Sunday, August 31, 2008

The Vajayjay Factor

(If you don't understand the term 'vajayjay', you are not getting your minimum daily requirement of Oprah.)

The talking heads are still talking about Sarah Palin's desirability and potential risk/benefit to the GOP ticket. It obviously took most everyone by surprise, particularly since other, more prominent, names had been chewier media fodder before the long-anticipated announcement.

From the PowerLine blog, here is a comment made just weeks before by McCain regarding his choice and what qualifications he/she might have. Here is another post, also from PowerLine, talking about overestimating "the gender issue" and overlooking Palin's true qualifications.

She's a new face to me, and this post isn't about Palin-the-person's place on the ticket. She may be the greatest thing since smoked Alaska salmon and may even give the Republicans a winner against Hillary in four or eight years, according to AWCF (a wise conservative friend).

What struck me today is the probability that, yeah, she was chosen on the basis of gender and, glass ceiling or not, it pisses me off.

We've all watched The West Wing, so we all know that the candidates don't act alone, particularly in a choice this important and particularly when the opponent is even or a bit ahead in the polls. Smoke-filled room or not, it was a decision made with advice, and it's those conversations that I find irritating and demeaning.

Hillary's 18,000,000 primary votes are not insignificant -- and certainly, many of those were sincere "I Love Hillary" votes. Possibly many were cast for her just because she's a woman. Certainly, many were against the GOP because of Bush's presidency; many were cast by die-hard Democrats whose hand would wither and die should they pull the lever for any but a Democrat; many were pro-Democrat but anti-Obama -- for whatever reason. We'll never know all the reasons, and it's certainly moot at this point.

But, in making the recommendation and decision about Palin's candidacy, also certainly some of the discussion was, "Yeah, wow, 18,000,000 votes for Hillary. We need a woman. We really need a woman. Find us a woman - now."

Why isn't the discussion and decision, "This is the best qualified human. This human has foreign policy, economics, military, political and executive experience -- what a great addition to the ticket."

According to, nine times in our history the office of President has been assumed by the VP. It's happened three times since 1945, which makes any VP a heartbeat, a resignation or an impeachment away from the Oval, which makes the VP office itself more than a nice photo op and address. It also makes the selection of the candidate for that office pretty damn critical -- way beyond the vajayjay factor.

If Palin was chosen as McCain's running mate because she has ALL the qualities necessary to become President should there be a fateful event or crisis, and also because she can energize the conservative base and bring some youth and vigor to an old man's campaign, well, great... nice to meet you, Sarah. Good luck, and by the way, nice caboose.

If, however, she made the ticket primarily because of her gender, I see that as an insulting act of condescension toward all women voters. It's every bit as bad (and exactly the same) as Democrat politicos assuming that because a voter is African-American, he/she will be voting for Obama.

I fought the good fight for women's liberation in the 70's (written about here), and if any woman in America is thrilled that "a woman" is on a Presidential ballot, even in the second slot, I would be that woman.... but NOT if she were chosen because of the vajayjay factor.

I was going to post a long harangue about the process by which the VP is selected -- through choice, not through votes, but this post has done it for me.

Maybe it's time to stop voting for "a unit of presidency" and vote for each separately.
Maybe it's time to take out the race/religion/color/penis/vajayjay factors, too.

Every time I consider our four candidates I stick my thumb in my mouth and try to console myself with this thought: Despite Bush and all that he has wrought, maybe, just maybe the person who sits in the comfy chair in the Oval Office doesn't matter all that much. Maybe. Hopefully.


Anonymous said...

"Despite Bush and all that he has wrought, maybe, just maybe the person who sits in the comfy chair in the Oval Office doesn't matter all that much. Maybe. Hopefully."

How can you say that when Bush & company have caused so much damage?
For good or ill, who is President matters. Think about some of the decisions Bush has made and their impact on people's lives.

~~ Cynthia ~~ said...

