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Do you want to be a Hillary or a Sarah?

By Geniene P. (Contact)

Published September 25, 2008

A lot of attention has been given to Senator Hillary Rodham-Clinton and Governor Sarah Palin’s involvement in politics of late.  I admittedly prefer one over the other but, in general, see both of them as a good influence for women to become involved in politics.

I, myself, had a very young initiation into the process.  I used to visit bingo halls with Don Hanni, Jr. and my sister passing out nail files with a variety of Democratic candidates names on them.  You see, those bingo ladies would take anything from a cute, little girl, regardless of the political party.  They would compliment me, exclaim (or deride) the name on the nail file/notepad/fan and I found it all fascinating.  I was goner for anything political from then on. I also remember passing out literature for the Democratic party with either my mother or sister, going door to door in our neighborhood.  I registered voters when I was in high school here.  I majored in political science at Ohio State and participated in Bring Back the Night rallies and belonged to a group that promoted the knowledge of women’s issues at OSU.  I’ve worked on Senator John Glenn’s 1992 campaign, interned for Senator Dianne Feinstein on Capitol Hill in 1993 and have heavily volunteered for Senator Hillary Clinton and the Democratic party when I lived in Manhattan.  I live for the any information, survey, research or gossip regarding politics.  I admit it – I am a political junky.  I love the discourse, the arguing - the importance of it all.

Yes, I do have strong opinions about this race but, more importantly, I hope it ignites a desire in women to participate in the process regardless of their political affiliation.  So many issues seriously affect our lives right now:  the right to reproductive choice, the right to access to birth control or accurate information regarding it, a judicial system that will be pulled either to the right or more centered with this next administration, health care for our families/children/elderly parents, education from the local level all the way to the university, the economy and jobs, global relations (which actually do really matter) to name just a few key areas.  Our [women's] voices are unique, our life experiences enriching and our perspective is needed.

Participation is key for women right now to have our voices heard.  It starts at the local level and has ramifications all the way up the political food chain.  I have often argued with people who say that their vote doesn’t matter. It drives me nuts to hear that and, unfortunately for them, they say that to the wrong person and promptly receive a mini Poli. Sci. 101 lesson.  I can’t help it.  I get on a roll because I feel so passionately about people becoming involved and ‘putting their money where their mouth is’.  I feel even stronger about women getting involved.  I know we have a lot on our plates with either school, career, children or elderly parents (sometimes all at once).  I, for one, have limited my involvement because I want to spend as much time as possible with my toddler because I can never get these early days with her back.  But, believe me, I intend to take my daughter around with me (when age appropriate) passing out literature, attending rallies, watching debates, teaching her about candidates and why they argue, so that she can be informed, involved and active like me. 

Thus, I hope that all women take a cue from the lives of women in the Senate, the Congress, state and local officials and from the women in this campaign cycle.  It is possible to make an impact and make a difference.  Get involved, register to vote, study the issues and please call your local party headquarters and see how you can be part of the future, now.  Most importantly: you can vote apply for absentee voter registration now and begin voting at the Board of Elections on October 7th!


1Teacher(1 comment)posted 7 years, 2 months ago

Sarah for sure!

She is someone whose life we can all aspire to.

Smart, fit, attractive, talented in many areas, and well balanced, she is a breath of fresh air!

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2ytownoptimist(86 comments)posted 7 years, 2 months ago

I don't think a criteria for political involvement should be "fit and attractive"? Do we define our male politicians this way? Does a man think "Hmm, I should drop 10 pounds before I run for office or get some plugs." Talk about sexism and dual standards! I thought Sarah's supporters eschewed this type of talk and have been crying about sexism? I know Hillary's supporters would never jump to describe physical attributes as qualifications for political involvement (and don't get nasty about this). Oh, and being able to hunt carabou isn't a true "talent" unless that is part of the Miss Alaska competition. The point of the blog is for every woman to become involved, study the issues and participate (regardless of physique). We need to move beyond descriptions like this for women in politics to truly grow. Figures a Sarah supporter would write this . . .

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3imdamom(5 comments)posted 7 years, 2 months ago

I want folks to read a statement Ms. Palin made during a press conference (4 questions, by her own press corps- not quite a 'press conference' but so far, it's all she'll do). When visiting 'ground zero' in New York and asked about 9/11, she responded:

"Every American student needs to come through this area so that, especially this younger generation of Americans is, to be in a position of never forgetting what happened here and never repeating, never allowing a repeat of what happened here. I wish every American would come through here. I wish every world leader would come through here, and understand what it is that took place here and more importantly how America came together and united to commit to never allowing this to happen again. And just to hear and from and see these good New Yorkers who are rebuilding not just this are but helping to rebuild America has been very, very inspiring and encouraging. These are the good Americans who are committed to peace and security and its been an absolute honor getting to meet these folks today."

