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Posted by on Nov 7, 2007 in At TMV | 2 comments

Eleanor Roosevelt: An Appreciation


Our historic memory being what it is, and growing shorter with each succeeding generation, it is easy to forget that there was a woman political trailblazer 60 years before Hillary Rodham Clinton.

With Clinton having a good shot at being the Democratic presidential nominee and first woman president, it seems appropriate to pause and pay homage to Eleanor Roosevelt.

Roosevelt, who died 45 years ago today, was the first First Lady in the modern mold, which is to say not merely an obedient wife and smiling hostess at White House functions, but a hands-on presidential helpmate and a force in her own right. In fact, she was one of the most powerful influences in civil and women’s rights during the four decades that straddled the middle of the last century, something that no First Lady – including Mrs. Clinton – can claim.

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  • domajot

    Great post.

    Can you imagine a first lady campaigning for justice for the underdog today? Boy, have we changed!

    Instead of traveling the country to learn what the grass roots’ concerns are, our leaders today are more apt to travel from fund raiser to fundraiser, saying ‘give me’ instead of asking ‘what do you need?”

    I, too, think Eleanor was a feminist, in the pure sense of the word. The latter day off-shootls distorted the meaning of feminisim beyond recognition. And we still have not solved the child care problem. With more and more families needing two working parents, it cerainly isn’t less urgent now. We could use her advocacy today.

    She did have a blind spot, however. After the end of WWII, and before Stalin became our enemy instead of our ally, she misjudged the nature of the SSR terribly. She traveled from DP camp to DO camp, urging those displaced because they were fleeing Stalin’s wrath to return home, where everything was milk and honey, as she assured her audiences.

    American s understand WWII in terms of Hitle. In terms of Stalin, very little. Eleanor was no different.

  • DLS

    Well, her seance-connected heir will likely be our next President.

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