Women Who Negotiate

by L

Lean Out: The Dangers for Women Who Negotiate

Discuss!

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340 thoughts on “Women Who Negotiate

  1. I’m guessing it wasn’t the increase in salary, but the maternity leave and sabbatical requests that sunk her. It’s hard to tell if it was gender bias in this situation because I’m guessing that there are a lot of philosophy professors to choose from. I’m a terrible negotiator but I think that you have to be holding some of the cards to be successful. I have two BILs who are professors and it seemed like it was sort of a take what was offered situation when they got their most recent positions.

  2. There should already be a maternity leave policy at the university; quietly checking with HR would’ve been a better move. Many of her requests could have been couched in wanting to make sure she did her best for the students (while leading a private life). And why did she go straight to the dean with her requests? I would’ve asked someone from the hiring committee to help me shape my requests. Her requests don’t sound unusual to me at all. Many women have a hard time stopping the tenure clock during maternity leaves. But yeah, philosophy is a man’s discipline, still.

  3. I don’t know about higher ed, but in my experience, women have had to prove themselves much more than their male peers to obtain the same pay and benefits. I think negotiating as you first come in is more dangerous because you do not know the culture of the organization. I have found that when you know that, then you can better navigate the waters.

    For example, when DD#1 was born I wanted to worked a slightly reduced schedule – 35 hours a week. I was managing a project with male co-worker. I engaged his support first, then when to the male manager, who did EXACTLY what I expected, which was go to the male co-worker and ask if he was OK with it. Only then, did I get any response and, while it was approved, the tone was clearly that ONLY a woman would have asked for such a thing. To be clear, this was NOT about my co-worker at all, it was solely the manager. I knew if I had gone to the manager first, he would have denied it immediately.

  4. Yeah – ability to negotiate is a function of who has the upper hand. From what our professor posters say, there is a huge excess of tenure track candidates relative to positions- so the schools might be unlikely to negotiate when their #2 choice is probably pretty close to as-good as the first pick.

    But I have friends, both male and female, that have been recruited for their specific expertise and have been able to negotiate both salary and other perks (extra vacation, PT work, ability to WFH, etc.). If there were tons of qualified candidates for those roles, that might not have been the case.

  5. While I agree with the sentiment of the article (in my very limited experience, women who negotiate are not viewed positively) – it seems they could have looked for a better example. Perhaps asking for 1 semester paid maternity leave, deferred start date, paid sabbatical, teaching accomodations and more was just a bit too much.

    If there are only small differences, pertaining mainly to personality, between top candidates your position after job hire is pretty precarious. I remember thinking I should negotiate my first job offer after training and was told by a mentor — they know exactly what they are getting (a fresh grad), you have nothing to bring to the table. There were three of us hired all at once with the same compensation and relocation bonus — with three different sets of terms for repaying the bonus.

  6. I attended a panel discussion for women in financial services. There is usually at least one question in the Q & A about balance. One woman that runs part of a fund said that she is open to any type of work arrangement as long as your personal problems don’t become the firm’s problems. She was encouraging her staff to have a solution that was mutually beneficial when they negotiated for something new st the firm. She didn’t want stuff to just BR dumped on her if you had a baby, sick kid, elder care etc. Take care of it, but try to figure out a way to make it work for the firm too.

    If you want a raise, and it’s outside of the normal pay cycle- be prepared with the facts as to why you deserve it.

  7. I’ve always managed to get a little something beyond the initial offer, when moving to a new position. I think that’s important to establish your worth through negotiation–either a small increase in pay, an extra week of vacation, or a slight title bump. I made sure to ask for only one thing, and to make my request easy to say “yes” to.

  8. I think the lede is crazy on both sides – on her side for asking for so many things up front, and on the administration’s side for not just saying “no” or coming back with another counter-offer. The really discouraging part of the article is the rest of it, with the studies finding that people who observe women negotiating for salary think less of those women. Blerg.

  9. I think in this specific case, email is part of the problem. Like Saac said, calling up someone involved in the process, and leading off by telling them, “I’m so excited about the offer, I love the school/department/whatever, I’m wondering if there’s any flexibility on some of the terms?”, might have gone over better.

  10. Austin/Houston – I think the best time to negotiate is coming into the organization, not when you’re already there. I am thinking of when I moved to this job – I was already taking a pay cut so they had to come up from their initial number for me to take the offer.

  11. I don’t like using this specific case as the prime example. I think she asked for so much that it just turned them off. As Saac said, there were probably 100-plus applicants and they probably interviewed quite a few that they really liked. I’m thinking they probably had another candidate or two that were very close to her, and they decided they’d rather hire someone who wasn’t trying to defer the start date and asking about significant time off up front. I can see that they might think “if she’s asking for all this stuff before she even accepts the job, what is she going to ask for after she has it?” Having said that, I do think the appropriate response from the school would have been to counter, but they obviously felt that she would be too much trouble to deal with, so why bother when you have other qualified people to choose from.

    I definitely agree she might have had a better response if she talked to them in person or on the phone rather than sending the email.

  12. email is part of the problem

    I agree – tone is hard to get across in e-mail. if she had casually mentioned these on a phone call it would have been better. Indeed, on a call there is usually no recording so they can’t forward the call around the office with a, “Can you believe this $hit?”

  13. This whole thing floored me when it came out last summer. It’s easy to nitpick what she did/didn’t do — hindsight’s always 20/20, of course. But I find it hard to conceive that any reasonable response would involve retracting the offer. How about “nope, sorry, can’t do that, this is what we’ve got; let us know if that’s insufficient, and we’ll hire one of the other 17 well-qualified candidates behind you”? It’s sort of like the Microsoft guy telling women they should be quiet and wait to be noticed: it triggers a massively negative response in my head specifically because it confirms the deep-seated fear that I hoped society had moved past.

    In my own life, I have learned to be much “softer”/more politic about making requests if I want to get anywhere. The “team” advice is right on; when we are talking about things like compensation or flexible leave policies, etc., I always feel like I need to spell out that I am not talking about myself but am advocating for the other, more junior attorneys here (which is true — which is why it annoys me that I have to say it).

    I remember at one retreat saying, well, if we really want partners to do xyz, you should give them billable credit for it, because you get what you measure. And that triggered a *very* negative response from one of our senior female partners, who responded that we all just have to suck it up and do things “for the good of the firm” sometimes. But the part that gets missed is that it’s disproportionately the women who take on those “firm citizenship” roles, in the belief that the firm actually means it when they say everyone needs to do their fair share of this kind of stuff, and that their efforts will be acknowledged and rewarded appropriately. OTOH, the men seem disproportionately to ignore that kind of work until someone comes around and makes them do something — and since no one actually does that, they have more time they can spend building their practice. So if you don’t have some system, either to mean what you say and require (and enforce) XX amount of “firm citizenship” work from everyone, or OTOH to officially recognize and reward those who take on that work voluntarily, you’re in fact ensuring that the future generation of female lawyers as a whole spends less time developing their practice and business than the next generation of male lawyers.

    (As an aside, no one here will be surprised to hear that when I took on my new “firm citizenship” role, I negotiated for full billable treatment. And since no one else wanted to do it, I had sufficient leverage to make that happen. :-))

  14. Did we ever find out what happened to her? Back when the first story came out some were saying that maybe she had other offers and just threw these out there as she really didn’t have any interest in going there, but if they agreed she just might do it

  15. As a corporate lawyer, I try never to negotiate in a letter. Phone is better, in person is best. I want to see the verbal and non-verbal cues and frame my position and the way I convey it accordingly.

  16. ” Perhaps asking for 1 semester paid maternity leave, deferred start date, paid sabbatical, teaching accommodations and more was just a bit too much.” (Ada)

    This, exactly, IMO.

    I think if she had prioritized her list and gone with whatever her top 1 or 2 might have met with less resistance.

    But I also think that on balance she wasn’t the best fit for this particular college after all.

  17. I think the organization’s culture is key to figuring out when and how much to negotiate. Some times that is known when you are interviewing, other times it isn’t until you have been there. Now, hopefully, you are in a position and willing to decline the offer if you can’t negotiate up to where you want. Sometimes, especially if you are a following spouse or have been out of work for a while, you may not be as willing to walk away.

    Once, I was recruited to a new position. It was a big bump in pay, but I had a major vacation trip planned for 6 months from the start date. The employer’s policy was no vacation for 12 months and then only 2 weeks. I said I had this trip planned and cancelling it was a deal breaker. I was still hired and took the trip.

    Another time I changed positions within the same employer and had been working 35 hour weeks. They wanted you to commit to be available 40 or more hours per week all the time because of work cycles that were “unpredictable”. I negotiated a 35 hour week during the valleys and 40 or more hours starting two weeks before and ending two weeks after the peaks. This only really happened because I worked in a different department and KNEW that while there were not regular cycles, they were forseeable at least a month ahead. Someone new to the organization would not have known this, or would not have asked pointed questions about preparing for peaks, and they may not have negotiated it.

  18. Other industries have similar “firm citizenship” issues. I found that you want to volunteer in advance for the ones that (1) take the least time, (2) give you exposure to other people internally or externally that you wouldn’t otherwise see, (3) allows you to learn something about the inner workings or relationships in the office and/or (4) are the least crappy. This has always allowed me to say – I’m doing my share – when asked to do something else. I found that if you wait for those jobs to be assigned, then being a female, you are given (or are the last to choose between) the most time consuming and crappist of the tasks.

  19. Given my general and already-known view that people can’t/don’t/won’t and maybe shouldn’t separate aspects of who you are (age, native English proficiency, gender, race) from their treatment of you, my response is probably predictable.

    Former colleagues contacted me through my husband about my contract job. (Who networks through their spouse? SAHP’s…) When I got married, I only half-joked that my future aspiration was trailing spouse, in part because Mr WCE was already chosen for a high profile technical project and was already working long hours with senior people. Like AustinMom, my manager asked my future colleagues if they would rather have me part-time or someone else full-time. They signed off on my part-time status. When I found out I was pregnant, I offered to complete my projects in a timely manner so my manager could find someone else. My manager approved a long maternity leave (7 months) for me. In some sense I was negotiating when I said I couldn’t be on my feet a lot during my last 6 weeks of pregnancy, and that I needed at least three months after the baby’s due date before I could consider coming back, but I was also willing to walk.

    None of the fifteen men in my group have required similar negotiations. And none of the 13 men I know about have wives who worked more than 10 hours/week during the young child stage. (Two men I don’t know about.)

    I understand that I’m perpetuating stereotypes about women’s lack of professional dedication and I really don’t care. I’ve tried to be upfront that I am not professionally “driven” so my choices don’t affect options for women who are driven. Some of them are sympathetic to women like me and some of them don’t like women like me and wish we would either stay home with kids or find other jobs.

    C’est la vie.

  20. To me the fact that there are other applicants says that she’s really good, to have beaten them all out. There would have been one or two other candidates interviewed on campus. There is often tension between the department and the college, with departments being more specific about their needs, in terms of soecialties, than universities. The comment about fit sounds correct to me, but I don’t know if she really is more interested in research or if the requests just made it sound like that. Considering how long campus interviews are, I’m surprised that hadn’t already come out.

  21. L – The part of the article that stood out to me was that, according to their interpretation of the studies, women were penalized for negotiating not just by men but from other women, AND those women ALSO penalized men for negotiating. So there are apparently many layers, and it goes beyond the notion that only women shouldn’t be seen as being assertive. A lot of women don’t like negotiating or assertiveness in general.

  22. To me the fact that there are other applicants says that she’s really good, to have beaten them all out.

    Very true, but that doesn’t mean she was significantly ahead of the other candidates. It could have been a very close call and this was clearly enough to swing it to the second choice, because that’s what they did.

