Female V.P. Hopefuls Who Shouldn't Be
Am I the only one offended by all the talk that Barack Obama may -- or should be -- looking to a woman to be his running mate? To me, that's a reverse form of sexism and it's all wrong.
Given the conventional wisdom that Obama won't pick Hillary Clinton, I guess it's to be expected that fears of losing the female vote will prompt talk of selecting another woman as a vice presidential candidate. But that misses the point.
The three women mentioned most often are Kansas Gov. Kathleen Sebelius, Arizona Gov. Janet Napolitano and Missouri Sen. Claire McCaskill. McCaskill is only on the list because of her gender, her early support of Obama and the fact that she hails from a swing state. But she has been in the Senate only 16 months and has accomplished nothing of note. Sebelius and Napolitano, in particular, have stronger credentials. They've shown an ability to govern in a hostile political environment, both having won in very red states. But they have no national seasoning and no foreign policy or Washington experience. At another time, they might deserve consideration on their merits, but right now, they are on the short list mainly because of their genders. That's not going to help Obama unite the party and it won't help anyone who wants to get sexism out of politics.
More important, none of the three are likely to help Obama govern. Obama hasn't even completed his first Senate term and is still very much a Washington outsider with slight international experience. What he needs most from a vice president is a savvy knowledge of
Picking someone primarily because she's a woman would be all wrong. It wouldn't make the