Aug 03 2008
There are two pundits who have periodically been disdained by Obama supporters: Mayhill Fowler and Maureen Dowd. Mayhill Fowler brought us the now infamous “bittergate” – a scandal which was wholly manufactured from the soundbyte machine that is the mainstream media. I’d read the article without any sense of impending doom – she was faithfully reporting a personality trait of Senator Obama that was both endearing and human, and until the media reduced the whole of her writing to a snippet that could be exploited by the 30-second rule, I had thought it was one of her best pieces. Maureen Dowd, of course, gives us “Obambi” which has been picked up by feminists as proof that Hillary should have been the nominee, since “Obambi” is presumably about to get eaten alive by the general election process. I only began reading Ms. Dowd this cycle, and at that, after the “Obambi” nick had gone mainstream, so I originally had an impression that Ms. Dowd was anti-Obama. After a while though, I began to realize something quite different.
I’m reasonably certain that both Ms. Dowd and Ms. Fowler are my seniors. I’m nearly certain that they are also Obama’s seniors. And – it seems to me that they both act like clucking aunties where he is concerned, which always amuses and delights me. Yeah, I know. That’s weird. But they both take a tone about him that is both admiring and admonishing, and it oozes of older women teasing and cajoling younger men – in good fun, and in character building fashion.
All of that to preface that in the race for favorite auntie – Maureen has won. Today’s article cleverly weaves Jane Austen into the Obama narrative, with a good humor, a touch of concern, and typical, incorrigible teasing… I admit that I love all things Jane, so this, was the clincher. Bring your sense of humor, and open-mindedness, and I think you might discover that Maureen’s narrative about Obama is a caring one (whether you agree with it or not).
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