Quondam Dreams

Saturday, August 30, 2008

I Think I'm Kind Of Insulted

I've been poking away at assessments of both major candidates' VP picks, slated to be posted at rose-knows.net in the next day or two.

I keep getting sidetracked. Something's bothering me about the whole thing.

At first, I thought it might be Obama picking Joe Biden over me. But that's not it: If Barack wasn't going to go with me for the reasons I laid out, then most other sets of priorities do point straight to Biden.

Then I realized that the unease had set in right after John McCain announced that Sarah Palin was his running mate -- when his campaign started sending out that very clear message that disaffected Hillary Clinton supporters should vote for their ticket for the sole reason that John McCain had picked a female running mate.

Um. Wow. I think I'm kind of insulted.

As it happens, I voted for Obama in the primaries. But I'm still offended by the notion that a candidate's campaign things so little of a huge chunk of the electorate that they'll try to entice those people to vote for a ticket with views diametrically opposed to theirs -- first, because Obama didn't pick a woman; and, second, because McCain did.

The pick of Sarah Palin was clearly reverse-engineered by looking at the groups of likely Republican voters whose support for the candidate wasn't quite up to historical levels: Her voting record is right in line with what the evangelical community likes to see; she's a gun-owning mom with a kid in the military; and she's, y'know, a chick. Obviously, it was more important to fill in the demographic gaps than it was to pick someone qualified for the job. (Maybe I'm being overly snarky, but I've been on a job hunt of my own long enough to know that in the real world, her resume never would have made it past screening.)

You know who else is probably feeling kind of insulted? Parents of kids with Down syndrome. Sarah Palin's decision to go ahead and have a kid is being hailed by certain segments of the evangelical community as the greatest, bravest, most amazing decision ever. That clearly implies that people with Down syndrome are somehow "undesirable," so undesirable that people who are staunchly anti-abortion have a stack of "Get out of hell free" cards at the ready for just such occasions.

I don't know. Maybe I'm being overly sensitive.

I am, after all, a woman. You know us chicks.

Apparently, we're all the same.

...Okay, rant over. More sober assessment to follow on Rose Knows.

Monday, August 25, 2008

A Note To Barack Obama, To Be Written In Colored Ink On Folded Notebook Paper

Hi Barack -

You probably have a lot of notes to get through, so I'll get straight to the point. I just heard that you're taking Joe with you to Denver. That's not why I'm writing. I'm sure you two will have a good time.

I'm writing because I think it was really cheesy of you not to tell me in person. Instead, I had to find out by text message in the middle of the night, like everyone else.

I don't know, maybe you didn't see my note. I guess it's possible that you had so many people inviting you to invite them to Denver that you missed mine. Except I know you're hyper-organized, so it's hard for me to think that you didn't file my note in alphabetical order with the rest of them. My last name starts with an A, and I know that if you were looking at the Bs and Cs then you had to have seen it. Plus, mine had glitter stickers. How can you miss something with glitter stickers?

So, yeah, I'm a little miffed. But in case you're worried about it, I'm not all that mad. I'll still vote for you for president of the January Ball, because I think you'll do much better than John would, and, anyway, you're cuter. I'll still be here in case you need me to help, which you might if that thing about Joe comes out. (What "thing about Joe"? Exactly. You heard nothing from me.) Call me or text me if you need me to talk to Hillary, or if Joe is totally boring you.

g/g - ttfn,

P.S. Tell Michelle I said hi.

Monday, August 04, 2008

A Note To The Obama Campaign Vice Presidential Search Committee

To: Obama campaign vice presidential search committee (attn: Caroline Kennedy and Eric Holter)
From: Rose
Re: Availability

I'm a bit concerned. It's already August, mere weeks from the Democratic National Convention, and I still haven't heard from you.

Perhaps you missed my previous announcement, in which I declared my availability as a presidential running mate. Understandable; it was a while ago. Since then, I have become increasingly convinced of the importance of the importance of returning to the letter and spirit of the Constitution by choosing a vice president who does very nearly nothing. I'm kind of a workaholic, so it would be hard for me, but I can be idle for the good of my country.

I know you've considered every prominent Democrat -- and a few prominent Republicans -- in your search. It must be awfully tiring. You have a lot of factors to consider. Going by Senator Obama's recent appearance on Meet the Press, I honestly think I might be just what the Democratic ticket needs. And picking me now means that you can still enjoy a few weeks of summer.

