Friday, May 13, 2011

The Situation

So we have a “situation” regarding the now famous photo taken from the Situation Room during the successful, high stakes Osama bin Laden mission.  (photo left, source Pete Souza, White House Flickr stream)
The photo has received attention because it’s one of the very few insider looks into the weekend.  But of course, it’s also received attention because you can’t help by notice Hillary.  Front row.  The only woman at the table.  This time, we’re not talking about her hair or the bags under her eyes.  Media is focused on the fact that she’s the only person appearing to show emotion in the scene.  And because she’s the only woman at the table, her emotion is highlighted, and pondered on.

Even Hillary felt like she needed to another possible explanation for her expression in the photo:
"Those were 38 of the most intense minutes. I have no idea what any of us were looking at that particular millisecond when the picture was taken...I am somewhat sheepishly concerned that it was my preventing one of my early spring allergic coughs. So it may have no great meaning whatsoever."
Compare this to Obama’s sweet, personal, and yes, emotional, statement during his 60 Minutes interview about those same 40 minutes.
 “And it was the longest 40 minutes of my life with the possible exception of when [daughter] Sasha got meningitis when she was three months old and I was waiting for the doctor to tell me that she was all right.”
Comparing the stress of national security to a stressful moment of parenthood?  Can you imagine the political backlash that any female politician would receive by making such a statement?  But from Obama, it demonstrates a certain type of humanity that we like in our (male) leaders.

The National Journal said that "It’s apparent in the way that female trailblazers of Clinton’s generation remain exquisitely self-conscious about – and apologetic for – anything that distinguishes them from the males they struggled so hard to make their peers. I know female senators who have agonized over the question of whether to carry a purse, worrying that it somehow detracts from the image of power they need to project."

Of course, one option is to simply Photoshop Hillary out of the photo altogether, as the Ultra Orthodox Hasidic newspaper in Brooklyn did.  As a way to protect women's "modesty," of course.

And who is the only other woman in the photo, in the back of the room?  She is Audrey Tomason with title "Director for Counterterrorism".  Her presence is notable for a few reasons. She's only other woman pictured in the testosterone-filled room, she appears to be the only person under 40, and she's one of the few unrecognizable faces or names in the room.  I loved the response from a spokesman for the National Security Council about  why she had never been identified or mentioned before: "Well, we've never killed bin Laden before." 

Thursday, May 12, 2011

The Lipstick LobbyList 5.12.2011

The Free Williamsburg Press removes the sexually suggestive male images in the sit room photo. 

Newt announces his presidential campaign.  The NYT has an interesting look at the role his wife will play in the campaign:  "Yet in a curious tale of Washington reinvention, the onetime congressman from Georgia is counting on the third Mrs. Gingrich for his political redemption...Mr. Gingrich is presenting himself as a family man who has embraced Catholicism and found God, with his wife as a kind of character witness. Depending on one’s point of view, she is a reminder of his complicated past, or his secret political weapon."

WaPo's Jonathan Capehart on the "Black Face on Gay Marriage," featuring Massachusetts' own Rep. Byron Rushing.

A great Hillary feature in Vanity Fair! (h/t ESL)

Speaking of Hillary....Public Policy Polling released a poll asking who Iowa Democrats like for 2016 and "Hillary Clinton is the overwhelming favorite at 44%, followed by Joe Biden at 13%."  Just sayin'.....

Wasserman Schultz on Gabby Giffords this morning on GMA: "She's going to come back to Congress."

Caroline Kennedy became the 100,000th signer on Freedom to Marry’s Open Letter urging President Obama to support the freedom to marry for gay and lesbian couples.

Monday, May 9, 2011

The Lipstick LobbyList 5.9.2011

Chelsea Clinton is rocking it out for marriage equality in New York.

What does changing your name say about you - and what can it cost you (!) ?
"Researchers also asked 50 students to screen e-mails containing hypothetical job applications from women. The candidates who had kept their maiden names were more likely to be hired and were offered salaries averaging 40% higher than their name-changing peers."

The race is on for Boston City Council at large candidates, with failed mayoral candidate Michael Flaherty throwing his hat in the ring against four incumbents.  Go Ayanna!
“Our plan has always been to run hard and compete for votes in every neighborhood of the city, no matter what the field looked like,’’ said Jessica Taubner, campaign manager for Ayanna Pressley, who finished fourth in 2009 and captured the last at-large spot. “Pressley earned her seat and she’s been a powerful and effective advocate for the residents of Boston during her 16 months in office.’’
 Sen. Gillibrand with a Mother's Day HuffPost column promoting the The Paycheck Fairness Act. "When women earn more, families are stronger and children have better access to quality health care and education."

A little late, but definitely wanted to give a shout out to the new DNC chair Congresswoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz, the second woman to hold the post.  From the fantastic feature in the NYT a few weeks ago about the choice of the Democratic party choosing a young, ambitious woman from Florida to head the party: 
“It’s a big deal, a very big deal,” said Ms. Wasserman Schultz, whose toughness was admired by her colleagues even before she grappled with breast cancer in 2007. “My generation is significantly unrepresented in terms of public policy and decision making. As a woman today, it’s very different living through raising children and balancing work and family. It’s an opportunity to reach out to so many families. And women who work outside the family can say Democrats get it.” 

Friday, May 6, 2011

The Lipstick LobbyList 5.6.2011 - Mothers' Day

Anna Holmes on Trump's sexism.   “'You know, it doesn’t really matter what [the media] write as long as you’ve got a young and beautiful piece of [expletive],' he told a writer for Esquire in 1991."

A cool (and depressing) interactive map of women's representation in global governments.  "Around the world, 19.2 percent of all national parliamentary positions (including seats in the upper house or senate, where applicable) are held by women. Of the 181 countries for which data was provided, the United States ranked almost exactly in the middle: 92nd, just above Turkmenistan." (h/t BB)

The HuffPost on the 10 states with the highest wage gap between men and women.  I am concerned that both NH and IA made the list, considering their role in national primaries!

A Susan B. Anthony handbag! "To her, a bag was not a fashion statement but a symbol of independence at a time when women were not allowed to enter into a contract or even open a bank account."  (h/t ESL)

The ever thoughtful Linda Greenhouse on when a judge should recuse themselves from cases before them.  She points out the pitfalls on both sides of the ideological aisle - from the right wing attack on Judge Walker in the Prop 8 case in CA, as well as the Common Cause suit challenging Judges Scalia and Thomas and the Citizens United decision.  Nice food for thought: "Back when the duck-hunting controversy was raging, I amused myself by asking friends who insisted that Justice Scalia should remove himself from the case how they would respond to a slightly different situation. Suppose, instead of Justice Scalia going duck hunting with Dick Cheney, it had been Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg going shopping with Lynn Cheney. Would they move to disqualify Justice Ginsburg