We see that the Obama/Biden supporters are coming out swing when they realized what is happening; the nomination of Governor Sarah Palin is grabbing the scorned female voters who feel the Democrats railroaded Hillary Clinton. As hard as they fight against it, their attacks aren’t going to get them votes in Novermber. Just when I thought CNN reporter John Roberts’ attack on Palin was low, here comes Fox News Political Commentator Alan Colmes swinging in at an even lower level. Where is this progressive Democratic Party I keep hearing about? All I have seen since McCain’s VP announcement is one pathetic attempt after another to correct their mistake in not nominating Hillary Clinton. Newsflash, attacking a women over “having a vagina” isn’t going to win you votes.
While attacking Governor Palin over her child with Down syndrome has polarized female voters against those taking the shots, many are still split on whether or not this women is Hillary Clinton. While Palin’s reference to Clinton’s 18 million votes was a wake-up call to her supporters, that is the only reference to the New York Senator so far. In response, Democrats are saying that Palin is no Hillary Clinton. Dotted along Palin support threads, Hillary Clinton forums and other places where discussion on the subject are taking place, we have radicals saying everything from “Palin is going to overturn Roe v Wade” to “Palin is a corrupt Republican who is friends with big oil”, all in hopes of dissuading female voters. The truth is this, Palin doesn’t need to be Hillary, in all honesty, Hillary is no Palin.
Before everyone starts calling for my “manhood”, let’s take a step back here and examine the facts. Palin is a mother five, including a child with Down syndrome, while Hillary is a mother one. Palin got to where she was on her own merits, while Clinton’s husband was President before she took office. Palin has made her career out of fighting injustice, even attacking and defeating a fellow Republican, while Hillary refused to stand up to what many believed is bullying by Democratic leaders, and chose to side with a man who attacked her on fraudulent grounds, including calling her a racist. They also don’t match up on the issues either, especially when it comes to Iraq, American energy concerns, and abortion rights, but they are very similar in the fact that they represent what female voters are looking for, a strong woman candidate. Yes, you heard me. Now let’s examine that a little.
Hillary Clinton has made a name for herself by standing beside her husband, a man who cheated on her numerous times, by getting elected in New York against “the old boys”, and by doing the job she was elected to do in a male dominated field. Women like that they can see a candidate who fits their ideals of what a woman in office should look and act like, and she has done a good job of it. People like Geraldine Ferraro, Janet Reno and Nancy Pelosi are more or less foot notes, people who forwarded the cause but faded or will fade in Pelosi’s case, into obscurity, while Hillary has remained and will remain a name remembered alongside the likes of Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis and Nancy Reagan. It isn’t simply that she is a woman, as Democrats like to think, it is that she is strong enough to “play ball” with the “big boys” in Washington. Even though they do agree with Hillary and not Barack on the issues (which Obama’s voting records show), they chose to railroad her and go with a more “popular” choice. I will say this, on her behalf, Hillary had the strength of character to admit defeat and do what’s best for her party, something Barack Obama will not ever have.
That is what a lot of these critics are missing. With many Obama supporters attacking Palin on the grounds that she is a woman, like these attacks about how she should be a mother and not a politician, or Biden’s statement about how Palin isn’t Hillary, it is easy to see this. For a party that is supposed to be progressive, they have sure missed the mark this time around. It is no surprise that women are excited about the pick of Palin over Romney and Pawlenty, especially after that campaign Obama ran against the Clintons. When you have a group of disgruntled women upset over the way you treated their candidate, a women who they idolize, you DON’T do your best to keep her off the ticket. I can’t imagine which they found more offensive, the fact that he picked Biden or the fact that he refused to even think of Hillary as a VP choice. Either way, McCain’s pick of Palin is not only a way to show his “Maverick” streak (seeing that the governor herself is a reformer like him), but to extend an “olive branch” to these voters looking for someone to stand up for what they believe.
