverified)
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    This all assumes that the wife has been caught off guard, did not know what had been going on, and has not herself been finding outside satisfaction. Not always so.

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    Sometimes a woman just finds it within herself to forgive because she loves the guy.

    I can't say what I would do in a situation like that. But I am guessing that the emotions are very complex, and not the least of them is shock.

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    Jeez. Sack up, ladies. Marriage is supposed to be sacred - just ask the gays. And if you're so in love that you just forgive, expect that whatever you're forgiving will happen again (see Clinton, Bill). People don't change.

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    "a 10-year fee-for-service relationship with a hooker"

    You linked that to the Spitzer story, but it's not in that story, and it's the first I've heard of it. Ten years?!

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    nevermind. it's in the second link, to the Post.

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    Ah yes, the New York Post, that bastion of journalistic integrity.

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    What I don't get is: if this thing went on for years, and the rates were that high, how come all the news articles say that the owner made maybe $1 million from this ring? Shouldn't it have been a lot more? Do you think someone was skimming? Maybe Spitzer was undercover (ahem) looking for embezzlement?

  • Bow to Our Biblical Masters (unverified)
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    Only in America would this bring a politician down. Our historically prim, self-righteous attitudes about sex - a leash held by the Religious Wingnuts - are a standing joke in Europe.

    So a public official got laid. Who cares ... and, more importantly, why?

  • Stephen (unverified)
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    This post is disturbing and rude, to say the least.

    When something like this happens it is undoubtedly a very difficult time for a couple. The last thing that a woman who is likely feeling betrayed needs is someone telling them what they should do--this is a time when . It is one of the most important personal decisions Mrs. Spitzer will ever make, and one only she can make.

    It seems pompous for you to say what these women should have done is exactly what you would do. You're not in their situation, and never have been. Each of these situations are unique in themselves and those suffering through them deserve the respect to make their own decisions.

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    Damn it, Anne, quit playing coy and tell us how you really feel about this.

    (Being a standard-issue white guy, my place is keeping my mouth shut.)

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    Ms. Martens, while you're at it, why not bash Marilyn Monroe and Mary Jo Kopechne for dying? How dare they die like that. What bad role models.

    I've never known anyone with sexual addiction (man or woman) but my understanding is that it's a disease just like alcoholism and gambling addiction. It isn't pretty but it's likely treatable. I deplore infidelity but I suspect there are many throwing stones who are not sinless in our culture, particularly in politics.

    I do have a 12-year-old daughter though, and will instruct Ms. Martens that Hillary Clinton is a great role model for her, with her lifetime of working for children's issues, women's issues, health care, legal services for the poor, education etc. all with use of her own power - her power of service, of management, of communication, of self-direction. I would certainly rather her model herself after the first woman to make a credible run for the Presidency than to grow up to be a Maureen Dowd imitator, taking cheap shots at other women in the name of some generic and amorphous self-righteousness such as I hear in your post, with a dismissive litmus test of these other women's relationships and no empathy for their dignity or humanity.

  • Luda (unverified)
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    If you want to have a credible opinion it might be beneficial to not include links to gossip papers and obvious internet jokes and portray them as facts.

    And while I agree with your pro-female sentiments, I don't understand why you then paint all politicians' spouses as money/power grubbers. I think if you look, most of them got married before they were big-shots, and had substantial education/careers themselves.

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    True, the U.S. of A was founded by protestants, but it's a canard that the Europeans don't value honesty, marriage, or non-hypocritical politicians. And the Spitzer story was indeed covered by Le Monde in Paris and La Repubblica in Rome, among others. I think it was even front page in hedonistic Italy.

    And let's not forget, Mr. Spitzer made his name not only by busting SEC inside dealers, but by busting prostitution rings.

    All I'm saying is that by any really basic standard of respect and decency, Mrs. Spitzer, and the kids, ought to be treated better.

  • Erin (unverified)
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    This is one of the most offensive BlueOregon posts I have read in a long time.

    (Sidenote: If this is supposed to be funny or sardonic, I apologize. I don't see a lot of humor in it!)

    Ann: How can you possibly know the motivations and rationale of these women?

