Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Clinton Moving Away from 'Highlighting the Maternal'?

Perhaps Hillary's spoof of the Soprano's finale represents a conscious attempt to move away from what the New York Times called in a January 29 article, her "highlighting of the maternal."

Remember the image of Nancy Pelosi in January at her swearing-in at the speaker's gavel, surrounded by the smiling children and grandchildren? This sparked a conversation about whether her conscious decision to create a maternal image at her swearing-in was a positive or negative one for women. Many women found this maternal tableau empowering, the idea that Pelosi could be both a maternal figure and a powerful, political leader at the same time.

The New York Times in that same article makes the parallel to Hillary's Internet video in which she announces that she will run for President while sitting on a chintz sofa and says that she wants to have "a dialogue about your ideas and mine. Because the conversation in Washington has been just a little one-sided lately, don’t you think?” Apparently, having a conversation, an actual two-way dialogue is a "feminine" thing, as opposed to the one-way speech of Bush.

From the Times piece: "Several analysts said this softer approach also allowed Ms. Pelosi and Mrs. Clinton to offer a clear contrast with the leadership style of President Bush , which Democrats have asserted was a “my way or the highway” approach to governing."

Is the tongue-in-cheek aligning of Hillary with Tony Soprano a suggestion that Hillary can be both maternal and tough? (The satirical video does mention Chelsea, busy parallel-parking outside a la Meadow). Or is it a conscious move away from a maternal image?

No comments: