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Political Wives—they Just can’t Win

Remember how Hillary Rodham Clinton infuriated absolutely everybody when her husband was running for President? The reason why people hated her, pundits said, was her assertion that In a Clinton presidency the American people would get “two for the price of one.” But during the short-lived but intense Dean candidacy, we had the spectacle of Dr. Judith Steinberg Dean being pilloried for the opposite reason: she was too invisible.

Even the take-no-prisoners New York Times columnist Maureen Dowd dumped on this accomplished but unadorned woman for her expressed desire to recuse herself from the media circus accompanying her hyperactive husband, choosing instead to care for her patients and remain near her children. Instead, Judith Dean was portrayed as a liability to her husband’s political ambitions. Does a man who aspires to the Presidency feel that he has to apologize for being married to—dare we say It—a Jewish doctor?