VP Debate Made History for Women? You'd Hardly Know It

11/03/2008 05:12 am ET Updated May 25, 2011

Check out the blog I wrote for Women's eNews on the Veep Debate

More Nots Than Notable Mentions

With the first Republican woman running for the nation's No. 2 office, Thursday night's vice presidential debate made history for women.

But you would hardly know that from the candidates' talking points during the 90-minute debate in St. Louis, Mo. Neither Sen. Joe Biden, a Democrat from Delaware, or Gov. Sarah Palin, a Republican from Alaska, spent much time addressing issues of particular concern to women, issues like the wage gap, the high cost of child care, the lack of paid sick and maternity leave, efforts to restrict access to birth control, contraceptive equity in health insurance, and the list goes on.

In fact, only one issue of particular concern to women came up during the debate, and it was not raised by the woman on the stage. Twice, Biden made a point to discuss domestic violence. At the beginning of the debate and at its conclusion, he called attention to the 1994 Violence Against Women Act, the landmark law he authored that provided federal funds to combat domestic violence.

At one point, Palin noted that one of the reasons some foreign leaders dislike the United States is because of its "respect for women's rights." But the first woman to run on a GOP vice presidential ticket went no further to speak specifically to women in her debut debate.

--Allison Stevens is Washington Bureau Chief of Women's eNews.