Of Claire McCaskill and PUMAs

If there were any justice in the world, Claire McCaskill would be Presidential material.  So would Barbara Boxer.  As the PUMAs (all 30 or so of them) march around Denver making a far greater ruckus than their pathetic numbers would dictate supposedly on behalf of Hillary Clinton, lost in the drama is the fact that the glass ceiling silently preventing women from achieving the Presidential consideration so far denied to 50% of the population has been far more brutal to the likes of Barbara Boxer and Claire McCaskill.  These remarkable women, absent the latent sexism of our nation, would and should be under serious consideration for the Presidency by the Democratic Party and the United States of America.

Senator McCaskill has been a fantastic and tireless advocate for Barack Obama on the campaign trail, and her speech tonight is yet another example of her charisma, speaking skills, and ability to connect with the average voter.

America's almost unique relationship with sexism means that unless a female politician can simultaneously project steely toughness and worldliness and a matronly presence that would seem just as at home caring for children and grandchildren while baking cookies and sewing a dress, she is rarely well-liked outside of a few blue-state bastions.  A sense of humor and a good fashion sense is also a near necessity.  Insofar as sexism did play a role in derailing Hillary Clinton's campaign, it was Hillary's inability (an at times quite intentionally fostered inability) to demonstrate this "down-to-earth", inherently conservative quality to many voters.  It's an unfair fact of American electoral life for women.

Claire McCaskill does have that quality, however.  Introduced prior to her just completed speech at the convention by her three children looking straight out of a Norman Rockwell painting, she was the perfect (for the voting public) combination of charisma, resolve, and down-home matronly charm and humility.

She brought up her and her parents' roots, and tied those humble origins to similar origins shared by Barack Obama; and in so doing, she reinforced tonight's "One America" meme by showing how, even on very different sides of American life, a black boy from Hawai'i and a white girl from Middle America share the same truly American story: the ability to succeed by reaching out for the American Dream given the equal opportunity to do so.  It was a truly heartwarming and extraordinary speech.

But watching Senator McCaskill, I couldn't help feeling a sense of irony in seeing this theme of "sameness" and "American unity" and "equal opportunity".  While both Barack and Claire had the ability to become Senators, there is some question as to whether today's America would be willing to give Senator McCaskill the same opportunity being afforded to Senator Obama.  There is no question that Hillary Clinton got as far as she did in large part due to the "Clinton" name; would America give Senators Boxer or McCaskill the same credit based solely on their abilities and the content of their character, without the advantage of the name recognition provided by a former President?

Time will tell.  If the PUMAs are serious about their mission, they will do well to focus not on a misguided campaign for misogynist John McCain, but on promoting the chances of such extraordinary individuals as Barbara Boxer and Claire McCaskill.

Tags: Barack Obama, Barbara Boxer, Big Tent, Claire McCaskill, Democratic National Convention, Election 2008 (all tags)




for truly equal opportunity.

by thereisnospoon 2008-08-25 07:08PM | 0 recs
Re: tips

I agree 100%

by Brandon 2008-08-25 07:32PM | 0 recs
Re: Hillary is powerful. Claire is not.

Not true, the problem for dead enders like yourself is that no woman not named Hillary Clinton is a viable pick, that is probably one of the reason a female running mate was not picked.  ]

Congrats on that.

by Brandon 2008-08-25 07:20PM | 0 recs
Re: Hillary is powerful. Claire is not.

Great point. I wanted Sebelius more than anything. And I'm pretty sure Obama wanted Sebelius (or Kaine). But the Clintons pretty much blocked it.

by Dale Johnson 007 2008-08-25 07:22PM | 0 recs

The Clintons blocked it?  The Clintons were on the VP selection committee?  Who knew.

by Radiowalla 2008-08-25 07:30PM | 0 recs
Re: Hillary is powerful. Claire is not.

Um, what? Do you have any other issues where you'd like to just make up some facts to support your theories?

by Denny Crane 2008-08-25 09:26PM | 0 recs
Re: Hillary is powerful. Claire is not.

Catfish didn't make a deragatory comment about Obama so there was no need to respond with an attack on Hillary.

You wrote a diary the other day asking people to list what can be done to foster harmony. I say take that big chip off your shoulder; you and all the other dead-enders who want to keep refighting the primary camapign.

I've uprated your comments many times when they were hidden so I say this as someone who means well toward you.

I think we should HR McTrolls when they attack Obama, without engaging in useless mud slinging toward Hillary, which only serves their nefarious purpose at this point.

by Obama44 2008-08-25 11:26PM | 0 recs
Re: Hillary is powerful. Claire is not.

uh...ok.  Whatever you say.  I'm not going to get into an argument about Hillary here.  That's not the point.

by thereisnospoon 2008-08-25 07:22PM | 0 recs
Re: Hillary is powerful. Claire is not.

And catfish are bottom feeders with flat heads.

by venician 2008-08-25 07:27PM | 0 recs
Re: Hillary is powerful. Claire is not.

And that is why you fishguts are NO feminist. You are only interested in one women not ALL women.

by venician 2008-08-25 07:28PM | 0 recs
O.K., great.
Even if I were to concede your point about McCaskill--which I don't; I don't know enough about her to know either way--are you seriously going to try to argue that Barbara Boxer is not "tough" or "powerful"?
Jeez, you people say that Obama supporters are koolaid drinkers; look in the mirror.
by Mumphrey 2008-08-25 07:30PM | 0 recs
Re: Of Claire McCaskill and PUMAs

I'm considering moving just to vote AGAINST her.  Can't stand the woman.

by BRockNYC 2008-08-25 07:35PM | 0 recs
A couple of points.

