March 7, 2009 / Uncategorized

Two governors and the double standard


Editor’s note: Kathy Skerl is a team captain for The New Agenda in Asheville, North Carolina. This essay was originally posted at her own blog in slightly different form.

Jeez, it seems it’s been awhile since Bobby Jindal last saw Louisiana — you know, the state he’s supposed to be governing. 

First, it was the Governors Conference, then giving the rebuttal to President Obama’s State of the Union speech, and finally it’s CPAC, the conservative convention. Who is paying for Jindal’s room and board this past week? Who bought his clothes? Who’s running Louisiana while he’s trying out for the presidency? What are his qualifications since he’s only been governor for a year and has no foreign policy experience? Doesn’t he have a big ego to think he could be president since he is so young and lacking in experience? Isn’t he only thinking of himself and ignoring the people of Louisiana?

Just wondering, because if that was Sarah Palin, it would be all over the networks in the lower 48 and in Alaska that Palin is out campaigning at the state taxpayers’ expense (even if she were paying her own way; the truth might be whispered a month or so from now in the back pages of the local newspaper next to the obituaries); that Palin is only interested in herself, not the people of Alaska; that Palin sure has a big ego thinking she could actually be president since she has no foreign policy experience and comes from a remote state like Alaska.

Don’t seem to be any questions or comments like that about Bobby Jindal. I think it has something to do with SEXISM. I mean, it’s to be expected that a young male politician aspiring to higher office would go to conventions where he could look important and meet important people, and that the people of his state should be proud of him and proud of themselves for electing such a bright rising star. I mean, isn’t that normal?

It’s normal only if you are a man; if you are a woman, you are back in your state fending off malicious allegations intended to smear your reputation so that you never leave Alaska again, much let alone run for POTUS. You are criticized for collecting $8,500 in per diems even though you saved $900,000 compared to the previous governor. You are questioned about your children traveling with you and at whose expense, and even though the conclusion is that nothing wrong was done, you will voluntarily seek a higher standard to make sure no one can question your actions regarding your family again.

In the meantime, the GOP will keep pushing forward men as future candidates and no one will ever question their ethics, their expense account, their ego, or their loyalty to their state. No one, that is, except me.

You go, Sarah! See you in 2012.


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