Libby Trial: ‘The Wife’ Versus ‘That Woman’

Scooter Libby attorney Wells has repeatedly used the phrase “the wife” to refer to Valerie Plame/Wilson. He must have said it well over one hundred times and the statement is not yet over. He’s doing it to downplay her significance. She was just the wife, so why would an important, busy man like Libby pay her any mind?

Given that this is a mostly female jury, however, one wonders if that could backfire. It is rather dismissive.

It also brings to mind Bill Clinton’s wagging his finger at us–while lying, it turns out–denying any relationship with “that woman, Ms. Lewinsky.”

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James Joyner
About James Joyner
James Joyner is Professor and Department Head of Security Studies at Marine Corps University's Command and Staff College. He's a former Army officer and Desert Storm veteran. Views expressed here are his own. Follow James on Twitter @DrJJoyner.


  1. Nan says:

    I’d sure beware if I was him.

    Especially since power politics may surface when Cathie Martin testifies.