Susan on Medium

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It really was just a debate. Ever since the Kennedy-Nixon debate, the debates have held an absurd amount of power in electoral politics. What happened then is legendary: Kennedy had been well-prepared with a set of talking points, and was instructed to turn the questions around (nowadays, we call this a “pivot”) in order to get them out no matter what the question was.

So I finished Mary Trump’s book late last night, and here’s what I think is so important about it.

It took the pandemic to show me “a room of one’s own” is much more than a spatial allocation

The following is excerpted from my latest collection of essays, Imagine Bernie Sanders as a Woman and other Writings on Politics and the Media 2016–2019. Despite the title, the collection is not primarily about Bernie Sanders. However, the following excerpt, which describes some of my experiences with the media after publishing a book supportive of Hillary Clinton, does contain material that Sanders supporters may find provocative and perhaps offensive.

My editor advised that I relegate only a brief discussion of Hillary’s comments about a “Vast Right-Wing Conspiracy” to a footnote in my last book, The Destruction of Hillary Clinton. I accepted her advice, but I no longer think a footnote is sufficient. What follows contains some material from that footnote, but is greatly expanded and detailed. It appears in Imagine Bernie Sanders as a Woman and Other Writings on Politics and the Media 2016–2019.

Sanders the Spoiler

Sanders said Sunday that he worked as hard as humanly possible once Clinton was the Democratic nominee. Let’s do a little fact-check on that claim…

Revenge of the Shmattes

When we were kids in the early sixties, they were the last kind of clothes we’d ever be caught dead in. They were for overweight, middle-aged housewives who watched “Days of Our Lives” on television and got together once a week for Mah Jong (if Jewish) or Bingo (if church-going — although I thought it possible only Jewish moms wore them) or just smoking and gossiping. They were loose and made for comfort, often with disturbingly large floral prints. Shmatte.

Two Elizabeths

Lacey Baldwin Smith has written that “Tudor portraits bear about as much resemblance to their subjects as elephants to prunes.” A slight exaggeration, maybe. But it is true that the historical accuracy of the depictions in Tudor portraits, particularly of royalty, was often at war with “symbolic iconizing” — the use of imagery to represent the person’s character, position or role.

I wish Bob Mueller had quoted from this section in his television appearance. In yesterday’s televised announcement, Robert Mueller said he believed that it was “in good faith” that William Barr had declined to present Mueller’s introductory summaries to the public before the entire report was released.