Thank you Judith Steinberg Dean

Governor Howard Dean and Judy Dean in Davenport. Photo by John Pettitt.

In October, after seeing an interview on 60 Minutes II, I wrote the following post in the blog about Dr. Judith Steinberg Dean, and began collecting the thank you messages that follow--

I just finished watching 60 Minutes II. Interesting that they talked about his wife and how she isn't on the campaign trail with Dean. I was just thinking about the sacrifices the Deans need to make for this campaign. I probably started thinking about it because my own husband is up late working a lot of nights and we don't get as much time together as we would like.

Then I thought about how hard it must be for Judy to have him away so much of the time, in the spotlight, and with all the speculation about "will she *really* be able to keep practicing medicine?" After all, this isn't what she signed on for--she married a doctor and was in practice with him. He got involved in politics gradually, and now he is *running for president*!

I guess a lot of people compare Dr. Steinberg Dean to other political wives and note what she is *not* doing, but I've been thinking about this and comparing her to myself or any other married woman who is facing major changes in her life, over which she has little control. She has been very gracious.

A lot of the time, people post to tell Dean that he's great, and thank him for giving them hope again. Right now, I'd love for us to send a big "people-powered" thank you to Judith Steinberg Dean her part in all of this. Anyone who would like to join me, and add your own thoughts and name, please e-mail me at renee(at)

Judy, I'd like to thank you for being the strong independent woman that you  are by pursuing your own valuable career through Howard's long, hectic run  for the presidency.  You are a wonderful roll model for all young girls in  America.  You will be the best of first ladies.  You are more than just a  decoration for Howard.  You are a strong, intelligent woman who values her  life's work and does not need to live through her husband.
My best,
Jackie in OH

Yes, Renee ... great idea. Judith Steinberg Dean is going to be -- no, she already IS -- a great role model for young women (and some of us not so young) wondering how they can balance career and family. The Deans' marriage appears to be a true partnership, and they've allowed each other to grow and change and evolve. What a couple!

 I hope Dr. Dean will be able to practice part time in DC and part time in Vermont, where her patients know and trust her.  Please add my name to the best wishes and thanks.

 Julie in Idaho

Renee, thanks for taking the lead and setting up the greeting to Dr Steinberg!  We certainly owe her a huge debt of gratitude, after all we want to take her husband and partner for the next nine years!  I think that by continuing in medical practice when her husband is President, she will admirably fill the role of First Lady by being a wonderful role model for girls and young women.  (Not to mention that Dr. Dean will get great firsthand feedback on whether or not his medical reforms are working!)  Please add my name to the list of your co-signers.

Dancing Larry

Dear Dr. Steinberg Dean:
I know that some of the things that are part of your life now you could never have anticipated. You married Howard Dean, a doctor, he became a governor, and now he is making a fantastic run for President of the United States. I can't imagine the topsy-turvy feelings you probably have, but I
see in you, in the very few moments I've seen you on television, a smart and steady woman.

When watching Sixty Minutes II tonight it was clear that Gov. Dean's eyes light up when he talks about you. You're clearly at the center of his life, and nothing will ever displace that. I know that your time apart is hard but you two have something special.

The best compliment I ever received was "You have a great marriage." That was the great truth of my life, and a wonderful blessing. My marriage ended 3 years ago, when I just turned 40, when my husband passed away. Bryan and I were great friends and also co-workers like you and Gov. Dean, only we were both attorneys, not physicians. I found the practice of law to be so empty
without my partner and husband with me that I have now chosen to take my law degree in a different direction, specifically legal and government research, possibly ... politics.

Life takes us in places we never thought we'd go. Some are good, some are bad, all need some adjustment. Gov. Dean is lucky to be married to you. And you to him. I don't think anything that comes up in the next year, or the next 9 years, is going to change a bit of that. Thanks for being the wife partner and friend of the next President. I think of you often with admiration, respect for your privacy, and hopes for all good things for you and all your family.
Sincerely yours,
Kimberly in Texas

Judy Dean is likely doing more to support Howard's journey to the White House than any of us will ever know.  Imagine, putting yourself out there every day like the Gov does, and knowing that his wife has enough faith in him to continue doing her own work, because she knows he will succeed.

Donna in Evanston


Just tell her for me "Thank you for sharing"

 Mary in GA

I was just talking with a friend of mine today at work about Howard Dean and she said, "Isn't his wife practicing medicine?  Is she the one that wants to continue her career as a doctor as first lady?"  I confirmed what she was saying, and we got to talking about how the country is ready for such a first lady.  It's time we had a first WOMAN, a person that has the courage to do the right thing, and continue on in her career, and help out with social events/state dinners when necessary.

I really admire Judith Steinberg, as do many women.  Thanks for all you are doing to help this campaign.  Keeping your family together during this campaign must be challenging, but please know that many American women are rooting for you.
Wife and mother of a "toddler for Dean"

Please add my thoughts to your message. We women all know the power is behind the throne :) and that a supportive wife gives men the courage to do great things. So thank you Mrs. Steinberg Dean for putting up with all of us in this campaign and helping to make this possible.


I admire her immensely.  A truly egalitarian marriage--what role models for young people Deans are.  And, as a feminist, I'm particularly proud of  the inspiration she will be to girls and young women when she is First Lady. 

I am so grateful for the sacrifices she is making for her country--for each of us.  Also, we must thank their two children, a million times over.

Lynn in Fort Collins, CO

Right on Sister. Finally a First Lady that I am comfortable with my  daughters looking up to. Great idea, and I hope Dr Steinberg  appreciates that no matter the difficulties, we are all with her. Good
luck with your campaign to let her know.

