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December 2, 2014

Jonathan Tobin: Defending the Right to a Jewish State

Heather Hale: Compliment your kids without giving them big heads

Megan Shauri: 10 ways you are ruining your own happiness

Carolyn Bigda: 8 Best Dividend Stocks for 2015

Kiplinger's Personal Finance editors: 7 Things You Didn't Know About Paying Off Student Loans

Samantha Olson: The Crucial Mistake 55% Of Parents Are Making At Their Baby's Bedtime

Densie Well, Ph.D., R.D. Open your eyes to yellow vegetables

The Kosher Gourmet by Megan Gordon With its colorful cache of purples and oranges and reds, COLLARD GREEN SLAW is a marvelous mood booster --- not to mention just downright delish
April 18, 2014

Rabbi Yonason Goldson: Clarifying one of the greatest philosophical conundrums in theology

Caroline B. Glick: The disappearance of US will

Megan Wallgren: 10 things I've learned from my teenagers

Lizette Borreli: Green Tea Boosts Brain Power, May Help Treat Dementia

John Ericson: Trying hard to be 'positive' but never succeeding? Blame Your Brain

The Kosher Gourmet by Julie Rothman Almondy, flourless torta del re (Italian king's cake), has royal roots, is simple to make, . . . but devour it because it's simply delicious

April 14, 2014

Rabbi Dr Naftali Brawer: Passover frees us from the tyranny of time

Greg Crosby: Passing Over Religion

Eric Schulzke: First degree: How America really recovered from a murder epidemic

Georgia Lee: When love is not enough: Teaching your kids about the realities of adult relationships

Cameron Huddleston: Freebies for Your Lawn and Garden

Gordon Pape: How you can tell if your financial adviser is setting you up for potential ruin

Dana Dovey: Up to 500,000 people die each year from hepatitis C-related liver disease. New Treatment Has Over 90% Success Rate

Justin Caba: Eating Watermelon Can Help Control High Blood Pressure

The Kosher Gourmet by Joshua E. London and Lou Marmon Don't dare pass over these Pesach picks for Manischewitz!

April 11, 2014

Rabbi Hillel Goldberg: Silence is much more than golden

Caroline B. Glick: Forgetting freedom at Passover

Susan Swann: How to value a child for who he is, not just what he does

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Financial Tasks You Should Tackle Right Now

Sandra Block and Lisa Gerstner: How to Profit From Your Passion

Susan Scutti: A Simple Blood Test Might Soon Diagnose Cancer

Chris Weller: Have A Slow Metabolism? Let Science Speed It Up For You

The Kosher Gourmet by Diane Rossen Worthington Whitefish Terrine: A French take on gefilte fish

April 9, 2014

Jonathan Tobin: Why Did Kerry Lie About Israeli Blame?

Samuel G. Freedman: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Jessica Ivins: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Kim Giles: Asking for help is not weakness

Kathy Kristof and Barbara Hoch Marcus: 7 Great Growth Israeli Stocks

Matthew Mientka: How Beans, Peas, And Chickpeas Cleanse Bad Cholesterol and Lowers Risk of Heart Disease

Sabrina Bachai: 5 At-Home Treatments For Headaches

The Kosher Gourmet by Daniel Neman Have yourself a matzo ball: The secrets bubby never told you and recipes she could have never imagined

April 8, 2014

Lori Nawyn: At Your Wit's End and Back: Finding Peace

Susan B. Garland and Rachel L. Sheedy: Strategies Married Couples Can Use to Boost Benefits

David Muhlbaum: Smart Tax Deductions Non-Itemizers Can Claim

Jill Weisenberger, M.S., R.D.N., C.D.E : Before You Lose Your Mental Edge

Dana Dovey: Coffee Drinkers Rejoice! Your Cup Of Joe Can Prevent Death From Liver Disease

Chris Weller: Electric 'Thinking Cap' Puts Your Brain Power Into High Gear

The Kosher Gourmet by Marlene Parrish A gift of hazelnuts keeps giving --- for a variety of nutty recipes: Entree, side, soup, dessert

April 4, 2014

Rabbi David Gutterman: The Word for Nothing Means Everything

Charles Krauthammer: Kerry's folly, Chapter 3

Amy Peterson: A life of love: How to build lasting relationships with your children

John Ericson: Older Women: Save Your Heart, Prevent Stroke Don't Drink Diet

John Ericson: Why 50 million Americans will still have spring allergies after taking meds

Cameron Huddleston: Best and Worst Buys of April 2014

Stacy Rapacon: Great Mutual Funds for Young Investors

Sarah Boesveld: Teacher keeps promise to mail thousands of former students letters written by their past selves

The Kosher Gourmet by Sharon Thompson Anyone can make a salad, you say. But can they make a great salad? (SECRETS, TESTED TECHNIQUES + 4 RECIPES, INCLUDING DRESSINGS)

April 2, 2014

Paul Greenberg: Death and joy in the spring

Dan Barry: Should South Carolina Jews be forced to maintain this chimney built by Germans serving the Nazis?

Mayra Bitsko: Save me! An alien took over my child's personality

Frank Clayton: Get happy: 20 scientifically proven happiness activities

Susan Scutti: It's Genetic! Obesity and the 'Carb Breakdown' Gene

Lecia Bushak: Why Hand Sanitizer May Actually Harm Your Health

Stacy Rapacon: Great Funds You Can Own for $500 or Less

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Ways to Save on Home Decor

The Kosher Gourmet by Steve Petusevsky Exploring ingredients as edible-stuffed containers (TWO RECIPES + TIPS & TECHINQUES)

Jewish World Review August 3, 2007 / 19 Menachem-Av, 5767

Tapping Hillary fashion flap to raise funds

By Dick Polman

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http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | Let us quickly stipulate that Cleavage-gate (in which Hillary Clinton is alleged to have worn a low-cut blouse on the Senate floor, thus prompting a fashion critique in the Washington Post) does not rank with Iraq or health care as an issue crucial to the future of the republic. But the fallout has been instructive - not just about the glass-house nature of contemporary politics but about the way the Clinton campaign operates. Even an ephemeral fracas over cleavage can be tapped for its money-raising potential.

