Brian Birdnow

Last week Kathleen Parker, the Pulitzer Prize winning syndicated columnist, weighed in with an opinion on the so-called “Blair Diaries”, the name given to the private papers of Diane Blair, a former political scientist at the University of Arkansas who passed away in 2000. Dr. Blair was a close friend of then-First Lady of the United States Hillary Clinton, who, of course, is now widely considered the odds-on favorite to win the Democratic nomination for the Presidency in 2016. Blair recorded her conversations with Mrs. Clinton, with the understanding that these would be passed to the University as part of her private papers. These papers have been studied and released to the public as a series of articles, courtesy of the Washington Free Beacon, an online news and commentary site.

Blair’s musings include thoughts on the Monica Lewinsky interlude and have been interpreted by editors and reporters, who have concluded that Hillary was a “ruthless” first lady, although most students of American politics came to this conclusion over twenty years ago. In any event, Kathleen Parker enthusiastically enters this fray charging that a double standard is in play here, and, of course, that Hillary critics are guilty of the very grave sin of sexism, when criticizing the former first lady and putative Democratic standard bearer in 2016.


Brian Birdnow

Brian E. Birdnow is a historian and teaches at a university in the St. Louis area.