Dara in TX
Austin TX (Yes, especially in Texas, there are some people with brains.  I'll be honest , when he stole the presidency I thought, "Thank God, he is someone elses problem now, at leat he's not in Texas!.... How little did I know.)

Hi! I completely admire Dr. Steinberg Dean. You have no idea how much I wish her well, and hope that she can be protected from how ugly the political process can get. I worry about her.  As a woman physician myself , also married to a physician, I strongly identify with her. I am kind of a shy person as I imagine she must be.  I would love to write to her if you know how.

Wendy in SF

Dr Steinberg,
We are very appreciative of your willingness to share your husband with the American people. Our country needs him.  We recognize that it is a huge change in your life but it is inspiring to see you continue with your career and, most importantly, continue providing primary care to your patients.  You are a very remarkable couple.
Thank you,
Lali in Wilmette, IL

Thank you , Renee, for honoring her today.  I am so proud of Judy Dean!  We know how hard her husband is working to make America, no, actually the world, a better place for all.  But I know that she is doing her part too, behind the scenes.  My last contribution to the Dean campaign (the last bat!) was in honor of Judy.

As you said, her world has changed so much over the past 12 years - I can't imagine the sacrifices she made while Dean was my Governor, and even more so now that he is travelling so much of the time on this quest.  I truly hope she will be able to continue to practice medicine when they move to the White House, and I am sure Howard will do everything in his power to make it so.

Thank you Judy, and thank your children for me too.  I believe your husband is destined to become one of the greatest Presidents in our history – the one who brought hope, community and common sense back to America!

Jo in Burlington, VT

kudos to Judith!!!!
Posted by deb in michigan

 I agree with your thoughts about Judith Steinberg Dean and add my thank yous to thousands of us who are energized by her husband's candidacy.  Unlike most candidates and in sharp contrast to the "Bush Dynasty", the Deans are real people who had real accomplishments and real interests outside of political power.  Judith comes across as an authentic, mature, dedicated woman and professional--a real life "West Wing" Doctor.  May we have about eight years of a Doctor in the White House.  Please send my and my wife's thanks to Judith, their children and extended family and Governor Dean. 

Sincerely, Timothy Alexander, Phyllis Alexander and Lola for Dean, our progressive, soft coated Wheaten

Thank you Dr. Steinberg for being who you are and for putting up with all of this. We love you and will support you whatever you decide to do or not do.

I believe the sacrifices you are making are  a great service, and will make a huge difference, for our country.  I wish I could send you a big gift-wrapped box of strength.   

You have such a wonderfully radiant smile in every picture I see of you. (Did you notice how your husband's face lit up and eyes sparkled when he talked about you on "60 Minutes"?)

Very best to you and all your family,


Thank you, Dr. Steinberg, for letting us have so much of your husband's time, energy, and talents. You are great to allow him to reach for his goals, and to be admired for not giving up your own in the process. You will be a "First Lady" for the 21st Century. We will have to invent a new term, because you're going to rewrite the book.

Torrey in Texas

We DO INDEED appreciate her, and what she's "going through"!!
Sincerely, Larry Harvey

Thank you for being you and doing things your own way. You are a great example to American women and young girls.

Thanks for keeping the home fires burning and for just being yourself :-) I thought that the one fund raising letter that you composed was very touching and sincere. I look forward to having an intelligent and compassionate career woman in the white house.
Tracy in AZ

This 6th generation Vermonter (and Yale alumnus, of sorts: I was there during the same years as Dr. Dean) is very, very proud to call you and your husband Vermonters! Way to go!


None of us will really ever know how much of a gift Dr. Steinberg has given to America, supporting her husband in his goal to lead this nation, while she continues her own important work. She is an inspiration to all of us who support Howard Dean for President, and I look forward to her steady and strong presence in the White House as the first Dr. First Lady in America! Thank you, Judy Dean.

Donna in Evanston

Dr. Steinberg, You are One in a Million! Thank you so very much for everything you have done and for the strength of your partnership with your husband that allows both of you to be yourselves. You are a modern day heroine. As Torrey in Texas said, First Lady for the 21st century. For every person that comments, there are hundreds if not thousands that feel the same way. I personally think it's Absolutely fantastic that you have chosen to travel the path you have rather than giving everything up. It's admirable and reflects your genuine care and concern for your patients. It also reflects the humane and highly commendable qualities you have as a person. I look forward to eight years of pride knowing that you'll be a wonderful ( and very Unique) First Lady!

My utmost respect, gratitude, and admiration to you.

May you always have laughter and joy in your life,
Lysa in Columbia, Missouri

Dear Dr. Judith Steinberg,

I want to second others comments to thank you for being so gracious about opening your life to the scrutiny of all then world. I admit I am a supporter of your husband, but the role model you set for young adults is equally as amazing. It is possible to have "family values" and be a career woman and have a husband running ( and winning ) for President. When people talk about sacrificing for their country, yours is a sacrifice and we are all the better for it. God Bless You and your patients and your family.

Dear Dr. Steinberg Dean,
Your families' lifes have been turned upside down in the craziness of a presidential campaign. The strength I see in your husband, is a quiet strength I see in you too. I grew up in approx. the same time frame as the two of you, I'm a few years older. I went back to college after a too young marriage during the early 70's. My husband and I married at 18 and had 2 children by the time we were 22!! We are still together and supportive of each other in like and independent interests. When I returned, I was introduced to Women's Studies and Native American studies...ways to look at our culture as I never had before. We became politically active during that time, Working hard for Senator George McGovern, and always believing in the hope of his message. I am constantly annoyed at the comparison of McGovern & Dean. Both good, honest, decent men in a den of scoundrels. What McGovern brought to the many believers of his message is what I connected with first with your husband. A need to build community and connections. No matter if he makes it to the White House(and I believe he can and will) or not, he has profoundly changed the way politics work. He and his campaign think outside the box. He trusts your instincts and his on your individual paths. He trusts the best in Americans, not the worst. He is a bit of a geeky smartypants with a bit of ironic, off the wall humor. I admire you both for following your own dreams and encouraging each other to do the same. Thank you for giving up days, nights, weeks, meals, conversations, crossword puzzels, hugs, kisses, and sharing this most remarkable man with us all. And we all know, that the solid rock, behind the man is you!
Linda in Long Beach, Ca.

