Friday, November 03, 2006

Connie Schultz Steppin' Out.

Not surprising when you think about it that on-hiatus PD columnist Connie Schultz is easing out of the Mrs. Sherrod Brown role and back into a public persona of her own. In fact, as an interview in this week's Scene notes, she has been a nontraditional candidate wife. I've noticed that as part of her support for Sherrod in his Senate run, she has been doing book signings and lectures in which she gets central billing but, publicity is sent out through political channels.

The Scene interview is revealing in a few ways. The headline is how Connie Schultz reconciled both her career ambitions and her feminist ideals with the role of candidate's spouse. As part of that discussion, she discloses the source of the "family issues" at the heart of Sherrod's infamous delay in announcing for the Senate race:

    But it's really Schultz's voice that makes her incompatible with her new role. . . Which is why, at first, she wanted no part of being a professional wife. "I was the holdout," she says. Even after it became clear that DeWine was vulnerable, Schultz wouldn't give Brown the green light to run. She worried about her career as well as her marriage, which was less than two years old.

    She also knew that she'd have to put the firebrand act on hold and temporarily submit to a life designed by pollsters, focus groups, and consultants -- people journalists know to distrust.

    But her husband's party -- her dad's party, her party -- needed Brown. So she quit her column and took to the road, even though it meant regularly being introduced as the congressman's wife.
I'm really glad all this didn't come out until now. The depressingly predictable Yoko treatment Connie got during the primary campaign against Paul Hackett would have been logorhytmically amped if that had been known at the time.

What's great about Connie as Sherrod's wife is how well she complements his strengths. That really comes through in the Cool Cleveland interview (Vid) that Redhorse flagged. Generally I resist putting much faith in politicians. Easier to keep from being disappointed that way. But listening to her talk about meeting people yearning for hope and the responsibility Sherrod takes on from that, I can't help but believe in him

Meanwhile, Connie mentions in both pieces something I had heard before on a WCPN interview -- that Connie is writing a book about the campaign experience. I look forward to reading it, to learning some of the behind-the-scenes dope, to getting Connie's perspective on this craziness called politics. But most of all I look forward to picking up the book in my local Borders and, while standing in line, leafing through the index to check out the entries under Hughlock, Russell.


Unknown said...

Thanks for posting this, I would have missed it.