The Watergate Crisis (Greenwood Press Guides to Historic Events of the Twentieth Century)

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The Watergate crisis / Michael A. Genovese | National Library of Australia

All of these gendered expectations became cemented in the image of the first lady from the moment Mrs. Bush took over the East Wing and were passed on to Hillary Clinton in The image of the first lady, while encountering some changes along the way, became the notion of conservative, traditionalism that the American people expected by the time Hillary Clinton came to the White House in Although two of her predecessors had also faced extramarital sex, neither was forced to deal with it in the national, hour news media like Hillary. Thus, after the first baby boomer, first lady broke with the expectations of the American people she again stepped into new territory that the public was uncertain how to interpret, much in the same way they were uncertain how best to deal with the first lady who would not give in to their traditional, motherly desires.

From the time she was the first lady of Arkansas, she encountered pushback from those who interpreted her actions to be out of character with the implicitly gendered expectations that were cast upon her. As a career driven woman, she faced particularly firm resistance during the campaign that continued throughout her time in the White House. Bush, who currently controlled the East Wing. Joan of Arc on the way to their public executions. Either way, it seems that Hillary Clinton just keeps getting burned.

Hillary had never looked the part of the doting wife by public standards; the fact that she had a fulltime day job was an issue in and of itself.

The Watergate Crisis

Diane Blair Papers, series 3, subseries 3, folder 3. For the first time, she became the object of intense dislike and verbal abuse. Bush, it seemed to hardly need explaining.


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While Chelsea Clinton was growing up, her mother was not at home full-time caring for her like Barbara had been for the Bush Children. Clinton has come to symbolize the strong, independent women of the late 20th century, the office from which she will shape her tenure is born of two traditions. It was created to serve the needs of gentility and elegance, but since the days of Eleanor Roosevelt has often served as a bully pit for smart women with something to say.

She had limited experience in homemaking because she had spent her adult life working outside the home instead of solely creating an environment for her husband to retreat from the workplace. The press was already leery of what would come from the East Wing, seeing the writing on the wall that this first ladyship would be like none they had known before. Earlier during the campaign Hillary was directly questioned about her career, leading to the second moment where she lost the faith of the press in her ability to run the East Wing.

In Chicago while campaigning for the Illinois primary, Hillary became a victim of leading press questions. CNN quickly aired one, too, and followed with an afternoon segment that made little reference to the initial question. Hillary had reminded press corps, once again, that she did not, in fact, embody the traditionally defined ideas of homemaking that prior first ladies had.

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Hillary did not simply appear to break the mold of femininity on the surface; she broke it all the way to its core. But it was not simply that Hillary did not stay at home as other, more traditional, women might; rather, it was the level of disdain she appeared to have for those who chose this path that made the news story that day. One letter referred to me as the Antichrist, and another said I was an insult to American motherhood. Safire said, The problem is not that Hillary Clinton, successful lawyer and feminist, is coming across as a cunning political animal, threatening to insecure male voters.

On the contrary, she is coming across as a political bumbler by appearing to show contempt for women who work at home…. Let me assure her that I have never worked harder in my life…. Another reader, Nancy Schrank, wrote, As one of many women who chose to be a wife, mother and homemaker, I would like to explain to Hillary Clinton the benefits of such a career…. With this one comment, Hillary ostracized the press and the American people.

She not only broke the gendered expectations of the first lady by having her own successful career outside the home, but in the way the press reported her remarks Hillary appeared to disdain any woman who did not chose the same for herself. Just as then-Candidate Bill Clinton had to prove himself to the American voters, Hillary had to prove her worth to the people she would represent.

Richard Nixon

I had my own opinions, interests, and profession. For better or worse, I was outspoken. I represented a fundamental change in the way women functioned in our society. And if my husband won, I would be filling a position in which the duties were not spelled out, but the performance was judged by everybody. This went beyond the career however. It also went to the heart of appearance, something that had been an issue for her up to and during the campaign and ultimately served as the one point she and her staff were willing to compromise on and largely cede to public opinion. They brought me racks of clothes to try on, and they told me the headband had to go.

What they understood,. Just after the allegations were made public, the press and American people fought against the forthright position that Hillary took; the expectations of traditional first ladies they had known before were not met. After facing backlash via the press, the first lady receded to more acceptably defined notions of her actions, based largely in late 20th century conservative definitions of appropriate gender roles.

Having finally met the expectations of the nation, the press spoke less of the first lady in comparison to family values and almost exclusively by means of her political abilities.


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  7. It may not be copied or redistributed beyond the terms of applicable copyright laws. January 26, Clinton, Hillary Rodham. January 27, Living History. August 24, Fisher, Marc and Montgomery, David. New York: PublicAffairs, Freedenberg, Harvey. Accessed February 5, Accessed April 19, Keith, Tamara. March 12, December 28, Accessed April 14, Pew Research Center. Accessed February 22, Accessed April 8, Readers Guide to Periodical Literature. Volume Rodham, Hillary D. Clinton Presidential Library. Rosin, Hanna. March January 8, September 10, Time United States National Archives.

    William J. Charlottesville: University of Virginia Press, Berkowitz, Edward. New York: Columbia University Press, Bernstein, Carl. New York: Alfred A. Knopf, Brinkley, Alan. Byrnes, Malcolm. Lawrence: University of Kansas Press, Caroli, Betty Boyd. First Ladies. New York: Oxford University Press, City University of New York Brooklyn. Critchlow, Donald and Stachecki, Cynthia. Critchlow, Donald.


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    Princeton: Princeton University Press, Davis, Martha. Diller, Daniel C. Washington: CQPress, Gale Directory of Publications and Broadcast Media. Edited by Kristin B.

    Detroit: Gale Research, Gibson, Campbell. Bureau of the Census. Ginsburg, Benjamin and Shefter, Martin. New York: W. Gutin, Myra. Barbara Bush: Presidential Matriarch. Westport: Greenwood Press, Harrison, Colin. American Culture in the s. Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press, Kolbert, Elizabeth. New York: HarperCollins, Lawless, Jennifer L. New York: Cambridge University Press, Nash, George H. Wilmington: Intercollegiate Studies Institute, Parry-Giles, Shawn J. Champaign: University of Illinois Press, The Watergate crisis.

    This account examines what happened in Watergate, who was involved, what it meant then, and what it means now. By analyzing the overall impact of Watergate on events that followed, this work will help students and other interested readers to better understand today's politics. In addition to a narrative overview and a series of topical essays about Watergate, this guide provides a timeline of events, biographical sketches of the key players, the text of important primary documents, a glossary of terms, and an annotated bibliography.

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