Thank you thank you thank you! A thousand times, thank you for being YOU!

The fact that your husband is obviously your biggest fan in all his interviews definately plays well with all the women voters out here. Color us impressed!

You are the perfect role model for how to balance service to your country (and patients) with a private relationship. Both you and your husband have demonstrated that you are focused, giving, committed people and your mutual willingness to support each other's "missions" in life as well as each other is admirable. Whatever your role in the White House will be, I am confident that you will handle it with the same grace and honesty you've shown us during the campaign.

Marla in Texas

As another woman physician, I am delighted that our next first lady will be a practicing physician! I feel such empathy for your family. My husband and I were classmates at Northwestern University Medical School (graduating in 1977), he's Jewish (I was Lutheran, Unitarian now), and we have a son (16) and daughter (13) we are raising (more or less!) Jewish. I'm a pathologist, working part time, and my husband is a retinal surgeon working 70 hours a week.

It must be a shock to have your husband become President of the United States. (I knew he would be President the minute last spring my Republican husband said he would vote for him. This will be the first election we both vote for the same Presidential candidate!) We all appreciate the sacrifices you and your children are making by sharing this wonderful man with us. Although I liked your campaign letter, I like even more the fact that you are committed to your patients. It is great to see a candidate's wife with something more important to do than campaign for her husband. You are a great role model for my daughter, all of the girls in my Girl Scout troops, and every other young woman in this country. Thank you so much.

Alta in MD

Dear Dr. Steinberg,

Like many others who have joined this movement to restore "the people" to the process of Democracy, I admire and "love" your husband for the opportunity he's given us to be engaged in our country's politics. His record in Vermont appeals to the very best in America: caring for children and those in need, aiding small business and family farms, human rights for human beings, environmantal stewardship and fiscal resposibility.

I used to have a Dr. who has left practice because he couldn't give personal patient care to over 2,500 patients the average caseload here in Albuquerque and across the country, according to an HMO manager I know. (I was upset that such a high number was considered "fine" for patient care.) While I have very good health insurance, I still don't have a Dr. The good and recommended ones all have closed practices. A couple of others I've tried, well, I understand why their practices are open.

So THANK YOU VERY MUCH FOR TAKING CARE OF YOUR PATIENTS. They need you, and I envy that they have such a fine physician. You bear witness to true family values and demonstrate that Gov. Dean doesn't use people close to him to further his ambitions.

But as a happily married woman who loves having my husband around, I know it must be hard on you and your son to have Gov. Dean gone. It is slight consolation, but thousands of us are conscious of your loss every day as we work to elect Howard Dean President. We think about your courage and committment, as well as that of Dr. Dean. I imagine their are times when you wish history had chosen someone else to restore democracy! Please accept my gratitude, admiration and thanks.

Don't know how many 62-year-old ex-hippies whose best friend is named Steinberg (Larry) get to praise you by e-mail---but I'm honored.

I've said on these blogs more than once that when your husband is Prez, the country will get---for free!---a fringe benefit that may well outlast whatever transpires in the government's business: the example of your family, mutually supportive but each with his or her own dream to follow. You will create your own little unwitting revolution!

Thank you for being who you are.
Jack in No. CA

Dear Dr. Steinberg-Dean,

Thank you for your support, commitment, and convictions. Without you and your children, we would not have had the voice to reclaim our nation - its hard-won heritage of rational thought, civil community, and individual freedoms. That our voice should find its resonance, its timbre, its fire-y tone in that of your husband's is the degree to which our gratitude to you, to all the Dean family, will forever be un-silenced.

Thank you.

Dear Dr. Steinberg,
Thank you so much. I am so grateful to your husband for giving me back some hope these last months.
I, too, am a practicing (female) physician married to a physician. I love your approach to your husband's political life. I applaud you.

Dear Dr. Judith Steinberg Dean:

This note is to thank you for your great sacrifices during this campaign. As your husband traverses the country to meet us volunteers and contributors, we are renewed and filled with hope for a better America.

We also understand your decision to remain a practicing physician when Howard is elected president. Please know that we support you!


I teach at a community college. One of my students came up to me the other day and said, "Did you see Sixty Minutes II?"
I said, "What did you think?" (This student is undecided.)
She's a very intelligent older student, and she said: "I may just vote for Dean...because I like it that his wife is independent."
It's a new day!
Thanks to the Dean family,  Shelley

As a husband and father of three who is too often away from home and out of town for work, I can, only partially, appreciate the sacrifices you make so Dr. Dean can campaign and inspire so many of us. You are an inspiration, too, not just for your devotion to your husband and his cause, but to your independence and career. What a great role model we'll have as First Lady.

Larry S.

Dr. Steinberg -

Thank you for being a role model to young women like me trying to figure out how to balance a career and a family, and really stay true to what we believe in.

