Wednesday, September 03, 2008

Give Us Women A Break, Will Ya?

For decades I have been waiting for the chance to see a female in the Oval Office. In all fairness, we should have equal chance to screw things up just as badly as you guys. Where I am not a supporter of Hillary Clinton, she's certainly qualified to be there. So are a number of other women from both parties. Women who have spent decades in public service, who know how things work and have been seasoned in the fire, as it were.

So Mr. McCain's choice of Gov. Palin as his running mate makes no sense to me. Unlike Obama's team, which methodically winnowed through potential VP choices with incredible depth, it appears the Maverick said, "Find me a chick who's got pull with the Right Wingers." So at the last minute (see link below) he chooses Palin. WHY? There are a number of other Republican women who HAVE experience on the national stage and would fit the bill. Why her?

His main objective was to pander to the Religious Right. I understand political expediency, but while you're pandering, make sure you get the right person. McCain's people (and McCain himself) didn't spend much time on this decision. That says a great deal about this man's judgment. The Vice President is the second most important person in this country. When POTUS ceases to be able to function for any reason (surgery, death, etc). it's the VP who picks up the reins. Why in G*d's name would you pick someone who has had no experience? Yes, she might be Commander of the Alaska National Guard. Big whoop. And her state is near Russia (this is a selling point according to Cindy McCain). Has she stood toe-to-toe with Putin recently? I doubt it.

Obama, to his credit, picked a man with an incredible resume. No matter what you think of Mr. Biden, he could step into the Oval Office without a moment's hesitation. But not Gov. Palin. Eighteen months in a tiny state's governorship and former mayor of a town of about 5K (back when she was in office) doesn't qualify you for the Big Leagues.

Why did she agree to do this? Hubris? Guts? Didn't she realize this would have a massive impact on her family? Why would you put your pregnant, unmarried daughter into the klieg lights of a campaign? Why would you take on such a job when you have an young infant with Down Syndrome? Where some might see her choices as courageous, I see them as self serving. The teen and the infant have priority here. Period. That's the contract you take on when you become a mother. She has decades ahead of her to pursue her political career. Right now her family needs her more.

The role of VP, even if it is just attending state funerals and such, is a FULL TIME JOB. So is being a mother. Twice over with what's going in on Ms. Palin's family. She's got her priorities wrong IMHO. Women cannot have it all. Taking on the governorship of Alaska was enough of a challenge, she doesn't need to take on Washington. It's not like Ms. Palin is the last Republican woman who is available for office. She should have said, "No thanks, John. Get back to me in a few years."

So, Mr. Maverick, if you thought tossing a "chick" into the mix would get my vote, you're right. I was uncommitted when it came to this race. I wasn't going to vote for you, but I was on the fence about Obama. Now I'm committed -- for Obama. If you think so little of me, my fellow sisters and my country to not do your homework, then you're not fit for office.

Postscript: There has been a lot of talk in the media about a "double standard". How women are chastised for taking on jobs and family but men are not. Maybe that's where I'm a bit old-fashioned. I know women are capable of almost anything they set their minds to. With that ability comes responsibility: sometimes it best NOT to take on that job if your family has a situation that needs your attention. Yes, it would be good if guys were held to the same standard, but women have always been the nurturers. Obama's situation is significantly different than the Repub VP nominee.

Ms. Palin has three things going on in her family: her son is deploying to Iraq, she has a pregnant teen and her wee one has Down Syndrome. Talk about a load to carry. Any one of those is a tough burden. To add a national campaign and potential stint in the White House to the mix is too much in my opinion. But who knows, I may be eating these words in a year or so.

And one final thought. Gail Collins, in the NY Times made an excellent point:
For all her great skills at presentation, many people, including some Republicans who think the microphone is off, believe that Sarah Palin is a terrible choice for running mate. But you have to remember who the other options were.


Pam Wyant said...

Jason and I were just having this exact same conversation. You must be reading my mind again...or the other way around.

I will say for the double standard thing, right or wrong women are held to a different standard by most folks. For me if a guy had been in this same situation with the family I would still say the same thing, it's too much to take on and it is selfish to have accepted the nomination.

I have to question her decision making ability for taking it and McCain's for offering it. I wasn't going to vote for him either way but this just confirms it.

Not to mention how insulted I am as a woman that he thought all he had to do was to put a woman on the ticket and think I would jump on the bandwagon no matter who it was. Stupidity like that should not be rewarded, it deserves a little smack up side the head with a 2x4. HA!

Jana Oliver said...

"You must be reading my mind again...or the other way around."

It's those bugs the government has in your office. If I pay extra, they'll send me transcripts. :)

steve said...

Sarah Palin apparently fired the director of Public Safety for refusing to fire her ex-brother-in-law. And she was a member of the Alaskan Independence Party in the 1990s--a group that called for a referendum on, among other things, secession from the U.S.

I agree with Pam that McCain thought he'd be able to bring over more Hillary supporters by naming a woman as running mate. I suspect quite a few women will be insulted. About the only thing Gov. Palin has in common with Sen. Clinton is the possession of two X chromosomes.