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Wednesday, June 4, 2008

So Women Get Hillary or No Woman at All?

There is a subtext lurking out there to Obama's search for a Vice Presidential candidate that is just barely below the surface: If he doesn't choose Hillary, he shouldn't choose a woman at all.

Barack Obama has won the Democratic nomination, and now he is faced with a monumental decision: who should be his Vice President? The push for Hillary to be that VP is strong, vocal and unforgiving. It's as if people believe if she isn't his Vice President, then no woman should be. The argument goes, "It would be a slap in the face to all those women supporters if he chose another woman as his running mate."

How about the slap in the face that all of us non-Hillary supporting women voters will experience if he chooses a male running mate because he doesn't want Hillary? Kathleen Sebelius, Democratic Governor of Kansas, is sitting out there waiting to run on his ticket. So is Senator Claire McCaskill of Missouri. Hell, even Nancy Pelosi could argue she should be on the ticket with Obama. But no. It's Hillary or no woman at all.

It is a childish, horrible situation in which women all over America will be punished because Hillary wants it. She's claimed to be running for President so that women all over America, and their daughters, will see that a woman can be President of the United States. What she doesn't say is, "But you can't be President until I'm done running for office. Until then, I'm the only female in the room who gets a shot at it."

It is time for Hillary to start walking the walk. If she genuinely believes in a woman's ability to be above gender issues, and to be on equal footing with men, then she won't turn the nomination for the Vice Presidency into an episode of "The Hills." Lauren and Heidi may not be able to be in the same room together, but Hillary aught to be able to let Kathleen hitch onto the Obama ticket.

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