From the interview:

I'm going to want somebody with integrity; I'm going to want somebody with independence, who's willing to tell me where he thinks or she thinks I'm wrong; and I'm, I'm going to want somebody who shares a vision of the country where we need to go, that we've got to fundamentally change not only our policies, but how our politics works, how business is done in Washington.

Integrity. I have integrity. The fact that absolutely no one will come forward to say otherwise should not be construed as proof to the contrary. I'm trustworthy; I do my best to follow through on my promises; and I have a compulsive's work ethic, especially if what I'm working on pays overtime.

Telling the President when he thinks he's wrong? As anyone who's ever been wrong within my earshot can tell you, that's not a problem. But I do try to do it nicely.

And I'm totally on board with the changing and the vision and the hope and all that stuff.

I think the most important thing from my perspective is somebody who can help me govern.

Oh, you mean a project manager? I'm sometimes a project manager! I'm pretty good at taking a vague proposal and turning it into something that makes sense, and I'm just awesome at telling people what to do.

Also, I know how politics work. I'm a bona-fide Student Congress trophy-winner. I haven't moved the previous question since high school, but I'm sure it will all come back to me that one time in four years that I have to show up at the Senate for something other than the State of the Union address.

I want somebody who I'm compatible with, who I can work with, who has a shared vision, who certainly complements me in the sense that they provide a knowledge base or an area of, of expertise that can be useful.

As it happens, I hold a Bachelor of Arts in American Studies. The whole country is my area of expertise.

Anyway, haven't you heard? Rose Knows!

Because we're going to have a lot of problems and a lot of work to do, and I'm not interested in a vice president who I just send off to go to funerals. I want somebody who's going to be able to roll up their sleeves and really do some work.

This is where I think we might have some philosophical differences. Going to funerals is a form of sitting around and doing nothing, which is the number one duty of the Vice President. But, let's face it, I'm kind of a workaholic. I bet I can come up with some way to get a lot of work done while maintaining a facade of idleness. Oh, I know! I'll work on the White House web site. If any reporters or informants walk by my office, I'll pull up a solitaire game. That should throw them right off.

...I think Hillary Clinton would be on anybody's short list. She, she is one of the most effective, intelligent, courageous leaders that we have in the Democratic Party.

Dude. Except for my occasional tendency to start statements with "Dude,"
I am exactly the kind of voter that Hillary Clinton was after. I'm a white, middle-class woman hit hard by the recession. If the die-hard Hillary supporters can't have her, I bet they'd be willing to take a look at me. Because I'm just like them. Only with better hair.

In the Democratic primary, older voters were more likely to vote for Hillary than younger voters. I can help you there, too. See, grandmas love me. Doesn't matter what their race, ethnicity, religion, class, geographic area, political affiliation or shoe size is -- they love me. Even the ones who don't like my positions will love me for trying.

So we know what the candidate's looking for. How about the voters? Luckily, Slate.com has taken a poll. You'll notice that the word that jumps out from both the Democratic and Republican tag clouds is "experience".

Experience I am not inexperienced in politics. I've been raising my voice since I had a voice to raise. I just don't have any experience being elected to anything besides political theory debate panels in college. But look at it this way: Next to me, Barack Obama would look incredibly experienced and distinguished. Problem addressed.

I'd also be a great help in fighting the smears against Senator Obama. Take the persistent rumor that Obama is a Muslim (not that there's anything wrong with that). I'm Jewish. The people who "know" that Barack Obama is Muslim are the same people who "know" that all Muslims hate Jews. By picking me, you're proving to that small but vocal population that he's really, really not Muslim. (Not that there would be anything wrong with that.) As for the other rumors, they're pretty easily provable or disprovable with a little Googling. I am a Google goddess. (In a non-pagan sense. Not that there's anything wrong with goddesses in the pagan sense.) Bring 'em on.

Now, I'm not perfect. I sometimes take too long to return emails, I talk about baseball too much, and I'm perhaps a bit too fond of karaoke. But you won't find any mistake for which I haven't apologized, no matter how hard you dig. And there will be digging, because some reporters are going to decide that my squeaky-clean public record indicates that I have something to hide. Even if I did (and I'm not saying I do, but doesn't everyone say that?), any incidents they find would be well within the law.

I am currently available for interviews and photo sessions. Please feel free to contact me through this blog. I look forward to hearing from you. I can't wait to detail my plans for turning Dick Cheney's man-sized safe into a craft supply closet.

Enjoy August in the Hamptons!