In a July 20 column, Robin Givhan, the Pulitzer Prize-winning fashion writer at the Post, voiced mild astonishment that Hillary had decided to appear in the Senate chamber wearing a rose-colored blazer over a black top with a low V-shaped neckline. She wrote: "The cleavage registered after only a quick glance. ... It was startling to see that small acknowledgment of sexuality and femininity peeking out of the conservative - aesthetically speaking - environment of Congress."

Givhan, who frequently writes about how politicians choose to present themselves in public, and thus what images they choose to project, decided in this particular case that Hillary was feeling good about herself: "Showing cleavage is a request to be engaged in a particular way. It doesn't necessarily mean that a woman is asking to be objectified, but it does suggest a certain confidence and physical ease."

Maybe you consider this kind of stuff to be trivial, or maybe not. But candidate fashion, like every other facet of a candidate's life, is fair game. A columnist at the Chicago Sun-Times recently asked Barack Obama where he buys his suits.

Obviously, none of this stuff tells us anything about how a candidate might handle the crisis in Darfur. But many Americans - mindful of the fact that campaign promises come and go, that issues wax and wane - are constantly in the hunt for character clues.

Givhan has frequently critiqued men as well (Rudy Giuliani's decision to stop combing over his baldness; Dick Cheney's decision to wear a bulky parka to a memorial ceremony at Auschwitz, which prompted Givhan to write that the veep "was dressed in the kind of attire one typically wears to operate a snow blower"). And, in the case of Hillary, Givhan was clearly intending to be complimentary.

But the Clinton campaign - adhering to its ethos that no perceived attack shall go unanswered - decided last week to conflate the Givhan column into a cause celebre for the allegedly aggrieved candidate. It quickly manufactured some outrage in the form of a fund-raising e-mail, seeking to raise money by doing a little media-bashing.

Senior adviser Ann Lewis wrote: "Would you believe that the Washington Post wrote a 746-word article on Hillary's cleavage? Apparently, it was showing when she gave a speech in the Senate about the skyrocketing cost of higher education. ... Frankly, focusing on women's bodies instead of their ideas is insulting. It's insulting to every woman who has ever tried to be taken seriously in a business meeting."

Up to a point, I sympathize. The Hillary camp is arguably right to be frustrated with all the contradictory gender assessments of the first serious female presidential candidate.

One week, it's Elizabeth Edwards claiming that Hillary is behaving too much like a man. Another week, it's Givhan saying that Hillary is dressing like a hot woman. Another week, it's Tucker Carlson saying that Hillary is a castrating woman (July 16 on MSNBC: "When she comes on television, I involuntarily cross my legs"). Another week - actually, last week - it's conservative commentator Lisa Schiffren at National Review Online, saying that Hillary, as a woman, is not hot. ("Hillary Clinton does not have cleavage to display. Period.")

But if the Clinton campaign were really interested in letting this episode die, it merely needed to ignore it. Instead, it decided to exploit it - and magnify it - by sending out the fund-raising e-mail and voicing general outrage about "the media." Perhaps it would have been appropriate to complain about "the media" victimizing the candidate if the Post had placed the fashion story on Page One, or if the story had been written by a national political reporter. But it ran in the Style section July 20 - an implicit statement by the paper that this was to be considered a feature commentary, not news.

It's the Clinton team, not the Post, that has kept the column alive.

As a result, it became grist for conversation Sunday on "Meet the Press," and Hillary didn't necessarily fare well. John Harwood of the Wall Street Journal said that "for her to argue that she was not aware of what she was communicating by her dress is like Barry Bonds saying he thought he was rubbing down with flaxseed oil, OK?"

Indeed, a lot of people became aware of the Post column only because of the Clinton team's fund-raising effort. As one woman e-mailed the Post last week: "Ms. Lewis made a mountain out of a valley. As a woman who has seen my fair share of discrimination in my 53 years, I found the article to be an interesting take on Mrs. Clinton and found nothing derogatory or demeaning. While this article should not be the lead news item on the front page of this paper, or on the nightly news, it was, as Ms. Givhan intended, a simple observation by a fashion writer of someone who is very much in the news. My advice to Ms. Lewis? When you find some really demeaning and very exploitative stories of women, then we can talk. Until then, give it a rest!"

Give it a rest says it best.

But if the Clinton people can use this incident to further cement their bond with female voters and raise enough money to keep pace with Obama, then they will underscore their growing reputation as the canniest strategists in the race. As conservative commentator Rich Lowry now writes of Hillary, "She's a talented politician who has a clear path to the Democratic presidential nomination and to the presidency."

Every weekday JewishWorldReview.com publishes what many in in the media and Washington consider "must-reading". Sign up for the daily JWR update. It's free. Just click here.

Dick Polman is a columnist for the Philadelphia Inquirer. Comment by clicking here.


PREVIOUSLY

07/27/07: Hillary owes Elizabeth big time
03/09/07: For liberals, Clinton fatigue rooted in policy
03/01/07: Fading memories of Newt: Former speaker could benefit if conservatives forget some of his actions




© 2007, The Philadelphia Inquirer. Distributed by McClatchy-Tribune Information Services

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