Vice President Mom?Joanne Bamberger
Mitt Romney should choose a mom of young children for his vice president.
Yup, you heard me. I want to see a mother of school-aged children in more high-profile elected positions to bring a mom sensibility to important issues being decided in Washington. So what better place to start than the White House?
Current political wisdom seems to be that Sarah Palin‘s presence on the 2008 GOP presidential ticket pretty much killed any chance for other Republican women in the foreseeable future, although Romney’s wife Ann has been vocal about the fact that her husband is seriously vetting some women for the number two slot.
Call me crazy, but there are plenty of women for the GOP to choose from!
I’ve taken a lot of heat over the last few years for saying that I think we need more moms of young children in positions of power. But hear me out — we already have the dad of young kids as the President of the United States, and he’s not the first one we’ve elected to the White House. Just as with many dads, President Obama isn’t the one who manages the juggling of work and home and kids’ activities — that routine is still left mostly to moms (Yes, I know there are some fab dads doing it, too!). So I always wonder how policies would change if we had one of those moms in a more high-profile political position.
For example, a mom of young kids on the Supreme Court would be nice as more cases are considered about working women, like in the Lilly Ledbetter fair pay case and the one about all those moms who work at Wal-Mart. But I say it’s way past time to see one in the White House , even though we all know I’d prefer the first one to be a Democrat!
1. Kelly Ayotte. She was out defending Mitt Romney this weekend for his gaffes criticizing the Olympic games in London. But Ayotte, a mom of a four-year-old and seven year-old, is the junior Senator from New Hampshire. She was the first woman Attorney General in that state and she had the support of the uber-mama grizzly herself, Sarah Palin. That’s some impressive political heft to consider.
2. Cathy McMorris Rodgers. Rodgers is also the mom of two children and is the highest ranking GOP woman in the House of Representatives. She’s personally involved in driving the Republican agenda in Congress and she’s recently launched her own iPhone app to help constituents keep up with her schedule. I bet Mitt Romney wishes he was that cool!
3. Nikki Haley. The Governor of South Carolina is also a mom of two (do I sense a trend here?). She, too, had the support of Sarah Palin two years ago, which helped Haley win her race. As a woman of Indian-American heritage, she could help Romney appeal to two groups he’s currently struggling with — women and voters of color. Haley’s recent move to crack down on which South Carolina residents can receive unemployment benefits is bound to win her some conservative support. Not sure about how that will work for voters in her state, though.
4. Kristi Noem. Noem is the mom of three young children and is a Congresswoman from South Dakota. She recently won an award from Working Mother Magazine as one of the 30 best Congress members for working families for her support of legislation that would help veterans access training for jobs when they return from duty.
5. Michele Bachmann. Her kids are all grown now, but Bachmann, a Congresswoman from Minnesota, regularly talked during her recent bid for the GOP presidential nomination about her five biological children, as well as the many foster children she and her husband gave a home to. Again, while I’m not a Republican and not a fan of Bachmann’s policies, she obviously has experience with parenting while being in elected office which would be refreshing to see in someone on the Presidential ticket.
6. Kay Bailey Hutchison. A retiring Senator and a mom of two middle-schoolers, Hutchison knows just how much energy it takes to be a later-in-life mom (welcome to the club!) since she didn’t become a mother until 2001 at the age of 58! She’s a woman who’s been around the Senate for almost 20 years, so she knows the ins and outs of Capitol Hill, the GOP AND what it means to be a working mom in the 21st century!
So does Mitt Romney have it in him to choose one of these women to be his VP? I doubt it. But stranger things have happened in politics, and voters are pretty smart. They know when someone is qualified or not, so it would be great to see Romney prove the Palin curse wrong and select a women to be his running mate, rather than one of those boring white guys we keep hearing about.
Does it matter to you if Romney chooses a woman to be VP on his ticket?
Read more from me at my place PunditMom and in my Amazon best-selling book, Mothers of Intention: How Women and Social Media are Revolutionizing Politics in America.(A great pre-2012 election read!)
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