Saturday, July 18, 2009

Another female politician opts out

Posted by Cathy Nave

Halleluiah! Sarah Palin has finally resigned! Maybe I should be saddened that a woman is leaving politics no matter the caliber because we have so few women in politics as it is. But I have to say that I’m so glad she is leaving office. It appears that she did a fine job as Governor of Alaska, but I don’t believe she is the right kind of woman to represent women across America. Represent being the key word. Because when you buy into Sarah you were also buying into the possibility that she could one day have run for the highest office. Whether Republican, Democratic or otherwise, Sarah, with all of her down home reliability (for some), just didn’t have what it takes to represent women at large. Michelle Obama, on the other hand, has what it takes.

From the start, when John McCain introduced us to Sarah Palin during the US Presidential race, as the Republican, Vice President Candidate, we were curious but skeptical of Sarah Palin’s capabilities and John McCain’s judgment. In the end the public lost confidence and elected Barak Obama and Joe Binden into office.

But what was it about Sarah Palin that we didn’t like? She was in the media all the time. Overexposure too early? The way she didn’t handle the Katie Couric interview? She tried to extrapolate on her Alaskan Governor and soccer mom popularity and identify with women across America. But ultimately the charm didn’t scale. Probably because we want and need a lot more than charm from our female leaders.

We know that women in politics are regular women but somehow we, the public, hold them to higher standards. We want to see them be better, stronger and rise above everyday challenges and difficulties. We want them to show us the way to the idyllic life, not live among us and try to identify with us. We need to idealize them and to demonstrate to us that we can strive for more and achieve it. We want someone to show us what’s beyond our everyday existence and encourage us to be the best that we can be.
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