Don’t try and deny this, as politically incorrect as it sounds, Barack Obama was chosen because he is black. You see it in the way Oprah, Will Smith and even Sherri Shepard talk about him, and as Shepard put it herself, “he looks like me… that is why I am voting for him”. This was identity politics, pure and simple, to grab votes on the thought that people will love the idea of electing a black president. This could be summed up best with Tom Hank’s announcement of his support for Barack Obama. I want a qualified candidate as President, not one who got there because of his skin colour, not because fifty years ago blacks and whites used different toilets (what does that have to do with politics Tom?). If you want to play that game, the suffrage of women goes back even farther and spans the globe. If my time in China taught me one thing is it that the fair and equal treatment of women is far from universal. Does that mean you elect anyone woman to send a message that people of both genders are treated equally in the West? Nope, but it doesn’t hurt to put a woman who is qualified and fits your agenda on the ticket as a nod to that way of thinking. Remember that McCain himself had a list of highly qualified women to choose from, including Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice.
That is what many are forgetting, even with these selections he had, which included both men and women, John McCain chose Governor Palin. Why? That is the question Democrats have refused to acknowledge, a question which Republicans are more then happy to answer. She isn’t a typical politician, she marches to her own beat like McCain, has a record of reform and has fought political corruption. What does all this mean? She is a “mover and shaker”, a strong willed woman competing and winning in a “man’s world”. This is summed up perfectly with her membership to a Christian feminist group in Alaska. I am not talking about a “bra burning, man hating” feminist, I am talking about a woman who believes in the advancement of her gender in society. This, in itself, represents exactly what Hillary embodies. It isn’t just women though, Palin also fought for the rights of the average American, just like Hillary. Her attacks on political corruption in the Republican party and “Big Oil” in Alaska not only gives her the image of a reformer, but also one of female empowerment.
Now, knowing that Palin herself has the experience and is a reformer, I could point out that the platform of “change” Obama is pushing is hollow, especially when his running mate is one of the people who supported the “bridge to nowhere” project. I could also mention that Obama has no real list of accomplishments, but I will stay on point here. In a society which applauds women but refuses to let them hold the most senior of positions, Governor Palin is someone women, not just feminists, not just pro-life advocates, can rally around. As I stated previously, Hillary herself was loved because of what she represented, not what she did or didn’t vote for. In that, we have someone who didn’t just get elected senator, we have a woman who has fought from her beginnings in the PTA all the way up to the governorship in Alaska, arguably one of the most “macho” of states in America. Why isn’t CNN, MSNBC or any other news network which claims to be progressive talking about that? I think they are threatened by what Sarah Palin represents. She was a sports caster, she hunts, she ran and won political office, all of which are roles dominated by males. If America truly is “a land ruled by men”, she has not only adapted, but thrived in this environment.
Finally, it could be said that if we remove gender from the equation, Palin doesn’t have the resume of a VP. On the flip side, if we removed his race, Obama definitely doesn’t have the skills or experience to be President. While both seem to be crutch, in today’s politically correct society only one of these two candidates gets a special treatment, and it isn’t the female one. Women have time and time again been subjected to scrutiny that male candidates have never had to deal with. I won’t forget what some were saying about Hillary, which includes “well if she is PMSing, she would bomb a country and we don’t want that” among other overly sexist things. I was actually reading a post of another blogger and was disgusted to see the names he was calling Palin (once again buddy, swearing doesn’t help your case). In my experience, having grown up with strong women, seeing how women are treated in other countries, I find it disgusting to see that while we are able to elect an inexperienced man on the colour of his skin, we aren’t able to elect someone capable of running a country because she happens to be a woman. With that said, by removing her gender, we ignore all that she fought against, all that unfair and sexist treatment her and politicians like her had to force their way through just to get recognized. While I wasn’t a big fan of Hillary, I respected what she represented, and I am happy to see Palin picking up that torch especially after seeing what Democrats did to a fellow female candidate.
I hope in November women from across America stand up and tell Obama and Biden that they do want change, a change from the “old boys’ club” that their ticket really represents. They want to be able to raise a child and run for office, they want to be able to be a wife and mother but have a say in their country’s future, and that they aren’t happy with just being a “First Lady” anymore. So yes Senator Biden, Palin is no Hillary Clinton, she has the nerve to stand up to what you and your party have been doing to women, especially during this election year.