(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 USAtrivia.com, 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.