In less than five months, our country will elect another president. While each side has done its best to create a buzz while beating the other side up, perhaps nothing has gained more attention than the war on women. And that’s a good thing. It’s about time. There is a war on women.
However, as I have watched the Democrats attack Republicans this time around, I couldn’t help but be reminded of the last election cycle, when the democrats waged their own war on women. In fact, I believe it was one of the worst wars on women any election has ever seen.
Even though it may now seem like lifetimes away, it was just four years ago that Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton were engaged in a knock-down, drag-’em-out brawl for the Democratic nomination. After eight years of Bush, which started with two horrible wars and ended with an economy in turmoil, it was time for a change. There was no way another Republican would be elected. Not even the hero, John McCain, could change that. In fact, he ended up looking old and outdated. The path to the White House was clear for almost any candidate with a D next to his or her name.
Back then, with the road to the White House wide open, the Democrats knew as long as they didn’t nominate John Edwards they were a shoe-in to be the next occupiers of the Oval Office. With only Hillary and Barack left standing, it was almost a fait accompli that Hillary would be the next president.
In the end, somehow, the long-shot senator from Chicago beat out another senator who just happened to be the wife of one of the most popular presidents in history. To this day I still wonder how that happened. But I don’t wonder if a victory for Hillary would have been a victory for women in America and around the world. It would have.
But it was not to be. The Democratic party left the bride at the altar and used the dowry to run away with the groom. It was amazing to watch it happen. One after another, the male movers and shakers of the Democratic party got behind Obama. Like rats, they treated Hillary like she was a sinking ship.
They all swam for safety and piled on the back amidst the excitement swirling about the kid with the Kenyan connection. Senators and statesmen were lining up unabashedly. There was no loyalty. Al Gore jumped ship for Barack. John Kerry, the other loser, did too. The lion of the Senate, Teddy Kennedy, climbed on the Barack bandwagon and left Hillary like a sinking car in the shallows of Martha’s Vineyard. Even Bill Richardson, the former governor of New Mexico, who was appointed by Hillary’s husband to a cabinet post as Secretary of Energy, endorsed Obama. And with them, the men took their super delegate votes to Barack Obama. Subsequently, Hillary was voted off the island by the rest of the boys.
Hillary had the experience. She was more qualified. She even showed her loyalty to the party by not kicking Bill to the curb following the Lewinsky affair. Nonetheless, she was discarded by the Democrats in favor of a man who had hardly served in the Senate before he began running for president. Was it because she was a woman?
Maybe I shouldn’t even wonder. These days, when it comes to the highest levels of women in political office, the support seems to come from the right. We have no further to go than four years ago when John McCain picked Sarah Palin as his running mate. It’s been nearly three decades since the Democrats put Geraldine Ferraro on the ticket with Fritz Mondale. Let’s face it, with McCain’s poor health and old age, if he was elected there was a 50-50 chance that he would die while in office. Palin would have become the first female leader of the free world. Imagine Palin as the first female president of the United States. No wonder the Democrats tore her to pieces.
After the Oval Office, because governors are akin to being the presidents of their states, we need only look at governors to see how women are faring when it comes to holding the highest offices in the land. If you look over the history of female governors in this country, it has gone from decidedly Democrat, to a bit of both, to really Republican.
Currently, it is clear that conservative states support female governors the most. Over the last decade headline grabbers like Palin, Jan Brewer and Nikki Halley have all been elected governor in left-leaning states like Alaska, Arizona and South Carolina. We also can’t forget it was Texas that elected Democrat Ann Richards to its top spot, too. Yet liberal-leading states like California and Massachusetts have never elected a female governor.
In California, the left coasters have never had a female governor but the Golden State has sent Republican men like Ronald Reagan and Arnold Schwarzenegger to the capital in Sacramento. They even rolled out Democrat Jerry Brown last election to take Arnold’s spot. That old hippy was governor of Cali back in the 1970s. Surely there is a woman in California who could have contended against the reckless record of the governator.
And in the beautiful Bay State it’s not much better. Like its liberal cousin in Cali, Massachusetts has never elected a female governor. Sure, Massachusetts has had a female governor, but she was not elected. It was Jane Swift who moved from lieutenant governor to governor only after Paul Celluci retired. But here’s the rub to all the Bay State liberals: Jane Swift was a Republican.
Perhaps most telling about women and public office in America is the highest a woman has ever ascended in U.S. politics. It was Nancy Pelosi who became Speaker of the House. But she only achieved that office while under a Republican Bush.
Sure, the Democrats may be the party that is more in touch with female voters. But when it comes to breaking that glass ceiling in the governor’s mansion or the White House, the Democrats now seem to be blocking the way.
I’m not saying the Republicans aren’t waging a war on women as well. They are. But the Republicans seem to be fighting more on the legislative level, unlike the Democrats who are battling at the executive level.
There is a war on women and the attacks are coming from both sides. While the right constantly keeps delivering body blows, the left isn’t afraid to slip in a few face shots as well.
Contact Jeremy at firstname.lastname@example.org.