In the past several days I’ve read numerous articles comparing Caroline Kennedy to Hillary Clinton and Sarah Palin. Seriously? For the most part, I understand the concern over the fact that she’s not been elected to anything. But the outrage over the fact that she’s rich or that she comes from a political family baffles me.
In a carefully controlled strategy reminiscent of the vice
presidential hopeful Sarah Palin, aides to Caroline Kennedy interrupted
her on Wednesday and whisked her away when she was asked what her
qualifications are to be U.S. senator. (seattlepi)
One of Ms. Kennedys qualifications, leading the Fund for Public Schools
in raising $240 million in private donations, is about as impressive as
being Mayor of Wasilla, Alaska. Ms. Kennedys main
disqualificationsnot having paid her political dues, not having enough
experiencewere also attributed to Mrs. Palin. (examiner)
The curious thing about this story is how closely it resembles Hillary
Clinton in the early months of this year’s presidential campaign, when
the former first lady was running as a quasi-incumbent. (seattlepi)
Though I disagreed with Sarah Palin on nearly every political issue, I flinched when she was asked to defend her qualifications. Yes, she was extremely unqualified. But so have several male politicians been, yet they are much less often asked to defend this weakness. Arnold, the Governator, comes to mind. But as Marie Cocco points out,
There are no female Arnold Schwarzeneggers. That is, no woman will
ever burst into politics, capture the voters’ imagination and be
catapulted into high public office without a lick of experience.
Perhaps one of the reasons that the extremely unimaginative comparisons are being made between Caroline Kennedy and Sarah Palin or Hillary Clinton is that the sexism is all too familiar.