Maureen Dowd: Why Didn't Obama Appoint That Female Candidate I Criticized in My Columns?

Reporting on Politics and Policy.
Jan. 14 2013 9:41 AM

Maureen Dowd: Why Didn't Obama Appoint That Female Candidate I Criticized in My Columns?

On November 18, 2012, Maureen Dowd delved into the monthlong Susan Rice brouhaha by asking why the ambitious potential Secretary of State hadn't been more skeptical of Benghazi talking points.

David Weigel David Weigel

David Weigel is a reporter for Bloomberg Politics

Condi Rice sold her soul. Susan Rice merely rented hers on the talk shows one Sunday in September... Some have wondered if Rice, who has a bull-in-a-china-shop reputation, is diplomatic enough for the top diplomatic job. But she would have been wise to be more bull-in-a-china-shop and vet her talking points, given that members of the intelligence and diplomatic communities and sources in news accounts considered it a terrorist attack days before Rice went on the shows.
Advertisement

On November 21, 2012, Dowd asked why Rice was failing to win over Republicans in the Senate.

If Rice can’t soothe the egos of some cranky G.O.P. pols, how would she negotiate with China?

But that was two months ago, and the chattering class has moved on to something else -- how come the president who saw his black female nominee sandbagged by Republicans and columnists doesn't promote more women?

One of Susan Rice’s most memorable moments was when she flipped the finger at Richard Holbrooke during a State Department meeting. Maybe these women in the first wave to the top had to be more-macho-than-thou to succeed.

Two months ago, the "memorable moment" was part of the case against Rice. No one's saying Dowd should have gone easy on Rice if she thought it was important to get a woman promoted.* But she has to know that by joining the pile-on (breezing past the NYT's own Benghazi reporting, giving Sen. Susan Collins some column inches to trash Rice), she added to the impression that Rice was "under fire" from more people than the beatable Senate Republicans. While Rice's opponents were writing open letters and giving damaging anecdotes to columnists, the people who just sort of generically wanted more women in power were doing... what, exactly?

*I had no opinion on whether or not she deserved the job; I just thought the effort to make the Sunday shows determinative was an eye-roller.

David Weigel is a reporter for Bloomberg Politics

TODAY IN SLATE

History

Slate Plus Early Read: The Self-Made Man

The story of America’s most pliable, pernicious, irrepressible myth.

Rehtaeh Parsons Was the Most Famous Victim in Canada. Now, Journalists Can’t Even Say Her Name.

Mitt Romney May Be Weighing a 2016 Run. That Would Be a Big Mistake.

Amazing Photos From Hong Kong’s Umbrella Revolution

Transparent Is the Fall’s Only Great New Show

The XX Factor

Rehtaeh Parsons Was the Most Famous Victim in Canada

Now, journalists can't even say her name.

Doublex

Lena Dunham, the Book

More shtick than honesty in Not That Kind of Girl.

What a Juicy New Book About Diane Sawyer and Katie Couric Fails to Tell Us About the TV News Business

Does Your Child Have Sluggish Cognitive Tempo? Or Is That Just a Disorder Made Up to Scare You?

  News & Politics
Damned Spot
Sept. 30 2014 9:00 AM Now Stare. Don’t Stop. The perfect political wife’s loving gaze in campaign ads.
  Business
Moneybox
Sept. 29 2014 7:01 PM We May Never Know If Larry Ellison Flew a Fighter Jet Under the Golden Gate Bridge
  Life
Dear Prudence
Sept. 30 2014 6:00 AM Drive-By Bounty Prudie advises a woman whose boyfriend demands she flash truckers on the highway.
  Double X
Doublex
Sept. 29 2014 11:43 PM Lena Dunham, the Book More shtick than honesty in Not That Kind of Girl.
  Slate Plus
Slate Fare
Sept. 29 2014 8:45 AM Slate Isn’t Too Liberal, but … What readers said about the magazine’s bias and balance.
  Arts
Brow Beat
Sept. 29 2014 9:06 PM Paul Thomas Anderson’s Inherent Vice Looks Like a Comic Masterpiece
  Technology
Future Tense
Sept. 30 2014 7:36 AM Almost Humane What sci-fi can teach us about our treatment of prisoners of war.
  Health & Science
Bad Astronomy
Sept. 30 2014 7:30 AM What Lurks Beneath The Methane Lakes of Titan?
  Sports
Sports Nut
Sept. 28 2014 8:30 PM NFL Players Die Young. Or Maybe They Live Long Lives. Why it’s so hard to pin down the effects of football on players’ lives.