    I agree that I would personally act in a different manner, much like you. But to attempt to take a feminist standpoint while simultaneously clumping all three of these women into the same category, claiming they have the same motivations (which apparently you know through whatever means) is down right obnoxious.

    How can you paint all three of these women as one-dimensional?

    How can you be comfortable with calling women nasty ass skanks?

  • tl (unverified)
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    It interesting how people are quick to judge others in a situation of which they cannot possibly know or understand the details. It is also interesting to what extreme standards to which we hold our politicians (particularly those whom we disagree with or who appear hypocritical).

    I recommend we spend at least a fraction of the energy we currently spend scrutinizing a public person's private life instead looking at the real issues (like those that affect you or me), the ramifications of any action/punishment we deem appropriate, and whether we would expect (and accept) a similar judgment upon ourselves or our families were we to find ourselves or our families in a similar situation.

    Lest you jump to the conclusion that I am advocating turning a blind eye to crimes, injustice, or just plain stupidity, I am not doing so. I do advocate really considering the big picture, the reality, and whether what is fair for them is fair for us.

    -tl

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    Anne, I'm going to have to disagree with some of this. Spitzer's wife is a educated attorney who made a choice to stay home and raise three children. Not a bad choice and that's what we as women have longed for - a choice. Love, as messy and complicated as it is, is love. We don't know how she feels and don't know all the business that's going on there. I doubt she's going to run for governor in 10 or 15 years so Hillary isn't a good comparison. Hillary continued to work - future aspirations? - and ignored many, many reported infidelities.

    I too get frustrated by the women standing there dumbfounded while the husband makes sorry for the camera, but I mostly feel very, very sad for her. The pain on her face was heartbreaking. I also made it very clear to my "man" if you shame me in public, its on like Donkey Kong - but who knows what I'd do?

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    Because I've been to Gennifer Flowers' piano bar in New Orleans.

    This is fun.

    So seriously, all y'all ladies think it's ok for guys to cheat on you, even with hookers?

  • joel (unverified)
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    Only in America would this bring a politician down. Our historically prim, self-righteous attitudes about sex - a leash held by the Religious Wingnuts - are a standing joke in Europe.

    So a public official got laid. Who cares ... and, more importantly, why?

    1--Spitzer engaged in exactly the samesort of financial shenanigans that he previously PROSECUTED. That's why he's history.

    2--The Europe claim is false. Ever heard of, say, the Profumo affair in the UK?

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    No one says its OK, Anne. I don't think many of us want to pass judgment. Hillary aside, McGreevey's wife and Spitzer's wife looked completely taken by surprise and dumbfounded. They both have children they need to protect. They don't have any responsibility to protect of feminist sensibilities, just their children's lives. And good luck with that when the press and bloggers and the police get done with their parents.

    It's just not cut and dry.

    Dina McGreevey divorced her husband, for the record.

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    People need to pass more judgments! Have an opinion. Hillary is not aside, Hillary is running for president and for those of you who need some hand-holding, pointing out her hypocrisy is part of the point of the post.

    Hillary says she's a role model, says she's good for the Sisterhood, and focuses her surrogates on making me feel guilty for betraying my gender. I say she's a hoodwinked wussie, and she let her man cheat on her, over and over again. This, to me, does not a role model make.

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    Also, wouldn't protecting the children also involve keeping them away from a cheating bastard who spends thousands of dollars on hookers? What kind of an example does that set for the children?

    Why is nobody offended by these guys? Has the west coast wish-wash gotten you all worried about feelings? You better believe the women in New York would be a bit more vocal in their disapproval.

  • Bridget (unverified)
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    If this happened to me, my presence wouldn't be the only thing my husband would be missing as he apologized to the nation. :)

    No, seriously. I agree with Anne that I don't understand what compels a woman to stand by her man.

    However, I don't necessarily think that this is a calculated effort of the wife to protect her investment in his career.

    After the fact, Dana McGreevy said that she was absolutely numb standing up there next to her then-husband. He asked her to stand next to him and she was just stepping through the motions, as she reeled from the stunning revelation that her husband was unfaithful to her (as well as the whole "My husband is gay and everybody but me knew?" thing).