The respectful and balanced tone of your relationship with your husband is a refreshing vision for modern times.
Thank you
- Anne B

Dear Dr. Dean,

Thanks so much for being such a wonderful role model. It is wonderful that your career and your patients come first for you. It is so fascinating that you let Howard go off on his political journey, support him when necessary, and go on about your business. You are the best possible example of a first lady for this century; someone who loves her husband, supports his efforts and maintains her own life. Wonderful!

Our thoughts are with you. This can't be easy, any of it. If it's any consolation, we're stunned too. Who knew that Howard Dean would come this for this fast? Shocking and fantastic!


Kelly in Portland, Oregon

Dr. Steinberg Dean, just living the live you want to live you and Dr. Dean are a great example of a caring, powerful relationship: committed to yourselves, to each other, to your family, & to your community (which is expanding to include a fairly large country:-). I would guess that you aren't trying to be a role model for millions, just living as you see fit, and that makes you even more of a treasure. Howard Dean has given many, many people a chance to regain the community that America has lost, and I'm sure you are a big part of the reason he can do that with honesty, strength and joy.

Heartfelt thanks to you (and your kids).

Terri in Tokyo

I'm responding to an invitation on the blog to thank Judith Steinberg Dean. I was just thinking the other day how difficult it must be to have your husband go from being your partner in your practice in what I assume is a small town, to becoming governor, and then running for president, and looking by God like he's going to win. All of a sudden your private life becomes subject to the speculation of strangers, not all of them kind, while at the same time, you have less time with your husband, and more responsibilities in his absence.

I don't think most Americans will be troubled by the lack of the traditional adoring mate on the campaign trail. I assume most households in this country have two earners (assuming no one has been laid off), and that everyone understands the pressures and commitments involved. It makes the Deans more like us! What we're looking for is a president who will represent us, not adherance to an empty form left over from a previous era. And finally, it's not our business.

So thanks, Judith, for letting us have so much of his time. He means a lot to us, too!

To doc from Jane

We don't know each other but I know some things about you just because we are a part of the same generation. We kept our own name when we married, we felt our work was of equal importance, we entered into our relationship as peers. We encouraged our husband's career AND maintained our identity and our independence. Even tho it sometimes seems that the things we learned in the 70s were forgotten by those who've come of age in later decades, we still remember. Maybe this is the decade that those things will come around again! Bravely stay the course, we're out here applauding, supporting, encouraging.

As the originator of this group thank-you message, this last post gives me the inspiration to finally put my own thoughts into words.  Judy,  one of the very first things that stood out to me when I first explored back in, I think, February, was that you had kept your own name. Even in 2003, it is rare enough to find other women who have done so, that I always take notice. We were prompted to learn more about your husband when we heard him speaking out about health care and the Iraq war.

I had been attending peace rallies and was looking for something else concrete I could do—whatever I could do, to help our country move on from this troubling time in our history, from this president that my husband once referred to as a “bad haircut that would take four years to grow out”. This president has turned out so much worse than we thought. It motivated me, a person who had been anything but political, who had never watched the news, to feel that I had a personal responsibility to get involved.

Anyway, it was a Saturday, and we were printing out signs to take to a peace rally. I found the Dean for America site and was immediately intrigued by the picture of you and Howard. Wow—she actually kept her name! Wow—they are both doctors! Oh, could we please? Could we please have someone like that for president? I have since then found many reasons to support Howard Dean for president, but his egalitarian partnership with you was the first thing that really had an impact on me.

Demetrius and I got married in the Catholic church, which required that we go through a process called Pre Cana. One of the things we did was meet with a married couple and discuss different issues related to marriage—our future, our thoughts about careers and children, our values, etc.

We found out that even though we seemed very different from each other on the surface—being both an interfaith and an interracial couple—there were many important values that we shared.

One of the questions we were asked in a Pre Cana meeting was “What married couple can you look to as a role model in your married life?” We were really stumped—we couldn’t think of anyone. But now I believe that if we had known your family back then, we could easily have answered “Howard and Judy” to that question. The two of you really seem to be a great team—supporting each other through many changes in course and not trying to change the other into something that he or she is not.

I started gathering people’s thank you messages several weeks ago because I was lamenting how little time my husband and I have together lately. And then I thought about your family and told myself “Well, at least we are in the same house and we see each other every day.” It made me think of the sacrifices you have so graciously made for this campaign. It can’t be easy, and I want to see you get the appreciation you deserve for the role you are playing in helping us take our country back.

Thank you,

Renee in Ohio

As Judith Steinberg Dean starts to receive more public and media attention, people who support her for being who she is are welcome to send in their own thoughts, and continue to add to our people-powered "Kudos to Judy!" messages. You can e-mail me at renee(at) and I will add your comments below.

Dear Judy Dean

Being a Vermonter I've been aware of your quiet and competent presence for years. You've managed to weave together a pretty remarkable family. Don't let the pundits put you off, although I can't imagine they will.

Everyone needs to follow his or her own star and as a culture we should celebrate every one who does. Your husband is lucky to have someone who has such a commitment and he's lucky to have one of his own. In the largest sense, we're all on the same ship, moving it forward in the best way we can.

This is just to affrirm, that whether you want/need it or not, you have a lot of support out here and you're giving a lot of people courage to pursue their own course.

Brinna Sands
Norwich, VT

Dear Dr. Steinberg,

As a female professional (I'm an engineer and writer) and married mother of two, your situation really speaks to me. When I learned a little about you, that you were keeping the home fires burning and
meeting your commitment to your own profession, I was thrilled. And when I heard Dean speak out unequivocally about his support in your retaining your medical practice -- that clinched it for me. He got my

This country has been going in a wrong direction for so long that I'd about given up. Your husband's campaign has given me hope again -- and I enthusiastically support your decision to keep some perspective and not let the political trolls push you around. You must both be under tremendous pressure right know. Please know that there are many, many of us out here who appreciate the sacrifices you're making.

