2007/02/25

The Woman Running For President Is 'Senator Clinton'

...not 'Hillary'! In fact, if you're not a personal friend of the Clinton's, then you shouldn't be using her first name at all.

So why am I tweaked off about this now? I just got a look at another worthless article--this one from Newsweek, reprinted at MSNBC--tangentially exploring the possible effect of the former president's impeachment and infidelities on the Senator's campaign. This is basically crap reporting, but in the article they refer to the junior senator from NY as "Hillary" no less than four times.

What is it about the former First Lady that emboldens people to take the liberty of referring her by her first name? Usually, we only use a politician's first name to mock or to satirize. It's disrespectful, and in my opinion reporters who routinely do this to Senator Clinton are showing her the same kind of disrespect. Speaker Pelosi is never referred to simply as Nancy. Nobody refers to Senator Snowe as "Olympia" or Diane Feinstein as "Diane", and if Senator Clinton was a man, this issue wouldn't even come up. Newsweek's article shur as sh*t never refers to Senator Obama as "Barack"!

It's time that we cut this crap out, and I'll be the first to offer my apology. I've used Senator Clinton's first name in two different posts on Blognonymous. I was wrong, and I damn well will make sure it doesn't happen again.

24 Comments:

Damn right. No one ever refers to the president's wife as Laura. And while we're at it let's quit the Chelsea thing as well.
That's a good point. I always thought it was kinda used the way people use Operah or Madonna. It is totally out of control in the press though.
Fashiongirl... That's another good point. Besides the First Lady, nobody refers to Senator Hutchison as "Kay". (Well...ok...they do but it's usually 'Senator Kay' and the satire rule applies.)

SA... As you point out it's one thing to have a single name (Madonna) or to deliberately trade on a first name (Oprah), but Senator Clinton does neither.
I see your point, but she kinda started it by trying to avoid all the negatives associated with the Clinton name and running as Hillary for President. But you're right, journalists should show a little respect.
Do you realize that if Hillary does become president, then just two American families will have been in charge of the White House for nearly a quarter century.
I've seen Obama referred to as Obama, and laura as Laura, and McCain as McCain, and frankly none of the deserves respect until they do something worthy of respect.
Hedy, Lew... I haven't seen a single instance where Senator Clinton has traded on her first name. I've seen many third parties such as HillaryNow.com. Likewise, many politicians are referred to by their last names, 'Obama', 'McCain', 'Clinton', but it does not show the same level of disrespect, IMHO.

Finally, I think that this:

...and frankly none of the deserves respect until they do something worthy of respect.

...is exactly bass-ackwards. Polite society is based on the notion that everyone is deserving of respect until they prove otherwise. I may not like Senator Clinton. I may want her to remain in the Senate, but I also realize that she has already accomplished more in her lifetime than I will in mine.
I agree with you, Kvatch. It is a sign of disrespect.
My ass burned red when Darth Cheney referred to Speaker Pelosi as "Nancy."
And you're right. Nobody calls Laura Bush "Laura."
Pickles.
And you're right. Nobody calls Laura Bush "Laura."
Pickles


I prefer "receptacle for damaged DNA"
Old Broad... I didn't know about Cheney's snub to Pelosi, but it's entirely with that asswipe's entire attitude toward anyone that's not part of Bu$hCo cult-o-personality.

I prefer "receptacle for damaged DNA"

John... Well, as they say it takes 'two to tango', and I can't believe that all of the twins problems are due solely to the father.
Hedy... I stand corrected and owe you an apology. The exploratory committee's site uses the term "Hillary for President".

That's too bad.
hmmm, at first I thought it was a derogatory woman thing, but then you rightly pointed out other female senators. So maybe it's because her first name is a bit distinctive? No that doesn't work either (think Olympia). I may not like her much, but from now on will use either her full name or title. Do I have to extend the same considertion to Condaleeza? ~~ D.K.
Here comes the acid rainmaker again...:)

This will draw guffaws from all over without a doubt, but technically, Senators are OUR employees. They work for US, do they not? Were you to have a maid named Mrs. Jane Doe employed for you for many years, you would probably say "Jane, could you do this?"

There are some that have such high name recognition, that one name identifies them. "Cher" comes readily to mind.

Granted, our senators aren't maids (many wouldn't be qualified), but they aren't God's, either. They haven't earned any "respect", other than the basic respect given to anyone.

I find it interesting, that during the Monica Lewinski scandal, Hilary went from being called "The First Lady", to "Mrs. Clinton", to "Hilary." I believe that was because millions grew to identify with her one on one in a sympathetic manner, not as the wife of the President.

