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That’s an Obama speechwriter on the left.

Charming, huh? From this WaPo story:

Question No. 58 in the transition team vetting document for the Obama White House asks that applicants: “Please provide the URL address of any websites that feature you in either a personal or professional capacity (e.g. Facebook, My Space, etc.)”

Question No. 63 asks that applicants “please provide any other information … that could … be a possible source of embarrassment to you, your family, or the President-Elect.”

For a while there this afternoon, President-elect Barack Obama’s immensely talented chief speechwriter, 27-year-old Jon Favreau, might have been pondering how to address that question.

That’s when some interesting photos of a recent party he attended — including one where he’s dancing with a life-sized cardboard cut-out of secretary of state-designate Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton, and another where he’s placed his hand on the cardboard former first lady’s chest while a friend is offering her lips a beer — popped up on Facebook for about two hours. The photos were quickly taken down — along with every other photo Favreau had of himself on the popular social networking site, save for one profile headshot.

The WaPo article ends thusly:

Clinton senior adviser Philippe Reines cast the photos as evidence of increased bonhomie between the formerly rival camps.

“Senator Clinton is pleased to learn of Jon’s obvious interest in the State Department, and is currently reviewing his application,” he said in an e-mail.

So apparently Clinton is going to laugh it off. She has every right to do that if she wants to, especially as she learns the Secretary of State terrain, but dang, the whole “boys will be boys” narrative just gets reinforced.


Campbell Brown gives Obama a pass and instead says this about Hillary Clinton:

… Jon Favreau has, apparently, “reached out to Sen. Clinton to offer an apology.” No surprise there, but according to The Post, it doesn’t seem like that was even necessary.

A Clinton spokesman described the photo as an example of just good-natured fun between former rival camps. The Post quotes Sen. Clinton’s adviser Philippe Reines as saying, quote, “Sen. Clinton is pleased to learn of Jon’s obvious interest in the State Department, and is currently reviewing his application.”

No harm, no foul — apparently.

I’m sorry, but this is the same woman who, during the campaign, pointed to example after example of sexism directed at her saying that, quote, “It’s been deeply offensive to millions of women”?

Is this the same woman who pointed out the references to her cleavage or her cackle, the comments by certain pundits and the media?

The same woman who concluded, quote, “the remnants of sexism are alive and well” after someone at a rally shouted out “iron my shirt”?

She made a point of calling people out during the campaign, and for that, she became a hero to millions of women. But now, the campaign is over.

She is joining Team Obama, and, apparently, this photo of her likeness being groped by another key member of Obama’s team doesn’t bother her a bit. Just good-natured fun, or so her spokesman says.

Really, Sen. Clinton? Boy, have you changed your tune. You really think this photo is OK?

Put another woman in that photo, just an average woman who supported you during the campaign. Have it be her image being degraded by a colleague of hers. Would you be OK with that?

You drove an important conversation about issues just like this during the campaign.

Hillary Clinton gets criticized no matter what she does or doesn’t do. I’m not thrilled by her decision to laugh this off, because it does embolden the same sorts of behavior by others. At the same time, however, I understand how important it must be to her right now to seem like a team player. Obama is the captain of the team.  If anyone should be criticized for responding inappropriately, I think it’s the person who hired and continues to employ a man who thinks it’s perfectly fine to degrade the future Secretary of State while working for the very administration that elevated her to this position.

This is a textbook example of the “double bind.” If Clinton called Favreau out on his sexism, she’d be accused of wrongfully and selfishly undermining the Obama transition team. By declining to do so, she gets accused by Campbell Brown of letting down womenkind.