Washington wants you to be a Barbie Doll. Arm candy, I heard someone put it. Feh. There is no doubt that a Howard Dean presidency will have a huge impact on your life as well as his.

But I honor your need and desire to hold onto your "family values," as well as your dedication to your career. And I love the idea of a first lady in the medical profession!

Good on yer, Judy. Hang in there -- there are lots and lots of us rooting for you.

Dear Judy -

We are keeping you in our thoughts and prayers, and believe having you as the First Lady is going to be such a refreshing change. So many women are ready to have a real woman in the White House. We are so proud of you and Gov. Dean. Thank you both for supporting each others goals and dreams. It is a testament to your good marriage, and it provides a wonderful example of true American family values. Thank you, and your children for allowing this all to happen.

Melody Reed (Charity Clark's Mom)

Fairfax, VT

Judith Steinberg Dean - Woman of Sanity and Wisdom!

Given the "feeding frenzy" which has characterized the press coverage of the Dean campaign, staying home, safe in her own community, working quietly with her patients, going to her book group, the PTA, the supermarket, all of these activities keep the "other Dr. Dean" close to reality and to the safety of her neighbors and her medical practice.

Consider that having such a wife also keeps Howard Dean close to reality. Unlike the first president Bush Howard Dean likely knows that supermarkets have scanners. And in many little ways the fact that his wife continues to live in a quiet, unassuming manner, just like anyone of us, constitutes an important "centering" function in the life of her husband.

Because her work brings her into contact with all sorts of people, Howard Dean continues to be intimately aware of the suffering and needs of others. Because she continues to shop and participate in school and community activities, Howard Dean cannot avoid having his finger on the pulse of ordinary life.

We need no more adoring wives sitting meekly! We need more spouses who bring a reality oriented perspective!

I hope Mrs. Dr. Dean stays right where she is! Why feed yourself to the meatgrinder that is today's media? They would never be done criticizing and she would risk her very soul to gain what?

The first principle of medicine is: "First do no harm." To me it seems preventive medicine for both Howard and Judith that she remain on her own turf, where the media cannot harm her and where the ordinariness of her daily life acts as a powerful "grounding" for Howard Dean.

This campaign is about the people. Not about Howard. We want him to stay close to the people and not lose his sanity as so many have already done - to our detriment!

Judith Steinberg Dean's lodestar is her practice, her quiet life, her ability to be herself. This keeps her one of us! And married to one of us, this keeps Howard sane and stable. I'm thrilled he is married to someone like Judith!

Mary Ann in Milwaukee

This is 1/17/04. To date I have had the opportunity to read most of the articles and interviews discussing Howard Dean's wonderful spouse. The best lines come from Howard Dean--letting us know how smart she is, how "cute" she looked when he began to notice her, how nervous but determined he was as he approached to ask her out the first time.

While America debates whether she should or should not be at his side during this campaign, those of us in the know realize she has a seventeen-year-old son at home, finishing his last year of high school. As the mother of a nineteen-year-old, I know a thing or two about that. It's a critical time, and one during which that teenager needs stability and sameness at home to counterbalance the different pulls on his world outside that home. Of
course she should be there. Yet few women would have the courage to choose to do that despite all the carping criticism from the national "what-passes-for-news-media."

I have the highest admiration for a woman who chooses her family over that carping criticism. And I am so glad that Howard Dean can see and agree with this, rather than begging for it to end.

Maureen Dowd has recently written a column I hope you haven't read in Vermont. She is one always conscious of the latest "look" and fad and "with-it" style. She would not understand those comfortable enough with themselves to appear unadorned.

To me, Howard and Judy Dean offer America the clearest antidote to the rampant materialism, me first-ism, and the selfishness that inform our present-day culture.

Please keep it up. When the lists of most admired women are written next year, I hope Judith Steinberg Dean tops that list because that is where she belongs.

Mary Hausman

Dear Dr. Steinberg,

I’ll add my grateful appreciation to that of the others. I think the Dean family is a microcosm of so much that is good for America. I say this as a 45-year-old woman who has made very different choices. My husband is a doctor in solo practice in Upstate NY. He’s been looking for a partner for a long time. It’s tough to get docs to come to the cold, rural, lower-paid places now. So I know how valuable your commitment to your practice is. They are very lucky to have you.

It is perhaps a bit easier for my husband to be working so hard in his practice because I have chosen to leave my career to stay home to raise the children (although we have chosen to have six). I have great respect for your efforts to be around as much as possible to support your son during his high-school years. Your patients are lucky, and your family is lucky. I think America is lucky too. Take care. Teresa Halpert Deschanes (Harvard Law School 1985, “retired”)

If your own husband is wise enough not to want to rescript your life as a physician just to be a public cheerleader for his campaign, why should anyone else presume to do that?!

We in the campaign respect the both of you enormously! We respect Howard Dean, because he has unmasked the unfulfilled feelings inside of ourselves to want to change the direction of this country and take it back. We respect you because of your choice to continue doing exactly what your husband wanted to do when he started out in medicine--change the world one life at a time. We respect your partnership because, each in your own way, you seek to make this a better world for all of us.

Be in harmony with yourself, and all others who matter will be in harmony with you.

Dick Brown ("Dick in VA")

Thank you, Mrs. Dean, for your values and your choices. We have tremendous
respect for how you're handling this campaign.
Mary W.

