Political Vine: The Insider's Source on Georgia Politics

Political Vine: The Insider's Source on Georgia Politics

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“Sarah Palin is a nice enough person, but…”

by Randy Evans

“She is a nice enough person, but she is not ready to run a company.”

“She just does not have enough experience yet to lead a team.”

“She needs just a little more time.”

“She has a family to raise, and a husband to take care of.”

“She is not the most qualified candidate – so it would not be fair to let her have the job now.”

These are the excuses that women have faced for years. There always seems to be a good excuse for why women have been denied the right to lead lines, teams, departments, companies, and the country. For the next several weeks, Americans will get to hear those excuses and more as Governor Sarah Palin attempts to become the first woman to shatter the last and hardest glass ceiling in the United States.

She has not been alone in this quest. In 1984, Democrat Congresswoman Geraldine Ferraro blazed a new trail when Vice President Walter Mondale chose her as his running mate. She honored her country and her party.

In 2006, San Francisco Congresswoman Nancy Pelosi moved women one step closer as she led Democrats to capture control of the United States House of Representatives and became the first female Speaker of the United States Congress. The Speaker is second in line for the Presidency, behind only the Vice President of the United States.

In 2008, Democratic New York Senator Hillary Clinton advanced the fight for women one more step. Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton hammered millions of cracks in the glass ceiling as she challenged Senator Barack Obama for the Democratic nomination for the President of the United States.

When Senator Barack Obama passed over Senator Hillary Clinton as his running mate, it appeared that the political climb for women in America had temporarily stalled just short of the two highest offices in the land. But then came maverick Arizona Republican Presidential nominee Senator John McCain.

Just when it appeared that the 2008 Presidential Election could not get any more historical, the Republican Presidential nominee selected the first woman as the GOP Vice Presidential nominee – Alaska Governor Sarah Palin. His selection guaranteed that the 2008 Presidential Election would be a first in American history regardless of whether the Democrats or the Republicans won on election day.

If the Democrats win, then Americans will elect the first African American as President of the United States. If the Republicans win, then Americans will elect the first woman as Vice President of the United States.

Shortly after Senator McCain’s selection, the excuses began. “She is a nice enough person, but she is not ready to run the country.” “She just does not have enough experience yet to lead.” “She needs just a little more time.” “She has a family to raise, and a husband to take care of.” “It is just not her time yet.” “She is not the most qualified candidate – so it would not be fair to let her have the job now.”

Sound familiar?

Of course, Governor Palin served as the Governor of the largest geographical state in the United States. Alaska sits as an isolated state without a border with any other American state. So, Alaska, and its leaders face unique challenges.

For one, as Governor of Alaska, Sarah Palin serves as the Commander in Chief of the Alaska National Guard. Among other challenges, she leads the one state in the country that actually borders with Russia. Unlike any other governor or politician, she looks across a two mile strait and faces Russian troops.

On the other side of her state, Governor Sarah Palin deals with Canada – a country that could easily overwhelm most countries, much less states.

Yet, Governor Palin has navigated the international trade waters to protect Alaskan industry and citizens.

Meanwhile, Governor Palin has balanced a multi-billion dollar budget and shattered the corrupt “good ole boy” network that has dominated Alaskan politics for decades. But for many, none of that is good enough.

Instead, Democratic opponents insist that if she only had more foreign policy experience, longer service in public office, and greater exposure on the national level, then she would be ready to serve at the highest level. But if that were true, then why did they themselves not pick someone with greater foreign policy experience, longer service in public office, and greater exposure on the national level – namely Senator Hillary Clinton?

Barriers are built over time and they do not fall easily. Sometimes, it takes a political earthquake. Hurricane Hillary meet Earthquake Palin – it is a new day in American politics.

J. Randolph Evans, Esq.
McKenna Long & Aldridge LLP
Suite 5300
303 Peachtree Street, N.E.
Atlanta, GA 30308

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Today's Deep Thought

For mad scientists who keep brains in jars, here's a tip: why not add a slice of lemon to each jar, for freshness?



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