The CW on Bloggers and She-Candidates

Back in March, Mark Leibovich drew up for the New York Times a “Scorecard On Conventional Wisdom” this election season. Upshot: “The accuracy rate of ‘conventional wisdom’ in this presidential election has plummeted to new lows.”

Today, Mary Anne Ostrom writes a similar piece for the San Jose Mercury News containing a couple of annoyingly stale “conventions” (remember, the definition of “conventional wisdom” is “generally accepted belief.”)

Convention: Bloggers are intriguing, but hardly relevant.

Turns out, Ostrom explains, bloggers aren’t all just wearing pajamas in basements! They can actually affect the process! By reporting and publishing their findings! On the Internet!

(Or, as Ostrom actually wrote: “Obama’s comments about small-town Americans being ‘bitter’ were recorded by an Oakland blogger on her MP3 player while attending a San Francisco fundraiser. Part of a brigade of volunteer bloggers for, Mayhill Fowler set the Democratic race on its ear.”)

Convention: Women are more empathetic and compassionate candidates.

Turns out, Ostrom reports, a female running for higher office may actually compete for it just like the men do! Hillary Clinton has, as various supporters have recently and colorfully noted, campaigned strong and scrappy and, er, ballsy whereas the CW apparently expected her, as a she-candidate, to be weak and meek and soft-spoken (er, I mean “empathetic and compassionate” — you know, those lady traits she was displaying when she cried in New Hampshire).

(In Ostrom’s own words: “The Hillary Clinton who got teary in New Hampshire is so last January. In Indiana, a union backer praised her for ‘testicular fortitude.’ North Carolina’s supportive governor said she made Rocky Balboa ‘look like a pansy.’ And Clinton backer James Carville, never a shrinking violet, said of Clinton and Obama: ‘If she gave him one of her cojones, they’d both have two.’”)


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Liz Cox Barrett is a writer at CJR.