Makes me yearn for the days of the erudite Dan Quayle!

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4JeffLebowski(953 comments)posted 7 years, 2 months ago

Perhaps she lost the beauty pageant on the portion where they let the contestants to talk to the judges...

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5tylersclark(182 comments)posted 7 years, 2 months ago

I would like to quote Miss Teen South Carolina:
"I personally believe that U.S. Americans are unable to do so because, uh, some, people out there in our nation don't have maps and, uh, I believe that our, uh, education like such as, uh, South Africa and, uh, the Iraq, everywhere like such as, and, I believe that they should, our education over here in the U.S. should help the U.S., uh, or, uh, should help South Africa and should help the Iraq and the Asian countries, so we will be able to build up our future, for our [children]."

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6imdamom(5 comments)posted 7 years, 2 months ago

It's deja vu all over again :) I'm sorry, but can we PLEASE elect someone who can speak English???

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7lucy(123 comments)posted 7 years, 2 months ago

I worked out at the Y this week next to a woman who was wearing a "Palin 08 History in the Making" shirt, and I wanted to ask, what kind of history? The most historically irresponsible choice for vice president?

I agree with Ytownoptimist, "fit" and "attractive" (though, not in any sense but physical) do not make a woman qualified for an executive office.

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8wintersville(1 comment)posted 7 years, 2 months ago

I agree with Ytownoptimist, since when is "fit and attractive" when referring to their looks and important part of electing people. They do not use those terms in regards to men so why women.

I for one am sick of hearing people say" she is so cute" or she is for "Right to Life" as if these are the only things facing our country. When John McCain picked this unqualified candidate he showed this country his true colors. He picked a woman, any woman for if this is the best the Republican party has to offer they are in more trouble than I realized.

This is a woman who has been Governor less than two years,who states that she was "Mayor" before that-- of what 7000 people ( a drop in the bucket ) who the people of Alaska staged a rally against ( her loving state), who shoots defenceless animals from a helicopter which is illegal,who thinks that the environmental problems facing our country is not our problem or the result of man, who has a husband working for BP so why would she worry about the Polar Bear when there are pipelines needed.

She will not be for working on alternative energy and using less oil for that might put her husband out of work!

Most of all she is not running for PRESIDENT but to see the papers you would think she was....is this just a way of letting McCain slip into the White House by making a big to do about a woman candidate?

I am a woman and would and did back Hilary Clinton for President but I will not settle for just any woman to say " look we have a woman VP" I would hope that I am more intelligent than that.

This is a time when we are in serious trouble, we have people without health care, loosing their homes, jobs and maybe the money we have in banks that we "assumed" were being managed wisely.

We are in a war that was brought on when we attacked a country that had not attacked us but will then condemn Russia for invading Georgia -- by our example maybe?? We seem to have a " Do as I say and not as a do" government in power.

I do not fault our men in Iraq they are doing what they are told by a Cowboy President hell bent on making a name for himself. Well he has accomplished that- he has us in more dept than even Reagan could amass, a war where there is no good way out and a country with very few allies--- Oh he has made a name for himself only I don't think I can print it!!!

I say it is time to put a man in the White House that is not John McCain not that he can cure all the ills immediately but could make a start. Please think of what is best for America and not just party. Vote on NOV.4th for a change to help put this country back in the right direction Vote for Obama!!!

I love this country but am saddened by what is has become because of the 8 years of abuse. We need to be once again respected as a powerful country and show others we are for Peace, it needs to start somewhere why not with us.

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9girl_about_town(28 comments)posted 7 years, 2 months ago

all i know is that i, for one, am dreading this election. as a bespectacled brunette, i've already heard "oh, you look just like sarah palin!" from several people, including family members. in reality, we look nothing alike, but the glasses (which don't even look like hers!) really throw people for the loop.

this is the only thing about palin that has gotten a positive reaction from me: http://justjared.buzznet.com/2008/09/...

i want that shirt! but upon closer inspection, i find a comma error that makes the camp quality far less desireable. she can't even wear t-shirts with correct punctuation!

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10valleyred(1102 comments)posted 7 years, 1 month ago


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11carlejl(1 comment)posted 7 years, 1 month ago

I love women empowerment. We fought for these rights for years, and if we don't take advantage of them now, we're simply saying that we're fighting for a cause we don't believe in. Please vote in the election, but only if you're educated on the issues!

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