  23. “I understand that I’m perpetuating stereotypes about women’s lack of professional dedication and I really don’t care.”

    On the way home last night I was listening to an (totebag alert) NPR story about a conservationist working with orangutans in southeast Asia displaced because their habitat was being destroyed to plant palm tree plantations for palm oil (that’s in many things we use). The interviewer asked him if he wanted people to be more aware of this and avoid stuff with palm oil in it to protect the environment. Interesting response:

    “we only get one shot at this life, people should do what makes them happy”

  24. This is the actual e-mail that she sent. If I received this e-mail, I would either say “Sorry, can’t give you anything else” (even if I could) or have the same reaction as the college (“Thanks, but no thanks”). The candidate asked for too much and her requests would have put a huge burden on other faculty members, in terms of teaching load, as they covered for her sabbatical, maternity leave, lower course load for 3 years, pushed back start date, etc.

    “As you know, I am very enthusiastic about the possibility of coming to Nazareth. Granting some of the following provisions would make my decision easier.
    1) An increase of my starting salary to $65,000, which is more in line with what assistant professors in philosophy have been getting in the last few years.
    2) An official semester of maternity leave.
    3) A pre-tenure sabbatical at some point during the bottom half of my tenure clock.
    4) No more than three new class preps per year for the first three years.
    5) A start date of academic year 2015 so I can complete my postdoc.
    I know that some of these might be easier to grant than others. Let me know what you think.”

  25. Houston – My first thought was that the retraction of the offer was ridiculous, and like what you always hear about in real estate discussions, that if you go in too low the sellers will be “insulted” and refuse to do business with you. I never understood that reaction, either.

    But I came to see that it’s different in this case, specifically with requests like the deferred start date. It would be like “Here’s an offer for your house, and I’ll buy it six months from now.”

  26. @WCE: FWIW, I’d say you’re demonstrating the opposite. I don’t know any women with 4 kids who are still working at all. And the only ones I know with 3 have full-time nannies.

    But I’m also totally with Fred: do what makes you happy. Expecting women to work full-time in professional careers is just as limiting as expecting them to quit the second sperm meets egg. Be who you are, and own it (which basically makes you two-for-two).

  27. Houston, wow, that is terse! But if they couldn’t see that it was coming from a person fresh out of grad school with little experience in departmental/campus politics, she clearly would not have received any mentoring or patience once she got there. But I disagree that her requests create burdens for her colleagues. If she took a month or two off for maternity, that would be awkward, because they’d have to fit themselves into her course. But there are adjuncts a-plenty to teach a course for a semester. Of course, a way to be helpful in that situation would be to try to align pregnancy with a point in the cycle when her courses would be the broadest, not her very specific specialty niche.

  28. “I understand that I’m perpetuating stereotypes about women’s lack of professional dedication and I really don’t care. I’ve tried to be upfront that I am not professionally “driven” so my choices don’t affect options for women who are driven. Some of them are sympathetic to women like me and some of them don’t like women like me and wish we would either stay home with kids or find other jobs.”

    The thing is, there’s lots of women like you – arguably, perhaps, more than there are women who are “professionally driven”. You’re also defining terms under which women like you can remain employed in an industry that has not historically been viewed as family-friendly. And given that your colleagues made it clear they’d prefer you PT to someone else FT, you could also argue that you’re in a relatively strong negotiating position by virtue of your established skill set.

  29. Saac: Sure, flexibility during maternity leave is expected. I have no problem with that. However, add it to a year push back in start date, a lighter course load, upfront sabbatical request, AND more money?? No thanks.

  30. S&M, I thought you had already seen the actual email before you said “Her requests don’t sound unusual to me at all.” I was thinking maybe this is a common thing in academia that I wasn’t aware of.

  31. Houston, that’s it exactly. She asked for so much right up front. As I said, if someone is asking for all that before they even have the job, you have to be wondering what are they going to be like once they actually start working there. I’m totally with the school for telling her to take a hike.

  32. “An increase of my starting salary to $65,000, which is more in line with what assistant professors in philosophy have been getting in the last few years.”

    We don’t know what the offered salary was, but at a small, non-research college, in the suburbs of Rochester, NY? I don’t think so.

    “A start date of academic year 2015”

    What Milo said. This would have been a deferral of 1 full academic year. The college clearly had the need for the start of the 2014 academic year; why else would they have made an offer in the spring of 2014? NFW to this.

    I could see the other three (limit on # of classes, semester maternity leave, sabbatical) as being more normal, depending on school policy/practice and compliance prevailing law.

  33. Green Eyes, I discussed the flexibility problem with a friend whose daughter (pediatrician) and son-in-law (software engineer) are trying/have tried to negotiate flexible schedules. For the pediatrician- no problem, medicine is set up that way and the number of women employed makes that structure a necessity. The software engineer may just quit his job.

    She observed that it’s because people care about diversity in medicine (some people prefer female physicians or male nurses) but not in engineering (no one cares about the gender of the invisible people who write your software or supervise your power distribution). I thought this was a powerful insight.

    Along with the 15 men in my group, another woman recently joined- she only works 3/4 time and her husband is a self-employed podiatrist who sets his own hours. And she has one daughter who is almost 9, so her small child years didn’t come during the layoff years.

  34. WCE – I agree with LfB. The world needs more rockstars like you who are unapologetic in their need for balance. :)

  35. I’ve been to several “women’s events” where you are encouraged to “lean in”, be a leader, etc. and then the role model they point to is a work-aholic woman, with a stay-at-home/flexible hours partner, who also has a child with Asberger’s (or more severe health issue). She of course never loses her cool, is always calm cool and collected, knowing exactly what to do in every situations. While I am blown away by the accomplishments of these actual women, I find it incredibly disheartening that that is the standard to which I am to aspire.

    Lauren – sound familiar?

  36. “the role model they point to is a work-aholic woman, with a stay-at-home/flexible hours partner, who also has a child with Asberger’s (or more severe health issue). She of course never loses her cool, is always calm cool and collected, knowing exactly what to do in every situations.”

    Do these tales feature names like Rumplestiltskin and Belle?

  37. This is why I avoid those types of women’s events.

    Personally, I’d rather have a gig like Mrs. Milo’s. My loyalty to my current employer is strongly connected to the work life balance I have now (including the ability to WFH pretty much as much as I want). When a colleague complained about compensation being lower than some other options for people with our skill set, I told him that I take a significant amount of my compensation in non-cash benefits :)

  38. I disagree that people care very much about diversity in medicine. In pediatrics, most practices are eager to find men — there are few going into primary care these days, and some parents of boys prefer a male provider. Perhaps my viewpoint is skewed by the fact that I am never a chosed provider — people get what they get. Nursing is also quite flexible – and that is not due to the patient desire for diversity.

    The difference is that, at most levels, medicine (nursing and doctoring) is piece-work. For generally healthy people, continuity of care is a nice luxury. It is not an expectation for most patients. I love my pediatrician and will wait to see her for almost any complaint. I also see her despite her move to an office 20 minutes in the wrong direction. If I have an pressing problem (granted, this happens to me at a much lower rate than the general population), I go to urgent care – there is not benefit to seeing someone else in her office. I know she works a reduced schedule (maybe 60%) — but it doesn’t really matter to me, as I can always schedule far out if needed.

    OBs have been instrumental in changing the expectation of continuity of care. Most patients have their first few visits with the same OB. In the final few weeks, they rotate you through the providers in the office and then you deliver with the provider on call. When I had a critically ill child that was hospitalized for weeks, we rotated through many different providers in many different specialties – 3 days of the same cardiologist, each week a different nephrologist, etc.

    Surgery is (generally) an exception to this – though with the use of physician extenders (NP/PA) – you may see one person pre-operatively, meet and greet the surgeon, and have follwo up with someone else on the same “team”.

  39. I wonder if this is less about women being looked upon negatively for being assertive and negotiating and more about what is being asked for (money v. flexibility and in this case way more flexibility than is the norm) and also generational conflict (younger generations are said to value flexibility more than money).

    I’ve negotiated flexible/work at home schedules but only after I had worked somewhere for some time.

  40. “I find it incredibly disheartening that that is the standard to which I am to aspire”

    Because she’s a workaholic, or because she has a SAH spouse?

  41. Ada, my nearly-sixty year old OB/GYN specialist observed that it was the entrance of women into the field in significant numbers that forced the adoption of predictable call schedules- when he started, OB’s had to be on call whenever. He thought a significant fraction of women engineers might force similar changes in, say, software development. What do you think?

  42. Risley – joining the London discussion late, but definitely see The Tower and take a Beefeater tour. The Beefeaters are very entertaining in an oh so British way. St. Paul’s is a must, then you can walk across the Millennium Bridge to the Tate Modern. (I think all three are free, some exhibits at the Tate might not be.) I’d also try to catch Churchill’s War Museum, and the British Museum (the Egyptian exhibits are really good). There is a tour of the London Bridge, might be a bit slow for non-architects/structural engineers.

    If you can get out of town for a day, try the Cotswolds region. Any small town pub, tea shop (scones with clotted cream – mmmmm!) and often the local Indian restaurant should be good in that area and the countryside is beautiful.

    Old Spitalfield’s Market (not too far from the Tower) is also worth checking out.

    I lived in north central London so if you’ll be around Mayfair/Primrose Hill, I can give you some additional tips.

  43. I have found it easier to negotiate as an outside candidate vs. being internal to the company. I had to stop switching employers and chasing the money/higher positions because I wanted flexibility and that came only if I took internal positions where I could guage/ask around about positions before I took them on.
    I was surprised ok – shocked by the list of things the professor was asking. Maternity leave was not talked about till I got pregnant, most employers I know had 6 weeks paid leave and it was a scramble to get someone to properly cover for you. The one thing I have asked for is to take vacation soon after I joined. Also, employers wanted me to start in a week of a job offer, usually they had been short staffed for a couple of months.

  44. Milo – I don’t aspire to be a workaholic or have a stay at home spouse yet this is the role model of a leader, a success story, “the” standard I am judged against. My boss (a childless, older female) strongly encourages me to attend these events and it is noted when I decline.

    Sorry, I am human, lose my temper, get frustrated and do not always know the answers, particularly when it comes to parenting a challenging child. My spouse works full time. He is not perfect either.

  45. Milo – the “aspirational” person being a workaholic is not something to look up to, IMO. In addition, if they are a workaholic AND a saint (like the person ATM points to), it makes their situation seem that much more out of reach for regular mortals. I would rather see “aspirational” couples where both people have some amount of flexibility and no one works 60 hrs/week. :)

  46. Milo – I’m a bit cranky today in part due to work pressures, including those under discussion, and stuff with my kid. Please don’t take my tone as hostile, I know you’re genuinely curious and trying to understand different perspectives on this.

  47. L and ATM – I see what you’re saying. I’m just not sure what would be the point of holding up some slightly-above-average person as the role model to aspire to.

    “Ladies and Gentleman, I want to tell you about someone whose story has been a source of personal inspiration for me. His name is Bob, and he works in accounting. He works a strict 40 hours a week, diligently spends his three weeks of vacation every year at Lake of the Ozarks, and in 20 years of faithful service has been promoted to supervisor of his team. He has never once failed to use every floating holiday available to him…

  48. It sounds familiar, but it is changing a little because of the men. I had the most difficult time managing a guy that worked for me because he needed a lot of flexibility. His wife was a senior executive at a large corp and they had three young children. She made it clear that he always has to flex. My team paid the price. As more men ask for flexibility….then maybe it will start to change. Maybe.

  49. Mooshi,

    Rumors are afoot of Bloomberg challenged Hillary – our dreams of a Bloombergian technocratic utopia may yet come to be!

