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Friday, March 23, 2012

Speculation On A Female VP

Cynthia Ruccia



There she is-----New Mexico Governor Susana Martinez. You can read more about her background here, here, and here. In my opinion, she has a stellar resume and she should be on everyone's short list of vice presidential candidates. Actually, she should be at the very very top of that list. She brings accomplishment and two of the most important political demographics for the Republicans-----she's Hispanic and she's female. If the Republicans are going to win in November, they will need to bring a percentage of the female and the Hispanic vote to achieve that victory. I am an Independent and I am not making a partisan endorsement here. I am only interested in getting a woman elected president, and since that doesn't appear to be happening this year, I'll have to settle for VP. And it doesn't appear that the Obama/Biden ticket is going to change, so our only hope of getting a woman on the ticket is going to lie with the Republicans.



It seems a no-brainer to put Martinez on the ticket. She will easily help neutralize the assumption that the Democrats are the party of women and will continue to expose the Democrat's hypocrisy when it comes to women. Democrats are only the party of certain women. They certainly are NOT the party of all women, not by a long shot. But perception is reality in politics unfortunately, and a Republican female VP candidate will dilute the message that the Democrats are all things to all women, a facade that is starting to crumble.

As far as the Hispanic vote goes, it is even more of a no brainer. Martinez is the grandchild of illegal Mexican immigrants, a fact that will give many many Hispanics who have been hostile to the Republicans an opportunity to take a sincere second look.

So what do we keep hearing about Martinez? We keep hearing two things. First of all we hear that she hasn't accomplished enough to be a heartbeat away from being president. When I hear that reason, it makes me so frustrated I wonder if I have the will to go on fighting our fight against the sexism that prevents women from achieving power and economic parity. I literally have to close my eyes and take a few deep yoga breaths and summon enough will to ONCE AGAIN talk our way out of this first most toxic sexist reason women aren't rising. According to the people who hold power, women are NEVER accomplished enough. EVER. And worse, women buy into that line of reasoning and stop putting themselves out there for the opportunity to rise. Let's get it straight. Martinez is as accomplished as anyone who is on the short list for VP. Why isn't being a popular elected governor of an important swing state an accomplishment to consider? Why isn't being a reelected District Attorney an important accomplishment? For we women who have been candidates, it is a phenomenal achievement for someone to break through and win these elections. After all, we only have 6 female governors in the United States which is 12% of the governorships. That is a long way from 50% according to my math. And many men with far fewer achievements have put themselves out there for VP with nary a peep from anyone. It has been argued over and over again by people on both sides that our current president has the thinnest of resumes. That didn't stop him from being elected. This not being qualified enough storyline about women needs to go away starting RIGHT NOW. And we women and men who want female parity are the ones who will have to continually swat that one away every time it comes up. EVERY SINGLE TIME. We can't afford to keep losing ground because of that idea being in the psyche of the electorate.

However, it is the second reason I am hearing as to why Martinez can't possibly be the next VP candidate that we will all have to go to war over. Again, I can't believe that we will have to, but we must. That is that you will hear over and over again that sneering snickering reason that "well we've already tried an unknown first term female governor and look what happened----it sunk the ticket." ((((head explode))))
People-----we have to fight that one. If we let that idea stand, we will not see another woman nominated at the top for the rest of our lifetimes. Here are some tools to fight that idea back:

1) Palin brought more voters out in 2008 than she ran off. That is an absolute fact. The myth is that she sunk the ticket. We must SHAME everyone who says anything to the contrary that the facts speak for themselves. Any other conclusion is sexism on a silver platter. It is an admission by the purveyor of that nonsense that somewhere deep in their soul they don't WANT a woman VP or president. That's the long and short of it. You won't get people who think they aren't sexist to admit that they are. WE have to be the ones to define what sexism is. That is one more step to women TAKING our power, not waiting idly by to let someone else confer it on us. Step up to the plate everyone. Use your words to nip this horrible, paralyzing meme from taking root.

