: Hub Blog had to blink a few times when I read how Shannon, Hillary et gang were seizing on the word ‘unbecoming’ as a campaign issue following Tuesday’s debate. Of all the things brought up in the debate -- Shannon’s tax dodging, Mitt’s inaccuracies on Medicaid reimbursements, Shannon’s tattoo, Mitt’s non-defense of Bill Weld -- Mitt’s use of the word ‘unbecoming’ initially didn’t even register a minus-one on the controversy scale. Not in post-debate analysis. Not in any morning-after coverage. Not on weblogs. Nowhere was Mitt’s use of the word ‘unbecoming’ in the debate mentioned as some sort of insult to women. But then Hillary Clinton flies into town, attempting to shore up (or scare) the Defend the Sisterhood vote, and suddenly we learn Mitt’s use of ‘unbecoming’ to describe Shannon was really a never-before-known code word to put women down. At least the Herald
called it for what it was -- ‘O’Brien plays gender card,’ read the headline on this morning’s story. The Globe
treated it a tad more seriously -- ‘Camps spar over Romney word.’ Here’s an excerpt from the Globe story: “That single word opened a new front in the campaign as O'Brien's supporters seized upon it to reintroduce the question of gender in the final days of the race.” Actually, that sentence is missing an adjective, for it should have read ‘opened a new SPIN front.’ And that’s all it is: a spin. You know, a deliberate partisan attempt to influence media coverage by describing events in a way partisan proponents want the public to see it, regardless of whether it’s true or not. Got to hand it to Shannon: She typically went on the offensive yesterday, slashing and attacking. Mitt? He’s on the defensive -- again -- this time over a word that 99.9999 percent of the viewers of Tuesday’s debate didn’t notice nor associate with ‘gender’ politics. Amazing.
Other election tidbits
: Joan Vennochi
seems to be taking a swipe at Eileen McNamara and other liberal suburbanites
who are swooning over one of their own, Green Party candidate Jill Stein. Here’s Joan: “As cozy as a mug of warm vanilla chai, Stein is the quintessential suburban professional mom: articulate, committed, darting from soccer game to neighborhood traffic control meeting, somehow carving out time to express concern about the downtrodden, chemical additives, and global warming - and not necessarily in that order.” Joan’s column is on the mark on a lot of points but she did get one thing wrong: A vote for Stein isn’t necessarily a vote for Romeny because polls are showing that many Republicans like her too. ...
... A reader from Lexington (Jill Stein’s headquarters in her fight for the downtrodden) writes: “Jill Stein is not getting the play one might expect out here in her home town, giving short shrift to your calculation that she may hurt Shannon on Tuesday. ... I personally don't think she will be another Ralph Nader, scarfing the 5-7% of the vote that would put Mitt over the top. I think -- as do others -- that if Jill had stayed ‘greener’ and stuck to the expected issues of a green party candidate, she would have walked away with 8-10% of the overall vote and a significantly higher percentage of the prized.” All excellent points which I’m beginning to agree with, but then ... then you see the ‘unbecoming’ tactics of Shannon and you have to wonder what her campaign’s internal polls are showing. The ‘unbecoming’ issue is clearly aimed at shoring up her (dwindling?) female vote. ...
.... The Herald has endorsed Mitt
, for what it’s worth. ... Wayne Woodlief
says Shannon’s abortion stand -- and showing off her tattoo -- may end up hurting her. I don’t know about that. I kind of wanted to see her tattoo. ... Margery Eagan
has yet more classic lines about both Shannon and Mitt.