  50. It’s easy to imagine Bloomberg, like Ross Perot, saturating the airwaves with detailed discussions of how he’d fix America’s roads and bridges, and how he’d put our entitlement programs on a sounder footing. If this idea doesn’t thrill you, you are dead inside.

  51. @Milo — It’s what L says. I know we talked about this last week or so, but our biggest long-term issue as a firm is losing really good senior associates because they don’t think they can have the life they want and be a partner. All of the “lean in”/”you can do it”/etc. cheerleading is useless if the only woman you can point to as an example flies invisible planes and wrassles bad guys with her golden lasso in her spare time. That’s more like, gee, thanks for confirming my fears, excuse me while I go return that recruiter’s call. . . .

  52. “Rumors are afoot of Bloomberg challenged Hillary ”

    So the choice could be between a former commodities trader / corporate lawyer / member of Walmart’s Board of Directors and a Wall Street billionaire financier/media baron.

    And that’s on the Democrat side.

  53. “orangutans in southeast Asia displaced because their habitat was being destroyed to plant palm tree plantations for palm oil ”

    DD learned about this when she volunteered at the zoo. Ever since, she’s scrutinized ingredient lists so we don’t buy stuff made with palm oil. It can be quite limiting, especially in the cookie aisle.

  54. Milo – Did the woman HAVE to have a kid with Asperger’s? Really?

    How about a woman who was made counsel/held a senior position, took a year off to be with her newborn, came back to work on a slightly unusual schedule (making this up – full time during the school year, 6 weeks off in the summer), and yet who was still viewed as an expert in her field, a leader and well respected in her firm. Where are those women? It’s the last bit that seems to be the issue.

    I agree with Lauren – until everyone starts asking for more flexibility, women are damned if they do and damned if they don’t.

  55. “because they don’t think they can have the life they want and be a partner”

    I guess I get it. But it’s kind of a funny idea to be figuring out who should be the “more-accessible role model,” if that’s the right term.

  56. Wall Street billionaire financier/media baron.

    Who has just the skills to have this country running like an affluent Zurich suburb.

  57. “Who has just the skills to have this country running like an affluent Zurich suburb.”

    I’ll let Meme shoot that one down.

  58. Just got back from the dentist. As you may imagine, this got plenty of discussion among my former colleagues when it came out.

    Philosophers are assholes. No, really, almost all of them/us. They start from a place of bad moral character and then you throw in no real-world experience and you get the case described in the article. The candidate had presumably been encouraged to negotiate without really being told how to do so. This is a field where you engage with people pretty much just like that old SNL sketch where Dan Aykroyd would debate Jane Curtin beginning with “Jane, you ignorant slut.” As I mentioned the other day, my department chair, the dean, and all the senior guys took great joy in being able to gloat about if they wanted me to just bend over, I pretty much had to just bend over, because there were precious few other jobs and a bazillion qualified candidates. So this female candidate was essentially giving notice that she wasn’t interested in being pushed around, and that took all the fun out of it for the guys, so that’s why they withdrew the offer.

    Mamas, don’t let your babies grow up to be academics.

  59. I just got back from the dentist too. That’s a good job. My dentist works three days a week. I needed a crown and that is $2050. She does pick up messages over the weekend, but she rarely works after hours. It took a long time to get to this point, but it seems a lot better (imho) than a lot of other medical related careers.

  60. Rhett – Bloomberg’s not going to happen:

    “In 1975, Bloomberg married Yorkshire-born Susan Brown.[166] They had two daughters: Emma (b. ca. 1979) and Georgina (b. 1983), who were featured on Born Rich, a documentary film about the children of the extremely wealthy. Bloomberg divorced Brown in 1993, but he has said she remains his “best friend.”[1] In 2010 Bloomberg was living with former New York state banking superintendent Diana Taylor.”

  61. Men vs women and flexiblity. Had a male boss that gave a male co-worker special treatment – leaving early when no one else could – because he was a single dad who had his daughter 1-2 days during the week in addition to weekends. Two others of us – both female – had toddlers at the time too. Boss never saw this as special treatment. He thought he was being fair.

  62. On pricing in different regions (of the same state) for dental crowns:
    Lauren – $2050 is that after insurance has helped out?
    Me – $1450 list price knocked down to $750 by insurance and I had to pay 50% of that

  63. Milo,

    Meh, Ronald Reagan had 2 kids with Jane Wyman, divorced her and had more kids with Nancy. No one really cared and that was 35 years ago.

  64. It’s not that–McCain was divorced and remarried, too. It’s the fact that he’s single but living with someone, or was living with someone and now is not…

    I’d also want to see what his DDs said on the “Born Rich” documentary. That could be problematic.

  65. My insurance will pay half. It’s the rent. She’s in an office in midtown near grand central.

  66. It’s the fact that he’s single but living with someone

    Milo, America elected a black man (twice!) I think we can handle one “living in sin.”

    Question: Do you think Romney’s perfect family helped him or hurt him?

  67. $3,500 for a special night guard thing that prevents sleep apnea. Had to go to a special dentist to get it. Covered by medical insurance rather than dental insurance, but since my deductible is $6,000, obviously we’ll pay. Fortunately we have quite a bit in the HSA.

  68. If Bloomberg wants to run, he’s going to have to either marry the woman or get rid of her. Back in the 70s Jerry Brown was living with Linda Ronstadt, and the SF Chronicle tried to make massive hay out of that (they ran a five-day series of front-page articles about Governor Moonbeam living with the rock chick) but he got elected anyway. Of course that’s California. But it was also 40 years ago.

  69. “America elected a black man (twice!) I think we can handle one “living in sin.” ”

    Obama, regardless of what you may think of him, appears to be a devoted dh and father.

    I just think the Bloomberg lifestyle doesn’t play out well.

  70. I just think the Bloomberg lifestyle doesn’t play out well.

    With you or with Bev, the Florida truck stop waitress and swing voter? I think a somewhat complicated personal life can help with the “understands the problems of the average American” metric which would be ordinarily hindered by his vast $36 billion fortune.

  71. “think a somewhat complicated personal life can help with the “understands the problems of the average American” metric ”

    See, that’s what I’ve said about Walker dropping out of Marquette.

    I don’t know, Bloomberg would be fun to watch. I don’t think it plays well in Iowa, for starters.

  72. Off-topic: a dear friend has been having a really hard time since he lost a parent last fall. He’ll be here next week, staying with us before and after giving a lecture at a university a couple hours away, and before a conference elsewhere on the continent. Of course we’ll do all the usual things–cook out on the grill, a trip to the beach and another downtown, time with the kiddo, etc. I’d like to something “extra”‘to be supportive to him, but can’t think of a thing. (He’s been happily married for 25 years, and neither of us is interested in messing that up, so no need to suggest that thing). What could I do to make his stay a little bit more restful? Any ideas?

  73. Rhett, I wondered if Romney’s wife hurt him on the margins. She did have a few remarkably clueless comments that left her coming off as entitled. Which is probably more due to her limited life experiences (e.g. never experienced working for pay, ever) than personality, but still could be off-putting.

    Milo, are you saying you’re hoping Elizabeth Warren will run?

  74. Now that my parents are in their 70s, I am very conscious of how taxing this job is even on our younger presidents. I just checked and Bloomberg is close in age to Hillary. I have concerns about committing to someone in their 70s for four years.

  75. . Bloomberg graduated in 1964 with a Bachelor of Science degree in Electrical engineering

    Come on WCE, that has to count for something!

  76. “Milo, are you saying you’re hoping Elizabeth Warren will run?”

    lol. I don’t know. I think Jim Webb would be an interesting candidate to watch.

  77. Negotiation can be a subtle art, and the e-mail author from the OP doesn’t sound that well practiced in it. Does anyone consciously teach negotiation skills to kids? I probably do as a side effect in that I expect them to their own discussions with teachers about things like schedule conflicts, grading questions, etc., and we will sometimes run scenarios ahead of time if a kid is nervous about it, but I’m not thinking about it as ‘negotiation practice’ so much as ‘not having kid who expects parents to talk to college professors for him/her.’

    Oh, and then of course there are negotiations in Civ, which the kids have been known to play. If you make an insulting offer to another leader it doesn’t do your relationship any good, and you’re more likely to be shown the door than given a counteroffer.

  78. Saac: Your plans sound perfect. Just give him a few things to do, some quiet support, and a willing ear. That’s all a friend needs.

  79. “Does anyone consciously teach negotiation skills to kids?”

    Honolulu: I do the same thing with my kids for the same reasons. It’s so important, especially as they get older. The first step is how to write a good e-mail to a teacher asking a question. It took a while to master, but my kids now have this skill. It starts in middle school, based on my experience. In high school, it’s absolutely essential.

  80. “Webb, and he’s on his 3rd wife! So, he’s got that going for him.”

    At least he’s married to her. But that’s the least of his liabilities. His strong opposition to women in the military/at academies/in combat a few decades ago would be a much bigger problem.

  81. “The candidate had presumably been encouraged to negotiate without really being told how to do so.”

    As others have pointed out, this is a learned skill and the email struck me very much as something Hannah Horvath would write. Maybe it’s a generational thing.

  82. Haven’t read the comments yet, but just to weigh in quickly – many small liberal arts colleges have this really weird attitude about politeness and toeing the line and being “part of the college tradition”. Asking for things like sabbaticals, which are not the norm at these schools, can be seen as really out of line at a school like this. I am guessing from the school’s name that it has a religious orientation too, which makes this even more likely.

    Conversely, at research schools, you are EXPECTED to negotiate. I did not know that when I got my first offers, staight out of my PhD program, and really undersold myself. On my second gig, I negotiated for equipment and fared quite well.

  83. Is anyone interested in adding a place on our blog where totebaggers could post college visit commentary? This topic has been mentioned in a few comments, and a totebag perspective would be informative. I could create a permanent page up top, and folks could add comments about what they gleaned from their campus visits, anonymously if desired. It could also be a place for similar college info, like scholarships, majors, etc. Or specialized pages for those topics could be created.

    Just a thought!

  84. On Bloomberg vs Hillary

    1. Those two are so similar. Both are technocrat, fairly centrist Democrats.
    2. As for the age and “complicated personal life” part – I seem to recall that Reagan was both old, and had a complex personal life.

  85. “She did have a few remarkably clueless comments that left her coming off as entitled. Which is probably more due to her limited life experiences (e.g. never experienced working for pay, ever) than personality, but still could be off-putting.”

    IOW, she came off as entitled because she’s entitled (due to her wealth)?

  86. “Does anyone consciously teach negotiation skills to kids?”
    In addition to what Houston describes, I’ve taken kids along to when negotiating a used car purchase and a bed.
    Car: He was 17. Then, he didn’t understand how I could be so ballsy, thought I was being overly pushy, etc. I was neither. I just knew what I was talking about when I politely offered 25% below the asking price for the car and settled at about 17% below. Now he at least knows that the asking price is wishful thinking and that he can and should start well below that. And be willing to walk away.
    Bed: He was 14. Now, most people don’t negotiate bed pricing, but it’s just like buying a car. I simply asked for their best price for mattress, box spring, frame, delivery, set up. (We kept the existing mattress, or else I would have included that in the list). Once we had the price for a bed he liked at three stores, we picked the least expensive.

    We will buy middle DS a car in a couple of months, assuming he has a summer job. I really want him to do the negotiation given the price parameters we establish (e.g. no more than $10k out the door). I’ll be there to coach him, but I want him to feel it.

  87. One more Bloomberg comment: Although I rather liked him (anything is likeable compared to Giuliani), he doesn’t stand a chance. A significant part of the Democratic base hates him – DeBlasio ran on that sentiment – and no Republican would ever vote for him. He represents everything that Republicans hate: the nannystate, gun control, bicycles, enviromentalism. As for the center – what center? The center is vanishingly small these days.