2) Martinez is NOT Sarah Palin. She is Susana Martinez. Is every African-American Barack Obama? Is every man Rush Limbaugh or Bill Maher (don't answer that one LOL!!!)? Is every white person a racist? Is every woman or man one thing or another because one of their ilk is something or other? The reasoning just doesn't make any kind of sense. We are taught in our culture to be tolerant and to take each individual on their own. Admittedly that is an ideal notion, but it is something that we fundamentally believe even though we don't always act on it. Fight back on that one. Susana Martinez is herself. She is not Sarah Palin. Let's evaluate her on her own terms.

3) It is clear that the Democrats are in an all out fight to corral a certain percentage of the female vote in order to win in November. They are also wanting to do the same with the Hispanic vote. The Republicans need to do the same to find their own winning equation. Wouldn't Susana Martinez be the perfect candidate to do just that? I believe that whoever the Republican presidential candidate is going to be will be much much better prepared to take on the sexist storm that will erupt from the Democratic side----once again it will be the Democrats causing all of the sexism. Whatever happened in 2008 with all of the sexist blowback, we are ready willing and able to fight it back. It will come as no surprise that the Democratic machine will use sexism to win, but we are ready to expose them. Bring it on.

You know if you look at it another way, if the Republicans put Martinez on the ballot, it could be the opportunity we have been waiting for to kill the notion once and for all that the Democrats are the party of women. Wouldn't that be a fight worth fighting? The Democrats are only the party of certain women. They have a long way to go to speak for all women. Their claim to that storyline died a long time ago, and it completely died in 2008.

Please send this piece far and wide. I have not seen anything else supporting a woman on the Republican ticket. We need to get the word out and get lots of other people talking and writing about it. Over and over and over again. You might make fun of me for always saying that, but it is the old story of message discipline. In order to break through, you must keep repeating yourself. Even when you can't. You just keep at it. We can do it!!!!

24 comments:

  1. Excellent post, Cynthia.
    Susana Martinex seems like a wonderful choice.
    Thank you for your vigilance!

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  2. I can't shake the feeling that the Pubs are going to need the women vote to win. They got it in 2010 without even really having to try. How did they do it? Well, a large part of it is bc they got an image boost with all the Republican women running. Remember all the "the year of the republican woman!" press? It made the pubs look good. they didn't have to change any policy or say anything different. Just ran women, and the women didn't even all win. But it still helped the party's image overall, not only with women.

    All I read is about vps is Rubio. He's has good qualifications, just like Martinez, but how is he going to appeal to women? Him as a vp isn't going to zip for women voters. I don't think the pubs are going to win the WH by wooing over a few extra Hispanics. They need women. If they pick a man again, they aren't going to get any real chunk of women voters. And they'll end up losing the election.

    Lets hope the powers that be remember the lessons from 2010 instead of having to learn a losing lesson in 2012.

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    1. Governor Martinez is the obvious choice for a party needing to firm up support from women and needing increased support from Hispanics. She is not only a lawyer but a former prosecutor. She has all the strengths of Sarah Palin, without the I can see Russia from here problem.
      And this is particularly true if Obama does the smart thing and dumps Biden for Clinton.

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    2. FYI Jim - Sarah Palin never said that. It was Tina Fey on SNL making fun of Palin who said that and it was picked up as if it was a Palin quote - because it served the media's purpose at the time. She never said it.

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  3. Palin was good at getting the conservative vote out but she wasn't very handy in getting the women vote for the pub ticket. That's just the facts. It doesn't take a Republican rocket scientist to figure out that there are plenty of women vp candidates who would appeal to independent women voters - IF they want to win the WH. There are plenty of options and I'm sure the Karl Rove and etchasketch strategist types are aware of the fact that all women aren't the same and don't have the same appeal.

    I don't think the pubs will have a huge success getting big numbers of hispanic voters in this election. However, there is huge potential to get large numbers women voters simply bc we make up half the electorate - or more. Having Martinez as a woman and a Hispanic would score image points for the pubs two times over.

