January 24, 2004
Judy Dean

I'm kinda sorry I missed Judith Steinberg Dean's coming out party with Diane Sawyer on Thursday night. She sounds like my kind of woman. Whether she's helped rehab Howard Dean's campaign or not, I can say that I personally am ready for a First Spouse who isn't a prop for the President. Have been for awhile now, actually. Maybe someday I'll get to see one.

This Salon article about her contains an insight into the press that's way more interesting than any insight into Dr. Steinberg Dean:

As eager as we all may be to turn Judy Steinberg Dean into a symbol of something -- to tattoo "cold careerist bitch," "feminist role model" or "passive-aggressive wife" onto her body -- it turns out that she may just be a boring, sweet, smart Jewish girl who loves her family and her work. Journalists like me and Jodi Wilgoren and Maureen Dowd -- people who obviously like attention and are fascinated by power -- cannot fathom why a woman wouldn't be thrilled to be in the center of a political lightning storm. We try to cast her and re-cast her, chew on this mystery meat until we can name her. But that exercise apparently reveals more about us than it does about our subject.

You think? Now if someone were to kindly tattoo that paragraph on MoDo's forehead, we'll all be better off.

Posted by Charles Kuffner on January 24, 2004 to The making of the President | TrackBack

Mark Shields made a similar point on The News Hour; "What's wrong with her priorities? Son first, patients second, politics third..." He was speaking in admiration, as do I.

Posted by: Linkmeister on January 24, 2004 12:34 PM

I'm just curious -- is she Steinberg or Steinberg Dean?

Until recently, I had thought it was Steinberg. But lately, it's been Steinberg Dean. It's not clear to me if the difference is just media shenanigans, or if she's become Steinberg Dean of late for political reasons (i.e. Hillary Rodham becoming HRC). Anybody know?

Posted by: kevin whited on January 24, 2004 2:35 PM

I've always seen her referred to as Steinberg Dean, though she apparently introduced herself on the Sawyer show as simply "Judy Dean". There may be some shenanigans or just lack of clarity given her mostly-low profile up till now.

FWIW, Tiffany took my name but doesn't use it most of the time. Depending on context, she's Tiffany Tyler, Tiffany Tyler Kuffner, or Tiffany Kuffner. That may well be the case with Judith Steinberg Dean.

Posted by: Charles Kuffner on January 24, 2004 2:50 PM

It came up in the interview. Professionally, she's "Steiberg". Outside the office, she's "Dean".

Which makes sense, as patients and nurses can refer to "Dr. Dean" without people responding "Which one?"

Posted by: Morat on January 24, 2004 7:32 PM

Am I the only person that prefers Dr. Steinberg healing the sick rather than appearing in photo ops?

Posted by: Charles E on January 24, 2004 10:40 PM