Claire McCaskill was first elected to the senate in 2006.  Give her a little time before stating that her road to the presidency has been blocked.  Most freshly elected senators wait until they have at least a full term under their belt before running for president.

As far as I know, Barbara Boxer has never shown any interest in running for a national office.  

by Radiowalla 2008-08-25 07:37PM | 0 recs
However, if Barbara Boxer

were to show any interest in running for national office, I would be right there to donate, canvass and stuff envelopes or whatever.

by LIsoundview 2008-08-26 12:41AM | 0 recs
Re: Of Claire McCaskill and PUMAs

I will turn in my Democrat card if Claire McCaskill is ever on a presidential ticket.

by alvic63 2008-08-25 07:37PM | 0 recs
Re: Of Claire McCaskill and PUMAs

The mind of a dead ender is truly amazing.  Your card will be turned in when Obama gets officially nominated, unless you want to register just in case you want to claim to be an aggrieved "life long democrat" again.

by Brandon 2008-08-25 07:40PM | 0 recs

on the timing and commenters in this thread.  top notch!

by canadian gal 2008-08-25 07:53PM | 0 recs
Re: congratulations!

Considering the author, it is hard to see this as anything other than an attempt to bait people.

by Steve M 2008-08-25 08:02PM | 0 recs
Re: congratulations!

Not at all.  I would think that helping  break the glass ceiling would be something that still-angry hillary supporters could do to productively further progressive goals. One of my biggest complaints about hillary was that she didn't, in fact, break barriers for women succeeding based on their own merits, any more than liddy dole did.  I

But that's all water under the bridge now.  I would hope that we can find common ground in trying to break these barriers and achieve equality.  But if you want to keep fighting, it's up to you.

by thereisnospoon 2008-08-25 08:34PM | 0 recs
Re: congratulations!

I see it as no small coincidence that one of the biggest fomenters of anti-Hillary hatred during the primary would choose to focus this diary upon the woman who became one of the most disliked Obama surrogates among the Clinton crowd.

But that's the rhetorical trick, right?  If you don't think Claire McCaskill would be a great President someday, then you're just some member of the Clinton cult of personality who doesn't care about the greater cause of women's equality.  Even in the comment I'm responding to, people can see exactly the passive-aggressive behavior that I'm talking about.  "Gee, if you don't care about working for women's equality, I guess it's your call..."

by Steve M 2008-08-25 08:48PM | 0 recs
TINS is just pissed

that the PUMAs are getting real publicity for their stupid hyperbole when he never did.

He's a wannabe Salieri to a "movement" with a name that's a homonym to a big cat.

by andgarden 2008-08-25 09:09PM | 0 recs
Re: Of Claire McCaskill and PUMAs

Laughable post!  McCaskill, Pelosi, and the like are supporting the same patriarchal club that has held the presidency since the history of this country.

These patriarchal women need to be thrown out of the Party on their respective asses!

by trixta 2008-08-25 08:22PM | 0 recs
Yeah, all those black guys

that get elected every 4 years has really gotten old.

by Brandon 2008-08-25 08:33PM | 0 recs
Re: Yeah, all those black guys


by thereisnospoon 2008-08-25 08:36PM | 0 recs
Re: Of Claire McCaskill and PUMAs

We just constantly shoot ourselves in the foot.

There is no question that Hillary Clinton got as far as she did in large part due to the "Clinton" name; would America give Senators Boxer or McCaskill the same credit based solely on their abilities and the content of their character, without the advantage of the name recognition provided by a former President?

why must we continue the same old hagard arguements?

Overall your diary does bring up some good points but why must you diminish HRC's accomplishments. Im sure Bobby and Teddy were faced with this type of arguement after trying to follow in their older brother's footsteps. To say any of these figures got to where they are just because of name recognition does no one any favors, its actually just disrespectful.

Secondly, Im sure Claire McCaskill would do well after she builds more momentum on the national scale, she's still new to many voters and it does her well to speak at this year's convention.

by alyssa chaos 2008-08-25 08:59PM | 0 recs
Re: Of Claire McCaskill and PUMAs

This diary isn't about praising Claire McCaskill, it's about diminishing Hillary Clinton.  That's what this diarist has been about for the last 20 months. Claire McCaskill is just his way of getting to his real point - Hillary sucks.

by Denny Crane 2008-08-25 09:31PM | 0 recs
Re: Of Claire McCaskill and PUMAs

How long are you going to keep doing this?  We all know who you are, and we all know your history.  You are one of the most persistent Clinton haters around, and you diary is just more of the same.  Your attempt to disguise it with "rah rah Claire McCaskill" is cute, but you aren't fooling anyone who's been around for more than 5 minutes.

by Denny Crane 2008-08-25 09:29PM | 0 recs
Re: Of Claire McCaskill and PUMAs

Claire McCaskill's voting record has been so in sync with the GOP since her election that, had she run, I would have opposed her more than most.

But it is time for more of the talented women like her in the Democratic Party to step forward and run for president now that Hillary has cracked the ceiling.

by Obama44 2008-08-25 11:31PM | 0 recs
Re: Of Claire McCaskill and PUMAs

Check out the latest poll-27% of Clinton voters are for McCain.  Think of that next time Keith Olberman wants Hillary to be taken into a room, or Cafferty suggests she be run over by a truck or Jeannie Moos suggests she's Norma Desmond, or DeFrank tells us she needs to have stake driven into her heart.

by handsomegent 2008-08-26 04:00AM | 0 recs
Re: Hillary is powerful. Claire is not.

Hillary Clinton is no Claire McCaskill

I am just saying

by wellinformed 2008-08-26 07:12AM | 0 recs


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