    Wives are asked to stand by their men long before they've had a chance to really take in what happened. They haven't physically had the "presence of mind" to think, "I'm don't support this and I'm out of here."

    I would bet that most of these women are going through the motions and waiting for a moment to collapse, grieve, leave, take care of the others in the family who were wounded.

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    Anne - following up your gossippy and indefensible slander with 'hoodwinked wussie' hardly makes your case. In fact, it makes the case that you're not even a good Maureen Dowd imitator.

    Your commentary is tabloid, divisive, and extremely flimsy. You're more obsessed with sex than with how power is actually exercised, which I thought that as an attorney you might have a clue about: statements on the world stage, long-term commitments to choice, equal pay, affirmative action, Senate votes, supreme court justice appointments: power. Or as Robin Morgan put it, "eeiuuw, yucky power..."

    Here's an invitation to everyone on Blue Oregon. Read again Ms. Martens oh-so-enlightening comments here about what a woman role model is all about, and then read Hillary Clinton's courageous and world-influencing Speech in Beijing.

    My daughter, and millions of daughters all over the world, are going to read that speech and be inspired, not just now but for years and years to come, regardless of whether Hillary wins this year. They're not going to be inspired by your Carrie Bradshaw vision of politics and feminism. In fact, it's quite likely that this weak post will be forgotten less than a month from now - with luck and discernment, much sooner.

  • Stephen (unverified)
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    So seriously, all y'all ladies think it's ok for guys to cheat on you, even with hookers?

    No, that's not what anyone is saying. What I've said and what others have said is that she deserves to make up her own mind on this issue, it's personal and in this circumstance, until you've walked a day in Mrs. Spitzer's shoes, saying what she should do is inappropriate. It's one thing for you to say what you would do. But you went a step further, telling other women what they should do in a circumstance in which you have no involvement.

  • Chuck Butcher (unverified)
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    I know exactly what my reaction in a similar position would be, and it's none of your damn business. It's NOYDB because it is my reaction for my reasons. Making assumptions about the intenal dynamics of someone else's relationship is plain guess work. I have heard of open marriages, apparently they exist. In this case I have no idea.

    I think your assumptions are pointlessly offensive in regard to other people. You are, of course, perfectly justified in expressing your own methods of dealing with such a situation. The operative word being YOUR, the making of comparisons is not real balanced bahavior.

  • backbeat12 (unverified)
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    So seriously, all y'all ladies think it's ok for guys to cheat on you, even with hookers?

    I'm no lady. I am woman, but I doubt you are.

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    I wrote what I would do, which is what I think they should have done, because I'm usually right. That said, if everyone gets to make up their own mind about everything, then what's the point of commenting on a political blog, where people are supposed to have opinions and say what they think is right or wrong. Basically, you've gone one step further in telling me what you think I should do, and you sir, have never walked in my shoes. My god, we're going meta!

  • Stephen (unverified)
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    But this isn't a political matter of political discourse, Anne. It's a matter of tact. Silda Wall Spitzer isn't a politician. A public figure, sure, but one who also has a private side to her life. Let it be private in this time of grief. Say what you would do, fine. That's your business. This is hers.

  • backbeat12 (unverified)
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    If you are always right then quit using the sexist term "lady."

  • Brad (unverified)
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    I think Anne wants press conferences akin to the Jerry Springer Show.

    Maybe she would have been satisfied if Mrs. Spitzer slapped the Governor across the face? Better yet, threw a chair at him while the cameras were rolling?

    In that case....

    Springer's Final Thought: Maybe voters don't need to see them air their dirty laundry on camera. Maybe we shouldn't generalize and then demonize indepenedent minded women/individuals when they are putting a very public face on, for a very private matter.

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    As a public figure who stood up in public next to her public figure husband, I think she opened the door. It's not like I'm the only person talking about this - have you turned on the news lately?

  • Stephen (unverified)
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    But this isn't a matter of political discourse, Anne. This is a matter of tact. Silda Wall Spitzer isn't a politician. A public figure, sure, but one who also has a private side to her life. Let it be private in this time of grief. Say what you would do, that's your business.

