Tuesday, January 8, 2008

I'd Rather Vote for Chisholm

I won't claim to be an expert on the 2008 election, or the candidates. I dislike Edwards, Obama and Hillary less than I dislike all of the other candidates.

Wait a minute. Edwards, Obama, and Hillary...hmmm...something sounds wrong here...

Well, anyway, as a non-expert, I'm in no position to figure out why Barack Obama won in Iowa, and/or why Hillary Clinton didn't. That's why I'm bringing in a much more experienced politician, Shirley Chisholm, to explain things.

Unfortunately, Chisholm died in 2005, so we'll have to rely on her quotes.

"I've always faced more discrimination for being a woman than for being black."

Oh. Hm.

So, why "Hillary 08?" Why not "Clinton 08," or "Hillary Clinton 08?"

I know Hillary is trying to distinguish herself from Bill, but George W. Bush didn't seem to worry about being distinct from Bush Sr. (and in both 2000 and 2008, the candidates with the surnames of former presidents have run eight years after their predecessors left office). In fact, Al Gore's decision to distinguish himself from Bill in 2000 is now widely regarded as a political mistake. I concede that father-son, husband-wife and President-VP are each a very different type of relationship. But I don't buy that this is only about being distinct from Bill - it's about rampant sexism in American politics, which Hillary's campaign has regrettably participated in.

Some may recall Segolene Royal's failed presidential bid in France. I don't recall much about it, other than that I read a column on it by Maureen Dowd called "La Campagne, C'est moi," linked below.

Ever Thus to Female Politicians Complicit with Sexism