    Martinez as a hispanic female would be strategic in that the Dems will not be able to get away with misogynistic attacks, even at the blog/base level. Hispanics will not put up with that kind of attack on one of their own, especially one of their women. Dems would have to tread lightly. They'll pull the inexperienced card (sexist) but we won't be hearing the b-word, c-word, w-word. Too risky.

    The recent Limbaugh outrage also sets up the Dems to be in a situation where they'll have to keep their misogyny under control or end up being exposed as double standard or inconsistent. The independents will notice such things and be turned off by it. The pubs would be smart to take advantage of this likely temporary muzzle.

    I think the pubs really want and intend to win the WH. They aren't writing off this election. They can't do it without getting women voters. They'll need to come up with something to get them. Dems are pros at this and have been doing it for decades. This is new for the Pubs. They're smart strategists but is this new area of thinking too much for them? Its a no brainer to get a woman on that ticket if they want to win. We'll see if winning stimulates the smart thinking they need.

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    1. the facts about Palin were as I've stated-----she was an asset to the ticket. She brought out the base vote which was just going to stay home and sit on its hands because of their dislike of McCain. People discount the importance of that achievement. If she didn't exactly bring out the woman's vote, well neither did Geraldine Ferraro. The top of the ticket is who people are voting for. It seems contradictory to say that even though Palin didn't bring out the women she was still an asset to the ticket. But she WAS an asset. Period.

      It doesn't necessarily seem to have been an asset to Hillary Clinton to have been female either under that logic. HOWEVER, we have grown since 2008, and my hope is that women will understand more than ever how voting against women right now is truly voting against their own self-interest.

      And having been to Hillary events and to Palin events, both were the same. They were filled to the brim with energized, excited women and fathers with their little girls on their shoulders. It was thrilling to see!!

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  4. Thank you for the excellent blog about Martinez. I have been thinking the same thing, and the gop has time to educate her, however, dems will go nuts and send in battallions of spin folks to try and turn a parking ticket into a criminal act. That does not sit well with women and hispanics will get it too.

    Imagine what a compassionate VP she could be.

    What experience did President Obama have? Community organizer?

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  5. That's right. Palin was chosen to rally the base and she definitely did! Anyone think the pub base is going to stay home this year? Absolutely not! And i'm sure Palin will do her part to get the base to the polls again this year. Romney needs to pick someone who appeals to indies and women. Their best bet is a woman. It worked in 2010. If they want to reach out to Hispanics, Martinez is a no brainer.

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  6. Excellent blog.

    Martinez seems like a plain vanilla pub and though Palin endorsed her she might not do to help solve Romney's conservative problem as she espouses a moderate 'good government' political philosophy. She has not been at it as a governor long enough to leave much of a record and she has prosecuted child abusers, both politically useful. Despite her position on closing the border I think she would peel off a large segment of the Hispanic vote and women's vote (eat your heart out Rubio) based strictly on the identity politics the pubs smartly rail against and use to great advantage. No doubt Romney the data fiend will have her focus grouped and poll tested. Martinez's resume is a bit thin for the VP role and the opposition within & without will make much of it. Quayle ran into that at the nomination and through his tenure, quite vitriolic at times but hardly sexist; Obama runs into it; all par for the course something about heat and kitchens.

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  7. Martinez would be a super plus to the ticket. People would connect with her. She's lived a life of hard work and public service and she comes across as your best friend or older sister. She'd solve romney's connection problem for sure.

    BTW, I think the liberals are afraid of a Romney Martinez ticket. The nyt oped boys are already trying to write her off here. Saying any consideration of her stops here. Trying to attach her to Palin. I smell FEAR...

    http://thecaucus.blogs.nytimes.com/2012/03/23/after-palin-expect-a-more-intense-vetting-process/

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  8. Jen the MichiganderMarch 23, 2012 at 5:22 PM

    I tweeted this article to Mitt Romney. Not that he knows who I am or would care about my opinion. But hey, it can't hurt.

