Adele M. Stan

Adele M. Stan is senior editor, digital at The American Prospect.

Recent Articles

ONCE WE TAKE BACK AMERICA, THEN WHAT?

This year's Take Back America (TBA) conference, which concluded yesterday, had a distinctly different feel to it than in years past. Last year, of course, there was the thrill of having each of the major Democratic presidential contenders come to woo the conference-goers. The timing of this year's confab was presumably based on the notion that a nominee would have been apparent by now, and held to account by TBA's progressive attendees. Best-laid plans notwithstanding, another difference this time -- one quite heartening, if not exactly bracing -- was the emphasis on structural dynamics and governance. (Aren't you excited?) At a panel on the 2008 electoral map, Matt Stoller of OpenLeft.com spoke of the use of primary challenges to Democratic incumbents, such as that recently won by Maryland's Donna Edwards against incumbent U.S. Rep. Al Wynn , in order to take the existing structure and turn it more progressive. (When I told Stoller that he's the progressives' Richard Viguerie , he...

THE TWO-FER.

I know a lady, a close relative, shall we say, who has a few things in common with Geraldine Ferraro -- generation, ethnic experience, outer-borough accent. After Barack Obama , in his grand national debut, addressed the Democratic National Convention in 2004, she sent me an indignant e-mail, asking why everybody talked about him as this black star of the Democratic Party, when he was just as much white as he was black. In other words, she wanted to claim him, too (and perhaps claim his intellectual gifts as his mother's legacy). Watching Obama (on TV) deliver today what I believe to be the most important address on race since Martin Luther King 's "I Have a Dream" speech, my sense of the uniqueness of Obama's candidacy was further distilled. The resentment of my kin notwithstanding, she had a point: Obama is as much white as he is black, and that matters in ways she may not have contemplated. For instance, his cross-cultural experience gave him a window on the ways in which white...

IT'S NOT ABOUT YOU, GERRY.

Does anybody in Hillary Clinton 's campaign care about the future of the Democratic Party? That's what I'd like to know. I spent yesterday arguing that while Geraldine Ferraro 's comments about the role Barack Obama 's race played in his propulsion into the presidential race may have some grounding in fact (his personal story providing a powerful campaign narrative), they were grossly unhelpful. After Team Obama responded, condemning the remarks as an attempt to reduce the candidate to little more than his race -- a charge also grounded in fact -- you would think Ferraro might graciously step back from her original remarks, say she hadn't meant them the way they came out, or whatever. But, no, instead she made it clear that she meant every word exactly as it was heard, with every drop of racial resentment the consumer may have tasted. Here's what she told the New York Times : “Every time that campaign is upset about something, they call it racist,” she said. “I will not be...

CAN WE ALL GET ALONG?

As a feminist who remembers the thrill of seeing Geraldine Ferraro take the stage at the 1984 Democratic National Convention as the party's vice presidential nominee, I can't tell you just how depressing I find the remarks she made about Barack Obama , blogged here by Dana . Whatever her shortcomings, Ferraro was a culture hero to me. She kept her birth name, a fact that highlighted the sexism of the New York Times , which, in its refusal to use the term "Ms." insisted on calling her "Mrs. Ferraro," even though her husband was "Mr. Zaccaro ." ("Mrs. Ferraro is my mother," Geraldine Ferraro famously said.) She stood up to the Catholic church, refusing to yield on women's reproductive rights, and took the backlash, which came when John O'Connor , the cardinal archbishop of New York, called on Catholics not to vote for her. (Funny, Teddy Kennedy never faced that kind of opposition from the church.) But now she has revived the resentment argument against Obama, pitting race against gender...

MODO TO OBAMA: TOUGHEN UP, WIMP.

The inimitable Maureen Dowd , in yesterday's column , churned up her customary blend of insight and meanness to send that message to Barack Obama , with whose campaign she has been traveling. Obama sounded whiny after his losses, chastising reporters on his plane for asking him hard questions about Goolsbee and Antonin Rezko. Privately, his people conceded that he hadn’t been as fierce about winning as Hillary, once more playing rope-a-dope. He’s now learned what Hillary learned in Iowa: You can’t cruise to victory on a coronation strategy. While Dowd has driven me nuts throughout this campaign with some of her over-the-top (and sometimes sexist) pronouncements about Hillary Clinton (proof of Hillary's monstrous fecklessness: she gave Socks the cat to Betty Currie ), she has a point about Obama's high-road strategy. Problem is, he really can't play the way Clinton does and maintain the rationale for his campaign, which is all about a "new kind of politics." He's in a tricky spot...

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