Adele M. Stan

Adele M. Stan is a columnist for The American Prospect. She is research director of People for the American Way, and a winner of the Hillman Prize for Opinion & Analysis Journalism. Opinions expressed here are her own.

Recent Articles


Thong or tap pants? Diamonds or pearls? Hillary Clinton was just asked the stupid question of the night, one that was gender-specific. About jewelry, alas, and not underwear. She answered that she liked both pearls AND diamonds, after noting that she's been accused of not being able to make a choice. Woman's prerogative, anyone? I'd like to ask the gentlemen if they prefer to dress to the left or the right. --Adele M. Stan


In a question about their criteria for Supreme Court appointments, Joe Biden turned the question over Roe v. Wade back from a question over the legitimacy of the right to abortion as a legal principle to one about the right to privacy: the principle on which Roe is predicated. Every candidate then asserted their belief in the right to privacy, which is not spelled out specifically in the Bill of Rights. In fact, the privacy right is most commonly cited as part of the 14th Amendment. I have long advocated that if the Democrats wanted to make a decent fight over Constitutional principles, they would offer a Constitutional amendment that would explicitly spell out a right to privacy. Let the Republicans lead the fight against a right that most Americans already think they have. --Adele M. Stan


Barack Obama just posed a challenge to Hillary Clinton on Social Security. On substance he was great, noting that Clinton's promise to cap at $ 97,000 the annual income that could taxed for Social Security taxes protected the top 6 percent of Americans. He stood up to counter her, offering a direct challenge, and she neither backed down or away. Then he sat down, and she rebutted. I barely heard what she said, so mesmerized was I by Clinton's physical attitude, which really was strong; firm stance and hands moving in unison. That, combined with Obama's weak answer on the question of driver's licenses for undocumented workers, seemed to leave the contest's Number 2 man somewhat diminished. --Adele M. Stan


Okay, so maybe I'm warming up to the reality show. That's because of the mother of a soldier serving in Iraq who asked what the candidates would to the close the pay gap between her son -- who makes around $30,000 -- and the contractors, whom she cited as making more than $100,000 for their work in Iraq. Bill Richardson gave a serviceable answer about ending the war, but the question begs an answer from Congress. --Adele M. Stan


In a sort of hybrid of the town-hall format and the more standard debate, CNN has dispatched White House Correspondent Suzanne Malveaux into the audience, where real people who symbolize certain issues have been planted with questions for the candidates. First up, a serviceman who has served three tours in Iraq, and his mother, who calls his tours in Iraq as participation in "Iraq's civil war." The question, however, is about Iran, and after Joe Biden was asked to answer, Clinton was put on the hot seat because, per Wolf Blitzer , her vote for the Kyl-Lieberman resolution. I'm not loving this reality-show take on the debate format. --Adele M. Stan