I thought I said that in the "despite Bush" phrase -- he certainly has been a disaster and I certainly acknowledge it and despise him........
My point is, though -- maybe some presidents really don't matter -- they come, they go, they piddle around -- but maybe they don't matter, in the long run. I honestly hope that's the case with this next president because I don't see either of them being "presidential" material........

Anonymous said...

I tend to agree, but we need a change so badly, that I would vote for a pig's head on a pole before McCain--He will keep the same jerks in office. Bush has done great damage to the departments of government by putting in people based on political views and not their ability to do anything. These people have to go

Anonymous said...

I just read your posting.....and even though I am voting for Obama, I agree with you at least on the issue you wrote about. There is a decided disconnect when you see Palin and McCain together. I believe he only met her two times and the transparency of the choice is painfully obvious to everyone except the "gee golly this is so exciting" Republicans who were desperate for something different to wake up a boring VP choice. Kay Bailly Hutchinson would have been a more logical choice..but perhaps dear Kay wasn't a beauty pagent queen like Cindy or Sarah...or maybe she just didn't eat mooseburgers like NRA member Palin. Go figure.

annie kelleher said...

bravo, cyn. i couldn't agree with you more. i think she WAS chosen in just the way you describe; the "Git us a woman!!! we need us a woman!!!" "now we got us a woman!" mentality that oozes through the expressions - both verbal and facial - on high-ranking republicans, their strategists and their mouthpieces is just as despicable as if the reason they needed that woman was to service any other perceived male need.

Anonymous said...

Of curse she was chosen because she was a woman, and she was someone that did things as well, but gender is the root reason.
I like her, she is far more original than mccain, obama or biden, and to examine her through the mislead microscope slide of pro choice mantra, is a greater injustice to women than is choosing her because she is one. Watch her, she will be full of surprises.

Anonymous said...

I'd have posted this comment to your blog, but still refuse to sign up for a Google account:

From today's Washington Post, I learned:

1. McCain didn't just arbitrarily choose Palin just to have a woman as V.P. He met her last February at a Governor's conference and was impressed with her forthright and no-nonsense manner. He met with her at another point after that and was even more impressed. Apparently, he considers her a maverick, like himself.

2. He isn't impressed by Olympia Snow and Kay Bailey Hutchison.

3. He doesn't think the incident with the firing of Monegan, which may or may not have anything to do with his not firing her former brother-in-law, to be of any consequence.

4. Palin's husband isn't above wearing his wife's rank, as demonstrated by his contacting Monegan to discuss with him the former brother-in-law problem.

5. Palin likes to be presented with information in order to make her own conclusions, which she doesn't do quickly because she likes to think things through in order to look at the situation from all possible aspects.

6. People in Wasilla, who've known Palin almost her entire life, were more than somewhat surprised at her selection for Republican V.P.

7. Palin is known to be someone who knows what she wants and isn't afraid to work hard to get it.

8. Oh, yeah, there's a big storm brewing in the Gulf of Mexico, and the Bush administration, having learned its lesson from Katrina, is on top if it, so much so, Bush has already declared a state-of-emergency in the Gulf states, where people are still rebuilding, and, because of his concern, he won't be attending the Republican Convention so he can focus on ensuring the mistakes from last time won't be repeated, and because of the storm, McCain wants the Republican Convention to be lower key, and less flashy, because it just wouldn't be right for people who have lost their homes and belongings for the second time in three years to see all the excess at the convention (Like jobless people who are in foreclosure wouldn't be seeing it just like they saw it during the Democratic Convention.)

I'm thinking this big blow will provide many photo ops for our presidential and vice presidential candidates.

I'm a Republican who isn't impressed with any of the candidates. I think I'll swipe your security blanket and go hide under the stairs, if they haven't blown away in the storm (Hannah?), sucking my thumb.


Anonymous said...

The choice of Sarah means that McCain will look silly if he rails against Obama's lack of experience. I live in St. Louis and look forward to the vice presidential debate.

Just For Fun (with a guaranteed smile)