Twiddling with winks

One of Andrew Sullivan's ever-at-the-ready readers is upset by the fact that Sarah Palin winked, and compares her unfavorably to other women:

I just want to ask: can anyone, anyone, imagine Condoleeza Rice or Margaret Thatcher or even Hillary Clinton for God's sake, winking at the nation and/or being coquettish in any national format?

Yeah. Just checking.

Andrew then chimes in himself to the chiming in by his reader. Echoing the view that Palin has "damaged feminism," he sees Palin's "cocktail waitress act" in stark contrast to the great dignity of Hillary Clinton:
...Palin has actually forced me to realize that, however much I despise Hillary Clinton, I have never doubted her professionalism and capacity to fight and win on her own terms in a male-dominated world by meeting and exceeding the standards of any male counterpart. (It was not her fault she ran against the political genius of his generation.) I cannot even imagine her winking and flirting on stage, although the New Hampshire tears were a bit of a stunt.
OK, for starters, unless there is some especially horrendous context involved (say, an unrepentant serial killer in court), I have zero problems with winking.

If there is any sexism here, it's the double standard in condemning a woman politician for doing something male politicians do all the time.

Yes, I did see the photo of Sarah Palin winking that Drudge linked the other day:


Forgive me, but that hardly looks like a "cocktail waitress act" (whatever that may be). She looks very self confident, and every inch the powerful woman that she is.

As to the "I cannot even imagine [Hillary] winking" business, well, I can!

But I'll do better than imagine.

How's this?



Democratic presidential hopeful, Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton, D-N.Y., winks to the crowd as she makes a campaign stop at Millersville University's Pucillo Gymnasium in Millersville, Pa., Tuesday, March 18, 2008.

Imagine, brother, imagine.

MORE: It's not just Andrew Sullivan who's upset by the winking; similar outrage was expressed at Daily Kos a couple of days ago.)

posted by Eric on 10.05.08 at 12:10 PM


Cynthia McKinney winks, too.

TKL   ·  October 5, 2008 1:03 PM

Man, if McCain loses, it won't be because of Palin. I have never seen anything like the Lefty panic when she hit the scene. I think they're correct, she is a danger to the same old boring slog, which has Obama winning a close one. First they violated her family; when that was ineffective they just went with the she's not qualified meme. Unbelievable

dr kill   ·  October 5, 2008 1:04 PM

First. If I were writing a book and needed a hero to exemplify all that is good about hardworking America, "cocktail waitress" would be on the short list.

Second. My mother winked. Where would you like to go with that?

Third. Why on God's green Earth does anybody read Andrew Sullivan? "Your job"? Get a better job, like honey-dipper, for example. (Another job on the short list, for sure.)

Larry Sheldon   ·  October 5, 2008 1:41 PM

Oh. For the metaphor impaired, see the second definition at

Larry Sheldon   ·  October 5, 2008 1:44 PM

I am not the first to suggest this, but I have no idea who is....

AS should be required to supply the email headers or stamped, postmarked envelope for his "ever-at-the-ready reader[s]" before you all mention his name.

Larry Sheldon   ·  October 5, 2008 3:48 PM

Awesome -- the picture of Hillary winking.

Always nice when the double standard can be presented so clearly.

I can't wait to see the unadulterated rage of the media "elite" on election night, or even just as McCain starts to come back up in the polls.

Clint   ·  October 5, 2008 4:03 PM

I have never doubted her professionalism and capacity to fight and win on her own terms in a male-dominated world by meeting and exceeding the standards of any male counterpart.

She rode to power on her philandering husband's coat-tails. How is this "winning on her own terms?"

V the K   ·  October 5, 2008 4:19 PM

Well done.

mare   ·  October 5, 2008 4:50 PM

I wink in your general direction.

Donna B.   ·  October 5, 2008 5:52 PM

Andrew just can't imagine anyone is cuter than himself--especially a girl.

Brett   ·  October 6, 2008 8:33 AM

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