Three's a Trend: Another White Woman Pol Goes Down

Upon news of Caroline Kennedy's shocking withdrawal of her name -- The Name -- from consideration for the Senate seat vacated by Hillary Clinton, there's a new question: Is the media crack-down on middle-aged white women in politics a permanent part of "Change" in America, or is it just a temporary thing?

The narrative of Caroline Kennedy's bid for the Senate boiled down to a rare case of The Media vs. The Kennedy Dynasty. And confirmation of her withdrawal means The Media won. 

Sure, there are other particulars at play here; Kennedy's lack of political experience and the effect of George Bush on the country's tolerance for legacy politics are two examples. But three makes a trend, and we now have our third black-man-undermines-white-lady story of the season.

Clinton and Palin were both defeated by Obama, and early reports suggest Caroline only folded up shop after Governor Paterson signaled that he was going to go against the grain and refuse to appoint her.

There was a time when it was always black women who had to overcome being stereotyped as bitchy (Hill), ignorant (Palin), or unsteady (Kennedy, Clinton, Palin). Now the media is vigilant about pushing those narratives across racial boundaries.

The intensive scrutiny drove Hillary Rodham Clinton to tears, had Governor Sarah Palin pilloried and cast as a clown by Katie Couric, and has now possibly ended the Kennedy dynasty. Those earnestly pursuing the End of Whiteness certainly seem to mean business.

Only Palin seems to have come out ahead, if ever so slight, probably because there isn't a whiff of pedigree anywhere around her.

While we're greeting our new African American overlords, there seems to be a sense of hostility towards any and all symbols of the old Era of Entitlement. And maybe the easiest symbols to jettison are the feminine ones.

Patrice Evans writes about post-racial America at his blog The Assimilated Negro.

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