Hello Judy,
I admire you for your strength to live according to the values you cherish. I am a 66 year old Arab-American retired urologist, raised as a Greek Orthodox Christian in Jerusalem & Beirut, who married an Episcopalian nurse in residency in Rochester, NY, after which we both became Unitarians. We have lived in Eugene, Oregon since 1971. I appreciate the challenges of married people from different backgrounds and religions, who are both physicians to boot. Your husband comes across as an extroverted surgeon, even though he is an Internist. I identify with him in many ways, and know that my introverted wife of 39 years has not had a very easy time coping with my extroversions.
I hope you continue to live the lifestyle that you believe in. We are all grateful to you for your authenticity and for your support of Howard.
Thank you.
Munir In Oregon
(Munir Katul, Eugene, Oregon)

Dear Dr. Steinberg,

As a long-married, mother-of-two woman a few years older than you, but also with her own independent career and interests, I can't tell you how refreshing I find it (finally!) to see a presidential candidate whose wife has her own life instead of being simply an *appendage* to his! I'm delighted to hear that you plan to continue your practice in Washington, and that Gov. Dean is strong enough himself to support your doing so.

That's one of the first things I learned about his campaign that really drew me to support it!

Very best wishes --

Sue Fomby ("Sue in Kentucky" on the blog)

1/18/04 Iowa Caucus Eve

Did not see the event, but looking at the picture of Dean and his wife, I have never seen him look so HAPPY; and I have never seen a couple in a political situation who looked so sincerely loving.

What a great day for the Gov! We want to see him happy.

I'm very glad she came, putting to rest criticisms about her non-involvement. The only ones I saw were written by men! Can you imagine what it must be like to suddenly find yourself married to a candidate for president who's hardly ever home, having to take on ALL domestic duties while maintaining a medical practice?

In my opinion, she's given more than most of us ever will to the campaign. Thank you, Judy!

Dear Dr. Judy Steinberg Dean

We knew you were a great doctor and a great mom- and after seeing you in Iowa, you're a great speaker too! We're so proud of you!

Brady Carlson
Newmarket, NH

It was great seeing you in Davenport (I am in Oregon so I saw it on CSPAN) .You looked like you were having a good time. I particularly enjoyed when you said "I have patients who depend on me every day".
Thank you for taking the time from your busy schedule..We love seeing you. Hey I heard you are in a Book too. You know there are women's book groups all over this country (our group only reads books written by women). Maybe you could blog now and then and tell us what book your group is reading..
Anyway thanks again. I fantasize about a First Lady who might volunteer at a D.C. Free Clinic..what a concept. We are going to change this country..I just know it.

Dear Judith:
As an elected official married to a woman who is a proud mother, and a dedicated professional educator, but a reluctant campaigner, I identify with your situation. It is certainly difficult to be in a role where your identity is tied to your spouse, and a lot of people are just interested in making you look bad to injure your spouse.
As a supporter of Howard Dean, I am pleased that you have overcome your natural inclinations and rose to his defense. Politics makes many fundamentally irrelevant demands on its participants, and your public support allows there to be greater focus on genuine issues.
All good wishes for a happy and satisfying life in or out of the White House.
Sincerely yours,
Mark B. Cohen
Pennsylvania House Democratic Caucus

Dr. Dr. Steinberg,
Thanks, thanks, thanks for going to Iowa to stand with your husband. I respect you so much--I respect both of you--for being individuals and standing for your beliefs and your identities. It's too bad that presidents, so far, have to be white males and their wives have to stand by their side for them to get elected. BUT, that's the case right now. Thanks for understanding that many Americans who are undecided need to see you there, need to see your great smile, and need to see that Dr. Howard Dean is a person with a family and a heart.

I am doing all I can to help your husband take back our country. If that happens, it's so exciting to think of you as our first lady. You will really be a first in great ways--because of your career, because of your faith, because of the role model you can be for young women (and men) who crave a different view of what partnership and leadership mean.

I'm a PhD college professor who's gone against many expectations myself, and it's great to think that we might have a First Lady (what a title!) who, like Hillary Clinton, can continue to show the country that we can all achieve our dreams with the right leader.

Thanks for compromising and sacrificing and traveling to Iowa, which I'm sure was an inconvenience, to say the least. We need you!

Thanks, thanks, thank,
Kim of Pennsylvania

i'd like to express my support for judith steinberg dean. she's a mom,
she's a doctor and she supports her husband's career just as he supports
hers. i think it's a shame that the media seems to be demanding that
she show up on the campaign (i don't see them demanding that her husband
show up at her office so her patients can meet him).

but even with all the media frenzy her honesty and integrity shines
through. her patients are lucky, her kids are lucky and howard dean is
lucky. i hope they all know it.

i hope not to see her much on the campaign trail. i hope she can do
what she loves, that her husband can do what he loves and that we can
support both of them as they support each other.


It's so right that the only candidate who gives us hope for the future, Dr.
Howard Dean, also introduces us to a wife whom he loves and respects so much
that Judy Dean can be the great individual that she so obviously is. Thank
you, Judy Dean, for being you.
Naomi Kanakaris
Pebble Beach, California

Thanks for going to Iowa Judy. You gave us all a lift. You exemplify the best of who and what this country is about. You will be a wonderful First Lady. I hope you will continue your medical practice as you have done being First Lady of Vermont. The coming days will be filled with excitement and unknowns but we will be there supporting you as well as your husband and children. Thank you Dr. Steinberg ! Sharon in South Carolina

judy, i didn't have the privilege (i don't think!.....unless you and/or howard passed through the peds e.r. at jacobi some time between july of 1977 and when you graduated in 1979) of teaching you pediatrics when you were in medical school. my time at einstein began as a very junior faculty member (first job!) in 1977, as did my husband's time there in neuropathology. shortly after both of you left, i was given the amazing privilege of handling the pediatrics curriculum at jacobi and eventually at all our affiliated hospitals. subsequently i got further into the medical education world there in general and as a by-product of that became a mentor and guide to students, perhaps especially to the women. and throughout those 25 years my husband and i were raising two children (who are now 27 and 28).

i do not know what it is like to have a husband in politics, let alone in presidential politics. i do know what it is like to manage a full time and escalating successful career in medicine as well as a household, two children, and a marriage. that you have done all of these things so gracefully and successfully is a tribute to yourself and to your husband.

kudos to you for following your heart and soul and calling in life. and kudos to howard for admiring your intelligence and independence and encouraging you to do your "thing". i am a major dean supporter politically but i am also a major supporter of a man who wants his best friend to be bright, independent, and her own person.

liz goldman

This site is a great idea!

