Tuesday, January 13, 2004

Opening Up on "Mrs. Dean"

The national press corps, not content to dog Howard Dean alone, is now opening up a new front on Dr. Judith Steinberg, Howard's wife, who practices medicine fulltime in Shelburne, Vermont. The New York Times, for example, has published an article that implies there's something seriously wrong with this picture.

A couple of quotes: "Some Dean backers see Dr. Steinberg as a role model for independent women balancing careers and children, but others in the campaign increasingly regard her absence as a potential liability for a candidate who is known for his reluctance to discuss his personal life or upbringing. Yet the topic is all but off-limits with the candidate. Voters also have begun to ask about a marriage in which the partners are so often apart -- she skipped Dr. Dean's birthday-party fund-raiser, the family-oriented Renaissance Weekend, even the emotional repatriation ceremony of his brother's remains in Hawaii."

And: "If Hillary Rodham Clinton was controversial for being her husband's full political partner, some analysts say that Dr. Steinberg's lack of participation might prove even more problematic...."

Damned if you do, damned if you don't.

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