If McCain had thought that playing the ‘gender card’ would benefit his campaign, he was wrong. What made Hillary Clinton a dependable and ideal candidate was not the fact that she was a woman. Merely glimpsing at her political track record, one can see that she has had significant exposure to the national political scene — both in the White House and representing New York in the Senate. Palin, on the other hand, is not only a poor choice for a candidate, she is also a poor representation of the 21st century woman.
That being said, Palin doesn’t deserve all the slanders she’s receiving, and claims like her inability to juggle a political career and a family are uncalled for. Such remarks are sexist and would not ever be considered had Palin been a man and head of the family. However, as I asserted previously, if McCain had only chosen Palin for the fact that she’s a woman, it was a poor choice indeed.
Palin is no means a substitute for Clinton. The only trait the two women share is that Palin also lacks the genetic property of a Y chromosome. Though some may be surprised to find Gloria Steinem, an avid feminist, vehemently opposing Palin, Steinem’s claims are not against Palin for what she represents but rather for Palin’s incompetence as a candidate for VP and for her stance on the issues. Palin has zero foreign policy experience, her title ‘tax cutter’ is patently absurd considering that Alaska has no sales tax, deriving much of its revenue from oil profits. Furthermore, Steinem puts forth the claim that Palin is more of a ‘show horse’ than a ‘work horse.’
From what I’ve seen of Palin, the two mantras that I associate with her are ‘vote for a hockey mom’ and ‘abstinence-only.’ The witty asides she delivers (like “the only difference between a hockey mom and a pitbull is lipstick”) only demean what it means to be a woman. I think that women who juggle having a career and a family do indeed face challenges on a day-to-day basis. I, however, don’t believe that being able to do this automatically makes Palin capable of juggling serving the United States of America and a family. Just because Clinton can do it doesn’t mean Palin can too.
The repeated emphasis on Palin’s domesticity and easy maternal smile only irks me. The contrast between Palin and Clinton could not be any more stark — painting Clinton as a frigid she-wolf and Palin as Betty Crocker seems to be McCain’s tactic. The question is, can Betty Crocker really run the United States of America?
The recent economic crisis only makes me more wary of Palin. In the span of a week, Lehman Brothers has filed for bankruptcy, Merrill Lynch has thrown in the towel by agreeing to be bought by Bank of America and even AIG, one of the biggest insurance companies in America, only exists today because of an $85 billion government bailout.
What does Palin have to say to all this besides that it’s a ‘mess’ and just ‘needs some shakin’ up and fixin’? Well, Palin, you better be ready to do some ‘shakin’ up’ and ‘fixin’ yourself. Considering that this is the same woman who admitted that the Iraq War is not one of her priorities, I think that America needs to brace itself for some ‘shakin’ up’ of its own. Now let’s just cross our fingers and hope that the Wall Street debacle is not a metaphor for the fate of our nation under a McCain/Palin administration.
Maggie Liu is a member of the Class of 2012.