Monday, August 6, 2007

Campaign Trail Women vs. CEO Women

I read the following excerpts from Peggy Noonan's Wall Street Journal column, "Declarations," this weekend, and I just had to share... my commentary in italics.

"It's gotten catty out there. Jeri Thompson is a trophy wife, as is Cindy McCain. Michelle Obama is too offhand and irreverant when speaking of her husband, and Judith Giuliani is a puppy-stapling princess.

"Why these stories? Because it's August and no one wants to think. Because the campaign is too long and reporters have to write about something. Because cable news has an insatiable need for guests, and if you write a story cable producers can easily find tape for, you get to go on Olbermann or O'Reilly and seem to publicize your paper/magazine/e-zine/blog/whatever which will please media bosses.

"None of these stories above have come from blogs, but from Pulitzer Prize winners at major newspapers and veteran journalists at magazines. For all their hrrumphing about the crucial role they play in democracy (and it is crucial), the mainstream media is full of the cattiest humans in history.

"However, it is also true that the press is paying attention to prospective first ladies because in an age in which presidents are always in your face, first ladies are often in your face. It actually matters if people like them, and it can hurt, on the margins, if they don't. These days wins are marginal."

Which got me to thinking... Do we judge "women-in-charge" (i.e. CEOs and Chairmen) by the same standards we desire from "women-behind-the-man-in-charge" (i.e. political candidates)? Is this fair?

"Americans would prefer a first lady who doesn't seem like she ever hungered for it. They don't want someone who needs the job, they want someone who puts up with it with grace. We'd rather elevate someone who's making a sacrifice, not someonw ho's grabbing a rung. " Wow... grace... sacrifice. Is THAT what Carly Fiorina was missing? Hmmm

"Detached good nature goes far. Mrs. Bush should be studied. She never attacked, rarely defended, and only carefully shared." Suze Orman... take notes.

"They do not want your drama. They do not want your mess. They don't want unneeded temperament, high jinks, vanity, or acting out. If you can't be normal, imitate normal." Martha Stewart coming to mind? Anyone... anyone?? I think not.

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