There’s been a lot of talk in this election year about our seemingly once-in-a-lifetime chance to elect a woman to be our president. Hillary Clinton has symbolized what some believe is a unique opportunity to have what we feminists have dreamed of for years. Such focus on Clinton alone, however, denies a wonderful reality: there are, throughout our nation, many women in positions of power who could skillfully walk the halls of the White House.
We will be shining the spotlight on such women in hopes of taking them out of Hillary’s shadow. While we’re at it, we hope to plant a seed that they should be considered as possible vice presidential candidates. What do you think, Senator Obama?
Candidate #1 is Kathleen Sebelius, the Democratic Governor of Kansas. I particularly want to shout her praises because she recently vetoed legislation that would have allowed for a coal-fired power plant in the state. On May 1st, the legislature failed to override her veto. Because of her, thousands of pounds of carbon will not enter our atmosphere.
Sebelius has been vocally against the war at the same time that she’s sparred with the Bush Administration to ensure that the Kansas soldiers on the ground have the necessary equipment and supplies to ensure their safety. Pro-troops, anti-war. Sounds great to me.
Like Obama, she is extremely effective at reaching out to Republicans while maintaining her values. She was so good at it that she convinced a Republican businessman John E. Moore to switch parties and run with her as lieutenant governor in 2002. Four years later, she did it again, convincing the then-chair of the Kansas Republican Party, Mark Parkinson, to become a Democrat and run for the seat Moore was vacating. Yes, the Chair of the Republican Party.
Beyond that, she’s been extremely effective at revitalizing the state’s educational system, she’s firmly pro-choice, and she opposed an extreme ballot measure to outlaw gay marriage and deny domestic partnership or family-related benefits to lesbian and gay couples.
And besides, she’s endorsed Barack Obama in part because her two sons told her to. A leader who listens to her children. Perfect.
Obama-Sebelius, 2008? I like it.