THE BLOG

Time to Think Outside the Box: Oprah, Obama, and Me

10/18/2006 09:01 pm ET | Updated May 25, 2011

When my pot roast is simmering in the oven and my husband's suits are sufficiently pressed and hung, I occasionally take a break from teaching my children bible verses and the evils of baby killing Democrats to catch a few minutes of Oprah.

Sorry, the laughter overtook me there for a minute.

Actually, after I've finished blogging about my fantasies of killing Elmo, whipped up yet another "I don't think this has transfats, but it might have mercury" dinner, and wrestled the remote from the SpongeBob addicted 3-year old, I catch a few minutes of Oprah.

Today's guest: superstar Senator from Illinois Barack Obama. Oprah is talking to Obama about the possibility of him running for President in 2008. And I'm ignoring the cries of "WHERE IS SPONGEBOB!" to hear the answer.

A daytime talk show host is pushing politics on her show...and this mother is not only listening intently, but sitting on the edge of her seat to hear the banter.

Welcome to the new spin on campaigning, and the new breed of Mom voter. Get used to politicians and their wives on Oprah being watched by educated homemakers with tattoos and outspoken opinions. Get used to this making many people uncomfortable.

Just like my use of swear words gets me hate mail, I expect this down to earth Senator, and hopefully our next President, will get attacked for sitting on Oprah's couch and chatting about kids, mothers, and politics.

What many may not understand, or refuse to accept, is that things are not what they used to be. Mothers can be former reporters turned naptime activists hell bent on changing the word through swearing on their blogs and energizing voters. Future presidents can be mixed-race Jr. Senators, talking about the "Audacity of Hope."

I can be passionate about the PTA and defeating the GOP. I can be educated and have tattoos. I can be like many, many other mothers I know and not fit into your box.

And it seems, so far, a rookie politician with a "funny name" may not fit into that box either. He can make appearances on Oprah and travel to Africa. He can reach across race barriers and seem to have the charisma to give hope to the mother of two in California and the urban, minority male in Chicago.

It is time to forget the box. From homemaker to lawmaker not only do we NOT fit inside, we're forcing YOU to rethink your stereotype of mother and of politician. We're forcing YOU to not only think in black and white, but the many, many shades in between.

According to Women's Voices. Women Vote. 20 million women did not vote in the last election. That's 20 million women.

I'm guessing Oprah can reach a few of those 20 million women. I'm guessing Mommybloggers can reach a few of those 20 million women. I'm guessing the honesty and hopefulness of a young Senator can reach a few of those 20 million women.

I'm guessing YOU had better redefine that tiny box of yours to include 20 million different kinds of woman. We're not clear cut. We're not all Donna Reed. We're not all what you think a woman should be. What a mother should be. What a sister should be. What a daughter, aunt, girlfriend, or Oprah watcher should be.

But we sure as hell can vote.