Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Women In Politics Have To Do It Better And Smarter In The Future

Even though we are in the final stretch of presidential election season, I am still sad that there will be no woman president this time around. It was exciting when Senator Hillary Clinton of NY ran for the Democratic nomination against Senator Barack Obama of Illinois. I remember being excited before the first televised debate between Clinton, Obama, and Edwards. By the end of the debate, my high expectations were dashed. I still admire the Senator from New York immensely... I remember how calm and collected Clinton was back in 2000, when she ran for Senate against Rick Lazio. She blew her opponent away with her determination to focus on the issues, while Lazio resorted to aggressive tactics that reeked of sexism and personal insecurity. I wanted to see those same admirable qualities in her debates against Obama. Instead, I was disappointed by her lackluster performance, due mostly to the Illinois senator’s charisma and strong showing in the polls. Even though the race was close for months after this debate, I knew in my heart that Clinton would not be the Democratic candidate for president.

It is like the Wild West during contentious political campaigns, and we still haven’t seen enough women taking on prominent roles in the showdowns that often erupt in the media and on the campaign trail. In 2004, The Women’s Mosaic hosted a unique panel called "Politics Schmolitics!" which featured some fascinating politically active women, and I believe that we need more them to make significant impacts on the political battlegrounds in this country. Valerie Kennedy, an attorney, lobbyist, political consultant, and legislative counsel for Congressman Tim Valentine from North Carolina, made the greatest impact on me during the event when she said that it was "the lack of mentoring and promoting women that is the greatest challenge in politics." Four years later, these words still ring true. Even though we are the majority in this country, we have to organize and support each other much more, especially when navigating the shark-infested political waters in all levels of government.

The next woman to wage a successful presidential campaign will have to appeal to the masses, be cool under fire, and have a diverse and dynamic understanding of domestic and international policies. Clinton fell short on appeal in her campaign, and Governor Sarah Palin of Alaska just doesn’t fit the bill. These two prominent female characters of the 2008 U.S. Presidential Election season will hopefully inspire aspiring women politicians to do it better and smarter in the future.

What qualities do you think a woman should possess if she is to become President of the United States? Should she be held to different standards because of gender?



I agree completely. I really liked Valerie Kennedy's quote: "the lack of mentoring and promoting women that is the greatest challenge in politics" - so sad, but so true. Great post! :)

Anonymous said...

I like ur article. I cannt make any comment on how Hillary campaigned against Obama since I wasnt there to watch it. But yes, Hillary and Palin have paved the path for other aspiring women to come up.

Anonymous said...

I think that HRC provided an excellent role model. I was not a fan of hers when she was running against Obama but I will never forget her speech at the Democratic Convention. That absolutely blew me away. It was the fist time I saw something Presidential in her. It is just too bad that it came so late.

As for Palin she is an example of what not to do when running for office. She has resorted racism time and time again and I could not be more disgusted with a politician.

Starving Writer said...

I agree with Valerie Kennedy's quote. It's a shame that in the 21st century people still have this attitude towards women. Unfortunately, it's not just in politics where this bias exists. Great post.

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