Thursday, May 15, 2008

Hold on a second sweetie, er, Senator

Does it bother me that Barack Obama called a female reporter "sweetie"? Sure. It's patronizing as hell. You don't have to have a vigilant inner feminist to see that.

But as a parent of two girls, as is he, I'm actually surprised it doesn't happen to him more often. "Hold on a second, sweetie" is a stock phrase in my house, and I'll bet it is in his, too.

Am I looking for reasons not to be bothered by this because I think he's terrific and I don't want to like him less? Yeah maybe. But I also know how easy it is to slip into auto-parent mode. It happens. So I'm prepared to let this one go.

I am so going to call him "sweetie" if we ever meet, though.

"Mr. President, sweetie," that is.


  1. I can picture it now.

    To Queen Elizabeth II: "Nice tiara, Sweetie"

    To Margaret Thatcher: "Yeah, Sweetie, you were a great Prime Minister"

    To Nancy Pelosi: "Hey you're rockin' that Speaker of the House position, Sweetie"

    NOT very "Presidential"

  2. I'm still trying to figure out why he chose my town, Grand Rapids MI) to announce the Edwards endorsement. After all, this is Republican territory! (Not me, of course . . . .) Perhaps it was just the timing - he had this already set up and it just happened he would need the boost right after losing W.Virginia to Mrs. C. Just an odd place for a big Dem announcement, here in "George Bush I was too liberal" land.

  3. I think this should bother you rather more than that, Sandy.

    However I don't believe a President Obama is at all likely to tell Mrs. Thatcher she was a great PM, "sweetie" or otherwise!

  4. I accidentally called a grown-up (a stranger) "honey" the other day, because I have too many children to remember their names and so I call them all honey, and so now I apparently call everyone honey. I really didn't mean to, nor did it reflect on my feelings toward the stranger or his/her sex. I was just really distracted.