Farewell to the disarmingly unpretentious Mrs. Dean.11:00 PM, Feb 3, 2004 • By CLAUDIA WINKLER
THE WORST THING about the collapse of the Howard Dean phenomenon is that it cuts short our acquaintance with the most appealing figure to emerge from the Democratic primaries--Dr. Judith Steinberg, as they know her at the office, and after hours, Judy Dean.
The most appealing figure, and the author of the most memorable line: "I'm not a thing person." In third-millennium America! A woman without cable TV, innocent of malls and makeovers, who says that she has everything she wants! Yet no dreary bluestocking, either, or preachy crusader for voluntary simplicity. A career woman, yet no Bobo. A straightforward, serious person whose priorities, by her own telling--and we have no reason to doubt her--are her husband, her son still in high school, and her work.
Her work is a private medical practice that she apparently sees, not as a feminist statement or a means of gaining position, but as a set of personal relationships. "My patients are my patients, and they really depend on me, and I really love it," she told Diane Sawyer in her first TV interview a couple weeks back, explaining her absence from the campaign trail. She makes house calls.
She doesn't fuss with her appearance, and we like her for it. Says Noemie Emery, the conservative writer and connoisseur of feminine style, of Judy Dean in the Sawyer interview, "She was just wearing clothes. I liked her hair. It just hung there. I liked the fact that he gave her a rhododendron and she loved it."
I admit, I'm a little surprised at how warmly Judy Dean is spoken of, as if we'd all been starved for authenticity. From knowing Beltway types and women of the world alike, I've yet to hear a catty remark. I've encountered some puzzlement at Mrs. Dean's near total removal from the public stage, even when her husband was governor of Vermont. But nothing remotely resembling the relentless criticism of every aspect of Hillary Clinton's person and persona.
Instead, I hear real appreciation. Comments one thirtysomething admirer, a Washington journalist, "She's like the smart, nerdy girl who wasn't cool and you could be friends with when you were 17."
Asked about how she'd celebrated her 50th birthday, Mrs. Dean laughed. She told Sawyer, "I don't know, we don't do that much with presents. I think . . . what I always do for my birthday, which is right around Mother's Day, we have a combined celebration and we do a family bike ride. Now May in Vermont, sometimes it's a cold family bike ride, and sometimes it's not, but we usually do a family bike ride with, uh, squished cupcakes in a knapsack and . . . "
Smart, nerdy, and sincere.
Claudia Winkler is a managing editor at The Weekly Standard.
What Saddam's trial could mean to Iraq and the world.11:00 PM, Dec 16, 2003 • By CLAUDIA WINKLER
NO LESS SURREAL than the details of Saddam Hussein's hideaway--the copy of "Crime and Punishment," the Catholic image headed "God Bless Our Home," the can of 7-Up--were the photographs of reporters crawling all over the compound, inspecting it minutely, and even personally trying out the "spider hole." Whatever else it may prove to be, be the capture of Saddam is already a triumph of openness.
Rend Rahim Francke, who will represent the Iraqi Governing Council in Washington, has her work cut out for her.11:00 PM, Dec 2, 2003 • By CLAUDIA WINKLER
THERE'S NO GAINSAYING the quality of many of the people who are risking their lives to build the new Iraq. On that score, it was gratifying to learn that Rend Rahim Francke will represent the Iraqi Governing Council in Washington. A longtime supporter of the overthrow of Saddam Hussein, and one who pledges political allegiance only to the democratic center, Francke is discerning, judicious, determined, and brave.
The high court's art dares to praise public pieties.11:00 PM, Nov 5, 2003 • By CLAUDIA WINKLER
I ONCE SAW Sandra Day O'Connor in my corner store, and years ago, before Justice O'Connor even sat on the U.S. Supreme Court, I used to push a stroller on the terrace surrounding the white marble temple where she works. But until Tuesday--even though the Court is only four blocks from my house--I'd never actually heard an oral argument there and seen the justices in session.
The case wasn't exactly exciting (at issue was the definition of "investment contract" in securities law), though it must have mattered to the administration since Solicitor General Ted Olson spoke in person.
Two Pakistani leaders explain why the United States shouldn't abandon the region.8:15 AM, Oct 16, 2003 • By CLAUDIA WINKLER
IN THE TURBULENT and dangerous politics of Pakistan, credible public figures willing to stand up for pluralist democracy are no commonplace. So it was a privilege to meet with Afrasiab Khattak and Asfandyar Wali Khan--middle-aged men who between them have spent more than a decade in prison in the course of their careers opposing military dictatorships--on their recent stop in Washington.
