If last week held the potential for a woman to grace the Democratic ticket in the Number 2 spot, this week the wags seem to be working to dispel that notion. In today's New York Times, Adam Nagourney and Patrick Healy offer up a list of potential Obama vice presidential picks, and then swiftly dispense with the only woman on it: Kathleen Sebelius, governor of Kansas. Likewise, on Meet the Press today, NBC Political Director Chuck Todd and MSNBC host David Gregory discussed an Obama veep list that included no women. (This week's media potential-veep sweetheart? Sen. Jack Reed of Rhode Island, with whom Obama is traveling in Afghanistan and Iraq.)
But the part I find so maddening about this turn of events is the reason given for the absence of a female contender. From the Times:
If he does not choose Mrs. Clinton, several Democrats said, it would be difficult for him to name any woman -- like Gov. Kathleen Sebelius of Kansas, someone for whom he has had warm words. Both Clinton and Obama advisers said such a move could create a backlash among women who supported Mrs. Clinton.
Sorry, but that just doesn't ring true. Sure, I'd expect the Clinton folks to say that (especially those who purchased the HRC2012 domain name.) But Obama supporters who toe that line are likely buying cover for a decision that was made for other reasons. Maybe it's been determined that it's just too risky to put a woman on the ticket with a black man. Maybe Jack Reed or one of the other male contenders bring to the ticket other qualities that political experts deem more important than the competence and red-state savvy that Sebelius is said to possess.
But the notion that voters mad at Obama because, being a young man, he swept past a 60-year-old woman who has paid some serious dues -- that those voters then would be miffed by the nomination of a 50+-year-old-woman who has paid some serious dues simply makes no sense. It has no internal logic, which obviously would not disqualify it in the eyes of those who think that older women -- and let's face it, that's what is meant by "disaffected Hillary voters" -- lack the capacity for logical decision-making.
Here's how that rationale plays out: Let's say I'm a woman over 50 who's totally jazzed by the notion of someone who looks like me, who's had to eat a lot of the same crap I've had to take, becoming the President of the United States. Then this young guy, just like that self-important jerk I trained in his junior exec years, sweeps right by her, just like the jerk swept by me, to become CEO. I'm mighty pissed, and I may not vote for you. So don't you dare put someone other than my choice candidate on the ticket, even if she looks like me and has had to eat a lot of the same crap that I've had to take...
Sorry. Does not compute. Works only if you see the Clinton campaign as a cult of personality, despite the fact that Mark Penn had the candidate put her personality in a box and shove it in the closet.
Follow Adele Stan on Twitter: www.twitter.com/addiestan