Finally, aren't we starting to split fine hairs when we're "dissing a politician" by their given names we call them? I have a lot of names for Hilary, the Former First Lady, now Senator from New York, and none of them start with Senator. But that's just my opinion. Were I to meet her, I would certainly greet her as any other married woman, Mrs. Clinton.

Then I'd go in the bathroom and puke.
I guess I'll have to bow out of this discussion, seeing as I just had a post a while back entitled "McClinton." I will add that the first time I met My Senator it was with my wife at a "Moms for Hillary" event...
I hadn't thought of it before, but you're right. I have no intention of voting for her, but I'll watch myself and avoid first-name-basis in the future.

(I refer to the president as "Dubya," but that's an intentional disrespect.)
I use their first names not out of disrespect but because it's quicker to type one word rather than two. See, I'm sort of lazy :)

As I recall, there was a time some people openly referred to the then president as "bubba" and "slick willie" Would it be okay now to refer to the present president as "idiot" and "Goofus George"?
PS - When did she quit referring to herself as Rodham-Clinton?
Yeah, it seems like she is propogating the use herself. It makes her sound folksy, and seperates her from or at least DISTINGUISHES her from her husband.

I usually use initials to be clear (ie. GHB, GWB) although some people just say "Dubya" for short.

One last point, if her name was Jane, we would all have to say "Jane Clinton" but since it is Hillary, it is clear who you are talking about.

I see your point about respect though too.
I think the first-name usage comes partially because there are enough really ignorant die-hard Bushies out there who would mistakenly believe that "Senator Clinton" was, in fact, the former President, rather than his wife.

Never overestimate the intellectual capability of the bible-belters.

I could say more.. but it tends toward the unacceptably raunchy and I would like to avoid that this morning.
D.K... I think it's both derogatory towards women and personal toward the Senator. As I said, this would not be an issue if Senator Clinton were a man.

TFWY... People who trade on their single name don't count in my book (e.g., "Cher"). So then the question is whether or not Senator Clinton does this. I am definitely incorrect about some her related sites doing this. They do, but you don't see Senator Clinton insisting that she be referred to as "Hillary" in say...Senate committee meetings.

ThomasLB...welcome to Blognonymous.

Yeah...we all use derogatory names for the President. Guess he fits the "...actions not deserving of respect category."
I use their first names not out of disrespect but because it's quicker to type one word rather than two. See, I'm sort of lazy :)

PoP... I bet that you don't do that for most Senators. Do you use "Barack"? ;-)

Praguetwin... I think you have a point on the "folksy" thing, but if that is their aim, I think it's a mistake. Personally, I like the "professional distance" of the title. Gives me more confidence in my leaders.

Sewmouse... Senator Clinton may soon be the former President (I heard a rumor), but setting that aside even 'Thuglicans who want to diss the Democrats don't refer to anyone but Senator Clinton with a first name. Well...OK...someone mentioned that Cheney referred to Nancy Pelosi as "Nancy," but I couldn't track that down.
"Condi" is another name that bothers me.
It was "Hillary Rodham" until Bill's comeback campaign for governor, then it was "Hillary Rodham Clinton" until around the end of the first term. Yes, the media is sanctimonious (and probably sexist) on this point (How often do you hear or read "Doctor" Rice or "Doctor" Albright as opposed to "Doctor" Kissinger?) but the Clinton Campaign is all for it. Why? "Hillary" is casual, like being a "Friend of Bill" and it helps with a candidate who does not have a public reputation for being warm and cuddly. Same reason why Bill quickly stopped signing official papers "William Jefferson Clinton" after taking office. It's all good, frawg.
I am a frequent violator of this. Although I do my best to say President Bush or Senator Clinton or whatever, I sometimes slip up and say G Dub or Hillary. Although I respect the offices they hold, I am not sure I respect them as people. Senator Clinton is intelligent and driven and would probably promote many things I agree with, but I don't trust her.
OK...that's officially weird. I'm sure that I responded to at least Abi's comment last night. Anyway I have to agree. I should really refer to her as "Secretary Rice" or "Dr. Rice". Well...when I'm not mocking her, of course.

Local Crank...nope, nope. Can't agree there. I know that I sort of put my foot in my mouth on this one, but I like that professional distance, and I don't think the Clinton campaign should tolerate the familiarity. I don't think it will serve them well in the long run.

Scott... Bush does not deserve respect, and Condeleezza Rice, IMHO, is saying enough really stupid sh*t to loose the benefit of the doubt, but Clinton still deserves the respect of the office and probably more for her composure during her husband's second term.

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