What do you think of the presumptive 2008 Republican candidate for Vice President, Sarah Palin? Is this is a good choice? Does this advance women in politics? Share your thoughts!
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The idea of a female vice president who is anti-choice is a tough one for me to digest.
I proudly voted for Geraldine Ferraro when she was the Democratic Party's nominee for Vice President in 1984, not solely because of her gender, but because I believed that she did have the experience necessary to help make this country live up to the ideals of our Declaration of Independence and because she Walter Mondale represented my position on key issues. So, when I hear Geraldine Ferraro make racist comments about Barack Obama and then five months later hear her practically endorse a woman who is a supporter of creationism being taught in public schools, opposes a woman's right to choose, and most importantly, lacks the leadership experience one would expect of a candidate for Vice President, I can only be appalled!
I am not voting for Barack Obama because he is like me a person of mixed heritage, just as I did not vote for Geraldine Ferraro because we share the same gender, but because I support those candidates who reflect my position on key issues. Ms. Ferraro persists in disappointing feminists as she is perpetuating the same discriminatory thinking and language that we have fought against for too long. When I went to the UN Conference on Women in Beijing in 1995 I envisioned a world where women had an equal seat at the table, not one where they would evict men or people of color.
I have devoted my life to the equal rights of ALL people and by cheering the selection of someone who is neither qualified for the job nor defends the rights of woman, Ms. Ferraro is committing the same injustice that white men have committed for centuries against the rest of us - exclusion based upon one’s biological attributes. I do not see ‘women’s rights’ in competition with the rights of African Americans, but that we are fighting for the same thing – the day when we are chosen because of what we bring to the table.
For those of us who fight for the rights of all people it is painful to be told to make a choice between my race and my gender. Not only is that physically impossible, but it keeps us distracted while those who have benefitted by our oppression continue to do so. What a shame when someone who was such a beacon for equality as Geraldine Ferraro has become the spokes person for a conservative, exclusive and racist agenda when she cannot even muster one positive comment about Barack Obama while extolling, "It's great to be the first," Ferraro says, "but I don't want to be the only. And so now it is wonderful to see a woman on a national ticket."
What a week it has been! A lot of ink has been spilt on Ms. Palin's bio, political resume, family issues et al. Is she a right choice, an ideal candidate to stand up against Joe Biden? Well, time will tell. If the political mandarins stand true, Mr. McCain chose her to capture floating women backers of Mrs. Clinton and also to appeal to younger generation by bringing a washington outsider. If that's true, its no much "Advantage Women" in American politics as it is not credentials but the moods of the moment that are ruling the decision making process. Having said this, I am not negating Ms. Palin's achievements in energy, environment arena et al or her extra-ordinary feat in raising a family of 5 children, and playing hockey and fishing and having won a beauty contest...Sarah is an all rounder...and we must applaud her for her versatility. But the question still looms - will the admiration for this exemplary woman translate into an ideal Veep candidate - I guess its high time political offices/nominations transcended gender. Transcending gender will serve women better than playing gender card! Just my $0.02 for the day :)
This choice certainly took a lot of people by surprise. I "get" the can-do Western woman epitomized by Sarah Palin -- governor, mother of five, including a special needs baby, and imminent grandmother. What I don't "get" at all is her apparent affinity for anti-choice, her apparent opposition to sex education in the schools, her welcoming attitude toward teaching "creationism" instead, and the list goes on and on. She's a "can-do" retro figure, unsuited for global responsibilities. Assuming this Republican Party ticket might be elected (which I certainly hope does not happen), can you imagine her as succeeding to the presidency if something were to happen to McCain? I sure can't -- in fact, I don't even like to think about it.
Karen - Quite lucid argument you have there. One would have assumed that Mr. McCain will have a long term strategic view in selecting his Veep, considering the limits of his life/age and possible succession need in case misfortunue befalls the Republicans if they are fortunate to retain the office. The choice of Ms. Palin is fraught with such unexpected strategic pitfalls. Some may argue that Palin and Obama are no different, both are novice to Washington politics, both lack long term experience in the corridors of power...though one would be tempted to draw a Strength and Weakness comparisons for both Sarah and Barack to see who garners more points! I am gravitating to Barack continuing to believe that sexism in politics or otherwise is too hazardous for female clan and we should abide by meritocracy only...coz only that is the only true liberation for womankind.