    Comment on the fact that the Governor broke the law by hiring a prostitute, potentially assisted in money laundering, or something else. That's politics. The Spitzer family's personal tragedy, however is not.

  • Erin (unverified)
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    I say she's a hoodwinked wussie, and she let her man cheat on her, over and over again.

    People need to pass more judgments! Have an opinion.

    She let her man cheat on her? I guess my opinion is that's an oppressive and sexist comment.

    My opinion is cheating husbands are the bad guys. It has been two days since Mrs. Spitzer found out about her husband- give her a break! I guess I am just a spineless, opinionless woman.

  • Stephen (unverified)
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    Sorry for that sort-of double post. I like the second one better, though.

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    Erin, I second your sentiments. No one "lets" their partner stray.

    I am angry for Mrs. Spitzer, but never for a second do I want to blame her. I have thought about her daughters, many times. I hope they don't find this post if they google about their dad. But, their mother is protecting them - better than their father.

  • Doris (unverified)
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    And I suppose Eleanor Roosevelt (who suffered FDR's longterm infidelity) is also not a role model according to this? Everyone's entitled to their personal feelings/opinion as to what they would do in a situation, but nobody has a right to judge what goes on in someone else's marriage.

  • backbeat12 (unverified)
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    Anne, are you married? Do you have children?

    Personally, I can't stand Senator Clinton. She might as well be a republic, the way she hangs with the corporations and doesn't bother to build the Democratic Party. I could give a rip about what she and clenis do in their personal lives.

  • Bill R. (unverified)
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    Betrayal in a sacred covenant is such a wounding event. I have to be compassionate, even towards Hillary, whom I have come to hold in low regard. It is clear that some women hitch their ambition and their familial and personal survival to their man and hang on to the end. A surprise disclosure out of nowhere must be terribly traumatic to a woman in that marriage. In the case of Bill Clinton he is clearly a serial betrayer and Hillary must have made her calculations and decided to ride it out to further her own goals.

    In an age when women are no longer dependent on a man for their livelihood and for personal achievement, standing by your man when he's a soul-less betraying jerk, seems like not such a great model to present to women. As the father of a young married woman I would hope that upholding one's personhood and dignity outweighs any traditional ideal of loyalty, and it's a very peronal choice.

  • j_luthergoober (unverified)
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    Look at this way hedonist West Coasters; Silda won't have any problem navigating New York's archaic divorce laws now...

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    I think everyone's taking this a little too seriously. Anne's form of rhetoric, which I find exhilarating, is confrontational and amusing. There's been WAY too much finger wagging on this site lately. Let a person vent, for cryin' out loud.

    On the issue, I'd say that there are definite gender politics here. Would I stand next to my wife in a situation? One thing's for certain: the situation would not be an exact equivalent.

    Looking at it from the transgressive husband, if I were a public figure who had depended on my wife's sacrifice and support, I would feel somewhat responsible to act as her advocate in that situation. I would definitely NOT encourage her to show up at my moment of public humiliation.

    On the other hand, I could imagine reasons she'd choose to. Many have mentioned the bonds between partners, which are as individual as the number of relationships. Who knows what passes between spouses? Also, there are the children to consider. A wife might like to stand next to her husband to try to mitigate the effects on the family.

    Dunno, but I could imagine a number of things there. But I also don't dismiss Anne's position. I personally would appreciate the bright heat of fury in a situation like that. Spitzer's going to spend the rest of his life making amends. Could be that wifely rage is the most comforting thing.

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    I have to say that if this happened to me, you can bet that I wouldn't be standing up there next to my husband. It's one thing if you're completely caught by surprise. For instance, my former pastor had his family stand up with him in front of the congregation, only to announce he'd been having an affair for years... with the church secretary... who had killed her husband just days before. I felt terrible for his family. They were caught completely off guard.

    But if I already know what's happened (say it already broke on the news or he told me), and the press conference comes later, I wouldn't be there. I'd be at the attorney's office, packing up his stuff, etc.

    My husband and I have already discussed this. It's definitely a black and white issue with both of us.

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    Says the finger who's wagged.... :)

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    I wrote what I would do, which is what I think they should have done, because I'm usually right.

    Thanks, Anne, for providing a succinct summary of your argument.

