Politics as Usual or Politics by Women!

Reprint of Women’s Media Center Commentary by Carol Jenkins

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As all political eyes move to the vice presidential picks, the WMC is tracking the media’s examination of possible women candidates, and we will explore in depth as we go along. Most names mentioned are sitting governors or other politicians. One notable exception comes from the business world.

Stuart Rothenberg’s recent musings about Carly Fiorina as a vice presidential running mate for John McCain were enlightening. He clearly viewed her candidacy seriously. The former head of Hewlett Packard has become a media frontwoman for the presumed Republican nominee, picking up praise in Republican circles as she travels the country making his case.

Carly FiorinaI once saw Fiorina in action, and she left an indelible impression: never have I seen a woman with so firm a sense of self-assurance. She was speaking at a Women’s Leadership Exchange event just after her memoir, Tough Choices, was published. She took up every inch of the stage, strutting from one end to the other, occasionally referring to her notes at the podium–but really, giving us a display of unabashed confidence sometimes not so evident in women. I understood how she had convinced the boards of HP and Compac to unite, against their wills. As we know now, that turned out somewhat badly for her: she lost her job, but did walk away with a reported $42 million in severance.

Fiorina’s described as a moderate: she knows the economy, she’s managed thousands of employees, she’s a fighter–and she knows how to close the deal.  She’s also a media familiar. Despite all that, Rothenberg comes to the conclusion that without the vetting of running for office before, she may be just too risky–and controversial.

Hillary ClintonThe other fascinating piece to surface this week was Michael Goodwin’s switch on Hillary Clinton-now claiming that perhaps she is the best VP candidate for Obama after all. This after the NY Daily News columnist ran an unrelenting series of anti Hillary rants with titles like “Hillary Clinton is One Sorry Sight on her Way to Defeat” and “Hillary is Her Own Worst Enemy” throughout the primary season.

Goodwin was apparently so moved by Clinton’s appearance in Unity, New Hampshire that he now says. “Clinton’s Friday performance adds to my growing belief the dream ticket is an on-again possibility.”  Of course, much of the article talked about Obama’s reversal on some key “change” issues. According to Goodwin, “So, if he’s going to act like a Clinton, why not team up with one?”

It seems there are still plenty of surprises and excitement left in the presidential campaign. We will monitor the media developments and keep you informed. Support The Women’s Media Center in our effort to make sure that women’s voices are heard.

Check out the womensmediacenter.com

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One response to “Politics as Usual or Politics by Women!

  1. Allison Gillette

    Hillary Clinton would have made a great president and hopefully more women of her caliber compete for the presidency the next election year.

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