Tuesday, November 18, 2008

LIttle Girls Can be Secretary of State Someday

I'm happy that Hillary might have a position in Obama's cabinet. I think she sets a great example of a woman who banged her head against the glass ceiling and didn't even stop to say ouch.

But I couldn't sleep this morning so I turned on CNN and saw this:

OBAMA MEETS WITH MCCAIN

and the voiceover said something like

"This was very awkward, so they did what guys do. They talked about football."

Yeeaarrrggggghhhhhh. I'm sure I have at least one girlfriend who really loves football, but I still hate it.

And then they cut to a clip of Henry Kissinger saying that Hillary would be an outstanding Secretary of State.

I couldn't help wondering if that was in the usual vein of "Of course you can do this, little lady."

It really does bother me that this seems to be viewed as the highest that women or minorities are allowed to go in US government.

Is it really a coincidence? If faced with a choice, to have a Team of Rivals (and frankly, I'm pretty tired of Doris Kearns Goodwin), was SoS really the only job they could think of for her?

And yes, I think it's funny that probably the best reason she's qualified for the job is... her time as First Lady. Everyone remembers those pictures of Hillary and Chelsea trotting the globe, getting off planes and sitting on top of camels.

In the early days, lots of SoSes went on to become President. But nobody suggested Hillary for the slot until she said there was basically no chance that she would ever run for President again.

(Oh, phew. Can't have that, can we. Especially not if she were, you know, even more qualified than before. )

I guess I should be happy that Hillary already broke the record of running at all and getting so close. When I was a kid, I thought Geraldine Ferraro was breaking barriers. Apparently not really, because no woman has made it up as high in all the years since she ran until this year.

More recently I heard some pundit say Geraldine Ferraro was never a serious candidate anyway, and compared her to Sarah Palin. I thought that was a bit unfair, but looking back, I really wouldn't know. I was just an idealistic kid.

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7 Comments:

At 12:12 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

'And then they cut to a clip of Henry Kissinger saying that Hillary would be an outstanding Secretary of State. I couldn't help wondering if that was in the usual vein of "Of course you can do this, little lady."'

Oh, yes, that is exactly what they were thinking because, you know, being SoS is Sooooo easy. Yeah, get the chick to do it.

Um, no. It was not in the usual vain. Hilary earned some serious respect across party lines in the last two years. I pretty much despise Kissinger, but I take his props at face value.

It's not always about sexism and victimhood.

"It really does bother me that this seems to be viewed as the highest that women or minorities are allowed to go in US government."

I love the whole womanandminorities thing. Actually I hate it. Get over it. Identity politics is so last year. And I kind of forgot this but someone reminded me the other day, we have a black president-elect. Aren't blacks "minorities"?

"was SoS really the only job they could think of for her?"

Yes-glass half empty. Victimization everywhere. Whaaaaa!

Did it ever occur to you that Sen. Clinton may have wanted to be SoS? Like, President-Elect Minority said to Sen. Woman "Sen. Woman, which job do you want on my team" and She said SoS.

I LOVE the idea of Clinton as SoS. She'll be great, and she will rehabilitate her reputation from all the damage that that cracker-philandering husband of hers inflicted over the last year.

Jeez, what's wrong with SoS.

She still can be come president. Why do you think she can't?

"I guess I should be happy that Hillary already broke the record of running at all and getting so close."

OK, try that. Let me know how it goes.

I mean really, many of us are kind of bummed that she didn't make it but she had two things against her. Her cracker-philandering husband, and she happened to be runing against the most brilliant campaign in the recent history of the Democratic Party (I know, the bar is low). She did pretty damn good, and there are about a zillion counterfactuals where she would have won. Stop with the sexism, victim crap. It's over.

"More recently I heard some pundit say Geraldine Ferraro was never a serious candidate anyway, and compared her to Sarah Palin. I thought that was a bit unfair, but looking back, I really wouldn't know."

I think a comparison to Palin is a bit unfair, in that Ferraro was a moderately serious candidate-a Congresswoman on the national scene for a while. But she was not well-vetted, like Palin, and she was probably a symbolic pick, you know, the "make history" and be the first womanandminority kind of thing. To appeal to people who put a lot of stock in phony symbolic gestures and stuff. Do you know anyone like that?

But still, Ferraro pretty much sucked and while I can not recall much about the Reagan era that was actually good, Archie Bunker's congresswoman did recently demonstrate that we just might have dodged a bullet with Reagans' 1984 landslide.

So bottom line, Ferraro and Palin were identity politics gone awry. Clinton and Obama are serious people who win some elections and lose others not so much based on racenandgender but on other circumstances.

It's a new day now. Rise to the occasion, please.

 
At 1:22 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

"It really does bother me that this seems to be viewed as the highest that women **or minorities** are allowed to go in US government."

Sorry, didn't we just elect Barack Obama, a black man, as President of the United States? Or did I miss something?

And "allowed"? We're a democracy. It was the will of the people. If Hillary Clinton was our President and she was considering Obama for SoS, could you just flip it around and say that's the highest minorities can go?

Would it have made you feel better if it had been Madeleine Albright, instead of Henry Kissinger, saying Hillary Clinton would make a great SoS?

 
At 6:18 PM, Blogger Dr. J said...

When I was watching Obama and Biden after Obama's acceptance speech in Chicago I couldn't but help feel that was certainly a transformational moment - only one thing was letting it down. There was one thing that was still anchored well and truly in the past. There were both candidates with their wives. Still, I'm not discounting Hillary for President just yet. I still believe in a place called Hope.

 
At 7:46 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Am I missing something here? Haven't y'all just had a woman SoS for some years - and a black one at that?

 
At 1:20 PM, Blogger Samia said...

I'd like to thank Anonymous for alerting me to the end of racism and sexism. Tard.

 
At 6:21 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Samia,

Which anonymous? There are three in the comments above you. None of them said what you said they did. And calling someone a "tard" is not complimentary to those who have mental retardation (and their loved ones): someone as insanely focused on identity politics as you evidently are from the looks of your blog should be the last person to be so blatantly insensitive. Or is it only a problem when it offends you?

 
At 8:41 AM, Blogger Samia said...

1) The first one. The whole "victimization everywhere. Whaaa!" thing kind of takes away from the fact there is real victimization, yes, going on in more places than most people care to think. The use of the term "identity politics is so last year" doesn't sit well with me either.
2) You're right about my use of the word 'tard. I shouldn't use it and I hadn't thought long enough about that to distinguish it from words like "stupid," "idiot"
"moron" and "dumb" that used to be used the same way as "retarded" is now (I'd actually appreciate your commentary on that). Thanks so much for pointing that out. Just because I am sensitive to some terms doesn't mean I lack the privilege to remain unaware of the ways I hurt others.
3) Is "identity politics" the new way of speaking derogatorily about folks who examine the racialization and heterosexism rampant in our society? When is it okay to have a problem with something, or to notice something, and not have it called "identity politics?" I'd like to learn more about the term if you've got some background for me.

 

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