It is truth universally acknowledged that an open microphone in a direct feed to a 24-hour news outlet must be in want of a clueless politician. In this case, Pennsylvania Gov. Ed Rendell (D), also chair of the National Governors' Association, was the clueless pol.
While chatting near the podium Tuesday at the NGA's meeting in Philadelphia, Rendell made free with his opinions about Arizona Gov. Janet Napolitano (D) -- President-elect Barack Obama's nominee for Homeland Security Secretary. Said Rendell, most conveniently into the open mic:
"Janet's perfect for that job. Because for that job, you have to have no life. Janet has no family. Perfect. She can devote, literally, 19-20 hours a day to it."Now, I am particularly suspicious that Rendell was pontificating about this specific position -- a post for which he himself had been rumored a candidate. Is he trying to excuse why HE didn't get the job?? Because he has family and so thus is not a good candidate? Um, not so much.
Rendell apologized for his foot-in-mouth disease today, saying: "What I meant is that Janet is a person who works 24/7, just like me." Pardon my French, but that's horseshit. Rendell did not misspeak initially; he said exactly what he meant, and he meant what he said -- that women without kids are the only kind of women able to take on the big time jobs. Or, by definition, that women with kids can't do such critical work because of family obligations. Of course, such obligations or lack thereof don't seem to recommend or disqualify men -- but for women, the mommy track is alive and well. It just goes to show that as far as women in the workplace go -- well, we've not come as far as we thought, baby.
CNN's Campbell Brown used her platform on her show No Bias, No Bull to present a marvelous commentary, politely but clearly given Rendell all kinds of hell. Way to go, girlfriend, and what an excellent example of why having women in high places does make a difference -- if only to call the boys on their crap. Watch the video, below.
BTW, if you know the famous book from which this blog's leading sentence is derived/paraphrased, you get brownie points!
Copyright 2008. The Zaftig Redhead. All Rights Reserved.