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Successful businesswoman, consultant, entrepreneur. I operate two businesses -- social media consulting, AND premium pet care services in the West San Fernando Valley. Love what I do, love life.

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Friday, September 05, 2008

What is McCain doing? Why, oh why Sarah Palin?

As a 49 year old woman, who climbed the corporate ladder, bumped my head against the glass ceiling many times and ultimately found a happy and successful career managing an operation quite a bit larger than the city of Wasalia, I have a lot to say about McCain's choice of Sarah Palin and a bit about the Republican Party.

I won't say it all, because I can literally go on for hours, and, frankly, I find the whole thing pretty interesting and fun just in terms of entertainment value (see this Huffington Post article from earlier in the week). There are a couple of items I am compelled to point out, even though they have been talked about in other media circles. (Great article by Gloria Steinem that has engendered a big response, btw.)

1) Executive experience. 75% of small business owners have more experience running businesses than many, many of our country's politicians. Who wouldn't want someone with P&L, multi-million dollar budgeting and large staff management and maybe some international business activity to bring that experience to the table. Heck. I have that. 20 years of it. Oh...and I've travelled to many, many countries and experienced diverse cultures so far. I have had a passport since I was a little child. And I speak French, a smattering of Spanish, and horrible Italian. Guess I could run...I've got the portfolio for it. And I'm a woman.
2) Foreign and national policy. The US is the mightiest consumer force in the world (or at least will be until China overtakes us in the near future.) With that might comes a tremendous responsibility to know and understand the nuances of our national stand against foreign issues and to be able to handle the pressure of making decisions that will ultimately affect the entire world. Palin does NOT have that experience. And no common sense, maverick (??) spirit, or spunk can make up for that lack of experience. Joe Biden does. A lot of it. Enough to support Obama through the in's and out's of foreign decision-making.

3) Representative of women. Not of me. That is for sure. I do not support the NRA. I believe in a woman's right to control her decisions and her body. Women fought long and hard to take the steps forward that I see embodied in Hillary Clinton's policies and career choices. There is no question that Palin has followed a fantastic career path, but there are many, many fine women Republicans who would have made much better VP candidates in terms of what they would have brought to the table as a potential president. I would not have faith in Palin's decision-making abilities if she had to take over the Presidency. Up until now, I had believed that I would use my voting right to support a female candidate regardless of party affiliation, because it would further women's advancement through the old boy's network. I could not vote for her because what she believes in overall is counter to my general belief system and that does not promote what I believe are women's rights. That fills me with sadness over a lost opportunity.

4) Representative mix: Did you watch the Republican Convention? Did you see any people of color? I counted. I saw 2 black men and 1 black male security guard, 1 black woman, and one latino male. That's it. It was a very white convention and if I were a black or latino Republican I'd have been a bit worried and a lot insulted.

5) What are the real reasons for choosing Sarah Palin? That is really what everyone is talking about. I'd also like to share another terrific article from Cryo Kid that takes an interesting look at exactly that question. I'll give you a hint. Russia. Alaska.


Neal said...

Excellent post. What is John McCain doing? Because he cannot run and win successfully on issues, he is running on personalities. Sarah is the personality he doesn't have. It's an old Karl Rove trick -- it's how George Bush got forced on us by the Supremem Court. Everybody "related" to George Bush, as I remember. Disgusting, pathetic and sad.

thebaglady said...

I found your point about the Republican convention being mostly white kind of funny. Newsflash, American IS mostly white. See census data here: http://quickfacts.census.gov/qfd/states/00000.html

I am Asian, and I know I am a minority even though I live in a place with quite a bit of Asians. Most ethnic minorities live in just several states of the country so if you take delegates from all 50 states, you will have mostly white people. That is just the ethnic makeup of American. Was the Democratic convention any less white?

Cynthia Samuels said...

Well, well said; and great reminder that there are so many better ways to get that "management experience" and plenty of women who have it -- including, I might add McCain supporters Carly Fiorina and Meg Whitman! Great points well-made WJ.

MaryContrary said...

