The Democratic National Convention was last week, as was the announcement of John McCain’s female (not “woman”) Veep candidate.  We just passed the 88th year “since the 19th amendment struck down that restrictive rule,”  so I thought it appropriate to conduct a Week in Review of the three major female news makers of last week.

Michelle Obama

The DNC convention began with a controlled and groomed speech by Michelle Obama.  She was smart.  She was adoring of her husband.  She was a devoted family woman.  She performed as she was trained to.  However, because of her over-scripted performance, I really felt like something in her personality was lacking.

Then I read a blog post that summarized for me what I couldn’t quite express about Mrs. Obama’s speech: “We want the spouses of our Presidents to be smart, but not too smart.  Passionate, but not too passionate.  And to have opinions but not come across as opinionated.”  I, too, felt there was something of an emptiness in her words or delivery that seemed just a bit too “pleasing” and not entirely genuine.  This is how the game is played, however, and I guess she needed to play it safe.

By the way, cute outfit, but did anyone notice her traps?  Holy lord!  That woman works out!

Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton

I have to admit.  I’m a Hillary Clinton fan, but I would not necessarily have voted for her because there were other candidates she was competing against whose politics I related with more (particularly concerning the War to Nowhere).  After the video tribute introducing her to the stage, however, a slow burn came over me.

Damn it!

The country and, later Barack Obama, made a huge mistake by not putting her name on the ticket.  I stayed mad for days – well, at least until I Obama’s speech Thursday night.  Hillary Clinton was the best hope to get a Vagina-American into the White House.  So frustrating. So disappointing. So close. . .

Governor Sarah Palin

I awoke Friday morning to the anticipatory drone of Veep buzz.  An early report that someone name Sarah Palin was going to be McCain’s choice. Apparently, I am not alone in not having a clue who she is – the news media seemed baffled and scrambled to wikpedia and the Anchorage Daily News to explain this unusual choice.

The first thing I felt at the announcement of Gov. Palin’s selection for McCain’s VP was panic.  The Republicans did what the Democrats failed to do.  Hillary supporters now have an iron-clad reason to vote for McCain.

Then I stopped.  I started researching Gov. Palin and found the following facts:

  • She is a 20-month governor of Alaska – a state with 670,053 people.  In comparison, New Mexico has almost 2 million and the greater Sacramento area has approximately 2.1 million.
  • 2 years ago, she was the mayor of Wasilla, Alaska, population 8,471.
  • She supports gun rights.
  • She is against a woman’s right to choose.
  • She believes that global warming is not a man-made phenomenon.
  • She is for more domestic oil drilling, particularly in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge.

Now, the last four bullets are typically conservative.  Little shock there.  But when I look at the first two points on her resume – the less-then-half-term Governor of a state smaller in population than most major US cities and mayor of a very small town – I wonder what McCain is thinking.  Surely, Gov. Palin has not encountered the kind of major decisions that most elected officials grapple with daily, and her simple lack of time on the job makes me wonder what she could possibly bring to a VP position.

With all of the Republican women that McCain could have chosen from (Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison, Sen. Olympia Snowe, etc.), why Gov. Palin?  With all due respect to Gov. Palin, who I am sure is a very strong and capable woman, the last thing women need is some old man throwing a token female into the Second Most Powerful Position in the Country who is not qualified for the job and has a higher probability of failure should he die in office and she become the President.

So let’s see.  Pick an unqualified woman for the role, ignore all of the other possible female choices, and put her into a position with a high likelihood of disaster (i.e. setting her up for failure).  The only conclusion to make is that McCain thinks that we women (and most especially Hillary voters) will vote for anyone with a woman on the ticket regardless of her beliefs or experience.  And that, my friends, is an insult.

Good for Sarah Palin.  She is living the quintessential definition of having a “meteoric rise” to success. But shame on John McCain (A) for throwing away his opportunity to have a qualified Republican woman at his side, and (B) for thinking that “an ol’ woman will do” when it comes to luring away voters for Sen. Clinton.  It just demonstrates what little respect he actually has for women in this country.