CAMPAIGN 2008 October 7 Dem group backing McCain Prominent Hillary Clinton supporter helps open Democrats for McCain headquarters in Scranton. BILL O ’ BOYLE firstname.lastname@example.org SCRANTON – A major supporter of Hillary Clinton and member of the Democratic National Committee’s Platform Committee, on Monday said the Democratic Party has nominated “the worst candidate” while Republicans have nominated the best. Lynn Forester de Rothschild helped open the Democrats for McCain headquarters on Main Avenue in West Scranton. About 30 supporters turned out to welcome de Rothschild and speak out for the Republican ticket. “What it came down to was that I decided I love my country more than my party,” de Rothschild said, explaining her support of Sen. John McCain and Gov. Sarah Palin. “I’m really worried. I do not want (Obama) in the White House.” De Rothschild, 54, said she sees Northeast Pennsylvania – specifically Luzerne and Lackawanna counties – as the key to winning Pennsylvania’s 21 electoral votes. And, she said, whoever wins Pennsylvania will likely become the next president. “Barack Obama has never had the mandate of Democrats,” she said. “And Howard Dean and Nancy Pelosi ignored the 18 million people that voted for Hillary Clinton. They can’t be surprised at the 5 million to 7 million Clinton supporters who are now supporting McCain.” One organization – PUMA, which stands for Party Unity My Ass – has more than 5 million members across the country, she said. Jamie Brazil, a longtime friend of the Clintons and the Rodham family, is serving as national director of Citizens for McCain. Brazil accompanied de Rothschild on her Scranton visit. Brazil and his wife, Dee, will be godparents to Simon Rodham, son of Tony and Megan Rodham at his baptism Oct. 12 in Scranton. Tony Rodham is Hillary Clinton’s brother. The Clintons will attend the post-baptism brunch at the Brazil home in Scranton. No announcement has been made regarding a possible pro-Obama event while the Clintons are in Scranton. “I’m here in Scranton because this is one of two counties in Pennsylvania -- Luzerne being the other – that will determine who will be our next president,” de Rothschild said. “I want that to be John McCain.” Carol Oleski is director of the Democrats for McCain office. Judy O’Connor is assisting Oleski and has taken a strong stand for McCain. “Hillary supporters are way past the anger stage,” O’Connor said. “We are supporting McCain because we feel after Hillary, he is the most qualified candidate for president.” O’Connor said most Clinton supporters who have come over to the McCain side feel the Democratic Party threw the New York senator “under the bus.” She said the Democratic “good ol’ boys club” didn’t want a woman to be president. “We find McCain to be honest and genuine,” O’Connor said. “We don’t trust Sen. Obama; we don’t feel he is qualified for the job. He has walked down many hallways, but he hasn’t left many footprints.” A self-made multimillionaire who is married to British royalty, de Rothschild has called Obama an elitist. She splits her time living in London and New York and was one of Clinton’s top fundraisers, bringing in more than $100,000 for the campaign. De Rothschild built a multimillion-dollar telecommunications company before marrying international banker Sir Evelyn de Rothschild.
October 5, 2008: Letter from The New Agenda to Mr. David Plotz October 5, 2008 David PlotzEditorSlate Magazine Dear Mr. Plotz, The New Agenda (www.thenewagenda.net) is a non-partisan women’s rights advocacy group with men and women members nationwide. The New Agenda monitors news coverage, blogs, print media, as well as statements by political pundits, political campaigns and other commentators for sexist bias, derogatory language, misogynist attacks, and denigrating statements about women. The New Agenda strongly objects to an article by Tom Perotta published in Slate on Friday, September 26, entitled, “The Sexy Puritan.” The article, which purports to examine Governor Palin’s impact as a “powerful new Christian right archetype” is capped by an illustration of Palin in high heels, perched on a stool, with her breasts popping out of her skimpy dress and a bible squeezed between her bare thighs. This article and the accompanying illustration were also featured prominently on Slate’s front page on Saturday, October 4. In his article, Perrotta claims that as a “Sexy Puritan,” Governor Palin is a “particular type of woman” who “engage[s] in the culture war” by “advocating conservative positions” and by “embodying nonthreatening mainstream standards of female beauty and behavior,” thus providing “a little thrill along with your traditional values.” Perrotta supports his theory about “Sexy Puritans” by citing a sex blog called “Christian Nymphos,” “whose authors,” he says, “offer candid how-to advice on anal sex, fisting, and ‘masturbating for your husband.’” Perrotta states, “There’s a sophisticated strategy of co-optation at work here—not so different from the one employed by Christian rock bands that look and sound almost exactly like their secular counterparts—an attempt to separate ‘sexiness,’ which is both cool and permissible, from actual sex, which is not.” With this claim, Perrotta implies that Governor Palin has cultivated “sexiness” in service of her conservative Christian agenda. This is tantamount to claiming that she is “asking for” the graphic sexual imagery which he uses to illustrate his point. There is the implication that by “engaging in the culture war,” as he claims Palin is doing, she is associating herself with the sexualized women whom he describes in the article.. In truth, Governor Palin has done nothing to warrant such spurious comparisions, and Perrotta is merely employing the time-honored tactic of using gratuitous and vulgar sexual imagery to demean and discredit a woman in a position of power while implying that she is complicit in her own degradation. After referencing the sex bloggers to support his argument, Perrotta disingenuously claims, “God knows, I’m not trying to link Palin to the Christian Nymphos; I’m only trying to locate her within the context of the great American culture war.” In fact, linking Palin to the Christian Nymphos, and to “anal sex, fisting, and ‘masturbating for your husband,’” is precisely what Perrotta is doing. It is unconscionable for a mainstream publication such as Slate Magazine to provide a forum to discuss sexual acts in relation to a political figure who has done nothing to invite such discussion. In actuality, Mr. Plotz, it was you who opened up this avenue of discussion about Governor Palin when, in your Slate article of September 9 entitled, “I Dream About Sarah Palin. Do You?”, you wrote that a couple of men you know “have mentioned that they’ve been having sexual fantasies about the Alaska governor.” “I’m sure they’re not alone,” you added. There is nothing in Governor Palin’s dress or demeanor that is sexually suggestive; however, in the follow-up article to your own, a number of the men whose dreams you published contain sexual or romantic images of Palin, and a quick Google search turns up two other instances where Tom Perrotta introduced the subject of anal sex in his own novels.. Clearly, anal sex a subject to which Perrotta has devoted some thought. Have you no shame, Mr. Plotz? As the editor of Slate Magazine, you are responsible for its content, and it is our opinion at The New Agenda that your publishing of articles of this nature about Governor Palin is a calculated attempt to demean her, perhaps in order to compensate for the fact that, as your wrote in your own article, “night after night, she appears in my dreams, always as a scolding, ominous figure.” It should be apparent to all that your and Perrotta’s visions of Sarah Palin have everything to do with your own imaginations, and nothing to do with the actual woman. We realize that this is not the first time that Slate Magazine has diminished its reputation by publishing bigoted material, but we at The New Agenda hope that you and Slate Magazine will reconsider the publication of such degrading, sexist content in the future. We request that you meet with representatives of our organization in order that we may clarify our concerns. We look forward to hearing from you. Sincerely, The New Agenda