I am another a fan of Dr. Steinberg's. How refreshing to see such intelligent, independent people as the Deans interested in making a difference in our country. Obviously Dr. Steinberg realizes that changes are ahead if her husband is elected, as we hope he will be. I trust she will be able to maintain her graciousness, and independence, while setting a new standard for first ladies, and as a role model for
so many. Hopefully, people in the 21st century realize that not all women -- even first ladies -- are mere extensions of their husbands. Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton, when she was first lady, had to fight the stereotype because she was very involved with politics; now Dr. Steinberg will have to fight it (or ignore it) because she chooses not to become involved.

Good luck to both Deans.

S.R. Wolk
Sacramento, CA

thank you, dr judy. you and howard are together and individually an inspiration to us all.

i love your smile, and i love how the gov's face lights up when you're near. you're a beautiful couple. i also love how you shook the baby's hand at the iowa event. that was so sweet.

thank you for all you do, and thank you for the sacrifices you've made for our country. please tell your children we are proud of you all, and look forward to having you as our first family.

love and blessings,

Dear Dr. Steinberg,
I've just read your statement to Iowa voters, and was impressed by its simplicity and eloquence. You will be a wonderful, wonderful First Lady, and an inspiration to women everywhere who want to be valued for themselves and their own important work, not just for their husband's accomplishments, however significant.
Margaret Donsbach

The highlight of yesterday for me was to see Judy standing with Howard. He was glowing and it put to rest the pundits who were questioning why they hadn't seen Judy. She said it all. I respect her feelings of obligation to her patients. She'd be the kind of doctor any of us would want to depend on.

Dear Judy,
I'm writing to thank you for the incredible sacrifices you have made for your husband's campaign and our country. I can only imagine how your life has been turned upside down and put under a microscope. I am so appreciative of your commitment to your family and patients and your refusal to compromise that commitment in the face of public criticism. My children are about the same ages as yours (18 and 20), and I know what a crucial time it is in their development. They need you, and you're there for them. Thank you for being a role model for mothers and professional women everywhere.
Warm regards,
Pat Bastian
Tampa, FL

Dr. Judy Dean - you are an inspiration. It is refreshing to see a family
that cares for each other. Howard Dean is going to the White House in
2004 and I know you will be there for him. You are a very strong person
and it is no wonder that you and Howard are together. You are both
wonderful people. My best to you and your family.

The photos of Howard and Judy Dean together are absolutely amazing! Howard Dean looks so incredibly happy--like a young boy who's just gotten exactly the Christmas present he wanted--and never in his imagination did he think Santa would be so generous! And Judy looks so naturally lovely!
I have been writing in all my letters, "H D appeals to me because he offers us hope and the belief that if all of us become engaged in the direction of our government, we can make this country better. He can offer the "cure," but, it's up to us to take the medicine! We have the power and responsibility to "make it happen."...this campaign is about restoring the American community, not resorting to name-calling...etc."
As an "over 60" retired mom, who was a county commissioner for 8 years in Wyoming when our son was in high school, I know it's hard to juggle life, but I do believe that Judy should do more so that she is seen helping to make this election happen, and I do believe that her personal expertise as a doctor is going to help restore our American community and will win the hearts of many, many voter--far more than Theresa Heine Kerry!
Thank you Judy!!!!!!!! Ann Stephenson, Alaska

Dear Judy,

Thank you so much for coming to Iowa to support Governor Dean at this critical time. I think it really helped for people to see what an authentic, down to earth person you are. I commented to my husband that I can't imagine anyone seeing you without loving you.

I also want to share that I, too, am a shy person. I am not at all comfortable speaking in front of a group. Through this campaign I have had to get up and speak many times and it has always been a big stretch for me. I think the work that your husband is doing, what he stands for and what he can do to restore our country makes it worth it to do whatever it takes, regardless how awkward it may feel. I just keep pushing through my own barriers because the larger picture is so important.

I greatly respect your choice to continue your medical career which you appear to love and be very good at. You are a great example for women and young girls in this country of a women who stands whole and independent with a life of her own while still being able to support her mate and partner.

Thank you again for making the effort to stand by Howard's side and let the public see what a sweet person you are. I hope you will continue to make appearances with him. Especially in the South, I think it will make a big difference.

Molly Kurland
Santa Rosa, CA

Watching the events in Iowa last night, Howard and Judy appear to adore each other, and why not, they have a marriage that allows each to be the person they feel called to be. They believe in each other.
After reading the People Magazine interview, I feel I know more about two very down to earth people next door who have the power and the charisma to lead our country in the right direction.
Whatever the outcome, we've seen two very fine examples of what it means to pursue what you are passionate about.
Thanks, Judy and thanks, Howard.
Thanks to Renee for making this possible.
Vera Rowell, Fort Worth TX


Your speech in Cedar Rapids last night was wonderful. . .it brought tears to my eyes to see you up there with your husband. What a wonderful couple the two of you make! Thanks so much for bringing your unique presence to Iowa.

