Alicia Menendez, daughter and campaign adviser to Sen. Robert Menendez, has a reputation for bluntly expressing her opinions on gender and sex. According to a 2005 article from The Harvard Crimson entitled “Queen Bee”, she is a rising star in the liberal punditry world, and for good reason. She believes what she says and says what she believes.
Since the scandal involving her father, she’s been flooded with tweets and inquires concerning the matter. She was, after all, a Democratic strategist previously involved with his campaign. Though one must be sensitive, because she is still… his daughter.
Viral Read found an interest in Ms. Menendez precisely because of her words (specifically on male politicians who have admitted to hiring prostitutes), and because of her active career in politics, advising her father, a man now accused of soliciting underage prostitutes in the Dominican Republic. In keeping with the tone of her generation, Ms. Menendez has shown no qualms about wanting to be in office one day. In her college newspaper, The Harvard Crimson, it was written about her immediate post-college plans, “…she hopes will help her figure out whether or not politics is her true calling.”
Alicia Menendez has never been one to shy away from her name. The New Jersey press took note when the Menendez daughter launched her blog. It marked the transition phase from Democratic campaigns to liberal journalism.
Affair Across the Hudson
In 2008, when news broke of then-NY Governor Eliot Spitzer’s trysts with a prostitute, Ms. Menendez wrote a piece for her blog, entitled “Silda for Governor ’14,” a reference to the governor’s wife Silda Spitzer. The daughter of a politician and a sex educator wrote of Gov. Spitzer, “I admit that when the story first broke, I was one of those gawky political onlookers, pressing the refresh button on my browser until the NY Times site crashed.”
“As the updates streamed in, I got a good look at how the story was shaping. Eliot Spitzer did something very wrong but fairly ordinary: he hired a prostitute. It’s only so extraordinary because of who Eliot Spitzer is and what Eliot Spitzer purports to stand for.”
This is a seemingly contradictory stance for a self-described feminist to take: not-only is prostitution ordinary to her, but she wouldn’t care except for the name of the John. Is there nothing anti-female in the prostitution trade?
But then her thoughts turn to Spitzer’s wife Silda, and Ms. Menendez found her heroine.
“There was Silda: beautiful, loyal and sad. And if, like me, you value the personal in politics, before you wanted to kick Eliot in the nuts, you wanted to reach out and embrace this woman.”
But what of the prostitute? Where is “valuing the personal” in her plight? Where is the outrage over the fact that Spitzer, an elected leader who spent much of his career proselytizing from his moral soapbox as he punished those who broke the law, not only broke the law himself, but helped support a crime that preys on women who are often victims of human trafficking, drug abuse, broken homes and violent childhoods.
However Ms. Menendez went on to excuse Spitzer’s action as a biological necessity, chalking it up to “the often out of sync rise and fall of male and female libidos, and the subsequent void in a sexual partnerships (sic).”
But if this is the case, why “kick him in the nuts”? Is it just his infidelity that makes him nut-kick worthy?
It seems so: “The realities of a male dominated culture, and the subordination of many wives and mothers across the world is as real as global climate change. But the question of the prostitute is additionally complicated, and I see how if a man still loves, or at least respects his wife, then he doesn’t want real intimacy with someone – real intimacy with another woman would feel more like a betrayal than paying for sex.”
The question of the prostitute is “additionally complicated”? That’s the attention paid by Ms. Menendez to women who are often victims of the physical, psychological and emotional abuse of an oftentimes violent and dangerous underground sex trade? Goodness! Is that not as real as global climate change?
And finally the crux of her argument, “We will watch and learn as Silda makes her choice. If she leaves, she will break the mold, and prove to us the infinite independence of a woman’s spirit. If she stays, we will be reminded, one more time, that the fairer sex is also the stronger sex.”
Alicia Menendez Scrubs Her Blog, Launches Site
Alicia Menendez has maintained a blog since 2008. No one remembers a tempered, quiet Alicia. Always full of life and with an opinion everything — the blog made sense. Coupled with her Jersey ambition, she forged herself a prized spot in liberal journalism.
Her blog served as a hub for her thoughts and links to freelance articles she wrote for a variety of publications, including NBC. Over the weekend though, Ms. Menendez took down the site and then moved servers. This just days after the scandal involving claims that her father slept with underage prostitutes in the Dominican Republic; those prostitutes being provided for by top donor, Dr. Salomon Melgen.
Her blog looked like this:
After taking down the website, moving to a different server, she’s scrubbed the blog and now has a single page linking to her different social networks.
Will Ms. Menendez be as forgiving of her own father, if it turns out the allegations against him are true, or will it not matter because he isn’t married to her mother any more? Will she find some empathy for another woman used by a power-wielding politician – this time the poor, underage prostitutes in the Dominican Republic?
Or will boys just be boys?
She recently declined to interview her father who was on HuffPost Live, the show she hosts and acts as producer of, and has declined commenting on the affair… er, the matter. One thing is certain, Alicia Menendez is here to stay, though the same cannot be said with complete confidence for the junior Senator from New Jersey.
Jeff Gurner also contributed to this story