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A doctor in family practice, Steinberg was on call in this tony town just south of Burlington last Saturday, and quite content, far from crowds and cameras, with only her patients to fret about. She had reluctantly agreed to talk with a reporter about her husband's presidential run, but Shelburne VT wife swapping made clear once, then twice: If a patient called, the conversation was over.
Such is the focus of the wife of Democratic contender Howard Dean. Work is not something to be shunted aside for interviews, sidelined for her husband's ambition. Indeed, if Dean, the former governor of Vermont, wins the White House, Steinberg says, her life will go on as before. Her plan is, simply put, radical. Never in history has the wife of a president pledged herself to a career separate from White House duties and her husband's pursuits. Hillary Clinton was a high-powered lawyer while Bill Clinton was governor of Arkansas, but she gave up her practice when he became president.
In Washington, she assumed the role of political partner and policy-shaper, expanding on models of presidential spouses. But to talk to Steinberg, the idea of not pursuing medicine and instead devoting herself to presidential spouse's traditional duties is what would be radical for her. In Vermont, she has been a largely unseen public figure.
She is intensely invested in her internal medicine practice and has studiously avoided politics, appearing with her husband at official events only at his behest, and then very much in the background. Steinberg, 50, who goes by Judy Dean in her nonprofessional life, insists her avoidance of the spotlight is not born of shyness. The woman with bright eyes and shoulder-length hair tucked behind her ears hardly seems timid, speaking assertively and brushing off topics she doesn't care to discuss.
The fact is, Steinberg says, she has a life of her own, shaped by a love of family and medicine. Stumping on the campaign trail or hobnobbing at cocktail parties have long been poor seconds to seeing patients in her office with mismatched furniture or whizzing along the Burlington bike trail. Yet as emphatic as she is about the kind of first lady she would be, Steinberg offers little detail about how it would work: how she would operate a medical practice under the glare of media attention, how she would resolve the numerous potential ethical or conflict of interest questions that could arise, or how she would juggle the demands of a first lady's social schedule.
She seems taken aback when the topic of security arises. Asked how the Secret Service Shelburne VT wife swapping leave a president's wife alone with a patient, Steinberg says only: "Oh, I think we can get around that. But the White House is a goldfish bowl, and as others have found out when they've tried to carve a new direction, it's very difficult to do.
But she noted that a president's wife with the right qualities might make the departure more palatable to the American public. Friends say Steinberg is warm and charming, despite her vehement insistence on privacy. And they say she is more than up to the task of retooling the first lady image. Steinberg was raised in Roslyn, N. Her mother, a Manitoba native who graduated from a Canadian medical school, served in Canada's military, and moved to New York for a residency in pediatrics, where she met her husband, a fellow resident.
While Steinberg's father, also a doctor, worked late into the night at his gastroenterology practice in Manhattan, Steinberg's mother worked in clinics where night-time calls were minimal. Steinberg graduated from Princeton University with a major in biochemistry in and enrolled at Albert Einstein College of Medicine in the Bronx, where she met Dean in class while the two worked crossword puzzles.
Dean and Steinberg came from different worlds. Steinberg was raised Jewish and middle-class. The two enrolled in residency at the University of Vermont College of Medicine, she one year behind him because he Shelburne VT wife swapping an accelerated program at Einstein. Dean opened the internal medicine practice in Shelburne, and Steinberg ed him following a fellowship in hematology begun at McGill University in Montreal and completed at the Vermont medical school. As Dean delved deeper into politics, first winning a legislative seat in and the lieutenant governorship inSteinberg says, she paid little attention.
He was still practicing medicine, doing politics part-time. The situation changed in when Governor Richard Snelling died, elevating Dean to the state's highest office. Asked about her memories of the day, Steinberg recounts frantic shift-swapping between herself, Dean, and their partner in the medical practice.
When pressed to recall how she felt about her husband's new responsibility, Steinberg seems at a loss. We didn't have to move, the kids didn't have to change schools, and I didn't have to change my work. If Steinberg was unmoved by the aura of governorship, she seems equally unwowed by her husband's potential to be elected to the White House.
In fact, she seems almost annoyed by expectations that she should be fascinated with the process. She also has not traveled with him on the campaign trail, which means the two do not see each other for days at a time. If he comes home on a Sunday at midnight, Monday he'll barbecue and make sure we all sit down and talk.
The campaign, though, has found her. She is in demand for interviews, but largely avoiding them. And when her son this summer was sentenced to a diversion program for helping four friends steal alcohol from a local country club, national press descended. Steinberg granted an interview to the Globe provided that incident would not be discussed. Steinberg says, a bit defiantly, that she has no plans to acquiesce to the public's demands for her time, nor to change her lifestyle.
The only full-throated laugh she lets out in an hourlong interview comes in response to a retelling of Mamie Eisenhower's famous quip about her career: "Its name is Ike. Traffic Weather. Steinberg says the differences were not issues; her family embraced Dean, and vice versa.Shelburne VT wife swapping
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