    Anybody who figures she is "usually right" about other people's lives and other people's relationships has probably led a fairly fortunate, and so far short, life. The high horse is unbecoming. Check in with that statement in a couple of decades.

  • lin qiao (unverified)
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    Am I the only person who finds it odd that one commenter (Corbell) managed to turn this into an opportunity to post not one, but two, spiels telling us how wonderful Hillary Clinton is and repeating a bunch of campaign talking points? Geez Louise.

  • Kyle (unverified)
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    You know, just the other day I was looking at all the new contributors being added to Blue Oregon and thinking that, while they are probably talented in their own right, it was very unfortunate that they were also predominantly white males. That it would be nice to have more emphasis placed on women's issues and women's voices (as well as more LGBT folks and people of color, but that's another issue entirely).

    This post, however, was not what I had in mind.

    I will always support any woman's voice, even when she (like Anne) is using it to express an opinion that I disagree with wholeheartedly. Those types of discussions are what make our feminist movement(s) stronger. But Anne's attack on Mrs. Spitzer, and on Senator Clinton especially, is another instance where internalized sexism is tearing us apart.

    So, in hopes of encouraging productive feminist discussions on this blog, I would like to say that I agree with the comments left here by Doris, Karol, and especially Erin.

    If anyone's interested in reading posts that actually examine the Spitzer scandal in terms of how it relates to gender, sexuality, class, and other issues in our society, here are some links:

    http://feministing.com/archives/008770.html

    http://www.salon.com/mwt/broadsheet/2008/03/12/stoic_wives/index.html

    http://feministing.com/archives/008775.html

    http://feministing.com/archives/008782.html

  • Kyle (unverified)
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    I tend to think of myself as pretty damn smart -- someone who usually picks up on low-key jokes, who doesn't take themselves so seriously they can't appreciate sarcasm and dry humor when they see it. But I don't see anything funny in this post.

    Sorry Jeff, guess I'm just another one of those humorless ├╝ber-feminists :-p

  • bean (unverified)
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    No condom, that's how he likes it, The gift that keeps giving.

  • BCM (unverified)
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    Posted by: lin qiao | Mar 12, 2008 4:48:52 PM

    Am I the only person who finds it odd that one commenter (Corbell) managed to turn this into an opportunity to post not one, but two, spiels telling us how wonderful Hillary Clinton is and repeating a bunch of campaign talking points? Geez Louise.

    We all notice Chris' desperate attempts to tether together Clinton's character. Unfortunately, that ship set sail in 1997. Let me reboot my favorite part of Anne's post, because it explains why:

    Yes, most "political spouses" (Hillary included) have hitched themselves to their politicians because they are attracted to power, and the unspoken subtext is that they are rarely independent-minded people.

  • lin qiao (unverified)
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    most "political spouses" (Hillary included) have hitched themselves to their politicians because they are attracted to power, and the unspoken subtext is that they are rarely independent-minded people.

    Uh, what's the basis for that claim, by either Ms. Martens or anyone else? I kinda doubt that either Hillary Clinton or Silda Wall Spitzer is anything other than veryindependent-minded. You don't star at Ivy League law schools by being a drone, for gawd's sake.

    Too damn many stones being thrown in glass houses here. Too damn much telling other people how to live their lives. And a distinct absence of compassion for the women who are the victims. And yes, I include Hillary Clinton in that category as far as her treatment by her doofus of a spouse is concerned (but not in terms of present-day politics).

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    I'm also a fan of Anne's style, but as I've laready posted elsewhere on Blue Oregon, I agree with the people who are arguing that it's none of my business how the injured spouse reacts to one of the moswt humiliating situations imaginable.

    Can't imagine having enough info outside of my own relationship or (hypothetically) that of a close friend or family member that I feel needs protection or intervention.

    <hr/>

    All that said, I'd pay good money to watch one of these "political wives" just lose it and up and kick the bastard in the nuts on national TV.

    Might change the whole dynamic.

  • BCM (unverified)
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    Uh, what's the basis for that claim, by either Ms. Martens or anyone else? I kinda doubt that either Hillary Clinton or Silda Wall Spitzer is anything other than veryindependent-minded. You don't star at Ivy League law schools by being a drone, for gawd's sake.

