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Old 10-25-2010, 12:31 PM   #1
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GOP Candidate Says Motherhood Is A Key Difference

Two women are running for governor of Oklahoma, the state has never had a female governor.

Is it important to know if a male candidate has been a father and a husband? Hmmm. I still know how to sacrifice myself for the well being of others and I fail to see how being a parent is the only way to know that. I think women running for office (and people in general) should get beyond all of that and stop judging the life choices of other women. It's a big professional accomplishment for both, and even if it's just pandering for votes it's not necessary to resort to that.


GOP's Mary Fallin Cites Motherhood As Key Difference Over Dem Jari Askins In Oklahoma Governor's Race

SEAN MURPHY | 10/23/10 09:23 PM | AP


EDMOND, Okla. — In her quest to become Oklahoma's first female governor, Democrat Jari Askins has amassed an assortment of professional qualifications: she's been a judge, a legislator, the head of a state agency, and a corporate attorney.

But what she hasn't been is a wife. The 57-year-old career woman, who now serves as the state's lieutenant governor, has never been married or had children. And as this historic race between two women candidates for the state's top office nears its conclusion, that gap in her biography is attracting increasing attention.

At rallies and other appearances, opponent Rep. Mary Fallin, 55, a Republican congressman, regularly mentions her new husband and their combined six children. Fallin, who had two children from a previous marriage, married a divorced father of four in November. She says her family and her experience as a businesswoman and officeholder have made her most qualified to be governor.

But remarks by Fallin at a Tuesday campaign debate, in which she cited her motherhood as a key difference between the two candidates, drew groans from some in the audience and stirred discussion about whether the emphasis on Askins' unmarried status had gone too far.

Several other women in public life, including Republicans, objected. "I don't understand why that's important," said Brenda Reneau, a Republican and former state labor commissioner, questioning why a candidate's husband and children were worth stressing in a gubernatorial debate. "Is she going to bring them to work? I've never found one thing while I was in office that I needed experience in being married and having children."

State Sen. Judy Eason McIntyre, one of 17 women serving in Oklahoma's legislature, also said Fallin's comment seemed like a "cheap shot." McIntyre, a Democrat, said Askins' unmarried status "doesn't have anything to do with anything."

Fallin supporters insisted the contrast was appropriate. "How can you not talk about family?" said Tulsa banker Charlotte Mindeman.

But the awkward moment has stirred questions about gender and politics in a race that has been regarded as a feminist milestone here. Would calling attention to a woman's lack of spouse pay off in a conservative state where politicians campaign on family values? Or does no-holds-barred campaigning show how far women have progressed in a male-dominated arena?

Laura Boyd, who was the state's first female gubernatorial nominee when she ran in 1998, said she hopes voters will focus on other issues. "Oklahoma woman are beyond, and should be beyond that, by virtue of the fact we have this opportunity for a female chief executive," said Boyd, a Democrat.

But one voter, Shana Goodman, a Norman salon owner and a single mother, said she thinks it is important to know whether a candidate has raised a family. "Because I think when you are actively involved in raising children, it shows you know how to sacrifice yourself for the well being of others," she said.

Fallin and Askins are both powerhouses in Oklahoma politics. Askins, the daughter of an abstract company owner from Duncan, worked as an oil and gas attorney before making her way up through the state's political ranks. She became director of the state pardon and parole board before winning election to the legislature. Gregarious and quick with a hug for colleagues and prospective voters, she built a reputation as a consensus builder in a politically divided state House.

Fallin's parents both served terms as mayor of her hometown of Tecumseh. She was manager of a hotel chain when, she said, she grew frustrated with government regulation and ran for the legislature. She was later elected lieutenant governor and U.S. representative. She still favors the formal business suits and firm manner of a business executive.

The two women initially appeared cordial on the campaign trail, and both boasted of their strong conservative credentials. But Askins, trailing in the race, took a more aggressive posture after television ads sponsored by the Republican Governors Association began blasting her as a liberal and associating her with President Barack Obama.

At the first televised debate last week in Edmond, Askins at one point suggested Fallin was a "show horse," rather than a workhorse, provoking a reaction.

