The speculation about who Obama will choose as his running mate is hitting a fever pitch this week. The conventional political wisdom says there’s only one woman on Obama’s short list — Kansas Gov. Kathleen Sebelius.
During the primary, we wrote a lot about how most of us at Feministing believe a candidate’s gender is an important factor, but far from the only factor. I think that logic holds true when we’re talking about VP candidates, too. The dudes reportedly on Obama’s short-list, Sen. Evan Bayh, Sen. Joe Biden, and especially Gov. Tim Kaine, just leave me kind of cold. And while we don’t make endorsements, I have to say that I really like Sebelius. She’s managed to pass a lot of progressive policies (and veto/contain a lot of really terrible conservative polities) in a Republican-dominated state. While I don’t agree with her on stances on gay rights or guns, she has an awesome record on choice and the environment.
Over at TAPPED, Dana writes:
Sebelius, of course, would be the bold, unconventional choice — very Obama. But by choosing a female running mate, Obama would, unfortunately, thrust the Hillary die-hards and their ever-more marginal discontentment back into the spotlight. That said, anyone who believes that only Hillary Clinton deserves to be the first female president or vice president doesn’t deserve the designation “feminist.” So I’d relish watching the reactions to a Sebelius nod, not only because such a choice would double down on Obama’s most effective message — “change” — but because it would reveal exactly which Clinton boosters are ready to widen the lens and enthusiastically support women’s leadership as such.
That’s harsher than I would have put it. But I think Dana is fundamentally right in that it would be fascinating to see the reaction to a Sebelius pick. I think most former Hillary backers would not disappoint. Maybe that’s because, in my personal experience, every woman I know who was a die-hard Hillary supporter would be really happy to see any liberal, pro-choice woman on the ticket with Obama. As Addie Stan wrote last month,
But the notion that voters mad at Obama because, being a young man, he swept past a 60-year-old woman who has paid some serious dues — that those voters then would be miffed by the nomination of a 50+-year-old-woman who has paid some serious dues simply makes no sense. It has no internal logic, which obviously would not disqualify it in the eyes of those who think that older women — and let’s face it, that’s what is meant by “disaffected Hillary voters” — lack the capacity for logical decision-making.
Amen. So… who do y’all want to see as Obama’s VP pick? And who do you think it will actually be?