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    1. Thanks Jen-----we need to keep this talk going!! Right now when there is this small window of opportunity.

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  9. If Mitt Romney goes with a woman - as he should - it will be Cathy McMorris Rodgers. She's the highest-ranking Republican woman in Congress. She has experience (4 terms in Congress, 2 terms in House Leadership) and knowledge of national issues, which Martinez, quite frankly, does not. She's the only woman on National Journal's VP Rankings. They said "she would bring age, regional, and gender balance to the ticket, and she has a policy portfolio that's deeper than Palin's." http://www.nationaljournal.com/politics/your-favorite-vice-hotline-s-veepstakes-power-rankings-20120308

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    1. yes, she would also be an amazing addition...

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    2. She is a great choice but would add to the "insider" meme. Plus as a congresswoman she has had to vote on many issues that could/would be used against her.

      Two Governors on the ticket, one male, one female. One white, one a minority seems a no-brainer to me.

      I like Marco Rubio very much but I want a woman on the ticket. If not now when?

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  10. A governor. Good. And yes, she could help a Romney ticket.
    Keep talking.

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  11. Why isn't being elected District Attorney significant? Because there are over 3,000 counties in the U.S. That means over 3,000 currently elected district attorneys.

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  12. Cathy McMorris Rodgers would be a stellar vp pick. She doesn't bring geographic edge or maybe even electoral votes from WA but she neither did Al Gore for Clinton. Clinton chose Al Gore to represent a shift of the dem party toward the center with fiscal focus and toward representing the middle - gave a voice for most Americans. A Romney McMorris Rodgers ticket would have HUGE appeal to indies, women and men. It would be visionary and bold. Is Romney capable of this? Wow! I think that ticket would energize America and give people a positive feeling about coming out the mess we're in and moving forward.

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    1. I agree 100% let's get the word out!! The more that a female VP pick is talked about the more likely it will be. It won't just happen. Let's keep talking, blogging, sending emails, texts, notes, etc. And let's bombard the candidates with this request!!!!

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  13. Cathy McMorris Rodgers would be a stellar vp. She would be HUGE with independents - women and men. She may not have bring geographic edge but consider Clinton Gore. Gore wasn't chosen bc of demographics or geographics. He was chosen bc the two together presented a shift of the party toward the center with a fiscal focus - more toward representing most Americans. Wow! A Romney McMorris Rodgers ticket would be a bold and visionary move for Romney! Is he capable of this? I think this ticket would really energize America and give a positive feeling that we can get out of the mess we are in and move forward. That would be historic in so many ways.

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  14. Great piece Cynthia! We can't let "there are no good choices" be the excuse.

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  15. Hallelujah! I have been touting Susana Martinez forever. (Well it seems like it anyway.)

    I am damn tired of seeing two men on the ticket. Any damn ticket. We are over 50% of the population and if they can't at least pander to us enough to give us a female VP, then screw em!

    I would also like to see the GOP do it in order to payback the left for the vileness they unleashed on Hillary Clinton and Sarah Palin.

    Oh and the same brand of vile misogyny is being unleashed on our Lt. Governor here in Wisconsin. Everyone hears about Scott Walker, whom I voted for and support, but there is damn little press about Lt. Governor Lt. Governor Rebecca Kleefisch who the left is also trying to recall. Lt. Governor Rebecca Kleefisch is a a mother, cancer survivor and -- as anyone with a brain can see -- a potential GOP star.

    I am not and have never been a fan of Michelle Malkin. But in this case she brings to light something that needs to see the light of day. Women's Party?

    Read about it for yourself:

    Wisconsin Lt. Gov. Rebecca Kleefisch Faces Recall, Sexist Taunts
    http://www.breitbart.com/Big-Government/2012/03/28/Malkin-WI-Recall-Lt-Gov

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    1. link doesn't seem to be working. I'll try again...

      http://www.breitbart.com/Big-Government/2012/03/28/Malkin-WI-Recall-Lt-Gov

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