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!!!!