When I watched Sarah Palin's speech this week, I was struck by the lack of real substance to what she had to say. It was disappointing. How will she lead the country? Can she be President? Would other leaders take her seriously when she cites her work with the PTA and her "pitbull with lipstick" status as a hockey mom? I was disheartened and when that speech was over, felt that John McCain has made a mockery of women and our ability to hold true positions of international power and influence.
Go Sarah? You are right. Transcending gender would be better for all of us. But, I doubt John McCain gave one thought to transcending gender when he suddenly chose Sarah for his running mate.
You bet he wants Hillary's 18 million votes along with rallying his base. The base that vehemitly opposes women's right to choose. And, if Sarah has her way, there will be no right to choose in cases of incest or rape. It is the base that wants NO separation between church and state and the base that promotes a gun wielding society. In truth, McCain's choice for VP was and is a cynical attempt to exploit women for his campaign agenda at the expense of governance.
I like your thoughts. I can not imagine Sarah Palin representing women, mothers, children or any self thinking intelligent American. I can only view her as John McCain's symbol for pandering for women's votes. ("trophy VeeP")
McCains shameless exploitation of Hillary Clinton after her defeat in the primaries speaks volumes as to how far this philandering old man will go to win an election.
You make me proud. McCain's choice for VeeP is demeaning and demoralizing to women.
Barack Obama and Joe Biden seem even more like the real deal now. They complement each other very well; you can actually picture Biden as President; they are cool headed and seem to have the ability to come to peaceful resolutions; they actually support a woman's right to choose and want to concentrate on reducing the number of unwanted pregnancies; they have a healthcare plan; They believe in equal rights for ALL; and most importantly they understand that we are in an environmental crisis; and they also know each other...
The Republicans chose this VP because their Presidential candidate was not getting any air time on TV and people were more interested in talking about Obama. She is a distraction, nothing more (she proved that in her speech).
This is for all those women who posted here and many more who agree with the posted views here on this thread...You all rock! By objectively analyzing Ms. Palin's candidacy you have all proven that you truly epitomize gender neutrality, objectivity and meritocracy in Power and Politics and at Work Places. Keep it up!
Evidently, there is no record of Governor Palin ever making a statement regarding diversity except to oppose gay marriage and the designation of hate crimes as hate crimes. ["Palin's record on race a blank sheet," by Earl Ofari Hutchinson, the San Francisco Chronical, September 5, 2008].
Alaska has, according to an article in the Anchorage Daily News, the nation's highest per-capita rate of forcible rape, with a disproportional number of rape and sexual assault victims being Native women. When Governor Palin was asked about the lack of enforcement, she blamed the Federal government for insufficient funding. However, Republican Senator of Alaska, Lisa Murkowski, who co-authored the 2005 revision of the Violence Against Women Act, said the State's law enforcement system is so minimal that it can't be called law enforcement in many places. The insult added to this injury is that Governor Palin opposes access to abortion even in the case of rape and incest. Governor Palin would, if elected Vice President, be the President of the United States Senate and hence have great influence on the passage of legislation regarding our rights.
Do we really want someone who does not even consider diversity important enough to mention on her State’s official website to be at the helm of our human rights policies? On the homepage of the website it is immediately clear how to get a hunting license, but one has to dig through several pages to find out where to go to get help regarding domestic violence or rape.
Just because Sarah Palin is a woman does not mean that she is a friend of women or to diversity. On the contrary, I am afraid that we will lose civil rights that we currently have and not have those critical to our humanity enforced by an administration led by John McCain and Sarah Palin.
I just wanted to echo Meghna's praise by saying thank you for the excellent commenting. I admit, I am going through a little Palin fatigue in only week two since the announcement. But the more I force myself to read, the more I see women's blogs and forums digging through all the scandal and hype to get to the real issues.
Wendy Willow Wark, I especially appreciated your comments about diversity and sexual violence prevention -- two of the most important issues for women in my opinion. I have all the confidence in the world that women will make the right decision in this election.
It is a challenge to avoid being overwhelmed by the sound bites and misinformation, but I believe that we have an incredible opportunity to make clear that we can and will take back our government from those who do not represent our interests!
To consider Sarah Palin's candidacy historic is myopic at best. Other countries have had women leaders, and not second-in-command, either. See: Margaret Thatcher and Golda Meir. What about having a woman leader who is conservative and regressive and fraught with problems? That's not a new story, either. Again: see: Margaret Thatcher and Golda Meir. A female Vice Presidential candidate? Turning back to the United States, this has already happened once before, too.
As is typical, the US-centric media frenzy makes a novelty out of nothing, and only serves to ignore even very recent history and flatten experience.