• Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Subscribe
  • RSS

Unknown Gillibrand Appointed to Clinton Seat, Breaks Glass Ceiling

Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton in Chatham, N.Y. with Kirsten Gillibrand, a candidate for the 20th Congressional District. -  15 AUG 06 (Nathaniel Brooks for The New York Times)

Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton in Chatham, N.Y. with Kirsten Gillibrand, a candidate for the 20th Congressional District. - 15 AUG 06 (Nathaniel Brooks for The New York Times)

In a bit of unfortunate timing, Anne Kornblut has a page A01 piece in today’s WaPo headlined “Does a Glass Ceiling Persist in Politics? Kennedy’s Withdrawal Illustrates a Double Standard, Some Say.” The lede:

With her abrupt exit this week from consideration for the Senate, Caroline Kennedy added her name to a growing list: women who have sought the nation’s highest offices only to face insurmountable hurdles.

Like Hillary Rodham Clinton and Sarah Palin before her, Kennedy illustrated what some say is an enduring double standard in the handling of ambitious female office-seekers. Even as more women step forward as contenders for premier political jobs, observers say, few seem able to get there.

In less than two months, Kennedy, 51, was transformed from a beloved, if elusive, national icon into a laughingstock in the New York media, mocked for her verbal tics and criticized for her spotty voting record.

The fact that Hillary Clinton didn’t get elected president doesn’t much prove anything about the electability of women; indeed, she had twice been easily elected to the U.S. Senate seat to which Kennedy aspired. That Palin and Kennedy, who most observers judged as less than prepared for the offices they sought, were unsuccessful doesn’t exactly prove discrimination against women, either.

But Kornblut’s piece is especially problematic in light of the news — which was frankly expected before this piece went to bed — that Kirsten Gillibrand, a virtually unknown second-term Representative — and a woman — was going to be appointed to the seat:

PIX NEWS is being told that Congresswoman Kirsten Gillibrand is the reported choice of Governor David Paterson to fill the U.S. Senate seat vacated by Hillary Clinton. Two Congressional sources say New York Democratic delegation has been invited to join Governor Paterson for the announcement at noon in Albany Friday.

Two members of that delegation, agreeing to speak without attribution, told me that the Governor has telephoned New York’s Democratic members of Congress for their views after Caroline Kennedy withdrew herself from consideration. One of the contenders, long-term Congresswoman Carolyn Maloney canceled a scheduled appearance on “PIX News Closeup” Friday because of a “conflict,” which she did not disclose. She too will be in Albany. According to the sources, Gillibrand, now in her second congressional term, is favored by Secretary of State Clinton herself. Paterson has been under pressure to select a woman.

So . . . not only was being a woman not a hindrance, it was an asset?

Never mind.

Related Posts:

About James Joyner
James Joyner is the publisher of Outside the Beltway, an associate professor of security studies at the Marine Corps Command and Staff College, and a nonresident senior fellow at the Atlantic Council. He's a former Army officer and Desert Storm vet. He has a PhD in political science from The University of Alabama. Views expressed here are his own. Follow James on Twitter.

Comments

  1. Alex Knapp says:

    The whole “sexism” charge against critics of Palin and Kennedy is a pretty worrisome thing. It doesn’t make me a misogynist to point out that the both of those women would have made a poor choice for the offices to which they aspired.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  2. James Joyner says:

    It doesn’t make me a misogynist to point out that the both of those women would have made a poor choice for the offices to which they aspired.

    It’s only your patriarchal mindset that keeps you from seeing otherwise. After all, a senator needs a brain like a fish needs a bicycle.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  3. Bithead says:

    There’s both more and less to this than meets the eye,on this Gillibrand appointment, James. Three points:

    * Patterson needs to quell some of the screaming from upstate NY. This will serve to do that.

    * You’ll recall the CW was Cuomo would get the nod. Gillibrand worked with Cuomo as a ‘special advisor’ to Cuomo when he was Hud Sec during the Clinton years.

    * There was a lot of spculation at the time Gillibrand caught that appointment that she was hand picked by Hillary Clinton.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  4. carpeicthus says:

    I don’t know whether to be hopeful or strangely disappointed that there was nothing at all crazy in the previous comment. I’m choosing disappointed.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  5. Bithead says:

    I suppose your disappointment might come from the concept that your previous assesments of my posts were lacking accuracy?

    They were.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  6. Dantheman says:

    carpeicthus,

    Now see what you’ve done! If you had kept quiet, bitsy might have made his all-time high of two straight sane posts.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  7. Moonbat Boy says:

    How with a straight face can Ms. Kornblut or anyone else claim a glass ceiling when Paterson explicitly said he was going to select a women about 100 times? In my job if I said I were going to choose a man/women/black/white/Asian/Hispanic/gay/straight/single/married/… I’d at best be reprimanded and more likely terminated.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  8. Eric says:

    I don’t know whether to be hopeful or strangely disappointed that there was nothing at all crazy in the previous comment. I’m choosing disappointed.

    Yeah, c’mon, Bitsy, give us some of your usual crazy. I mean, surely there’s a hidden liberal conspiracy, or a Sasquatch, or Area 51 aliens angle that you want to flesh out for us.

    I suppose your disappointment might come from the concept that your previous assesments of my posts were lacking accuracy?

    They were.

    Very weak. Bloated self-importance isn’t crazy talk. C’mon, Bitsy, feed the fish!!

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  9. [...] For All, Donklephant, Right Wing News, Wake up America, Power Line, Don Surber, The New Republic, Outside The Beltway, NewsBusters.org and Betsy’s [...]

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  10. Bithead says:

    Ya know, Alex, I gotta say I agree with you here, at least insofar as Mrs Shlossberg is concerned. I think you’ve got a bad reading on Palin, but that seems small in the face of the larger point.

    First of all, these two stories butting together tells me that the “Glass Ceiling” exists only in the minds (And rethoric) of those seeking excuses for why their candidate didn’t make it, or added leverage to help them along. Other than that, I submit it’s not existed for at least a couple generations.

    I would also point out that the false charges of discrimination are not unique to the worldview of the ‘feminist’. It is part of the foundation of the race huxter, as well. Or the homosexual extra rights advocate. In every case, if questions of one qualification or another are brought up, the charge of ‘discrimination’ will be invarably leveled before the echo dies.

    Example; if Obama hadn’t won, does anyone think we’d not have at least several months of screaming and yes, rioting too, on the notion that he was discriminated against based on race, despite his being by far, less qualified for the office than McCain? (And keep in mind, kids, I’m not too fond of McCain, either.)

    Another; How often did we hear that Hillary Clinton didn’t make it to the White House because all those not supporting her were sexists?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  11. Floyd says:

    Kirsten Gillibrand voiced some concern about being able to fill the big “shoes” of the great Hillary Clinton!
    Someone needs to inform her that Hillary too has tiny “feet”, but she has been wearing CLOWN SHOES!!

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  12. dutchmarbel says:

    The whole “sexism” charge against critics of Palin and Kennedy is a pretty worrisome thing. It doesn’t make me a misogynist to point out that the both of those women would have made a poor choice for the offices to which they aspired.

    It definately doesn’t make you a misogynist to point out that you thought those two were unsuited in your opinion. Don’t know much about Kennedy, but I definately agree with you about Palin. The sexism still miffed me though. There were sooooooo many valid points to make about why she was bad for the job; why use sexist arguments that hurt all women?

    I do think that the US should try to get more female political representation. Last stats I say said that 13% of the politicians were female and that puts the US internationally in a much lower postion than they should have imho. Why are there so few women in politics?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0