Soon after Sen. John McCain announced Gov. Sarah Palin of Alaska as his running-mate, reporters sought the reaction of political analysts and women’s rights advocates. Iva Deutchman, professor of political science at HWS, shared her insight with a reporter from the Democrat and Chronicle, expressing her view that the move was more about gaining female voters than choosing the right candidate for the position.
The article quotes Deutchman as saying, “The cynical me still says the Republicans can’t believe we’re that stupid.” It continues, “That someone who voted for Hillary is now going to vote for McCain because he’s running with a woman, that biological sex somehow trumps party identification … I’m not buying it,” she said.
Deutchman, professor of political science at Hobart and William Smith Colleges, holds a Ph.D. and a master’s degree in political science from the University of Pennsylvania, and a bachelor’s degree from Hofstra University in political science and economics. She is a professor of twenty plus years who has worked on two continents (Australia and North America). She has a long list of publications in major journals, the latest of which is “The Ideology of Moderate Republicans in the House,” written with colleague DeWayne Lucas and published in The Forum.
The complete article on McCain’s choice of running mate appears below.
Democrat and Chronicle
“Palin draws mixed reviews from Rochester-area, national women’s rights advocates”
David Andreatta • Staff writer • August 30, 2008
The surprise selection of Gov. Sarah Palin of Alaska as Sen. John McCain’s running mate Friday evoked mixed reactions among women’s rights advocates, from tepid support to visceral disdain for the Republicans’ first female candidate for vice president.
Deborah Hughes, executive director of the Susan B. Anthony House, said the development capped a “huge leap” this year for women in politics.
“It’s taken a long time to get to this place, but we’re finally getting there,” Hughes said. “I think this makes the next few weeks fascinating and exciting in ways that we didn’t anticipate.”
The selection of Palin, 44, a conservative Christian, marks the second time in U.S. history that a woman will be on the ticket of a major party’s presidential ticket. The first was Geraldine Ferraro, who ran unsuccessfully with Walter Mondale on the Democratic ticket in 1984.
Even the most ardent critics of the choice could not ignore its historical significance and found themselves paying tribute to the accomplishment before railing against its potential consequences.
“Gov. Palin may be the second woman vice-presidential candidate on a major-party ticket, but she is not the right woman,” said National Organization for Women Chairwoman Kim Gandy. “Sadly, she is a woman who opposes women’s rights, just like John McCain.”
Many regarded the choice as a cynical grab for female voters, particularly disaffected supporters of Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton, D-N.Y., who came within a handful of primary votes of becoming the first woman with a legitimate shot at the White House.
“The cynical me still says the Republicans can’t believe we’re that stupid,” said Iva Deutchman, a political science professor at Hobart and William Smith Colleges who sits on the editorial board of the journal Women and Politics.
“That someone who voted for Hillary is now going to vote for McCain because he’s running with a woman, that biological sex somehow trumps party identification … I’m not buying it,” she said.
Clinton attempted to counter the possibility of McCain siphoning her backers with a prepared statement in which she said the country should be proud of Palin’s nomination, while adding that a McCain-Palin ticket would “take America in the wrong direction.”
Not all feminist groups derided the development.
Feminists for Life of America, which counts Palin as a member, celebrated her involvement in the organization, but refrained from endorsing her.
“There is a certain excitement about the recent movement toward FFL’s woman-centered solutions and message by the parties, and now the selection of a pro-life feminist as the vice presidential nominee,” said President Serrin Foster.