Tuesday, February 5, 2008

Spouses in the White House

Something I'm trying to grasp an understanding of is the standard(s) being placed upon the spouses of the presidential candidates and how these standards are being reflected upon the individual candidates.

Let's start with the standard being placed upon the wives of the Republican presidential candidates. Oh, wait...do we even know the names of these women much less which platforms they would support as first lady? Hmmm, perhaps I should come back to this standard because I can't think of one. Oh, maybe that's it...THERE ISN'T ONE! Ahhh, these candidates are being judged upon their own merits .

Moving on to Michelle Obama. An accomplished, well-educated, intelligent woman: undergraduate degree from Princeton; graduate degree from Harvard Law School; vice president of community and external affairs at the University of Chicago Medical Center; mother; and many other community successes. According to Michelle Obama her platform as first lady would be to help people learn how to balance work and family....okay. Well, at least she was asked. So, I guess Barack Obama is also being judged upon his own merits.

Hillary Clinton. While I believe it is natural to acknowledge that of those running for president, she has the most recognizable spouse. And it is natural for our eyes to look in Bill Clinton's direction. He continues to be very popular among many democrats and throughout the world. However, I am mystified by the questions continually being asked of Hillary as to what position Bill will have in the White House. In fairness, why are not the other candidates being asked if their spouses will "hold" a position in the White House? And why are Bill's accomplishments or lack thereof (depending upon which glasses you are looking through) a reflection upon Hillary's merits as a candidate for president? In fairness, shouldn't we be asking the other candidates to explain what their spouse's strengths and/or weakness are in relation to the respective candidate's ability to be president?

If we are being propositioned to judge Hillary Clinton by her spouse's [mis]deeds, then shouldn't we include a fair assessment of each spouses accomplishments also?

In the event I were ever to be asked...promoting human rights, combating AIDS, poverty, global warming, etc., now those are something I would like to see on the platform of the spouse of the next president of the United States of America. Male or female. Black or white. Republican or Democrat.


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