Wednesday, March 12, 2008

The Clutch

by Michele McPhee

Why do political wives engage in "the Clutch"? Silda Spitzer made me physically ill when I saw her make that long, slow, horrifying walk into the hot glare of TV lights and cast her eyes downward as throngs of hostile peppered her husband - who will now forever be known as Client No. 9 - with questions about the thousands he is accused of spending on high-end hookers. The man even paid extra to not use a condom, according to the FBI. The humiliation was etched into her face, but she was there clutching Eliot Spitzer's arm - not once, twice.

Silda Spitzer is not the only political wife who engaged in "the Clutch" in recent memory. There was Hillary Clinton's famous hand-holding when Bill Clinton wagged his finger at the American public saying "I did not have sex with that woman!" Larry "Senator Wide Stance" Craig dragged his poor wife into the cacophony of TV trucks and camera flashes when he was caught toe-tapping gay sex signals in a public restroom at a Minneapolis airport. David Vitter's wife was caught in the clutch after her hubby's name was found in the black book of the infamous D.C. Madam. Gary Hart's wife stood-by-her-man after he was photographed with a young hottie on his lap. Gary Condit's wife was in the clutch even after her husband's admitted lover Chandra Levy went missing. The worst clutch came from Dina McGreevy, who clutched the hand of the New Jersey governor Jim McGreevy as he declared: "I am a gay American."

If my boyfriend was unmasked as a prostitute paying-sicko, was caught having an affair with a college student, or was busted for toe-tapping a signal wanting a quick Monica Lewinsky in the stall of a mens room, the clutch I would engage in would happen lower than his hand . . . and it would probably make him weep with much more than regret.

Can't put a price on dignity.

24 comments:

P.A.Brown said...

Women unfortunately are often attracted to men of power, and men of power, well, are attracted to themselves. I guess each woman has to come to terms with how much they're willing to take to be 'on top' alongside their great catch.

Pat Brown said...

I believe we are looking at but a higher level version of women who carry on relationships with incarcerated serial killers. These women crave a place of importance in the world and being connected to someone famous or infamous makes them special. Being the girlfriend or wife of a stock clerk is hardly going to get as much attention as being the wife of Ted Bundy. Similarly, if Silda Spitzer dumps her creepy hubby, she may just become Silda Wall (who?) again. It is a sad commentary that even Hillary Clinton feels the need for the husband's surname to feel she is somebody. Maybe women haven't come all that far at all.

Leah said...

Hillary found out about Jeniffer Flowers during his FIRST campaign. She wasn't just a quick piece of sex...for God's sake she had been his girlfriend/mistress for TWELVE [12] YEARS. It's all about something, but it isn't LOVE>

Vanessa Leggett said...

Brings to mind another stand-by-her-man wife: Debbie Clemens. I imagine she's wanted to put the clutch on Roger the Dodger for denying steroid use. Had he stepped up to the plate like Andy Pettitte, Debbie might have avoided the embarrassing revelation of her own steroid use. She'd injected herself with steroids before modeling for the Sports Illustrated swimsuit spread. Though she obtained the drugs from her hubby's trainer (gee, wonder how she knew the trainer had steroids), Roger told the public his wife scored the drugs behind his back. Yeah, just like his trainer gave him drugs behind his back. Yet Debbie Clemens stood by her man. I noticed that during her husband's congressional hearing on Valentine's Day, Mrs. Clemens held a yellow rose. Yellow Rose of Texas, I thought. Until I saw another news special that day (http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/17147133/) warning lovers to avoid giving any yellow blossoms for Valentines. Apparently, yellow symbolizes dishonesty, disdain, and rejection. Interesting. Thanks for weighing in on this, Michele.

Chris Redding said...

I thought it was just me that thought this was odd.
Maybe I don't understand because I don't need my man to make me feel like I'm somebody.
He doesn't complete me. We complement each other.
And dang, he'd be out on his cute little butt if he cheated on me.

Anonymous said...

Can't say that I 100% agree with Ms. McPhee. What if Wall is (rightly) unwilling to air her dirty undies in public? What she says to Spitzer in private is the real moment of truth. And she has three daughters to consider, too, all the more reason to present a united front. At least in front of the kleig lights.

I'm NOT excusing the prick (and make no mistake, Spitzer is a sizable prick), but has anyone stopped to consider the possibility that theirs is a sexless marriage? What is the more heinous crime--a twelve-year affair like Clinton had with J. Flowers? Or a quick four-thousand dollar fuck? What if Wall has been having her own affair (which, by the way, is often the case)? We can't judge because we don't know.

I understand the indignation and even the moral outrage, but we're getting about 10% of the facts and none of the truth. And we'll never get more than that.

Jan said...

I don't think the point is who did what to whom. It's why would a woman, or man, willingly endure public humiliation to stand by someone who "done them wrong". Is it about power and money? Or do they think that, somehow, they can save face by showing the opposite traits that their philandering spouses have shown? That somehow it makes them look like the better person by publicly standing up for, and showing loyalty to, their mate? Maybe a statement of; OK, NOW you need me...and regardless of what you've done, here I am, at least for now. YOUR dirtiness doesn't reflect on me, I am good and strong and above reproach.

Anonymous said...

It's about trading dignity for a standard of living that power can buy. Not worth the trade as far as I am concerned.

Tracy said...

It's easy to beat up on Mrs. Spitzer. After all, Neil Boortz and Limbaugh are doing it. Sean Hannity and Glen Beck criticize her several times a day on TV and radio. Those proponents of loyalty and family values gleefully pillory the only person who did no wrong.

We're pretty well past blaming a rape victim, but we still happily blame the victim of adultery.

