Tongue in cheek, my grandmother recently queried my mother about whether she was qualified to be vice president. My grandmother's point? While Sarah Palin was mayor of a town of 6,000, my grandmother was on the board of selectman* of a town of 16,000. So...Wouldn't that make her more qualified? (Gram for president!)
Being serious about the Governor Palin's VP nomination, though, I think what this situation really illustrates is a problem of pipeline. When the GOP sat down to pick a female running mate for Senator John McCain, it seems like they faced some pretty slim pickings (or just failed horribly in the vetting process). While I'm glad to see women moving into the upper ranks of political field, I'm still disappointed by the very limited number of women who are poised to move into executive office. As Emily's List and the White House Project have been saying for years, it's important to get more women into the political pipeline. But even with the efforts of groups like the Barbara Lee Family Foundation, a robust pool of prospective female politicians primed to step into major state and national executive roles is lacking. In the United States, the percentage of women holding elected office seems to hover in the teens. And when you look at the numbers for women of color holding elected positions...
Let's just say we have a long way to go.
And, while I am no Palin-supporter (while we both share certain sex traits, our stances on sex-ed, reproductive choice, family "values," equal pay, and other issues are just too different for us to be in the same sisterhood this election season), the sexist coverage of her vice presidential nomination is a good illustration of just how long of a way we have to go. (I mean, VPILF, seriously? Seriously???)
I would really like to see a woman in the White House - sitting at the desk in the Oval Office, that is - in my lifetime. And I want to encourage all you to get involved in getting women into elected office - nominate your friends or nominate yourself! Because Sarah Palin** and Hillary Clinton*** are not enough...
*Board of selectman are like town councils - but New England style.
**As I said before, I am not a fan of her politics.
***I am a Hillary supporter voting for Obama. I heart Hillary - and I'm pretty proud of Barack, too.
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