    They're obviously not drones. But there is a disconnect between their infidelity statistics and those of the general population.

    Once infidelity is exposed in gen. pop. marriage, 45% of those marriages end in divorces. Why then do political marriages seem to buck that trend? In the past year alone we've had three cases: Craig, Vidder, and Spitzer and not one divorce. Expand that time-line and you'll see a similar trend. This only leads to the conclusion that there is something else going on in these marriages.

    What I take from Anne's post is that she's saying there are atypical variables present in political marriages that affect the wives decision to stay: publicity, power, and wealth to name a few.

  • Dave J. (unverified)
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    For what it's worth, I think it makes him look WORSE by having her there next to him, just because it reminds everyone how badly he's betrayed her. I don't think she's doing him any favors standing there. If anything, she's forcing him to own up to that responsibility. I think it's a little simplistic to see her standing there next to him and assume that it's a gesture of support.

  • Mister Tee (unverified)
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    I agree (for the first time) with Anne. You're either an accessory to the coverup or a doormat.

    Pick one.

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    There are two leading elements to this problem:

    (a) the betrayal/humiliation; (b) the public nature of the betrayal/humiliation.

    (a) is bad enough on its own; when you add (b) I think it's unimaginable for most people.

    I wouldn't want even the "benefits" of public life. It must be terrible to suffer such a betrayal and not have the privilege of suffering the pain in private.

  • Lani (unverified)
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    Anne's expressing what a lot of women wonder about. I think it's healthy to discuss it.

    Personally, I agree that Spitzer's a selfish jerk for forcing his wife to face more public humiliation so he can spare himself tough questions from the press.

    Silda Spitzer has a life apart and with her husband. She practiced law after graduating from Harvard. She's president and founder of a group dedicated to helping children and is active in a large number of organizations.

    Like Arianna Huffington or others who've gone through things like this, there's no reason why she might not eventually have a public life or even run for office. After Sonny Bono dies, his wife took over for his office in Congress.

    As others have pointed out, a spouse to a politician has a great deal of experience.

    If any woman decides to stay in a loveless marriage for power or political gain, I think they should be pitied and not condemned. That would be a horrible life for almost anyone. There's no reason to believe that Silda would stay married for that reason. She was in obvious pain and distress during that interview.

  • STeve (unverified)
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    "Spitzer's wife looked completely taken by surprise and dumbfounded."

    Lessee, highly educated attorney who doesn't know her husband was dropping a grand an hour on a regular basis with a piece of hoochie.

    This really raised ny respect for highly educated attorneys who are wives.

    Plus great role model for the kids!

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    You know, just the other day I was looking at all the new contributors being added to Blue Oregon and thinking that, while they are probably talented in their own right, it was very unfortunate that they were also predominantly white males.

    Kyle, you're thinking exactly what I'm thinking. In fact, Dan Petegorsky refused to come on board unless he could recruit a woman of color. We were going to announce both simultaneously, but she dropped out at the last minute. We're hard at work on another alternative, and we're close.

    In fact, we would welcome lots of new contributors, of both genders and all colors. I've attempted to recruit quite a few over the last four years.

    We don't get a lot of interest from folks other than straight white male middle-class Portland political hacks. We have lots of interest from those guys (as is readily obvious.) Maybe it's something endemic to political blogging.

    Anyway, if you've got suggestions, we're all ears.

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    Hey Kari, Funny you should ask...Cyreena Boston, Marissa Madrigal, Danielle Cogan, Carmen Caballero Rubio, Amalia Alacon, Nicole Maher, Patricia Orozco, Margaret Carter, David Martinez. That's my brain dump so far. Email me and I can help with some of those folks' contact info.
    Peace - - - NOVICKNOVICKNOVICK! I still kid, friend.

  • Hawthorne (unverified)
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    Karol,

    Exactly. It's not like they are not out there...

  • Miles (unverified)
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    God I love Anne Martens.

    For those saying we have no right to judge, I say bullshit. We the people have every right to judge things like infidelity, prostitution, exploitation, corruption, and betrayal. And I don't buy this condescending "The women were shell-shocked (poor little things)" argument. We're talking about professional, talented, educated women here. Stop patronizing them.

