Everyone is up in arms blogging about the spat between Hillary and Obama, instigated by David Geffen’s criticism of Hillary, which goes like this:

“I don’t think that another incredibly polarizing figure, no matter how smart she is, and no matter how ambitious she is — and God knows, is there anybody more ambitious than Hillary Clinton? — can bring the country together.”

Geffen is supporting and fundraising for Obama. What angers me about this quote is the same old tired gender-based rhetoric about Hillary as a pushy broad. Obama, who has been a senator for a whopping TWO YEARS, and who has very limited experience, is more ambitious than Hillary. Shoot, anyone who runs for president is ambitious. What, in Geffen’s mind, makes Hillary more ambitious than Obama?

Luckily the spat is more between aides rather than the candidates themselves. I would consider both of the candidates to be above such negative comments about a fellow Democrat.

In other articles and blogs, there’s a bit more than the quote, but I still don’t have a picture of the whole context.

Defamer.com has a funny take on Geffen and gives more quotes from the column:

Not content to demonstrate his Democratic kingmaking power by throwing a beachside cocktail party/Hillary Clinton effigy burning for Hollywood Chosen One Barack Obama on the pristine sand behind his Malibu compound last night, DreamWorks activist David Geffen granted the NY Times’s Maureen Dowd an exclusive fireside chat, during which the power-mad billionaire stroked an overfluffed white cat while cackling his way through his plans to destroy his presidential-hopeful nemesis.

Apparently, Geffen is angry that Hillary won’t apologize for her Iraq vote. And there’s bad blood between Geffen and Bill. So Hillary can’t be a separate person from Bill.

See what I mean? We’re still back in the 50s when women weren’t women, but men’s ornaments.

Ah, well. It’s only going to get worse.


  1. LS, I was also annoyed at many of Geffen’s comments there, which I found to be inappropriate. And Hillary was upset, which she had a right to be. But if she was upset with David Geffen, she should have directed her response at… David Geffen. Not at Barack Obama, which was stupid.

    Geffen is not a staffer on Obama’s campaign, not a paid manager, not even a volunteer. Geffen is a private citizen, and his words are his only. He did raise some money for Obama but Obama has no control over Geffen’s comments. They were cutting and caustic statements but it’s his prerogative to express them. And it’s Hillary’s prerogative to respond to them.

    To respond as Hillary’s team did here, to bring Obama into what is essentially a personal tiff between Hillary Clinton and David Geffen– and to make what she knows are impossible demands that she herself would not reply to– was a tremendous blunder. It was immature and it looks juvenile to the country, while angering Democrats in large numbers. Moreover, Obama responded in a much classier fashion, defending himself but largely deflecting the accusations.

    FWIW, Obama’s hasn’t been in the US Senate for many years but he has a good deal of political experience in Illinois. He’s not just some fresh-faced newcomer. Hillary has disappointed and alienated a lot of people with her campaign’s foolish behavior.

  2. That’s a really good point, Diana.

  3. eh, this is all expected treatment of Hillary. The Republicons have successfully demonized her in the public imaginary, but you’re absolutely right about the gender bias. Female politicians are caught between being Hillary or Kathleen Blanco, ideological catch-22.

    BTW, I got the tenure-track offer with UNT. So I guess next step is the tenure hamster wheel.


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