A couple of the local tv stations (meaning Chicago, of course, since Northwest Indiana doesn't have any) went to great lengths to find black delegates to interview. Those they found were very young and seemingly have the same view of the Civil Rights Movement that one of the first female Rhodes scholars had of the Women's Movement: it's ancient history and I am where I am entirely because of my own talent (or drive, or intelligence, etc.). I did not watch a lot of either convention and so don't have any opinion of the representation of any group. I did note that almost all of the interviews with Republican delegates by the national talking heads were with white delegates.

Janet Wendy, founder, Gen Plus said...

BagLady: I have absolute respect for your different opinion and appreciate you taking the time to comment. To answer your comment, yes, the Democratic convention was markedly different in demographic makeup -- including a black presidential nominee. If our US population has 12% black population (per your 2006 census link), there was not even a 10% black representation at the Republican convention, by my untrained eye.

Cindy: 2 very good examples of qualified Republican women. Thank you!

MaryContrary: What an excellent point. Boomers are outraged because we fought for women's advancement and because several generations championed the rights of minorities. I have a black female friend who grew up having to sit at the back of the bus and not being able to go into a "White Only" deli. (She eventually moved North and West.) She certainly pulled herself to success through great determination, but there is no question that she had to fight all the way.

How interesting that some young'uns don't see their gains as a result from the efforts of Suffragettes to the Women's Movement OR the Civil Rights Movement. How is that possible? Are memories that short? Or is it a lack of education?

thebaglady said...

Listen, all of you probably have no idea what it is like to be a minority. These days you do have to prove that you achieved success by your own talent and drive and not through affirmative action because that extra help devalues your achievement. Even Clarence Thomas said that his law degree was devalued because people believe he got into the school by affirmative action.

Anyway, another point is that just because the Republican convention is mostly white, it doesn't mean that they don't accept minorities. If you flip back in the history books a bit more you'll find that the Republicans freed the slaves. Abraham Lincoln is a proud Republican. Sure, you can argue that the party is different now, but you can't just plainly say that because they are white and Republican they are anti-minorities . There are good and bad people in every party, and you can't judge people by their skin color.

thebaglady said...

Another point since you mentioned the Civil Rights movement. I am 25 and an immigrant and I fully understand that the Civil Rights movement benefited all minorities including Asians, and guess what? Martin Luther King Jr. was a Republican, too. Republicans have historically fought for those who lacked freedom, but no one seems to remember. Perhaps it's a lack of education?

Anonymous said...

This blog deserves one big YAWN!!! Seriously, you are a liberal democrat and you seem to support banning guns and killing of unborn babies. Which is fine, those are your ideals, but do you really think that you would support nearly any republican candidate? Sorry that you do not support Palin, but please at least be reasonable.

I, always laugh about the double standard. According to you, Palin does not have enough experience compared to Biden. Yet you think Biden can, teach Obama, funny thing is even Biden himself has said that the job of President does not lend it self very well to on the job training. Anyway, I assume your point is that Palin is incapable of learning anything?

Well, I, for one, am happy to see that you are not willing to jump ship and abandon your values just to support a woman. So kudos for that.

thebaglady said...

Here is some more history on the the party you believe fought for Civil Rights : http://brianakira.wordpress.com/2008/02/10/the-kkk-wing-of-the-us-democrat-party/

A democrat founded the KKK. George Wallace - a democrat was famous for being pro-segregation and stood in the door of the schoolhouse preventing black kids from entering it.

Sure, they have a half black presidential nominee now, but guess what, Democrats are 38% more likely to not vote for their own candidate when their candidate is black. See this study here: http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2006/04/13/AR2006041301776.html

In comparison, Republicans are only 25% more likely to not vote for their own candidate when he or she is black.

So with these facts, I think it's funny that you believe the Democratic party is more progressive and less racist than the Republican party. The Democrats were blatantly racist for hundreds of years.

Janet Wendy, founder, Gen Plus said...

If you've been watching Larry King, MSNBC or CNN coverage, then there is nothing out of line with the questions I'm raising. I'm questioning the same things many Americans are questioning. We just have some very different opinions here about what our expectation is of the VP and Presidential candidates.