Speakingout
Let's talk politics. Well, sorta. My mother used to say, "Don't talk politics or religion." The problem, Mother, is that I've chosen a profession that at times requires discussion on both of these topics.
Women and the world of politics 072209 SPEAKINGOUT 2 Capital City Weekly Let's talk politics. Well, sorta. My mother used to say, "Don't talk politics or religion." The problem, Mother, is that I've chosen a profession that at times requires discussion on both of these topics.
Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Story last updated at 7/22/2009 - 12:13 pm

Women and the world of politics

Let's talk politics. Well, sorta. My mother used to say, "Don't talk politics or religion." The problem, Mother, is that I've chosen a profession that at times requires discussion on both of these topics.

I consider myself fairly average. I'm not a "political junkie." I'm "undeclared" and normally vote a split ticket. I consider individual candidates and issues. I also believe that if you don't vote, you can't complain about the outcome.

I understand that whether "conservative" or "liberal," all talk show hosts, be they Rush Limbaugh or Air America's Rachel Maddow, are in show business. They are successful because folks listen to extremes. The middle of the road is usually where the truth lies, but that makes for boring media.

In this issue of the CCW we are kinda talking politics as we take a look back at Sarah Palin's journey as Alaska's Governor. Palin's election in itself was note worthy on a couple of accounts. She was the first woman elected Governor of Alaska as well as being the youngest. She also won against an incumbent to win her party's primary.

In 2007 CCW celebrated our first female governor in our spring Women in Business special publication. At this time Governor Palin stated that her young age, especially more than a decade ago, had posed more opposition than her gender in referring to her life in politics.Palin announced July 3rd that with only 18 months left in her term, she would be resigning as Alaska's governor. What does this mean that the first female governor of Alaska is voluntarily leaving her post?

I've heard more than a few times that Palin stepping down "reflects poorly on women in office." Really? Have we not progressed past this point? Twenty percent of our U.S. governors as well as 17 percent of our senators today are women. The first female Secretary of State was Madeleine Albright, appointed in 1997.

Women have held and hold high political positions across the globe. In the past year we've seen many male politicians caught up in a number of scandals. I haven't heard, "That's not good for the next man that runs for public office."

Anyone, male or female, who implies that in the future women politicians would be affected by Palin's decision should be embarrassed

I have never nor would I ever vote for a woman candidate for any office just because she is simply a woman. I was offended hearing that McCain had made a "wise choice" during his bid for president. That putting Palin on the ticket would get the female vote. I don't recall anyone saying that all the senior citizens were voting for McCain.

I grew up in "good ole boy country," and I have successfully worked in it. I respect women who step into what is referred to as nontraditional roles. However, it is clear that as each generation passes, the pool of "nontraditional roles" will shrink. A little girl born today will never question her surgeon, airline pilot or neighborhood patrolmen being a woman.

What if Sarah runs for president in 2012? If she takes her party's nomination she'll again make history. Some have commented that I have not made my personal opinion of Gov. Sarah Palin known. I do feel that with this column I've made it clear that she will not be getting my vote simply because she is a woman. To the question of whether I think she is qualified and prepared to be president? For this I'll defer to my mother.

Laura L. Newsom is the general manager of the Capital City Weekly. She may be reached at laura.newsom@capweek.com.


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