"Judy Dean is adorable and unabashedly normal." Plus: Readers lambaste Ann Coulter.

By Salon Staff
January 28, 2004 12:29AM (UTC)
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[Read "Stand by Your Man '04," by Rebecca Traister.]

Rebecca Traister's review of the Deans' interview with Diane Sawyer mirrored my thoughts exactly. I found Mrs. Dean to be charmingly shy, committed to her family and profession, intelligent, personable, "adorable," and unabashedly normal. Diane Sawyer came across as smug, selfish and rude, especially when she made Mrs. Dean look at that photo of the younger mother-of-all-Bushes all dressed up with somewhere to go and then wondered if the gracious doctor would mind beautifying for state dinners and other first lady duties. I thought, "My God. What a mean-spirited, sickening thing to ask," as if wearing a pretty dress and red lipstick defines a woman's character!


It was obvious to this viewer that Howard and Judy enjoy a lovely, loving life together, smashed cupcakes and all. Every couple in America should be so lucky.

-- Gaylene Givens

Rebecca Traister's deconstruction of Judy Steinberg Dean's media unveiling was dead-on -- except for failing to note that it might be more apt to tattoo "cold careerist bitch" across Diane Sawyer's furrowed brow.


Sawyer, whose ladder-climbing tendencies have been matched only by her eagerness to hold out for more money, acted as if she had just landed Earth's first interview with an alien life form: a woman who believes in her work, who relishes being a mother and a wife, and who dares to remain true to herself.

Judging from the look on Sawyer's face, Steinberg Dean did not respond with words but by smiting her interlocutor with a croquet mallet. What gives? Our culture celebrates a woman's independence ... right up until that woman's husband runs for public office. Let's see: You can either work a job you love and dote on your teenage son, or you can subject yourself to relentlessly insipid questions posed by vacuous media hacks who wonder whether you really have the right kind of hairstyle to be first lady. Which would you choose?

-- Martin Kuz


The media bought into the Republicans' accusation that Hillary was too interested in her husband's campaign and presidency, and it became a negative.

Now, when a candidate has a wife who shuns the camera and is very different from Hillary -- prefers staying home and values her own career over her husband's -- that too becomes a negative.


It's very ugly to see people like Diane Sawyer going along with the right-wing agenda and trying to suggest that Mrs. Dean either doesn't love her husband, or is somehow suspicious for not jumping on the campaign bus.

-- P.M. Parker

[Read "Strange Bedfellows," by Rebecca Traister.]


I admit I belong to the camp that scratches its head at this phenomenon. I think political conviction is more than just a "debate team" exercise: It's founded on a personal worldview and so is a profound statement of the kind of world its possessor wishes to make manifest. How does the coupledom function when its members are working to realize diametrically opposed visions of the world? Do they cancel each other out?

-- Shilla Nassi

Rebecca Traister's article on politically mixed marriages was interesting and well done -- but why the gratuitous Ann Coulter quotes? Coulter doesn't seem to have any particular insight on the subject, claims never to have dated anybody she disagreed with, and (as is her wont) generates a heat-to-light ratio that approaches infinity. Is it now obligatory to include one paragraph from a grandstanding bomb-thrower in every article that touches on politics?


Please, let Coulter finish her 15 minutes and fade away. The grownups would like to talk.

-- Bill Anderson

Ann Coulter? Really? There are plenty of legitimate (read: non-crazy) conservative Republicans to talk to, and you find her? I'm very disappointed in Salon for publishing her sadly pathetic jabs at anything non-Republican. Her disdain toward hybrid cars and her prejudice toward Libertarian and Green Party people reveals her not to be a Republican but a psychologically twisted person.

Next time you try to find a Republican, don't get one who's a nut job. I could make the joke here of "if you can find any," but I'm not Ann Coulter.


-- Rich Kilarski

I thought that your article would be interesting, but what exactly the point was the point of quoting that hatemonger Ann Coulter? There's no reason to legitimize her acidic brand of uncivil discourse by quoting her at length

The fact that you intentionally sought out the bride of Joe McCarthy is distasteful and disappointing.

-- Sudeep Gupta


You wanna know what's up with couples with politically opposite viewpoints? It's very simple. To paraphrase (or twist) Forrest Gump -- "Desperate is as desperate does."

I recently married another well-adjusted liberal like myself, and things couldn't be better. I didn't "marry myself" -- I married someone with a heart and a conscience.

-- Blake Mitchell

Surprise! It seems that to have a successful marriage, politically divided spouses must agree to respect each other's basic intellect and decision-making ability -- and accept that it is possible a viewpoint may have validity despite the fact that it differs from their own.


No wonder Ms. Coulter is so against it.

-- Emily Rabin

I went to graduate school in Ithaca, N.Y., a city I love for being a haven for bleeding-heart, tax-and-spend liberals like myself. One day, though, I saw a car whose bumper stickers neatly encapsulated the smugness that I came to think of as the particular curse of the left wing: one sticker said "Republicans are mean, sexually frustrated, old men," and right next to it was one that said, "Celebrate Diversity!" I later moved to the deep South and in short order married an older Republican with whom I will no doubt spend a lifetime in political argument. It tickles me that in making the marriage I did, I have honored that car's second bumper sticker in a way its owner probably never will.

-- Heather White

Salon Staff

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