    That said, the spotlight should remain on the cheater and his political handlers. Seriously, cheating is bad enough, getting caught even worse, but then you've got the chutzpah to ASK YOUR BETRAYED SPOUSE TO STAND NEXT TO YOU. Holy hell, batman. And which of Spitzer's handlers has such a small moral compass that he's willing to whisper to the Governor: "Hey, it sure would look good if your wife comes to the press conference." Seriously, who are these people?

  • Chuck Butcher (unverified)
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    keeerist, maybe I'm an old fashioned small town hick red neck chauvenist pig, but I thought the goddam offender was named Elliot and somebody named Silda just got whacked. Maybe she's guilty of bad judgement or something but I'll be goddamed if I'll pillory her or think or say it is a good thing to do. Surely Pat, a real good kick in the goods or maybe Elliot across the podium getting his face slapped off. Well, she didn't; for her reasons.

  • Larry K (unverified)
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    Wow... this has to be the first time I've read something written by Ms. Martens that I agree with! Just once, I'd love to see one of these wives approach the podium during the press conference and surprise their husband by saying they just filed for divorce. Maybe slap him or kick him in the nards as well.

  • Pat Malach (unverified)
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    I think Jack Ohman's cartoon got it right.

    "You want someone to stand next to you at the podium? Call your hooker."

  • pdxatheist (unverified)
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    there's the possibility that they still love the cheating, lying SOBs in spite of everything. and who's to say they didn't know what was going on the whole time and either turned a blind eye to it or openly condoned it? it's certainly possible. no one knows. anne certainly doesn't. for her to claim that these women have no self-respect just because they didn't do what she would have done is absolute and utter horseshit, just like the rest of her post: blind, frantic, flailing moralizing.

  • UJ (unverified)
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    This didn't happen to you. You have no idea what it's like to be in her position so get off your fuckin bullshit judgmental high horse. This is the most sexist piece of crap i've ever read on BlueOregon. What kind of progressive are you saying that political wives are rarely independent-minded and then calling other women skanks? You may want to examine your own internalized misogyny. Or maybe you don't consider yourself a feminist. And if you don't, why are you writing for this blog?

  • Kerry (unverified)
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    Wow. So many thoughts about this. First of all I agree with all of the criticisms the commenters have written about this post. Blaming the wives of disgraced politicians is not only anti-feminist and offensive, the whole thing is bizarre. What effect does the writer believe not having the wives at the press conference would have? Does she realize that all of the women she has judged have children? People have commented that they'd like to see some sort of Jerry Springer revenge scenario. Really? If my husband had been having sex with prostitutes for years (with or without my knowledge), I'd like to think that I would do everything I could to make it better for my family. Is this really the best BlueOregon can do for a female voice? Because seriously, I'd volunteer to discuss issues of gender and politics without the rampant misogyny (I don't even charge!).

    Plus, UJ rocks!

  • Kate Stone (unverified)
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    Quit the sweeping statements about women. Silda Wall Spitzer did not "hitch" herself to power. She graduated Harvard Law with Eliot Spitzer and they were married before he had any power. Silda Wall is considered to be a brilliant lawyer. She heads up a charitable foundation for kids. And for God's sake don't quote Murdoch's sleazy tab, the NY Post, as factual.

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    I am sure if I were to ever be in such a situation (which I won't be), my wife would quietly follow me out to the podium as well. Just long enough to make sure all the cameras were rolling, then KICK MY ASS. Now that would be a fun thing to watch?

  • Mister Tee (unverified)
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    I'd pay good money to watch if Hillary ever decides to dump Bill: I'd bet that pay-per-view would draw 10 million+ viewers. Add in all the t-shirts, coffee cups, and DVD sales, and they could take home north of $30 million. Add Ms. Lewinsky and some good ol' fashioned mud wrestling, and I would guess each of them would net $15 million each. More if Drs. Phil and Laura do a debrief after the fight.

    Not a bad retirement strategy if McCain blows her away.

  • Katy (unverified)
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    <h2>Jesse, that would be AWESOME to watch.</h2>

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