Phallocentrism and The Spitzer Problem for Hillary Clinton

Last evening Keith Olbermann led his story about Eliot Spitzer by saying, “and this is where i came in,” referring to his start at MSNBC 10 years ago during Bill’s impeachment fiasco. This morning, media coverage about the Spitzer resignation also harkened back to Monica and Bill.

All this is a problem for Hillary because it drags up memories of victimhood, denial and “standing by her man,” hardly credentials for the next commander in chief.

Hillary Clinton’s campaign is trapped within a narrative of her own making that keeps pointing attention to Monica and Bill, and nothing makes this more apparent than the facts that have surfaced surrounding the Spitzer resignation.

It’s a male phallocentric power story. It’s a narrative that allows Eliot and Bill to enjoy personal liberties along side their public responsibilities (until they get caught).

The narrative is agentic and egoistic, premised on the notion of getting others to do things for you that they might not otherwise want to do. (hello Monica, and Kristen et al. serving client # 9)

Think also of Silda Spitzer today, and Hillary ten years ago, long suffering wives forced under the klieg lights to stare blindly (and still adoringly) at the spouse as he bears his soul and responsibility for have broken the public and family trust.

Silda and Hillary are victims of the male power model.

So why would Hillary assume the same model of power that forced her own victimization and most humiliating moments?

Perhaps it is the only way to win. But it is not likely to work.

Consider Hillary’s phallocentric test to become commander in chief, which she suggests, Obama cannot pass (is he not masculine enough?).

The Hillary test to be commander in chief consists of having been burnished by foreign policy tests over some executive crisis. Here the commander in chief must have endured the klieg lights– not as a victim or vanquished, but as trimphant victor.

Regrettably, she has no such experience. She didn’t forge a peace deal in Northern Ireland, as she claims to have done, and she didnt help open the doors of Kosovo to Macedonia. Instead, her expose to the bright lights have been in roles as victim or stereotypical cheerleader to her husband’s triumphs.

The male power frame Hillary invokes to strengthen her own credentials rings false in large part because it highlights the fact that much of her time in the White House was as “adoring spouse” and first lady– a gendered role of supplicant, cheer- leader.

Clinton could have burnished her own commander in chief credentials along a different path, which would have required redefining her “commander in chief” model along a different moral frame, one that would have been more closely aligned with her own experience.

She could have framed her experience as first lady, not as a lone, triumphant decisionmaker, but as a caring and empathic leader, who experienced the globe through the privilege of having had a first person’s access to world events. (the eleanor roosevelt model)

Such a frame of caring would provide a forceful alternative to the shock and awe personal and public politics of current leaders. Would also encourage leaders to keep it in their pants.


One response to “Phallocentrism and The Spitzer Problem for Hillary Clinton

  1. Hillary and Bill Clinton have made a significant issue about how the press is treating Hillary unfairly in their hyper-critical reporting on her and their “softball” reporting on Barak Obama. Hillary maintains she has been fully investigated by the media and Barak hasn’t! As the Tony Rezko trial begins in Chicago, Clinton and her surrogates are linking Obama to Rezko and the media is speculating about whether Obama will be called to testify as a witness in the case. Obama has always admitted he received $85,000 in contributions from Rezko which Obama has now donated to charity rather than keep. Yet the civil fraud trial of Bill Clinton for defrauduing Hillary’s largest donor in 2000 into giving her campaign more than $1.2 million, pending in Los Angeles courts since 2003, is now preparing for a November, 2008 trial. The discovery that is now proceeding after a February 21 hearing, and the pending trial, have NEVER been announced by the mainstream media. Hillary was able to extricate herself as a co-defendant in the case in January, 2008 after years of appeals to be protected by the First Amendment from tort claims arising out of federal campaign solicitations she made. Her abuse of the intent of California’s anti-SLAPP law after the California Supreme Court refused to dismiss her from the case in 2004 is emblematic of her contempt for the Rule of Law. Hillary will be called as a witness in both discovery and the trial according to the trial court Judge who so-advised Hillary’s attorney David Kendall when he dismissed Hillary as a co-defendant in 2007. A subpoena is being prepared this month and will be served personally on Hillary, along with Chelsea, Pa Gov. Ed Rendell, Al Gore and other well known political and media figures. Yet the media has refused to report about this landmark civil fraud case- brought by Hillary’s biggest 2000 donor to her Senate race, regarding allegations that were corroborated by the Department of Justice in the criminal trial of Hillary’s finance director David Rosen in May, 2005. That indictment and trial was credited as resulting from the civil suit’s allegations by Peter Paul, the Hollywood dot com millionaire Bill Clinton convinced to donate more than $1.2 million (according to the DOJ prosecutors and the FBI) to Hillary’s Senate campaign as part of a post White House business deal with Bill. The media – except for World Net Daily- has also suspiciously refused to report on Hillary’s last FEC report regarding her 2000 Senate campaign, filed in January 30, 2006. In a secret settlement of an FEC complaint by the plaintiff in Paul v Clinton, Peter Paul, the FEC fined Hillary’s campaign $35,000 for hiding more than $720,000 in donations from Paul, and it required Hillary’s campaign to file a 4th amended FEC report. In that report Hillary and her campaign again hid Paul’s $1.2 million contribution to her campaign and falsely attributed $250,000 as being donated by Paul’s partner, Spider Man creator Stan Lee, who swore in a video taped deposition he never gave Hillary or her campaign any money. Lee did testify to trading $100,000 checks with Paul to make it appear he gave $100,000 to Hillary’s campaign (admission of a felony) but none of that has been reported by the “overly critical” media! Where is the outrage from Obama that the press is engaging in a double standard relating to his possible role in the Rezko trial and his refunding the $85,000 contributed to his campaign by Rezko- which Obama has always admitted taking. The media makes no mention of Hillary’s role as a witness in Bill’s fraud trial for defrauding Hillary’s largest donor- and Hillary’s refusal to refund the $1.2 million she illegally received from Paul, which she has denied taking from Paul ever since the Washington Post asked her about Paul and his felony convictions from the 1970’s before her first Senate election in 2000? Visit for videos and info.

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