Ruth Henriquez-Lyon

What a great tribute to a great woman. Mrs. Dean has shown that a strong woman does indeed "stand by her man", but she also honors her commitments. She is a dedicated mother to children who need her probably now more than ever. With their father in the nation's spotlight, she remains a constant to reassure the Dean children. Additionally, she is a physician who takes her oath very seriously. Thank you Renee for paying tribute to this great woman. Thank you Mrs. Dean for being the type of woman we should see in the White House.

Dear Judy,
I was thrilled to see you stand with Howard yesterday in Iowa. He has inspired so many of us to be heavily involved in his campaign, and we feel like we know him personally. We''ve all been wanting to get to know you, too. It's obvious the closeness you two have, and it is a delight to see. Thank you so much for sharing your husband with the world. I know it would be much easier for your family if none of this was happening, and all of us appreciate the sacrifices you and your children will have to make when he is elected. However, I truly believe that now is the time to change the dangerous direction our country is taking, and I believe Dr. Dean is our best chance to achieve this change.
Thanks again for being there in Iowa. Your husband looked so happy to see you, and so proud to present you to his supporters. I think you are both the greatest, and it is high time we had a couple of doctors in the White House!

Donna Medine
Long Beach, California

Judy Dean --
Please accept my deep thanks for being the very best possible complement to your spouse Howard. He is the messenger for taking our country back and reforming our political system. You are the messenger for taking our integrity back, refusing to become defined by the foibles and neuroses of others.
Anyone with any observational powers knows that good primary care physicians devote themselves to caring for their patients. Anyone who's been a thoughtful parent knows that children need their parents to be present.
Spouses must support each other's work and passion, which is exactly what you've done by staying in Vermont with your patients and your son.
You lend credit and dignity and authenticity to your spouse's campaign, and your presence will embellish the White House.
Deans for America!
-- John W. Milton, Afton, Minnesota

As a contemporary of Dr. Steinberg, Judy Dean, and Mrs. Howard Dean, my heart goes out to you. I too know what it has meant to work, raise kids and be a wife. No, You can not have it all. It is about give and take to make it all work. I applaud her for her success and scold the media. To Maureen Dowd and the other females, I say, "Be Ashamed!" Thank you Judy. If this is disrespectful to call you by your first name, forgive me. I just have several names myself, love them all, and prefer

Dear Dr. Dean,

Thank you so much for standing by your convictions! From the news reports I know you have your husband's support, and that is one of the many reasons why I'm voting for him. But surely he would not be the candidate he is without you. I have enormous respect for the Governor's honesty and integrity, above all other things, and I imagine those traits have been nurtured in your home and professional life.

My partner and I have very separate lives and we respect and support each other's goals in the larger world. I know he wants the best for me, and vice versa. The idea of having your family in the White House, providing an example to others for how to achieve this kind of partnership, is awesome. You go girl! We need you!

Ruth Green

I started to look for a democratic candidate to support last Spring. I liked Howard Dean's stance on the issues: the war, healthcare, and education but when I read about his wife, Judy, I was convinced. I appreciate Judy Dean because she cares about herself enough, and thus she cares about her husband, her family, her patients, her community enough to be happy and successful in her own life and her own accomplishments. Judy and Howard represent the contmeporary American couple -- two parents who both work and both participate in their own lives. And their marriage is enriched because of this. They are also the contemporary American couple because they come from different faiths and compromise to make things work. Isn't that precisely what we need in America -- to recognize our differences, make compromises, and make things work?

I don't disrespect the American family where the woman stays home and raises the children. My mother stayed at home and she worked very hard for the community. I feel grateful to her she made that choice. I respect women who can and do stay home and raise their children. But more of us have children and husbands and a career and friends and full, happy lives. I like that Judy Dean represents the contemporary woman -- she works hard, but she manages career and family and, like she said herself, she's good at it! Go Judy!!

Thank you, Judy Dean. Thank you from the bottom of my heart for coming.
It was so important, so important. We needed you, we all needed you,
our campaign needed you and you came. Bless you.
In Gratitude,
Jennifer Greene

Dr. Steinberg-Dean radiates authenticity and intelligence. I appreciate the fact that she does not subordinate herself to her husband, whom I adore, but she supports him while maintaining her own sense of self and purpose. My hope is that she and her husband enter the White House, where they will embody the highest ideals of American democracy.

Randall Griffey
Kansas City, MO

Dear Judy:

Thank you so much for coming to support your husband in person, and for that infectious, beautiful smile, which I bet that attracted thousands of new supporters! I find you and Howard truly remarkable people; I think you exemplify REAL family values -- you really brought that home with your genuine warmth. Thank you again.

Warm Regards,

John Fiske

My husband and I think Judy Dean is adorable; she is so refreshing and so unaffected... not a propped-up stepford wife or Laura Bush-tailored Washington woman who is supposed to walk meekly along in her husbands wake. I love the way Howard glows when she is up there on stage with and for him. They are dynamite and she brings so much to this campaign!

She will make a lovely and REAL first lady...and first physician


Maddie Gavel-Briggs and
Patrick Briggs,

The relationship of Howard and Judy is proof that Dean, if elected,
will be our first feminist president!
-Laurie Blackwood

My husband and I are supporters of Gov Dean .... We are Dean Texas Rangers.... We both admire Dr Steinberg and Dr /Gov Dean for the way the run their lives... I think she will make a gracious anf refreshing first lady.... My prayers are with them both.... My husband and I are outspoken Christians for Dean.... Marty Dick

Brainchild Media Group: Web design, animation and graphics in Columbus, Ohio