The newspaper today carried a first page banner headline regarding the "historic" fact of Senator Obama clinching the Democratic nomination. They are making a big deal about the first black man to be nominated for a place at the top of the presidential ticket. I suppose that is true and worth mentioning.
If Senator Clinton had gotten the nomination, they would be saying the same thing, I think.
The fact is that -- God I hate to say this!!! -- I think one of the things that is clear in this campaign is that sexism trumps racism in our culture, even in 2008! That is not to say that racism is not a problem. On the contrary. Most of the people I know have already said there is no way in hell they will vote for Obama, because he is black. No apologies. No excuses. He's black, ergo, he is unacceptable. Period.
Most of those same people would also not have voted for Senator Clinton because she is a woman. Most of those people and a lot of others. Senator Clinton has got to be one of the most reviled women in America. I think she should get credit for having balls of steel for just running in this election, given the way she was treated when her husband was President. The woman must be totally and completely nuts to even consider running for the job. To my mind, that's a point against her: she's freaking crazy.
Regardless of which type of bias (gender or race), Senator Obama has a totally uphill battle in this campaign. I, personally, think that at this point the man does not have a snowballs chance in hell of getting elected. But, I have to temper that statement with the knowledge that I thought he did not have a prayer to get this far. Shows you what the hell I know.
I do know one thing, and I don't say this very often because I don't like to think about it: the "Glass Ceiling" is still very much intact for women in politics.
The fact that Senator Obama is the first black candidate is truly historic. He got the nomination over a woman. Somehow that devalues it a little in the big scheme of things.
I will vote for him with slightly more enthusiasm than I would have voted for Senator Clinton.
But, I have to say this, and I don't make comments like this often: it really sucks to be a woman in America today.