  88. CoC – sure..and see my comment at the end of yesterdays’s string for my generic take on college visits.

  89. Our governor here in Oregon just resigned because of conflict-of-interest issues associated with his significant other, the First-Lady-He-Wasn’t-Married To. I haven’t tracked any legal stuff, but conflict of interest law (nepotism) seems to rely on a legal relationship so he probably didn’t violate any laws. I think we’ll have the first openly bisexual governor now, or maybe we already do. (Clearly, I’ve been caring for a newborn)

    This ties in with recent discussions on the importance of legally protected status/relationships vs. social situations. The OU discussion definitely made me oppose making obesity a legally protected status, for example, even though I think people should be hired based on their competence rather than their weight.

  90. “I think the best time to negotiate is coming into the organization, not when you’re already there.”

    I agree. I said I would take my current job if I could work part-time and they said yes. But that also goes to someone’s earlier point about having more negotiating power when you have a niche skill that the employer needs.

    And going back to an old post, someone said it doesn’t make sense to work 80% and get paid 80% but still have a 100% work load. I agree with that too – I’m at 60% right now and it works.

  91. “What could I do to make his stay a little bit more restful?”

    Follow his lead. Some people want to talk about it, some people want to do Anything But Talk About It; some people want to sit quietly on the beach with a refreshing beverage, others want to go for a long run or go hit a club; some people like to orchestrate every minute of their vacations, others like to do what they feel like at any given moment.

    You know the kinds of guy he is, so you probably have a sense of where he falls on those scales and the kinds of things he likes. So figure out some options that would fit within “what I think he’d like to do,” and then leave enough flexibility in the schedule in case he has different ideas.

  92. “I’ve been to several “women’s events” where you are encouraged to “lean in”, be a leader, etc. and then the role model they point to is a work-aholic woman, with a stay-at-home/flexible hours partner”,

    I was on a panel with a woman like this! And it annoyed me that she downplayed how much her husband does for the family (I know them both). So those women are not all telling the truth.

  93. Hillary and Bloomberg have about the same chance of winning against Jeb Bush. They are total peas in a pod. Hillary may actually be slightly to the right of Bloomberg on many issues. Americans out in Texas and Arizona and Alabama are just not going to understand the big soda ban, the congestion pricing bill, or the bicycles. Bloomberg just cannot play outside of the NE

  94. “Bed: He was 14.”

    When I first read this, I thought it was going to be about negotiating bedtime.

  95. Mooshi – he’ll run away from those positions pretty quickly on the national stage. “What’s right for NYC isn’t what’s right for the nation”, and all that.

    Remember Romney distancing himself from healthcare in Mass?

  96. he can’t run away. He has sunk too much of himself into those issues. Remember, he has a foundation dedicated to defeating anti-gun-control candidates nationwide. He can’t run from that.

  97. And I think Romney never could distance himself, and that was one of his issues

  98. “Bloomberg graduated in 1964 with a Bachelor of Science degree in Electrical engineering

    Come on WCE, that has to count for something!”

    It does with me. I like that our gov has an EE degree (he turned down MIT for flagship U).

    I didn’t know Johns Hopkins has an EE program.

  99. Laura, your mention of a “refreshing beverage” reminds me that I need to check supplies in the liquor cabinet. Thanks!

  100. Speaking of those women-leader-life-work panels, does anyone actually do the thing of putting kids to bed in their school clothes so they don’t have to get dressed in the morning?
    That seems to be a perennial tip at such events and to my mind it’s crazy — if the only way you can make your life work is by having your kids sleep in their school clothes, that’s a sign that your family’s schedule is not working, not a clever life hack to boast about at life-work panels.

  101. “Hum, link didn’t work. The answer of course is Jeb Bush.”

    Elections are won by turnout.

    I agree that the gun control thing leaves Bloomberg DOA. Pardon the pun.

  102. Anyone else like me in not voting mostly for the least bad candidate, or voting against a candidate I really dislike, as opposed to actually supporting a candidate because I think that candidate would be good in office? Locally as well as nationally, there’ve been very few candidates that I’ve really liked.

    Probably it’s because I don’t know a whole lot about him, but of the candidates being discussed for 2016, Bloomberg is the only one so far that I might actually vote for because I like him, rather than being the least bad.

  103. “does anyone actually do the thing of putting kids to bed in their school clothes so they don’t have to get dressed in the morning?”

    DS used to do this on his own.

  104. SM, I would take him to Diagon Alley, and make sure he tried the butter beer.

    Isn’t that close enough for a day trip?

  105. wait until you hear his whiny little voice… then you might not find him so likeable.

    I actually do sort of like Bloomberg. Such an engineer type. And he was such a pleasant suprise after many years of Giuliani attacking everyone and everything. I really liked the bicycles. I think he left NYC a much nicer place when he was done. I saw him feed the sea lions twice at the Bronx Zoo, and he seemed to actually enjoy it.

    But no one else in the country is going to get the bicycles, the gun control, or the love for Wall Street.

  106. Putting your kids to be dressed is just insane. Why not teach them to dress themselves?

  107. PTM: Hillari is too hawkish for me. I want someone who will dial back in the Middle East. She is the opposite of that.

  108. Honolulu– I hate those recommendations too. Part of sanity is having a life with at least some space to breathe. If my option is to work 80 hours a week or not at all, I’d not work. Thankfully, more flexible options are available.

    I still can’t fathom the university withdrawing her offer. It opened them up to so much trouble unnecessarily. Say “we can’t offer you those things,” and let her either accept and need to be mentored and see if she can hack it, or move on to the next good candidate.

  109. I agree that the gun control thing leaves Bloomberg DOA

    Among people who aren’t going to vote for him anyway. It polls 46% in favor 51% against so it’s not like 70% of Americans oppose gun control.

  110. “Baby WCE goes to the bus stop in her sleep ‘n’ play.”

    Forget the kids. DW and MIL are convinced that the reason so many Moms drive to the bus stop is so that they don’t have to get themselves dressed first.

  111. “It polls 46% in favor 51% against so it’s not like 70% of Americans oppose gun control.”

    As Bill Clinton would have reminded Obama if Obama ever cared to listen, there’s depth and passion behind issues like gun control that poll numbers do not indicate on the surface. Gun control fuels passion like nothing else. Maybe you don’t see it in Boston, and while I’m somehow on a few Republican mailing lists, I’ve never indicated to anyone an enthusiasm for guns. And you should SEE the flyers that come in the mail from the NRA and similar groups, and hear the Robocalls that I receive about gun issues.

    Someone like Bloomberg who’s worked that hard against guns has no chance whatsoever. I will bet a friendly, Romney $10,000 on it.

  112. Moms drive to the bus stop is so that they don’t have to get themselves dressed first

    The kids walking themselves being completely out of the question?

  113. “the reason so many Moms drive to the bus stop is so that they don’t have to get themselves dressed first”

    I just made sure I my pajamas were the type that looked like street clothes. Most of the year I would wear a big coat or sweater anyway when I walked the kids to the bus stop. :)

  114. “The kids walking themselves being completely out of the question?”

    Have you been paying attention at all?

  115. Gun control fuels passion like nothing else.

    Among people who aren’t going to vote for him anyway.

  116. “DW and MIL are convinced that the reason so many Moms drive to the bus stop is so that they don’t have to get themselves dressed first.”

    I need to move up there, Milo. I drive Junior to school looking something like an ad for the pro temperance movement and I am astounded each day at how well the mothers are turned out. I joke with Junior that it must be a competition.

  117. “the reason so many Moms drive to the bus stop is so that they don’t have to get themselves dressed first”

    I’ll second that. The mom-of-4 next door drives her youngest to middle school. The mom is clearly wearing pjs or sleep pants and a sweatshirt. At 715 in the morning, who really cares?

  118. Two of the ladies at my kid’s bus stop wear obvious PJs,tucked into boots. They are standing on the sidewalk, not in a car (we walk a few doors down to the stop). The other two (including myself) are working people who are nervously glancing at our watches and checking traffic reports on our phones while we wait.

  119. “Among people who aren’t going to vote for him anyway.”

    Not necessarily and it’s not so easily divided. You still have some guys in Local 320 of International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers who are pretty pi$$ed at Walker and Right to Work laws. They could support a Democrat because of the Labor issues, but not some spoiled bureacratic pencil neck from NYC who spends millions of dollars trying to take away their guns.

  120. Have you been paying attention at all?

    I am fascinated by how it all came to be. So, picture it, suburban VA c.1985 and the idea of driving your kids to the bus stop is universally considered ridiculous. Then at some point… one mom does it….it would make for an interesting phd in anthropology project.

  121. “picture it, suburban VA c.1985 and the idea of driving your kids to the bus stop is universally considered ridiculous.”

    Not universally; my friend’s Mom often did it. Sometimes I would get in the minivan with them and wait if it was particularly cold out.

    Now our house was right at the bus stop, but my friend’s was about 0.1 miles away. I guess he could walk sometimes. It may have depended on when she was leaving for work.

    By the time I was in high school, a different set of parents had convinced the school that the elem. bus should drive all the way up to that cul-de-sac.

  122. Late to this discussion but I agree with the earlier points that this wasn’t the best example to use. I do have to say the article overall really matches up with what I’ve experienced. I started to type up some examples that I may or may not have written about here before and it just made me too angry. I don’t want to relive some of those conversations. I just hope that women won’t be caught in such a double bind by the time my future kids are entering the workforce.

  123. but I really like Hillary.

    I like Dick Cheney as well and for the same reason. You remember the first seen in House of Cards where Frank Underwood breaks the neck of the dog that was hit by the car? And he looks into the camera and says:

    Moments like this require someone like me. Someone who will act. Who will do what no one else has the courage to do. The unpleasant thing. The necessary thing.

  124. That can be ambiguous. Sorry. I actually like Dick Cheney for much the same reasons as you do.

  125. Milo, I was on an NRA mailing list for a while. They sent me a survey that asked, among other things, if I was in favor of jack-booted government thugs storming my home at 2am to confiscate my guns. Check yes or no. I sent it back asking where in the hell they thought the government was going to get the funding for jack-booted thugs willing to work those hours. I was inexplicably dropped from their mail list after that.

  126. Is anyone interested in adding a place on our blog where totebaggers could post college visit commentary?

    There needs to be a section about the calculus track. What to do starting in the womb and then all the way through 8th grade to ensure that your child makes it. How to keep them on it. How to explain to them they are out of their minds if they say they don’t like it. Stuff like that.

  127. Oh, and I’m totally cracking up at ATM’s “lean in role model” type example. Kind of reminds me of a “women in business” pep talk I went to in college where the speaker explained how she worked 80 hour weeks and traveled constantly so had a whole team of nannies to raise her kids- she interviewed them by trying to find people who would parent exactly like her because she knew the nannies would be the ones ultimately raising them. And how she stayed up all night on business trips to Asia pumping breast milk and micromanaging the nannies via Skype. Most of us did not leave that lecture feeling very inspired!

  128. 3:26 Anon, we don’t need a special section for that — any recent comment thread chosen at random will include that discussion!

  129. Rhett – I can certainly see a little bit of that. Claire Underwood is definitely modeled after Hillary a little bit, especially this season when she talks about their partnership and their plan.

    Frank has so many great comments to the viewer.

    His rage when Dunbar threatens to release Claire’s journal:

    “She can go after me all she wants. But she goes after Claire and I’ll slit her fuck1ng throat in broad daylight.”

    And of course there’s his moment in church talking to Jesus on the crucifix:

    “Love. That’s what you’re selling. Well, I don’t buy it.” And then spits on Jesus.

    It’s amazing that I’m rooting for such a psychopath. And it’s such a let down seeing Kevin Spacey on Letterman and he completely loses the character. No accent, no mannerisms; it’s like he’s not the same person at all.

