The New Trophy Wife
By Bernie Quigley
For The Hill on 8/3/10
Gone are the days when a rich and influential man would desire an opera star for a status wife as Aristotle Onassis did, or a Russian ballerina as Keynes did. What the successful and status-conscious newly rich and influential man would want today in a trophy wife is a Senator or possibly a Supreme Court justice. A lowly Congresswoman wouldn’t even get you into the middle-range country clubs.
Which tells us something today about how we strive and what we want. It also tells us about the quality of our desire and our muse or lack thereof. Good to know that Lady Gaga, the new mestiso’s goddess in Obama’s global coalition against Arizona is remaining celibate. RE the muse, it is worth the effort on this vacation to “Youtube” a few of Gladys Knight’s early Rhythm and Blues pieces or put on James Brown’s “Try Me” or Otis Redding’s “These Arms of Mine” from the early days and ask ourselves with crumpled brow how we got from there to this in our American century; here at the end of it.
But it brings up the issue of why today it seems so many women are prominent in politics. Because for many of them, particularly in the northeast and on the West Coast, they are rich, or their husbands are, and these extremely rich liberals have formed a new leisure class model. It shows why perhaps such scorn is shown to Sarah Palin, who makes her own way working much of it with her hands.
It seems to be a Democratic thing. Republican women – Carly Fiorina, Meg Whitman, Sarah Palin – make their own money, make their own way. But the old adage, behind every successful man is a woman, has shifted. The Democrats today are the party of the new, conspicuous rich with Bill, that hunka, hunka burnin’ love with the 50 gold watches and the three-million-dollar wedding for his daughter – swagged no doubt from those sweet, blue-rinse dowagers still with that little “I miss Bill” stacker on their bumpers – establishing the paradigm. Would be great to have the little missus actually be President. That would get you into all the clubs. (And quash once and for all those debilitating “white trash” chortles and snickers and murmurs.)
In the new Democratic model, the adage today is behind every successful woman is a very rich man.