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Kimberly Thune Worries That 2012 Campaign Reporters Will Reduce Her To A Sexist Caricature

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KIMBERLY THUNE 2012
AP File

Part of the asinine glory of rampant 2012 presidential election coverage is that from time to time it's deemed necessary to check in on all the various potential candidates, in order to get up-to-the-minute speculation as to where their mindgrapes are at as far as jumping into the race. If we didn't regularly run down where, say, John Thune's head is at (or George Pataki's, or John Bolton's!), if would be harder to keep the 2012 election hype-balloon inflated.

So: John Thune. Still handsome! Still from South Dakota! And still unsure as to whether he might jump into the race, where I'd characterize his shot at the nomination as "pretty okay." Politico reports out the dreary details -- Thune's drawn some good committee assignments, he thinks the Senate is a "great job," he plans to take some baby steps at speaking engagements to "'test drive' his message" -- none of it is exactly "news." But there's one detail in the reporting that's too wonderful to not mention:

Another, more personal factor could keep him in the Senate. His wife, Kimberly, read "Game Change," the blockbuster 2008 campaign book that revealed an array of candidate-spouse spats and depicted a brutal life on the campaign trail.

"It was not helpful," he joked, calling the book a "downer."

I can sympathize with Kimberly Thune, because if there's one notable thing about Game Change, it's the way Mark Halperin and John Heilemann skillfully reduce every female character in the book to some howlingly grotesque sexist caricature. Salon's Joan Walsh put it best:

Funny how the worst villains of the book are all women - Mrs. Clinton, Mrs. Edwards and Mrs. McCain (did you know she's alleged to have had an affair?) - along with, of course, Sarah Palin. "Game Change" might have been titled "Four Horsewomen of the Apocalypse" so badly do those four females, two of them not candidates but wives, come off in what is supposed to be the definitive book about Campaign '08. Boy we've cracked that old glass ceiling!

Former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani was a tertiary character in both the 2008 presidential campaign and in Game Change. His wife, Judith Nathan, was even further removed from anything of remote importance to the election season. Nevertheless, Halperin and Heilemann inexplicably drag her into the spotlight, ever so briefly, for the sole purpose of getting Ed Goeas' humiliating rejoinder to her offer to help the campaign -- "First of all, you're his third wife. What you should try to be is humble." -- into the book. (Marc Ambinder called this one of the book's "juiciest revelations." It was neither.)

It sounds to me like none of this was particularly lost on Kimberly Thune.

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