Maureen Dowd and “The Year of Voting Dangerously: The Derangement of American Politics”
“I think it’s a crazy campaign because it is a merger of reality TV and social media and politics, and we’ve never seen that before,” Maureen Dowd, the superstar New York Times columnist told Bob Schieffer and me for our podcast “About the News” in an interview last week.
Dowd has a new book out, “The Year of Voting Dangerously: The Derangement of American Politics.” On the eve of her book release, Bob Schieffer and I spoke with Dowd who now has something of a “Lady and the Trump” relationship with the GOP nominee.
In Dowd’s perceptive, hilarious and unique manner, she dissects this perilous and shocking campaign season where Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton are locked in a race to overcome their respective negatives. Bob and I had a blast asking her about the news behind the psychologies and pathologies of one of the nastiest and most significant battles of the sexes ever.
Dowd told us that this campaign is indeed different.
“Usually I like to think of covering campaigns as Shakespearian, or White Houses, because I studied Shakespeare in college,” Dowd said. “But this time, I think of it more like, you know, the old movie, ‘Who Killed Jessica Rabbit?,’ which was toons and humans. So, Trump is a toon. And then he’s running against a human. And the collision of those two cultures makes it very hard for the press to know how to deal with him. You know, it’s just a whole new thing. And it’s the fusion of reality TV and social media with politics. So Trump is the Kim Kardashian of American politics. So he’s dominating every news cycle and stepping on his own message, and tweeting something that ruins his message. And it’s happening — you know, it’s funny that a 70-year-old candidate is the one to introduce Twitter into campaigns. So it’s a whole new kettle of fish.”
On Hillary Clinton, Dowd told us, “I think the subtext of Hillary’s campaigns is never attractive because the subtext is, you know, what am I owed? What am I owed for going to Arkansas with Bill Clinton? What am I owed for being first lady — a title I hated? What am I owed for being, you know, usurped by Barack Obama? So she was dumbfounded when people weren’t excited. And the most — one of the most amazing things that happened in this amazing campaign is that young women turned to Bernie.
“And that dumbfounded Hillary. And then, you know, young woman got in this fight with the older feminists, because Gloria Steinem suggested that young women like Bernie because they could meet guys at Bernie rallies, which was so offensive. And also, the older feminists couldn’t acknowledge that it’s a progression for young women to not vote identity politics, to decide on the candidate not because it’s a woman but because they want that candidate. That is a good thing in feminism, not a bad thing.
“So I think Hillary was just shocked at the rejection. I mean, in way you have to feel sorry for her, because first she was rejected in 2008. But Obama was a once in a lifetime, magical candidate and, you know, this amazing African-American young senator. I mean, Bernie Sanders was sort of a crank and loner, you know, who shouted into the microphone. So to be rejected by young people and young women for her was a shock to the system.”
You can listen to our podcast on iTunes or on the SoundCloud link below. And enjoy some new music from Aaron Neville at the end with a track from his just released album “Apache.”