To me, Mrs. Spitzer was the one person with dignity. Perhaps she believes this is not the time to dump another straw on the camel's back. Maybe she still feels love and loyalty. And, perhaps there were influences and motives in the marriage we'll never know (or should know) about.

One of my friends said perhaps the rest of us are envious, that we only wish we had that kind of loyalty to fall back upon.

Blimeyhecks said...

I'm sure she'll dump him when the time is right, for now she is probably in shock, and under a lot of pressure to do 'the right thing'. On top of everything else, I suggest she gets a full STD screen - who knows what diseases the dirty ******* has caught on his philandering.

Anonymous said...

I've often wondered why the women stand by, as well. I can only imagine what goes on behind closed doors. My hope is that Mrs. Spitzer is biding her time and putting on a good front until her lawyer can take the guy to the cleaners. The newscast pointed out yesterday that, when the Spitzers' car arrived back at their home, Mrs. Spitzer bolted from the car, leaving her husband behind. I don't really care if he was in a sexless marriage or if she was having an affair. I don't care whom he has sex with. I care about him breaking federal laws while maintaining his holier-than-thou attitude. The same for Bill Clinton. I never cared whom he was screwing; only that he carried on in the Oval Office. Any of us peasants would've been fired for having sex at work. It's as simple as that.

P.A.Brown said...

It's funny how the morally superior like to crow over the foibles of others. Mrs. Spitzer is the wronged one, but the likes of Boortz, Limbaugh, Hannity and Beck love to point holier than thou fingers. I'm surprised Ann Coulter isn't in there, too.

Though why anyone would listen to a toad like Limbaugh is beyond me.

Anonymous said...

LOL about Limbaugh. Yes he is a toad and Ann Coulter makes me ill as well.

TxMichelle said...

I was going to ask the same thing. Why is everyone dumping on this lady? She wasn't caught doing anything wrong. I don't feel it is anyone's place to sit in judgement of her. All of us at one time or another have forgiven and given another chance to someone who has done us wrong. I find that an admirable trait.
I can understand the question if this was the seventh or eighth time he did it and she knew.

I am in agreement with the reason this sort of thing pisses me off. He shouldn't have been so holier then thou while dipping his weenie in another honey pot.

I feel the same way about Guilliani. He was always Mr. I am morally superior. Then we come to find out he is having an affair and goes out of his way to make his divorce dirty and public.

Iridescence said...

What good would it really do if she yelled at him or smacked him in public? He deserves it and the Press would certainly love the added spectacle but, if anything, it would just take away even more of her dignity. Mabe she could just reefuse to appear with him at all though...

But If she really wants revenge she'll look for a good divorce lawyer, that will end up huring him a lot more in the long run. Spitzer is loaded.

It's really mind-boggling that someone with so much going for him would throw it away over something so stupid and be so selfish as to not care about the effect on his family if he was caught.

I feel very sorry for her and the daughters but have NO syupathy for him at all. I hope she really takes him for everything he has in the divorce.

Leah said...

I was thinking the same thing Iridescence. Why spend all that $$$ on sex when you have so much to loose. Its SICK. He obviously has a buttload of it if he can pay $5,000 for only a few hours. I would tie my hubby to the bumper of my car and drive all over the interstate at 90 MPH if he did that to me. And can you imagine being one of his daughters? 13, 15 and 18, I think. What do you say to him or even your friends??

P.A.Brown said...

I just went back to the Sen. Larry Craig news report and read his claims - he's not gay and he "mistakenly" pleaded guilty to charges he propositioned an undercover office that is neither here nor there. He's lied to his wife, lied to his constituents and thinks people are so dumb as to believe anyone could mistakenly plead guilty to a crime they didn't commit. Pull the other one, Larry.

Diane Fanning said...

I'm not bashing the wronged Mrs. Spitzer, but what was she thinking? What are any of the "stand by my man" women thinking? Why do they feel it is required behaviour? Why do they feel it is the "right thing" to do?
If my husband did something that made a mockery out of our marriage vows, he'd be on his own.

Pat Brown said...

No one is saying that the wives should bash the husbands in public. It is simply repulsive to watch women supporting criminals in such a public and caring manner. All the wives need to do is NOT stand by the man's side when he gives his sorry excuses and continues to lie to the public about his behavior. Just stay home, pack his bags, and call your lawyer. THIS is dignity.

TxMichelle said...

I can understand that viewpoint, Pat. I guess what I was asking was why are people so abrasive towards the woman who was wronged? I cannot understand a public display of support either, even though I can understand forgiveness.

P.A.Brown said...

I agree with Pat. Publicly humiliating the jerk does make her look as bad as he is (sad but true) but there's no reason she needs to show public support either. Let the guy stew in his own refuse. I'd be home, packing his bags. He can find a new place to live, not me.

Soobs said...

Jeez....maybe the woman is still in shock? Maybe she is *considering* whether the vows she took, before God and everyone, are worth trying to save. I find it really condescending when most of the media and a lot of people online, are ready to crucify the woman. She had three days of knowledge of his acts, before going up there and standing next to him. No one here knows what's in her mind or her heart.

For myself, it would take more than three days to decide that my marriage wasn't worth saving, or to even begin to come out of the shock and fog from learning what he's accused of. Of course, I'm not one who "quits" when the going gets tough. No wonder the divorce rate is more than 50% in this country.

jolynna said...

She appeared to be in shock. Her world as she knew it was broken. It can't be fixed. There will always be cracks.

Now, I think she's going through the motions as if they still are the happy, united couple. That is what she knows.

But, watch what happens after this woman has had time to think things through.

Rena said...

She looks almost pitiful. I would be outraged if he were my hubby. I don't know what I'd do, hope I never have to know.