It's becoming clear that some journalists in Saddam's Iraq had special relationships with the government. Others did it the right way.12:00 AM, Sep 17, 2003 • By CLAUDIA WINKLER
IT'S WORTH RECYCLING John Burns's stunning denunciation of corruption in the media, already touted on Andrew Sullivan's indispensable blog on Tuesday and elsewhere since.
The scandal of some Western media's silence about the atrocities of Saddam Hussein's regime, of course, is old news.
The left wing of the Supreme Court votes against the Children's Internet Protection Act.11:30 AM, Jun 24, 2003 • By CLAUDIA WINKLER
THEY'VE DONE IT AGAIN. This time liberals have backed themselves into the position of defending library patrons' right to view pornography at federal expense.
They've landed there by way of excoriating the Children's Internet Protection Act, which the Supreme Court yesterday upheld 6-3. This law requires obscenity-blocking filters on computers in public libraries where the computers are paid for with federal grants or the Internet access is subsidized by Washington.
Independent newspapers--and public opinion polling--come to Baghdad.3:00 PM, Jun 3, 2003 • By CLAUDIA WINKLER
ALONG WITH FREEDOM, opinion polls have come to Iraq--opinion polls and newspapers to publish them. While admittedly not yet pretending to Western polling science, the informal survey of 620 people on the streets of Baghdad taken by Al-Mu'tamar, one of the newspapers that have sprung up in Iraq in the last two months, is a landmark in itself and suggests an intriguingly nuanced pattern of opinion.
The poll, reported in the May 22 edition (and summarized here), interrogated people of miscellaneous ages and backgrounds.
Egypt's Sakharov, Saad Eddin Ibrahim, is aquitted by Egypt's highest court. 12:00 AM, May 22, 2003 • By CLAUDIA WINKLER
TEN MONTHS AGO, the man The Daily Standard called Egypt's Sakharov was sentenced to seven years in prison for his work promoting democracy. Last week, Saad Eddin Ibrahim passed through Washington a free man, and recounted his remarkable acquittal on appeal by Egypt's highest court.
It's a heartening story on several counts. The outcome is a new lease on life for one of the most articulate, tireless, and personable promoters of democracy in the Muslim world.
You may have heard the story about how Colin Powell forced the U.N. to cover Picasso's "Guernica" while he made the case for war in Iraq. It isn't true.1:00 PM, Apr 16, 2003 • By CLAUDIA WINKLER
"TOO GOOD TO CHECK" is the technical term for a story like the censoring of "Guernica." Secretary of State Colin Powell, so the story goes, went to the United Nations to present the case for war against Iraq to the Security Council, then took questions from the press standing before a blue backdrop--a backdrop specially erected at the insistence of the warmongers to conceal a tapestry version of Picasso's great painting depicting the horrors of war.
The episode was a bonanza for antiwar, anti-Bush propagandists and those eager to believe them.
In his self-congratulatory Nobel Lecture, the former president proves he's still as naive as ever.11:00 PM, Dec 10, 2002 • By CLAUDIA WINKLER
IN A NOBEL LECTURE YESTERDAY that is a familiar mixture of personal self-satisfaction and national self-abasement, Jimmy Carter names the greatest challenge in the world today, and it is us: the tragic failure of the wealthiest nations to cure the poverty of the poorest.
Implicitly, the second-greatest problem is also us: our failure to recognize that war is evil and to embrace "the premise that the United Nations is the best avenue for the maintenance of peace."
Let's start with the self
Bill Moyers, Dick Armey, Texas, Oregon, and more.11:00 PM, Nov 17, 2002 • By
THE DAILY STANDARD welcomes letters to the editor. Letters will be edited for length and clarity and must include the writer's name, city, and state.
Beth Henary's Things Go Right in Texas does a great job of capturing what happened here in Texas during the 2002 election. As for that "latent Democratic base" of voters, I think they may be in more trouble than just having lost all the state wide races, and control of the legislature.
Gary Milhollin and the Wisconsin Project have helped shape the conversation on renewed weapons inspections.12:00 AM, Oct 9, 2002 • By CLAUDIA WINKLER
AS CONGRESS settles in to debate the confrontation with Iraq, one truly terrible policy option is off the table: Virtually no one is calling for a mere resumption of old-style U.N. weapons inspections as a way to contain Saddam Hussein. Suddenly, even outside the charmed circle of President Bush, his national security team, and their stalwart ally Tony Blair, "inspections" are now taken to mean inspections authorized by a tough new U.N. resolution demanding immediate compliance or else. From Senator Ted Kennedy to chief U.N.
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