I've been silent of late because I haven't wanted to write what I've really been thinking for fear that I was being too negative and would jinx everything. Of course even admitting to that exposes my narcissistic and superstitious streaks and that's a little embarrassing. Many have told me that I've been dreaming with my head in the clouds. But I'm a big believer in thinking big, dreaming big, and believing in the impossible because only in doing so will those things ever become real. And of course we have to add on an action plan!!!
But what's been rattling around in my brain is the fact that the growing drumbeat of sources points to Mitt Romney adding Rob Portman to his ticket as VP. Now I'm an Ohioan, and I may be a bit more familiar with our junior Senator than some. He seems like an immensely likeable man and also a highly accomplished and experienced one. The idea that he might bring Ohio with him in the presidential campaign isn't as solid as some might think who don't live here, but it also isn't outside being plausible and intuitive. He will likely prove to be completely noncontroversial (except for maybe his years spent as the trade rep for the George W. Bush administration), and if Romney wins Ohio, Portman will get some of the credit for that happening.
But I am just plain sad that the drum isn't beating loudly enough for a woman VP pick. As stated in many posts on this blog and elsewhere, there is a very very deep bench of women on the Republican side. Fabulous women, qualified women, women of high accomplishments-------women just as likeable as Rob Portman, just as experienced, just as probable to bring home the bacon in some contested states. I am also incredibly frustrated that women STILL haven't cleared the bar high enough for people to not think that putting one of them on the ticket is more trouble than it is worth.
If Romney doesn't nominate a woman VP, I'm not going to go into a tailspin over it. I get some pretty harrowing tirades from people who sputter to me that he wants to kick women back to the stone ages, blah blah blah. They are just spouting boilerplate leftist trash that is trotted out year after year over any Republican who dares to run. And the more people like me choose to ignore the tantrums about how Republicans "don't care about women" the worse the tantrumming folks tantrum and spit. Blech!!
The fact is, as usual, I believe that BOTH parties STINK when it comes to helping women get ahead. They just both stink!! Both parties use women when convenient to win and reward female loyalty with alot of nothing. A pitiful piece of legislation that may move the ball a half inch ahead on the football field and they act like it was a 50-yard run. Big deal------
I don't believe that the kind of equality many of us seek------power and economic parity-------- can necessarily be addressed by legislation. But it CAN be addressed by powerful symbols. Symbols like a woman VP or like France just did a 50/50 male/female cabinet. These symbolic moves mean more than you can imagine. No, they won't end sexism and misogyny. They may not close the wage gap right away. They won't end the scourge of domestic violence. But what they DO do is to accustom the public to seeing an equal number of men and women IN CHARGE, something that people aren't used to seeing. And the more people see women in charge, the more the comfort level of women running things will rise. And the more commonplace it is seeing women run things, the more easily women will finally be able to take their places in equal numbers among the CEO's, presidents, vice presidents, and on and on. THIS is the final challenge to women being able to savor the promise of equality in the United States.
Now, back to Romney. If he doesn't appoint a woman VP, I am going to be disappointed and depressed. Real depressed. But I am not going to stay depressed because until our goal of power and economic parity is reached, we can't rest for more than a minute. This is not a blog for Obama bashing, but I will say that I am not voting for him this time either. I am still completely turned off to him. Every time I see him or think of him I am reminded of the sexist hit job his campaign did to Hillary Clinton and Sarah Palin and I will not reward him with my vote. And because I am in an important swing state, I am NOT throwing my vote away on a third party candidate who has no chance of winning. I will vote for Romney and that is that. However, I DO NOT believe all of the sexist crap he is accused of even if he nominates Rob Portman instead of Condi Rice, Susana Martinez, Cathy McMorris Rodgers, or Kelly Ayotte.
I will be disappointed that he caved to the Palin excuse. But that is not as terrible a sin as what was done to HRC and Palin in my book. The Democrats can spout all they want about how the Republicans have never been friends to women, but that means that they ignore their own deep seated problems with women. And many of us women see right through their insistence that we walk in lockstep with their crummy ideas that won't help women in the long run. If Romney is elected, we can still insist on a gender neutral cabinet. Or we can take our fight to a different place. It gets pretty depressing to have to constantly ask men for a handout when it comes to power sharing.
But for sure I'm not giving up. And I might still hold out just a little bit of hope that the Romney campaign may decide a woman is worth taking a chance on. For sure the Romney campaign will give as good as it gets (what was that "gander/goose" thing he just said the other day?), and I would love to see them smash the sexism this time around. But even if I don't get what I want, I'm not pouting for long. Onward!!!!