Well, what if McCain does select a woman as his running mate? Personally, I think it would be the death knell for the Democratic campaign, based of course on the assumption that his selection is a good one and can stand up to campaign scrutiny.
I've heard the same point made by quite a few of my veteran friends - male veterans - and if you can convince that crowd, I think the American voter is more than ready for a woman in one of the top executive posts.
There are at least two Republican women, and one business Chief Executive Officer whose names have been mentioned as possible VP selections, but the MainStream Media, well, actually, all the media, have given them short shrift.
They are Texas Senator Kay Bailey Hutchison, Alaska Governor Sarah Palin, and former eBay Ceo Meg Whitman.
All are pragmatic, accomplished leaders who have set firsts with their elections and careers. They have shown they have a tremendous grasp of the issues, aren't afraid to step up when the going gets tough, and all could step into the president's role should anything happen to McCain.
On a purely political level they also would certainly draw large numbers of Democratic women voters to the GOP in response to Barack Obama's disrespectful treatment of Hillary Clinton. Then there's the stage-managed sham called the Democratic Convention that was engineered to cloak the closeness of the Democratic race between Obama and Clinton.
But there is another issue that should be addressed regarding the Republican Party and its relationship to the voters. An esteemed colleague spoke with me about this issue just this morning and I have learned to heed her advice.
The fact is, she said, the GOP looks old, stodgy, stuck in its ways. Even though Obama has close relationships with a convicted felon, and an anarchist with a history of bombing the US Capitol, the mainstream media has made sure that most Americans don't know this unless they are Internet savvy.
Thus Obama comes across as young, fresh and energetic, even though he is simply another political hack, produced by the Chicago Democratic political machine operated by the Daley family for decades. It helps the GOP somewhat that he selected Joe Biden as his running mate, another Democratic politician who hid out in college and law school during the Vietnam War, but now acts like a bad ass.
Biden's just another career Washington insider with a lot to answer for regarding his relationships with lobbyists, not to mention taking credit for other people's work.
But that still doesn't alter the fact that many people don't take time to really study a candidate's background before deciding who they will support. Unless the opposing campaign can get sufficiently detailed, yet sufficiently brief, materials into voters hands with a reasonable assurance they will be read, it is difficult to offset the duplicity of the media.
So let's take a minute to look at our Republican women and see what they have to offer.
KAY BAILEY HUTCHISON
Hutchison was first elected to the US Senate in 1993 in a special election, making her the first woman Senator from Texas. In 1994 she was re-elected to a full six-year term.
In 2000, Hutchison received more votes for her re-election to a second full term than any other statewide candidate had ever received. Voters overwhelmingly returned her to office in 2006.
In the Senate she was elected as chairman of the Republican Policy Committee, making her the fourth-highest ranking Republican senator and the highest ranking Republican woman. Hutchison also serves on the Republican National Hispanic Assembly (RNHA) National Advisory Committee.
She is former Chairman and now Ranking Member of the Appropriations Subcommittee on Military Construction and Veterans Affairs, and is a member of the Appropriations Subcommittee on Defense.
On immigration she supported funding for an additional 1,500 Border Patrol agents to strengthen enforcement of immigration laws. In 2004, she helped pass the National Intelligence Reform Act, which included provisions she authored to ensure greater screening of air cargo.
Senator Hutchison's great-great-grandfather, Charles S. Taylor, was friends with Thomas Rusk of Nacogdoches, the first Texan to hold the Senate seat she currently occupies. Taylor and Rusk both signed the Texas Declaration of Independence.
Senator Hutchison graduated from the University of Texas and UT Law School. She was twice elected to the Texas House of Representatives and in 1990, she was elected Texas State Treasurer.
Sarah Palin made history on Dec. 4, 2006, when she took office as the 11th governor of Alaska, the first woman to hold the office.
Since taking office, her top priorities have been resource development, education and workforce development, public health and safety, and transportation and infrastructure development.
She created Alaska's Petroleum Systems Integrity Office and created a Climate Change Subcabinet office to prepare a climate change strategy for Alaska.
Governor Palin is chair of the Interstate Oil and Gas Compact Commission and was recently named chair of the National Governors Association (NGA) Natural Resources Committee. She has served as chair of the Alaska Conservation Commission, and as president of the Alaska Conference of Mayors.
Palin has lived in Alaska since 1964. She earned a Bachelor of Science degree in communications-journalism at the University of Idaho in 1987.
Margaret Cushing Whitman, known as "Meg" was President and CEO of eBay from March 1998 to March 2008. She also has worked in politics and is known to have political aspirations of her own.
Forbes magazine estimated her worth at $1.4 billion in 2007. She is one of only seven women to have been repeatedly ranked among the world's most influential people by Time magazine.
Whitman was born in Long Island, N.Y., and attended Cold Spring Harbor High School in Cold Spring Harbor, New York. She earned her Bachelor of Economics from Princeton University and her MBA from Harvard Business School in 1979.
Prior to eBay Whitman was in charge of global management and marketing of Playskool and Mr. Potato Head at Hasbro Inc. She also was president and CEO of Florists Transworld Delivery (FTD), and was an executive at the Stride Rite Corporation and the Walt Disney Company.
Whitman was a supporter of former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney's presidential campaign, and after Romney left the race, Whitman joined McCain's campaign as a national co-chair.
Now, when we consider a vice-presidential nominee, one of the things we have to determine is whether they will be able to fill the president's shoes in a national emergency and can they be an effective commander-in-chief?
I'd say that any lady who grew up in Texas, is a descendant of one of the founders of the state, and set a number of firsts in a previously all-male environment such as Kay Bailey Hutchison can probably handle the role. Anyone who can stand tall in corporate America and succeed as Meg Whitman has should not have a problem in D.C.
And, Sarah Palin, who grew up in a state as remote and wild as Alaska, and also set firsts through her election, certainly should be able to look Vladimir Putin dead in the eye and not blink. Palin likes the outdoors, runs marathons and enjoys hunting and fishing. But there is a better barometer of the strength of her backbone.
When the federal government announced it was going to enact regulations declaring the polar bear, which has a growing population, as endangered due to some unproven and futuristic claims about global warming, Palin filed a lawsuit telling the feds to back off.
Oh, and Governor Palin is a lifetime member of the National Rifle Association. Yeah, she can handle Putin.
I don't know what is in John McCain's mind regarding his vice presidential choice. But the Republican Party is light years behind the Democrats who first put Geraldine Ferraro up for the post in 1984.
Women have been showing they can handle leadership posts around the world for centuries, but still haven't broken the glass ceiling in presidential politics here in the good old US of A. I believe it is high time that we stop being a stodgy old, "we do it this way because we've always done it this way" party and stop conceding that portion of the battlefield to the Dems.
We are falsely portrayed as not accessible to younger voters, many of whom are agree with our basic tenets of smaller government, less regulation and lower taxes. We also haven't done much to show the female voters that we really do believe in what we preach - equality.
John McCain projects a certain image. It is what he is. Some believe it is an image of knowledge and strength while others will try to make his age a negative issue.
We don't need two John McCain's on the same ticket - he is certainly capable of carrying his own share of the load.
But imagine what it would do, not just image-wise but in reality, for our party, and certainly for our presidential campaign team, if McCain was standing side-by-side with a Senator like Kay Bailey Hutchison, a Governor like Sarah Palin, or a CEO like Meg Whitman as his running mate and vice-presidential nominee.
Thursday, August 28, 2008