  130. I tried to watch House of Cards, but that girl who was sleeping around for hot tips just depressed me. What a sad sack. She looked pitful all the time. And then when Frank killed the alcoholic guy? That was just too over the top for me. No real politician would do the deed himself.

    My husband violently hated HOuse of Cards, and since I only watch TV once in a while with him, that completely tanked watcihng any more.

  131. “I walk my kids to the bus stop- the 0.6 mi round trip is the only exercise I get right now.”

    I seriously doubt that. Picking up your DD, carrying her to the changing station, putting her in the crib, etc., give you a lot more exercise than I get when I’m just sitting at my desk all day.

  132. “They sent me a survey that asked, among other things, if I was in favor of jack-booted government thugs storming my home at 2am to confiscate my guns. Check yes or no.”

    LOL!!!

    I love those. Now, to be fair, I get a lot of “research survey” calls from the Left that will ask questions like “So-and-so has reported that, if elected, [Republican Senate candidate] will gut Social Security so that 50 million seniors will be broke and starve to death. Does this make you much more likely to vote for him? Somewhat more likely to vote for him? Neither more likely nor less likely to vote for him? Somewhat less likely to vote for him? Much less likely to vote for him?”

    If I’m feeling sporting, I always keep them on the phone as long as humanly possible to waste their time. I’ll start questioning them on each of the particular issues they raised. They’ll say “ummm, I’m really sorry, sir, I can only ask the question that I have in front of me.” I’ll ask for sources, I’ll offer counterpoints. I’ve spoken to supervisors….

  133. I am anti-Hilary. I would vote against her and for Bloomberg in our open primary system, the same way I voted against her and for Obama in 2008.

  134. I am extremely depressed that our choices in 2016 may be between another Bush or the other Clinton. You mean to tell me out of hundreds of millions of people, the best candidates just happen to be from the same couple families? Seems profoundly elitist and undemocratic to me.

  135. House of cards just makes me depressed. It’s like a train wreck I cannot stop watching.

    I can’t understand all the hate for Hillary even though I am completely against SOME of her political stances/actions/pronouncements.

  136. Swwet and Sad – HM.

    Creepy, however, that this is in the sidebar:
    Don’t miss any updates from Terry Pratchett

  137. HOC is a fantasy, of course, to think that someone could be that manipulative and do so mostly undetected, particularly Season 2 orchestrating the President’s resignation.

    But just from a practical criticism, what seems so unrealistic about Season 3 is how few people he tends to have around him. Remy, and Seth. And Meechum. I understand they’re working on a Netflix budget, and it’s more about telling a story than making a documentary, but still.

    It’s like Downton, where you have this house that would supposedly have 40 or so full-time workers, but you only ever see the same seven or eight.

    STOP READING if you haven’t finished Season 3.

    And now Doug is chief of staff, but he never really seems to interact with any staff, except for Seth. And while the President is campaigning in very close Iowa caucuses, his CoS is chasing after some ex-prostitute??

  138. but you only ever see the same seven or eight.

    Have you noticed that when they pan the camera downstairs you see the other staff fleetingly? They camera will come into the staff dining area and pan to focus on someone and you’ll see some random stable boy or maid standing there.

  139. Rio – I agree, but to be really committed to that idea, you have to say that, if the nominees are Jeb and someone other than Hillary, you’ll vote for the Democrat.

    Jeb’s not my first choice, mainly for the reason you cited, but if he wins the nomination, well, what else can I do?

  140. “Have you noticed that when they pan the camera downstairs you see the other staff fleetingly?”

    Maybe. Sometimes if it’s Spring cleaning or something, you’ll see a bunch of people rolling out rugs.

  141. I agree that Bloomberg has no chance. There are always rich people or far left/right gadflies who run to get issues on the table, and I doubt Bloomberg would run a full throat independent campaign through November 2016. If he does, all bets are off – not sure what he would do to the general election.

    Clinton is barely left of the current “center”, which is about 30% from the rightmost terminus in ideological terms. It is going to be something to see whether a telegenic economically conservative fellow under 65 can figure out how to get enough to the right of her to energize the Republican base and win the nomination without being forced to espouse positions that will alienate a majority of election day voters in the high electoral vote states.

    I was a strong supporter of H. Clinton in 2008 and although I would prefer a younger candidate, I won’t get indigestion voting for her. However, I do agree with Barbara Bush that the country doesn’t need any more Bushes or Clintons. I think that will work against Jeb, and if the party ends up settling on him the hardcore will stay home or run a suicide splinter campaign – they don’t actually want a RINO in the White House.

  142. Milo, I’d actually consider it at this point. Not sure I could get myself to vote Democrat, but I might vote 3rd party or write in for Mickey Mouse or something.

  143. Honestly, I think all the hate-on-Hillary has everything to do with today’s topic. Everything. Yes, she is manipulative, but at that level, who isn’t?

  144. “Honestly, I think all the hate-on-Hillary has everything to do with today’s topic. ”

    Kinda related, but someone commented to me after her news conference this week that she’s really looking older.

  145. Jeb’s not my first choice, mainly for the reason you cited, but if he wins the nomination, well, what else can I do?

    Not vote for him. It’s a pretty obvious option.

  146. Referring back to the calculus remark upthread, I was looking at a tutoring place that proudly promoted their college acceptances. About 95% of the names listed were Asian. Not sure what to make of that …

  147. “It is going to be something to see whether a telegenic economically conservative fellow under 65 can figure out how to get enough to the right of her to energize the Republican base and win the nomination without being forced to espouse positions that will alienate a majority of election day voters in the high electoral vote states.”

    The problem with thinking like this is that it assumes that parties don’t learn from their mistakes. They do. They both do. So they’ve learned that you probably shouldn’t have 53 primary debates to talk about who hates abortion more, or who hates gays more.

    They’ll learn from Cory Gardner.

    The danger for the Democrats (in this cyle) is the presumption that they can just stay the course and they’ll get the same turnout and the same votes. Well, no, because people aren’t voting their displeasure against the Bush Administration. African Americans will likely return to historic turnout levels. The “swing voters” who always think that the country is going to hell in a handbasket tend to vote against the status quo, and this time the status quo is Obama. Hillary doesn’t inspire people like Obama does. She’s acceptable, experienced, smart. But she doesn’t excite people enough get off their asses and get to the polls. The Party has mostly just assumed that she’s married to a good candidate, so she must be a good candidate. Even when they talk about her, they talk about Bill’s poll numbers first, and then say that Hillary’s (which are considerably lower than Bill’s) “aren’t that far off.” It’s a time of immense anti-Establishment feeling–not just in politics, but in everything–and Hillary is the ultimate Establishment candidate. She’s doomed.

    Nominating Jeb would be a horrible mistake, because it ruins the best attacks against her.

  148. I thought of the Totebag when DS mentioned that his Math teacher had showed them calculus problems. DS said that they looked hard…..Math teacher is prepping them for the calculus track ;-). Right now it is all about fractions.

  149. “Honestly, I think all the hate-on-Hillary has everything to do with today’s topic.”

    Possibly, and along with the points of today’s article, nobody, and I mean NOBODY hates Hillary more passionately than my Mom does. My FIL, a socially moderate/tolerant Republican who’s ferociously opposed to taxes, thinks Hillary, while not preferable, is not the worst thing in the world. Strong on defense, competent, etc.

  150. Costofcollege (and Finn) – I just posted my experience with DD several years ago visiting Notre Dame. Is this what you are thinking of?

  151. That’s a good question. And keep in mind that they both voted for Dukakis. And my Dad voted for Bill in ’92 (my Mom voted for Bush by that point).

    I’m reviewing email on my phone at this point, because I figure I may as well go straight to the source. “She’s a pathological liar” is the best I can get. The feeling is the same for Bill, so it’s not strictly anti-woman. Much of it goes back to the Lewinsky scandal (and Paula Jones, and Gennifer Flowers and I can’t even remember all the other names). I think she very much resents being told that she’s just supposed to accept philandering because the economy was good.

    It’s interesting, to me, because I remember as a child watching debates and election nights, and my Mom would make comments like “they both just seem like such decent people, I hate that one has to lose.” And that really was as late as 1988.

    Now it’s much more identity politics, where both sides really feel that the other side is talking down to us, basically dismissing our values. I don’t really know how that happened. I know that Lewinsky was the catalyst for my Mom. My Dad will just joke “We just started making too much money to vote Democratic any longer,” but he certainly doesn’t hate Obama the way so many others do. My Mom was rooting strongly for Obama in the 2008 primaries because she hated Hillary so much, although her support was fleeting.

  152. Milo – I don’t have any more energy to deal with the State of Nation. I’ll be 65 before the election, so I don’t have to worry about health insurance. My kids are all over 30 and independent. My existing grandchildren have a nice home, good public schools, well off grandparents and based on the latest scans not in any foreseeable danger of being motherless. If my other children never reproduce, it is only the youngest whose decision might be influenced by the economy as opposed to other life choices. I worry about the bill coming due to future generations, not directly because of the welfare state, but because of the crumbling infrastructure of this country. If we have single party government after 2016, Rooseveltian centralization of federal power will be rolled back a bit and the states or regions will run more independently. I live in a state where I am comfortable with that result, and even my kid with a govt job is pretty secure – her function is related to the protection of business property.

  153. he certainly doesn’t hate Obama the way so many others do

    Given how narrow the policy differences are between Obama and Romney – i.e. basically identical. Why, in your estimation, is there so much hatred?

  154. Milo – This Mom/grandmom will spare you any rants. My “moment” was the day I said, you know, I can’t call myself an informed voter if I just pull the D lever my whole life. I am going to watch the Republican convention tonight with an open mind. It was 1992 – Pat Buchanan’s speech.

  155. “Why, in your estimation, is there so much hatred?”

    Like I said, we’re all reading into identity politics constantly. Maybe it’s the 24 hr. news and all the different viewpoints and opinions and sources you can select from.

    Thinking of the Army general I mentioned a couple weeks ago, there’s a lot of hatred right now stemming from the President’s comments at the prayer breakfast that, imo, were horribly worded in a way that puts ISIS on a moral equivalence with Christianity. “Oh, there’s plenty of blame to go around.” Well, no, if the best you can do is bring up the Crusades from 1000 years ago, then cut out the moral relativism crap. And invoking slavery as the fault of Christianity is equally stupid, especially because the Abolitionist movement was also based on Christian teachings.

    So that’s just one example of the feeling people get that “He really doesn’t respect my values.” That’s the very poll question they always ask, anyway.

    It’s quite possible Jimmy Carter said something very similar, or worse, but it didn’t get played over and over and over and analyzed and criticized to death.

  156. 1992 had some great moments. Like the VP debate, and SNL’s coverage of it:

  157. Well, I hate people viscerally sometimes. My mom hated Nancy Reagan in a way that’s hard to grasp. I kind of hated her too, and I hated Sarah Palin, because she was just such a smug lying hypocritical bitch. So I give your mom a pass on hating Hillary for similar types of reasons. I was just curious.

  158. When I see the headlines about Hillary’s use of private e-mail while she was Secretary of State, which violated federal norms, it feels like she wants government to run everyone else’s life but the rules shouldn’t apply to her. Like Milo’s mom, I think she is a worse-than-average-even-for-a-politician liar. Some part of me realizes that other people think that about Reagan, Cheney and Rumsfeld- the best line I’ve heard about that compared Clinton to Reagan, with the observation, “When Reagan said he didn’t remember, [with regard to Iran Contra and in light of his mental decline] we believed him.”

    It’s 24 years since I formed my opinion, (I was a high school debater leading up to the 1992 elections and spent hours discussing politics with other people who read the weekly news magazines), so I don’t even have emotion about it, just a settled opinion.

