with Sara and Veronica
We're two moms with different backgrounds, jobs and points of view, writing about our opinions on the political and social issues affecting working moms. We'll also keep our eye on the media and the celebrity mom world to highlight issues that are relevant to your life.
Check out our personal blogs: Veronica's Blog and Sara's Blog
Last night I attended a lecture put on by the Jewish United Fund of Chicago that focused primarily on next week’s important presidential election. After giving a brief overview of both McCain and Obama’s political stances, the speaker turned her attention to Hillary Clinton, who she said, paved the way for one of the most exciting election seasons in recent memory.
I second that motion.
The speaker, Julia Strauss of Northwestern, pointed out two key components of Hillary’s run for president that changed the campaign, and perhaps politics for years to come.
First, without Hillary would there even be Sarah Palin? I think most pundits would agree that part of the rationale for McCain’s choice of Palin as VP is to get the Hillary vote. This is not a novel concept, but as we look back at the 2008 election, are we giving Hillary enough credit for putting into our brain that a woman should be on this year’s ticket no matter the party?
As we discussed last night, everyone is so focused on the race issue this year that we’re forgetting about the sex issue. Racism becomes a political issue, but a candidate’s sex becomes a fashion and emotional issue. If we only remember one thing about Hillary getting into the mix and putting herself out there as a presidential candidate, it’s to remember that we should evaluate our candidates outside of their race AND gender. I know I’m speaking to the choir, but I’m trying to remind myself as well.
Second, without Hillary’s drive and focus, would this election have been even as remotely exciting as it was? I suppose another male candidate could have given Obama an equal run for his money, but there’s something about Hillary’s appeal as a woman to other women as well as the media’s effort to highlight this appeal (and repulsion) that I believe kept the primary season going for as long as it did. Would the media and audiences have had as much fodder or reason to perpetuate the election drama if the candidate was just another old white dude? I think not.
I’m no political pundit, but I think that if Hillary was a man, the shape of politics in 2008 would be a completely different story. And I hope her legacy as a hard-fighting woman will continue to shape election seasons for years to come.
Readers, what do you think? What did Hillary do for you this election season?
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