Thursday, July 24, 2008

Hillary: Now that the Dust Has (sort of) Settled

Even though the primaries are over, that doesn't mean the discussion (and activism) on the role of sexism in the campaigns, or the continuing role of women in politics or the media is done... so don't turn off the monitors yet. Here's a roundup of what we should still be talking about (a number of these are taken from the awesome WMC Daily News Brief):

Sexism Against Clinton: 'Sharp Reality in Media'
A group of women, including Rep. Carolyn Maloney (D.-N.Y.) and Rep. K. Granger (R-Tex), got together to discuss the effects of Clinton's campaign. Maloney argued that Clinton's campaign had made it "more likely a woman will be elected commander in chief." Another panelist noted that the campaign served as consciousness-raising for American women: “I think it was a wake-up call for a lot of women to say ‘Gee, I had no idea there was that much blatant misogyny out there.’ And that not only the media moguls but the American public tolerated it.” Katie Couric has been making a number of statements about sexism in the media as well.

A (Female) VP Candidate by Any Other Name?
This, I must say, I just don't get. Seemingly similar to the "We won't vote for Obama" statements made by Hillary supporters during the primaries--now some former Hillary supporters are up in arms over the idea that Obama could choose a woman VP who isn't Hillary. One such supporter suggested that "Clinton's loss has deflated activist zeal for making history with another woman."

Here are a few reasons from former John Edwards advisor, Kate Michelman, why that activist zeal shouldn't be lost: Each possible candidate, including Missouri Sen. Claire McCaskill, Arizona Gov. Janet Napolitano and Kansas Gov. Kathleen Sebelius, "would be 'outstanding' as vice president because each supports abortion rights as well as a range of other issues of particular concern to women, such as pay parity, universal quality day care and economic support for mothers." [my emphasis]

The New York Times also reported on a potential backlash among former Hillary supporters on Sunday. Meanwhile House Speaker Nancy Pelosi has told everyone to cool their jets, noting that, "None of us can afford the luxury of 'my candidate doesn't win the nomination' or 'my candidate wasn't chosen as vice president, I'm taking my marbles and going home.'" Here here.

Taking a Page from the Al Gore Post-Game Playbook
Am I being too hopeful in thinking that Hillary might now use her energies post-primary-loss to become an outspoken campaigner on behalf of women's reproductive rights...?


Cross-posted at Transitioning.


alexsteed said...

Perhaps the best place for her to do this is in, oh, I don't know, the Supreme Court? No? Is there a Draft Hillary for SCJ movement in the works?

urbanartiste said...

I would be just as happy with Obama picking another woman for the V.P. slot, especially over a man. However, part of my gut feeling is betrayed if he were to pick another women over Hillary. I question why do I feel this way? The only answer I can come up with is that, although Hillary chose to run, she is the choice candidate for millions of women who voted for her. And in turn has become the icon of feminism in today's mysoginistic society. She is women's choice for a candidate and the democratic party pretty much kicked her out the door. So if Obama picks another woman it is like the dems telling me they know what is best for women. Of course I fully understand how the Obama camp is annoyed to be pressured to even pick a woman, but that is due to the fact that around 52% of the population are women. I think we have had enough of Bush telling women he knows what is best, so for the dems to follow suit is just bad.

There was a lot of bitterness between Obama and Clinton, but for the Obama camp to continue it with the resentment of how popular or powerful Hillary will be a bonus for the republicans.

Kristen said...

Part of what bothers me about the "betrayal of Hillary" sentiment, is that we quite honestly don't know her end of the deal. It is possible that she, in the end, will not want to be VP. I also wouldn't say that she is "women's choice" for presidential candidate--as she wasn't mine. I am of course fully behind the "choose a woman for VP" movement (be it Clinton, McCaskill, Napolitano, or Sebelius), but it does look like Obama is considering some very worthy female contenders (though of course this may just be media flappery at the moment-- let's hope he actually follows through). But just because three of these women weren't in a position to run against him in '08, doesn't mean they shouldn't be given full support now.

Also, alexsteed, I would be thrilled to see a bad ass Hillary on the Supreme Court.

urbanartiste said...

I think putting Hillary on the Supreme Courty is not the greatest idea. Plus, I think getting her confirmed will be difficult. The only name that keeps coming up strongly for V.P. is Evan Bey and so far the reasoning for it beyond foreign policy experience and economic issues make me irate. Some media has said the image combination of the Obama family and the Bey family make for the ideal American ticket.

I have been listening to Obama's speech in Germany and the media reporting and can say it does make me proud to have a diverse individual running for President. I must disagree that Bey would add to that image. A black man and woman on the same ticket really sends a great message of equality and justice.