  159. ssk, thanks for the ND post. Yes, that’s the sort of thing I’m interested I reading, although not llimited to that sort of impression. E.g., f you learned something you like, or don’t like, about their academics, or whether their TAs can speak understandable English, I’m interested in that too.

  160. I voted for Obama–first democrat I have voted for in my life. I’m very happy with him as a president. He’s done well, and I agree with the vast majority of his policies. I actually like Hillari Clinton, as well. I just wish she weren’t so hawkish.

  161. I agree with Houston on Hillary. Obama has been disappointingly hawkish, and as his Secretary of State she implemented and influenced those policies.

  162. “Why so much hatred?”

    You have political blogs, talk radio, twitter, etc. and you get echo chambers that rile people up with the outrage of the day from the other party. And for all the talk of diversity, people seem to cluster tightly with people of the same values and ideology. I saw a poll that 30% of Americans say they don’t know a single Evangelical Christian- and Evangelicals make up over 25% of the country. It’s easier to demonize and stereotype the people you disagree with when you don’t know them personally.

    For instance, I had a high school teacher who was an openly gay, extremely liberal type. Most of you know that I’m pretty conservative. I did very well in her class and kept in contact with her after graduation. We went out for coffee one day when I was in town and it came out that I’m religious. She sputtered “but you’re such a nice person!”

    Of course, you can come up with plenty of examples the other way around as well. That’s one thing I appreciate about this place, that we can disagree vehemently while still respecting each other as good and decent human beings.

  163. I hate Dick Cheney because he started a huge war in the middle East to promote his own personal financial interests, and there are hundreds of thousands of Iraqis dead because of him. But other than that, sure, he’s a peach and such a funny guy.

  164. “nobody, and I mean NOBODY hates Hillary more passionately than my Mom does.”

    I think that’s probably because she’s a woman, Milo. I don’t think a strong woman will be elected as long as woman make up a majority of voters. If a woman eventually breaks the glass ceiling, she will probably be in the mode of Kay Bailey Hutchison or Liddy Dole.

    I don’t think Hillary will win, but I do like her. She reminds me of some of my slimmer sisters– equally smart and ambitious and successful.

  165. PTM – I will promise you that my mom would love to vote for Condoleezza Rice if she had the chance to do so.

  166. I actually don’t hate Hillary on a personal level. I dislike her less than a lot of her fellow Democrats. But she misses me a lot with the Centrism- she’s a Hawk and I’m a fan of non-intervention.

  167. HM –

    “And lest we get on our high horse and think this is unique to some other place, remember that during the Crusades and the Inquisition, people committed terrible deeds in the name of Christ. In our home country, slavery and Jim Crow all too often was justified in the name of Christ.”

  168. to promote his own personal financial interests,

    I highly doubt that. I think they started the war because they thought it was a good idea. If only it weren’t for their despotic leaders Bagdad would be Houston on the Tigress. We now know that not to be true.

  169. But what makes you think that he’s placing Christianity on the same moral level as ISIS? I read that as placing Christianity on the same level as other world religions, specifically Islam and Hinduism, since it comes immediately after referencing recent horrible acts committed in the names of those religions.

  170. I highly doubt that. I think they started the war because they thought it was a good idea

    Yes, his personal financial stake in a huge military contracting organization played no role in his decision.

  171. You know, I wonder if the different reactions come down to the old Obama-is-a-Muslim chestnut. If you hear it as words spoken by a Christian addressing horrors committed in the name of other religions, it’s a taking a let-he-who-is-without-sin-cast-the-first-stone approach. If you hear it as words spoken by a Muslim addressing horrors committed in the name of his own religion, it sounds more like but-you-did-it-first apologism. And as we know, there’s a fair chunk of the populace who still believe Obama is a Muslim . . .

  172. RMS,

    I Cheney wanted another billion there far easier ways than that. Dollars per unit of effort.

  173. LOL – kids sleeping in their clothes! I agree, if life requires that it is messed up. I had a coworker who said that she had her kids sleep in their clothes, packed breakfast for them to eat in the car, and completely loaded the pre-made breakfast (in a cooler), lunch and all school stuff in the car the night before because she dropped them a a pre-care site at 6:15 am and she didn’t want to get up before 5:30 herself.

  174. Rhett, I think Cheney personally expended the same units of effort to the Iraq war as he spend on the Vietnam War. Zero. On one, however, he made a billion or so.

  175. Austin,

    The lady has a point. If I have a commute when the self driving cars come out, I’m buying a self driving RV and sleeping in it. Wake up as it starts up at 8:30 – shit, shower and shave and be at work by 9.

  176. “When Reagan said he didn’t remember, [with regard to Iran Contra and in light of his mental decline] we believed him.”

    Pahahahaha. I voted for Reagan in my first election ever, but that dirty business undermining governments on two continents and all the people being killed in both places turned my stomach. Every Republican who’s been in office since then is connected to his administration. I remember being struck by what a bad actor he was and wincing ironically at the fact that he was in B movies.

    Milo, I agree with you on the positive effects of knowing people different from yourself has on your view of “those”‘people. A study came out in the last couple months that I think should’ve gotten more attention. Over 90% of white people surveyed said they don’t have a black friend. An overwhelming number of people in the US don’t know any Muslims. And segregation of residences and schools is getting more extreme.

  177. I Cheney wanted another billion there far easier ways than that. Dollars per unit of effort.

    And what effort did Dick, personally, expend.

    WCE, yeah, that vote is a major indictment. But Cheney was among those who knew perfectly well that there were no WMDs. And Colin Powell stood up there and waved his little vial of talcum or whatever the hell it was and knowingly lied too, which I will never forgive.

  178. There is nothing false in the quote at 5:47. Given all the demonization of Islam and religions, I think it is a necessary corrective to the idea of Christianity (or any religion) as always pure and on the side of the good. His comments about caring enough to correct the other day on Sat finishes the thought. My 2nd grader figured out from the complete lack of discipline that his father’s love for him isn’t that deep. Why can’t people figure that out about our country?

  179. Alright, so much good stuff to respond to, but I can’t in good faith when I’m driving the carpool. Now I have a chance.

    Rocky/HM – you don’t have to go back a half-century to Jim Crow to find perversions of religion–we’ve got Rev. Wright. Obama could have said “I myself made the mistake of following a religious leader who was essentially just preaching a form of Black Panther hatred, so I certainly can’t get on too much of a high horse.”

    But, of course, he didn’t. It’s not that any intellectual person really believes he’s a Muslim (as if there’s anything wrong with being a Muslim), but people don’t really believe he’s a serious or practicing Christian, either. The secular Left quietly loves this about him. The religious Right is mostly content to ignore it, but when he starts lecturing them about how “*we*” as Christians are in a compromised position to judge ISIS, then the disenginuity is too much for many to handle quietly. This came, iirc, a day or so after the world learned that the Jordanian pilot had doused in gasoline and burned alive, so it’s not the best time for lecturing on relativism.

    And he IS a lecturer. Whether he means it or not, he comes across with that insufferable know-it-all attitude that stereotypically characterizes the modern progressive. The only problem with his policies are that the people didn’t learn to like them well enough. There’s no legitimate disagreement with him, it’s simply a matter of “you don’t get it.”

    Now, I recognize that Bush had the cowpoke swagger, and that’s probably analogous. But Rhett asked why I think people hate him, and this is the best I can come up with.

    Personally, I go back and forth. I wonder if we spent a weekend together if he would respect me or not. Usually I think that he would, but I also feel on some level that he thinks my values and my feelings about my country are simple and naive.

  180. “My 2nd grader figured out from the complete lack of discipline that his father’s love for him isn’t that deep. Why can’t people figure that out about our country?”

    I’m not following.

  181. It appears, Milo, that she is saying that Obama’s love of our country is so lacking that even a child can figure it out.

  182. They’ll learn from Cory Gardner.

    Learn what? That if you’re oponent keeps harping on a single issue voters will get fed up listening to him and vote for you? The main reason Gardner won was because Udall wouldn’t talk about anything other than abortion.

  183. “But Cheney was among those who knew perfectly well that there were no WMDs”

    I’m not prepared to fully disagree, but how do we know this?

  184. DD – learn that you don’t have to cater to everything the religious Right wants, and they’ll still support you.

  185. that he thinks my values and my feelings about my country are simple and naive.

    Well, even you admit you have a tendency toward an uncritical and reflexive deference to authority and tradition.

    Captain: I just wanted to let you know that you still get your 30 days off. But…. I’m going to need you to come in on Saturday… And maybe a few days next week.
    LT. Milo: Aye aye captain!
    Mrs. Milo: WTF is wrong with you?

  186. This is the first time I think we’ve talked politics here that I can remember. Loving it!

  187. Oh, Rhett, if only you knew.

    You even said left to your own devices you’d have let it go.

  188. In that case. And fighting it’s futile anyway.

    But there’s a similar story from the previous year when there was this gray area about whether I was actually on leave for Christmas or just not required to be at work. Well DW and I were on our way home for Christmas and plans all set and the engineer calls my cell phone en route to say that everyone who’s not on leave needs to come back for some stupid activity about moving something around in the dry dock, and I was basically like “you’re breaking up…I’m not sure I got that, but I’m not supposed to come in,” and he’s like “but if x, y, and z you should come back”

    And as best I could, I left it ambiguously, with him thinking I’d return. Better to ask forgiveness. There was absolutely no good reason they needed so many people for that, and what are they going to do? Fire me? I just ignored it.

  189. Milo,

    As yes, the great cell phone static mutiny of 1998. I think that was turned into the plot of a Tom Clancy novel if I’m not mistaken?

  190. Rocky – if I didn’t get kicked off (yet) for drawing a parallel between the OU frat boys and an American hero like James Meredith, I think you’re fine. (That’s an example of the kind of thing you can’t say as a politician, because sound byte news has no tolerance for it.)

  191. Rhett – the XO was livid. Fuvk1ng LIVID. He got over it in a couple days. It was worth it for Christmas.

  192. Personally, I love it when RMS lets her inner Rosa Luxemburg out every once and a while.

  193. Milo, the right wingers who try to claim the term “patriotism” for themselves and people they agree with often insist that criticizing our country means you don’t love it. On the contrary, any parent can tell you that although disciplining is harder than suspending bedtime, buying 3 cartons of ice cream for a 2 night visit & allowing a kid non-stop screen time, if you love your kid, you will correct misbehavior, will not allow the latter, and will apply discipline (which is differnt than punishment) and correction as necessary.

    What I, who have spent time as a serious Catholic, Evangelical, and Friend, don’t understand is why so many right-wingers do not believe Obama is a Christian. He isn’t flashy about his faith, but I find it very evident (partially because hendoesng show it off).

    Rocky & Rhett, have you heard anything I’ve said about me growing up or my family?

  194. Rocky & Rhett, have you heard anything I’ve said about me growing up or my family?

    Yes, that’s why I expected you to be sneaking the Carter ’80 bumper stickers on your dad’s car.

  195. “Really? I’m expecting to be banned from the blog at any moment.”

    No, that only happens if you talk about sex.

  196. “He isn’t flashy about his faith, but I find it very evident ”

    I’m going to agree with Milo. But, other than Carter and W have we had any really religious presidents above what what was required to get elected in the post war era?

  197. Milo, you suggested

    Rocky/HM – you don’t have to go back a half-century to Jim Crow to find perversions of religion–we’ve got Rev. Wright. Obama could have said “I myself made the mistake of following a religious leader who was essentially just preaching a form of Black Panther hatred, so I certainly can’t get on too much of a high horse.”

