What if you were a VEEP candidate?

In reading the reaction to John McCain's VP choice--much of it quite sexist, in my opinion--I was struck by the boundaries the media is willing to cross when the candidate is a woman. And, the double standard.

Of course, I wonder about the qualifications of a self-professed "hockey mom," a heartbeat away from the presidency with the world's largest nuclear load under her command. But the jokes about her go-go boots and mini-skirts (hello, who didn't commit fashion crimes in the '80s?) are frankly chauvinistic. Isn't that what post-feminism has been about? To wear lipstick or knit or display a well-turned ankle without being smacked down by men, society or other women?

Who among us could withstand the kind of scrutiny female candidates receive? I was joking this weekend about how I would survive such scrutiny. 

A scene from the McLaughlin Group:

"The candidate has a master's degree...in creative writing!" Pat Buchanan collapses in laughter, rolling on the floor kicking his legs.

"Yes, but her grades were stellar and she has executive experience."--Eleanor Clift.

"As president of the Colorado Authors' League!" interrupts Monica Crowley. "This qualifies her to lead the war on terror?"

"I see a lot of positives with this choice," observes Clarence Page. "She's from a swing state..."

"With 8 electoral votes," Buchanan still giggling interjects.

"Let me finish," Page says. "She's from a swing state. She's been a terrific advocate for higher education access, the environment, women's rights."

Crowley: "She'll alienate the religious right. I'm also not sure the core can accept her inter-faith marriage."

Eleanor Clift: "She's a crackerjack writer."

Buchanan: "But have you heard her speak? She can't think on her feet. Slow as molasses in January.

Clift: "She just needs to get through the debate."

Crowley: "Well, there are all the rumors, too."

McLaughlin: "Oh, for goodness sake."

Crowley: "They say she's a knitter. Do you know they say she has six bins of yarn in her basement?"

Clift: "She has every right to knit. It's supposed to be very calming."

Buchanan: "I don't think we want a candidate knitting like Madame Defarge when our troops are going into harm's way."

McLaughlin: "My prediction: She'll take the knitter vote. Bye bye."

Comments (3) -

September 2. 2008 14:48


I especially like the Madame LaFarge bit. (LaFarge, DuFarge?)The click of the needles while the bombs explode would make good television.  Split-screen, of course.

Susan |

September 3. 2008 13:40


Drives you nuts, doesn't it? I've heard folks say: "She's young and inexperienced. If something happens to McCain, what would that leave us?"

and my answer is: someone with more governing experience than the democratic presidential candidate.

Now, mind you, I am a democrat and the republican vp choice doesn't move me over  but i'm more than fed up with the blatant sexism.

beverly |

September 4. 2008 08:06

Deborah Robson

Good to find you again. With all my computer woes (how does one spell meshugeh computer in English?), I knew Bloglines had quit picking up your blog but hadn't had any brain cells to come find you. Yay! I've accomplished something!

I'm with the knitter vote.

Deborah Robson |

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