And, when asked at the debate what defines her as a candidate and distinguishes her from opponent, Fallin responded: "I think my experience is one of the things that sets me apart as a candidate for governor. First of all, being a mother, having children, raising a family."

Afterward, Fallin said she saw nothing wrong with her remark. "I was just explaining that these things give me a good perspective on the challenges Oklahomans face, and hopefully voters can relate to that," she said.

Askins declined to say if she felt Fallin's comment suggested she lacked an important credential for a woman. She said she never planned on being single.

"I always expected to be married and have a passel full of kids," Askins said. "But none of that ever happened. Rather than sit back and worry about it, I devoted my life to trying to serve all the children of Oklahoma."

Although women officeholders are becoming more common across the nation, their marital status still sometimes draws attention. Both of President Barack Obama's Supreme Court nominees, Sonia Sotomayor and Elena Kagan, occasionally were asked about never marrying or having children. Janet Napolitano, who has never married, was elected governor of Arizona and is now Homeland Security secretary.

For her part, Askins says she hasn't committed herself to being single forever.

"I'm still hoping that when I get married, he has better football tickets than I do and he likes to play golf," she said.
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Old 10-25-2010, 01:22 PM   #2
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Wonder what this nut thinks about her fellow Republican nut O'Donnell?
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Old 10-25-2010, 01:46 PM   #3
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I don't think it's important that a political candidate is a father or mother.

For every decent, loving parent out there, there is at least one horrible, neglectful, lazy, essentially evil parent. Being a parent /= automatically being a good parent. Just ask Dumbdick Redjeans or whoever stuck it in Bristol Palin.

It's weird how Western society works out so that people who probably shouldn't be reproducing (for the good of the human race) end up reproducing wayyyy too much.

TL/DR: We're all fucked.

Edit: ALSO....WHAT THE FUCK is up with candidates parading their little smelly bundles of joy around on the campaign trail, dragging them out for every saccharin photo-op, and then WHINING about pundits attacking their family when they were the ones who thrust them into the spotlight in the first place. Those candidates can suck it, yes sir. Got me in a motherfucking rant mood today.
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Old 10-25-2010, 02:13 PM   #4
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Have a few kids, it'll mellow you out

Dumdick Redjeans is hilarious btw
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Old 10-25-2010, 02:17 PM   #5
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but there is supporting evidence

rate the last two Secretaries of State
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Old 10-25-2010, 02:42 PM   #6
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Quote:
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but there is supporting evidence

rate the last two Secretaries of State
Sarcasm/devilsadvocateplaying again? Or are you actually serious?
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Old 10-25-2010, 02:51 PM   #7
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The two most qualified women to run for office are Nadya Suleman and Cate Gosselin.

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Old 10-25-2010, 03:02 PM   #8
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Michelle Duggar in 2012!

Please, I wouldn't hire that woman to answer a phone.
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Old 10-25-2010, 03:07 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Golightly Grrl View Post
Michelle Duggar in 2012!
Jim Bob would be a very hot first husband. He did run for State Senate or something like that. I recently caught part of the rerun when they had the ice storm and the kids used the old signs as sleds. So I guess being a father to all those kids made him more qualified
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Old 10-25-2010, 03:22 PM   #10
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she should be the first female pope

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Old 10-25-2010, 03:25 PM   #11
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If you read a headline that begins "GOP Candidate Says," just stop reading and trust that the next thing will be naive, offensive, or both.
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Old 10-25-2010, 04:48 PM   #12
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I don't have a problem with candidates (male or female) occasionally referring to, or appearing in public with, their families if they have them; most all candidates, parents and otherwise, engage in a certain amount of marketing their 'life stories' to their prospective constituents, above and beyond their policy platforms. But to present parenthood as an intrinsic qualification for office, let alone a relevant competency advantage over childless candidates, is absurd.

Pointing to individual women who happen to have both large families and (so it would seem) a few screws loose as well is beside the point as counterargument, though, unless you're in the habit of researching specifically to determine how 'good' a parent a given candidate with children is, and factoring that into your voting decisions. If it's irrelevant, it's irrelevant.
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