    The speech had just listed murderous atrocities committed in the name of Islam and of Hinduism. It then pivoted to acknowledge that violent wrongs had been committed in the name of Christianity too. The examples given were the Crusades and Christian justifications for slavery. You suggested that Rev. Wright would have been a better example. I assumed you were referring to some act of violence he’d committed in the name of Christianity.

    If you were referring only to his anti-Semitic/racist remarks and writings, I don’t see how that would be an effective example. “Yes, these loonies have been killing people in the name of Islam and of Hinduism, but Christianity too has its faults — why, my own former pastor wrote a bunch of racist stuff.” This was an ecumenical occasion, and the speech was presumably supposed to be outreach to moderates of all religions. Your suggestion would come off like another parent saying, “I heard that your older son is in juvenile detention, and your daughter has dropped out of school to move in with her drug-dealer boyfriend — but I understand, my family has flaws too, in fact my own daughter got a C on a math test last week.”

  198. Rhett, not yet, but it seems to be a highly prioritized requirement for those currently seeking office. Not for the general election so much, but to gain the Republican nomination.

  199. Wait, you believe that W is a man of faith? Beyond what’s needed to make the right impression? No way!

    HM, good analogy!

  200. In the original UK House of Cards (spoilers so do not read if you care)

    Francis Urquhart (FU for short) had several people murdered, including one that he did with his own hands. His wife was even more ruthless than he was, arranging the affairs with the newspaperwoman and later another political operative, using her paramour (the security chief) to take care of all dirty work. He didn’t just force a president to resign, he forced the middle aged King to abdicate and conspired with the divorced Princess to get it done. Eventually as it all unraveled and he was about to be disgraced, the wife saw that an old document that proved he was a war criminal fell into the appropriate hands, and tricked the brother of the victims into shooting him while making it appear that he takes a bullet to save the life of the teenaged king, so he dies a hero.

  201. my family has flaws too, in fact my own daughter got a C on a math test last week.”

    Not…in calculus? Shudder…,

  202. Rhett, you don’t think personal gain had anything to do with starting the war in the Gulf?

    If we are taking about personal financial gain? Honestly, I don’t. If we mean gain in terms of glory? Then yes.

  203. I’m not going to start in on a full puppet master rant, but I will say that Cheney was for many years the most powerful of their agents in the government, all the more astounding for his high public profile.

    My understanding (remember I am still connected to hard core evangelicals with no political axe to grind) about W’s faith is that he is a sincere committed evangelical Christian whose conversion and marriage changed him totally. I do believe that he and most of the rest of those in government were actively and intentionally misinformed prior to the Iraq invasion by others with an agenda.

  204. So the fact that their companies profited massively from it is merely coincidental? Remember, Bush was concerned that after Kuwait fell, the “tiny nation of Bahrain” would be next. He would lose his oil rights!

  205. Rhett, I know you’ve been concerned re unequal policing in Ferguson since August.

    The part that kills me is the people who rant the loudest about how the government is out of control and trampling everyone’s right? Just like in Ferguson! Oh no, they say, those people were getting exactly what they deserved. Those Ferguson cops, judges, city officials? They are God’s own public servants doing their level best.

  206. “my family has flaws too, in fact my own daughter got a C on a math test last week.”

    Lol. Fair enough.

    “Sex…”

    I have an appointment with a urologist next week to see about getting fixed.

  207. The political talk has been most enjoyable. So civilized and entertaining. You guys are great.

  208. I agree with lemon that everyone has been very civilized today!

    One thing (of many) that bothers me in politics these days is the polarization of the two major parties. My understanding of the US is that we are basically moderates, sometimes swinging a little left of center and sometimes a little to the right. Why then do people on the far left and far right get so much attention and “power” (by that I mean those candidates getting media time and more moderates giving in to the far left/right). I’ve never understood people who say that if the moderate candidate wins the party’s nomination, well they are just not going to vote at all. How stupid is that? Wouldn’t you rather have a moderate Republican than a Democrat if you are a far right Republican, and vice versa?

    Back on the original essay, I feel like her final analogy to Rosa Parks sitting in the front of the bus missed the mark. Wasn’t she sitting in the back, but then asked to give up her seat to a white man?

    OK, I’m slightly cranky about the election already because I was a big Chris Christie fan and I don’t think he is going to do well.

  209. Rhett, I wasn’t voting yet in 80, and I had to be out of my parents’ house for a while to form my own opinions.

  210. I thought the bridge fiasco hurt his chances – maybe that will be water under the bridge by next year ;).

  211. DD – learn that you don’t have to cater to everything the religious Right wants, and they’ll still support you.

    Again, when all your opponent talks about is how he’s pro-choice and you’re not, you don’t have to do a darn thing to get the support of the religious right.

  212. He’s behaving like the desperate for attention man that he is, but if someone gets shot tonight, it’s on the shooter.

  213. Yes, people must take responsibility for their own actions. I didn’t mean he would be more guilty than a shooter, but this move tells anyone who didn’t realize it before that he clearly doesn’t have the good judgement and restraint that being president calls for.

  214. “Is anyone interested in adding a place on our blog where totebaggers could post college visit commentary? This topic has been mentioned in a few comments, and a totebag perspective would be informative. I could create a permanent page up top, and folks could add comments about what they gleaned from their campus visits, anonymously if desired. It could also be a place for similar college info, like scholarships, majors, etc. Or specialized pages for those topics could be created.”

    What a great idea. Our vacation this summer will be checking out colleges in the Mid-Atlantic region.

  215. ssk, Sheep Farmer & others — I’ll set up that college visits page and people can start adding their comments. ssk, I can put your ND comment up or you can do it later.

  216. Do people “hate” Obama, or just oppose his policies and rhetoric? Has that been polled or measured in some way. IIRC, recent polls have shown he is considered divisive, but not hated. I wonder if some of you are projecting your hatred of other politicians to conclude that opposition to Obama is hatred of him? I ask in earnest, as a relatively “low information voter”.

    On the topic of the National Prayer Breakfast speech, I agreed that Obama’s remarks were banal, repulsive, and insulting.

    In a rare rhetorical feat, Obama managed to combine the banal and the repulsive. After all, is it really a revelation that all religions have transgressed, that man is fallen? To the adolescent Columbia undergrad, that’s a profundity. To a roomful of faith leaders, that’s an insult to one’s intelligence.
    And in deeply bad taste. A coalition POW is burned alive and the reaction of the alliance leader barely 48 hours later is essentially: “Hey, but what about Joan of Arc?”

    He is defended as trying to be conciliatory and reaching out to moderates, but many look around and ask, a la Dr. Phil, “How’s that working for you?”

  217. Sheep Farmer – how about some colleges in the Southeast ? :-).

    BTW – spring in here. This week it was quite warm.

  218. Coc – as an ordinary voter aka “Louise” speaking in simple terms, I can’t seem to connect with the President. He appears to be a nice enough family guy but I can’t seem to figure out or connect with what he is really thinking. He also comes across as not making an effort to build bridges with or outmanoveur his opponents. He needs to be more of a politician in this regard. It seems recent Presidents can only act on one item on their agenda before they get bogged down, stuck in the mud and spin their wheels.

  219. I’m enjoying listening in on the political discussion, too, and agree that it’s been wonderfully civil – and very entertaining.

  220. “Milo, the right wingers who try to claim the term “patriotism” for themselves and people they agree with often insist that criticizing our country means you don’t love it. On the contrary, any parent can tell you that although disciplining is harder than suspending bedtime, buying 3 cartons of ice cream for a 2 night visit & allowing a kid non-stop screen time, if you love your kid, you will correct misbehavior, will not allow the latter, and will apply discipline (which is differnt than punishment) and correction as necessary.”

    I’ve been considering this analogy, and I think that the problem might be a matter of degree. To continue the family metaphor, Obama might be the father who loves his son so much that he can’t help but constantly criticize him for his failure to earn the best grades possible, for the fact that he doesn’t have a serious girlfriend, or that because he didn’t train hard enough he’s not playing on the varsity team even as a junior, that has PSAT scores fall short of making him a NMSF, his room is kind of a mess, he doesn’t help out around the house as much as he could, he’s got acne, he’s sulky sometimes.

    In either case, all that love is a bit exhausting and off-putting.

  221. Do people “hate” Obama, or just oppose his policies and rhetoric?

    But, the differences between his policies and the policies of any actually elected republican president are minuscule.

    It’s about Obama derangement syndrome just like it was with Bush derangement syndrome. People getting vastly more upset than is warranted by any actual policy disagreement.

  222. SSk said “My understanding of the US is that we are basically moderates, sometimes swinging a little left of center and sometimes a little to the right. ”

    Au contraire, the moderate middle is rapidly disappearing, and that may be the big shift of our time. We really are not a moderate middle country any more. We are a deeply polarized country, with around half espousing one world view, and the other half believing in a really different world view. Just look at the different reactions to Obama’s speech at that prayer breakfast. I, and many other, see his remarks as utterly reasonable and correct. But on just this list, there is real disagreement. Milo and CoC see his remarks as insulting. I think that is because we are starting from very different world views.

    I’ve seen political analyses recently that say the reason the political parties no longer try to appeal to the middle is because the middle is vanishingly small these days

  223. Mooshi – I couldn’t possibly disagree with you more! :) (irony).

    I think that policy-wise, most of the country is clustered somewhat near the center. I think the polarization, which is very real in one sense, is also pretty flimsy. It’s identity politics more than policy. And maybe the polarization via identity politics is actually necessary precisely because the policy differences between the two parties are not that vast.

    On the other hand, I do agree with Rio that we’re more likely than before to self-segregate among like-minded people. It’s probably an unpredicted effect of an economic system with greater mobility and information and access to select just the sort of lifestyle you want. People have the opportunity to find neighborhoods and schools where the majority of the people “share their values.” You want dual-income professionals that are financially driven, mostly secular, won’t judge you for having a nanny take care of your kids 60 hours per week? Buy a house here. You want a neighborhood where most of the mothers stay home, where people attend church, where you won’t be snickered at for your DH leading a Boy Scout troop? Oh, then you want this other area.

    I think we sort of imagined that increased mobility and more choices would lead to greater mixing, but the truth is that humans don’t really want to mix. They want to be around people just like themselves. And now they have an easier time doing that.

  224. Mooshi – I still think there is a vast middle a la Nixon’s Silent Majority. But, but definition, right?, we do not hear from them.

    ssk – we don’t get moderate candidates because politics is, as it always has been, about who votes. And who votes in the primaries/straw polls/caucuses that determine who will continue on the road to the eventual nomination? Those who are most active in politics…the most partisan (radical) voters on each side. So candidates need to appeal early on to the most radical of their base to build momentum and stay relevant. Which causes a problem come the general election when the silent majority finally gets involved because now the final candidates need to / try to move more toward the middle to appeal to enough people without “alienating the base.” Those who (try to) change/soften their positions too much get called out for it and often lose support.

    I think the facts of this ‘process’ are what leaves many of us in the voting booth trying to avoid electing the ‘evil of two lessers’. And what keeps many more normal / moderate people who have good ideas and would serve the people well, out of politics.

  225. “I, and many other, see his remarks as utterly reasonable and correct. But on just this list, there is real disagreement. Milo and CoC see his remarks as insulting. I think that is because we are starting from very different world views.”

    I disagree here. The fact that I think his remarks are insulting (and “banal and repulsive”) does not mean that I don’t think they’re correct. We all know they’re correct. It was just a really stupid and inappropriate time, forum, and audience to deliver them.

  226. “more likely than before to self-segregate among like-minded people.”

    I don’t know. Having recently watched ‘The Italian Americans’ on PBS, I generalize to people have chosen to be among their own kind for a long time. Sure, bias/discrimination was legal for a long time in all of this country (think ‘no Irish need apply’), and that kept certain groups on their side of the tracks’ unnecessarily, but nonetheless it happened. And for most people, maybe a large majority, IMO, they wanted to stay with people they shared an identity with even if there were other opportunities elsewhere.

    I do agree that today the choice is much more free of racial/ethnic/religious discrimination than before, not perfect, and is more closely based on economic mobility.

  227. Louise-Both DH and I have mentioned several schools in the southeast that we think would be a good fit for DD, but the suggestions fall on deaf ears. Only those schools in Virginia and further north appeal to her at all.

  228. I think the reason we seem to be a nation of moderates is because the term “moderate”, like “middle class”, sounds nice and warm and fuzzy. So when asked, people will tend to describe themselves as moderate even when they hold political opinions that are strongly liberal or strongly conservative. Most of us feel uncomfortable describing ourselves as extremely leftist or staunchly conservative – yet scratch the surface and you will find a constellation of views that tracks to one side or the other.

    The other thing is that moderates tend to be less engaged politically – there have been some studies that have shown that – and less likely to vote. So they are underrepresented in the political process.

    Certainly, the people who plan national strategies for the two political parties have largely given up on chasing the moderate middle – and those people tend to have access to a lot of data and know what they are doing.

  229. “Certainly, the people who plan national strategies for the two political parties have largely given up on chasing the moderate middle ”

    What makes you say that? Like, what policy proposals or even identification strategies have you seen that makes you think that they’re not chasing the middle?

  230. I’ve always thought it would be interesting to do an experiment about hypocrisy among voters. For instance, take a real lesser-known scandal and write up the facts. Attribute it to an imaginary politician and for some of the surveys call him a Democrat, in others call him a Republican. Ask survey takers how they self-identify politically, and see whether they are outraged or not by the scandal. I’d bet for both Republicans and Democrats they’ll be quick to make excuses for “their” side, while acting like scandals on the other side are evidence that they’re horrible human beings.

    For instance, if Democrats heard the Hillary/email story the exact same way, but with a Republican, would they really think it was ok? Or Republicans with Chris Christie’s political traffic jams? These might not be the perfect examples, but hopefully you get the point I’m making.

  231. extremely leftist

    Weren’t you in France during the Mitterrand era? Extremely leftist would be a plan to nationalize the Fortune 500 and have the government run it for the benefit of the workers and the public.

  232. Another example of a fraternity boys doing stupid things. Earlier this week, W&L suspended a fraternity for three years because of a hazing incident involving a taser being used on a new member.

  233. I think the reporting about the “scandal” depends on the timing of the news cycle too. There were MILLIONS of emails that were lost during the Bush era. It involved the use of RNC email accounts instead of official US govt email accounts. Different story, but it was not a major story for two weeks in the news cycle in 2007. The use of blogs, twitter and other social media can create a story that the press isn’t focused on – this happened with Brian Williams.

  234. The fact that in the last two cycles, both parties have been far more focused on turning out their base than appealing to the middle I think shows this trend.

  235. “I think the reporting about the “scandal” depends on the timing of the news cycle too.”

    It’s also just a horrible position to be in as the self-proclaimed heir-apparent (and whoever named the PAC “Ready for Hillary” ought to be taken out back and shot).

    But as the only front-and-center non-candidate, she’s just too juicy a target for even the NYT to leave alone. And she’s gaffe-prone, insular, and aloof, so that just makes the press lick their chops even more.

  236. “The fact that in the last two cycles, both parties have been far more focused on turning out their base”

    But it’s all smoke and mirrors, really. “War on Women” and so forth.

  237. Look at the context of the National Prayer Breakfast–in response to the horrific actions of a violent political group, Muslims were being scapegoated and physically attacked, with many national commentators egging it on by claiming that Islam is somehow unique among religions for because of its relationship to violence. How else would one stop that other than saying “hey, it’s not just them”?
    As for Obama’s delivery style, it’s been 25 years since I occasionally attended a black Baptist church, but his cadence sure sounds familiar. In interview situations I find him eminently reasonable and interested in discussing. His predecessor, otoh, acted like a smug frat boy business major, giving short answers with no explanations, snickering at jokes he was unwilling to explain, and preferring phony balony aw-shucks nonsense instead of explaining his thinking and policies when asked a real question about them. Obama breaks down his thinking so it is clear, and if you disagree with his result, you can see the step where the disagreement occurs.

  238. On the emails – I was surprised – no shocked that government officials could could send any official emails through what amounts to personal email. As far back as email became common all the employers I had been at forbade the use of personal email for work.
    At work – I cannot use my personal email for work related matters. Yes, I can send personal stuff through work but then personal communication is subject to company monitoring.

  239. I have never been at a company that forbade personal email at work. In fact, one manager used to insist that we use Google Chat, which required that we use our personal Google Ids.

  240. This discussion is fascinating. I think the politician “style” thing is personal. I wasn’t a fan of the GW “aw, shucks” thing, but like Milo, I constantly feel like Obama is lecturing/talking down to the American people, and I resent it. And that’s from someone who voted for him not once but twice, as the best of the available options.

  241. One other comment on Obama’s style–it includes a lot of deadpan humor, which I appreciate, but is so dry that many might not see it. Milo, I know you often don’t catch that kind of thing in writing from me. I wonder if it’s part of how Obama’s style rubs you the wrong way.

  242. “The fact that in the last two cycles, both parties have been far more focused on turning out their base”

    This is partially due to our unfortunate primary system. If we fixed that, we’d go a long way towards encouraging moderation in politics.

  243. “with many national commentators egging it on by claiming that Islam is somehow unique among religions for because of its relationship to violence.”

    In terms of the war we’re fighting right now, it is unique.

  244. Off-topic, but funny:

    MIT Regular Action admissions decisions will be available online on Saturday, March 14, 2015, beginning at 9:26 AM ET.

    That’s 3.14.15 9:26

  245. “I wonder if it’s part of how Obama’s style rubs you the wrong way.”

    It’s possible, because often I’m reading transcripts and analyses of his words (from both sides, to be fair), not watching him on CSPAN. Someone who’s supposed to have been the most gifted orator of our time should have worked out the kinks by now.

  246. I tend to prefer Obama’s style because I am a boring academic who prefers explanations over emotional appeals. That was why I did not care for Reagan’s style. I always wanted him to explain rather than tell another little anecdote. I find emotional appeals to be condescending, but I guess I am just weird.

  247. Saac –
    my 15yo will just roll his eyes and tell me, again, that I’m trying too hard to be funny.

  248. “No, I feel bold just spelling out the whole word!”

    Houston – I nearly spit out my coffee! Too funny.

    Bloomberg – I’ve heard him speak at a luncheon. Better than I expected. His Spanish accent is unbelievable, but at least he put in the effort. I could get behind him but I don’t see it happening.

    On Hillary – someone mentioned that they don’t think they’re be enough excitement to get out the vote. Really, not enough to elect the first woman President? I’d think that would generate some buzz.

    I’ve been listening on Audible to “Lies my teacher told me”. (Which is fascinating BTW. I learned so little history in school, it is shocking. And I got a 5 on my AP US History exam.) In the 1870s in the South, a white man was elected to a state government position, married a black woman and was then re-elected. It’s hard for me to understand why a person couldn’t get elected today simply because of their girlfriend. Keep in mind we have Cuomo in NY. Not sure I’d re-elect him in particular, mind you.

  249. I see Christianity being used to whip up enthusiasm for the current war, and drones terrorizing civilian populations, occasionally taking out a few dozen people, frequently buzzing around cities for weeks at a time. Not the same violence as ISIS uses, but certainly could be called religion based violence in my book. Imo, we should get off the Hintington clash of civilizations crack, be inclusive of Muslim Americans, and fight the repugnancy taking place now not just in the Levant but in Northern Africa as well. Signs are they may be weakening from within, and I hope that soon enough recruits from Europe & the U.S. will be disappointed that that will slow down. I just hope some of the world’s precious relics in areas where they are operating are still standing. Artwork in the Mosul museum was cooies, not originals, but you can’t do that to whole cities n

  250. Anothertwinmom, Cuomo is beyond awful. I really hope he doesn’t run again because I would have serious problems ever voting for him again

  251. MM, I’m sure you’re correct about profs preferring O’s style. Combine that with anti-intellectualism and you get the personal hate

  252. Mooshi – the more I pay attention to him, the more I dislike him. But who was the alternative? Rent is too damn high guy? A madam? Or an extreme (for NY) Republican?

  253. ATM – I think the non buzz around Hillary is it just feels like she’s been around forever and you know what you get. People already have opinions on her.

    I agree with Green Eyes on Obama and GWB – I find Obama condescending and I found GWB to be pandering in his aw shucks way.

    I could get excited about Bloomberg. It largely doesn’t matter who’s president but I am hoping for Democrat (same party in congress and president and we go too far in one direction).

  254. Atlanta, if you think Obama is a condescending lecturer, just wait until you hear Bloomberg speak!

  255. “I see Christianity being used to whip up enthusiasm for the current war,… certainly could be called religion based violence in my book”

    That’s a stretch. Where do you see Christianity being used to “whip up enthusiasm”?

  256. MM- Oh I know but Bloomberg has a more impressive resume, I can take condescending from him.

  257. Obama’s style actually doesn’t bother me. I relate more to the “professor” thing than the Good Ol’ Boys.

    As far as irrational vitriol and sexism toward politicians, I have to say that the treatment of Palin stands out to me. She is far from my favorite politician but she is by no means the dumbest person in politics. Sure she has gaffes galore, but so does Obama and every person who has spent enough time on TV. I heard way too many sexualized derogatory comments about her along the lines of what Maher said, especially from liberal men. As a conservative women, that made me extremely uncomfortable.

    If she had been a middle aged man, I doubt she would have generated a tenth of the vitriol and mockery.

  258. I think the term that used to be applied to Bloomberg over and over when he was mayor was “sanctimonious”

  259. Another giggle, a headline for fans of German compound words: Bundesverfassungsgericht: Kopftuchverbot verstößt gegen Religionsfreiheit

  260. Obama’s remarks about atrocities committed in name of faith did come across as apologetic and misplaced. He made similar remarks in India and miffed the majority population there. He did not win any fans for sure. People felt like the school bully was calling out that meek kid who finally worked up courage to slap another big bully ( with respect to some violent act by Hindus).

    Any attempt for an olive branch comes from a place of regular naive ignorance about facts on ground. Reminds me of Ben Affleck’s meltdown on Bill Maher show.

  261. On the email stuff, it’s interesting how the Republicans don’t remember Sarah Palin using a Yahoo account when she was governor. The outrage back then was that someone hacked her account, not that she was using a personal email account to conduct government business.

    I have worked at some places that banned the use of personal email accounts (as much as they could block them) because of concerns about viruses getting in. They blocked all the big email sites but if you tried hard enough you could find sites they didn’t know about that would let you connect to your email account.

  262. SM, DD’s math class is having pie today. It was a bit disappointing that 3-14-15 is on a Saturday.

    Next year, 3-14-16 will be on a school day.

  263. “This is partially due to our unfortunate primary system.”

    I agree, and also agree with Fred. This is especially true in cases where the primaries don’t allow crossover voting.

    IMO, if we went to a no-primary voting system, we’d be electing a lot more centrists.

  264. “I learned so little history in school, it is shocking. And I got a 5 on my AP US History exam.”

    I don’t find it shocking. There is just so much history, you can learn enough to get that 5 on your AP US History exam and still be relatively ignorant of history.

  265. “I have worked at some places that banned the use of personal email accounts (as much as they could block them) because of concerns about viruses getting in.”

    I’ve heard that at least some Federal agencies have policies against accessing any email servers other than their own, for this reason as well as laws about record keeping.

    Apparently the State Dept is not one of them.

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