The choice between presidential candidates was clear to many women on Tuesday night as Hillary Clinton continued to paint a portrait of leadership. Senator Clinton reached across the racial divide the press created and in a dramatic power play offered to bring the junior senator into her battle to take control of the government from George Bush. That gesture demonstrated the intelligence, the compassion and the ability to heal a major rift in a national political party.
Obama confirmed what many already believed when he was questioned about his comments to a Nevada newspaper regarding how he would lead. His admission that he was not good at handling the details brought into focus a fact of life that many women experience on a daily basis. Women assistants have made the phone calls to correct mistakes and cover for the boss, who looks good, talks a good game but depends on his secretary to "make it work".
Those statements are striking to many women who have spent years finding the piece of paper the boss needs and running the office or household while the male boss or husband plays golf and makes the deals that she will have to turn to reality. Obama’s responses confirm what many suspected: good speeches, great ideas but not great hands-on control over the moving parts. We’ve experienced that method of governance for eight painful years. We’ve seen the results of turning the details of running the country over to those selected by those who were not elected. Enough. We need someone in the White House who can find the paper and make the government run – not just talk about how it should run.
The responses to the debate questions clearly demonstrate the difference in ability and readiness to lead. Never has there been a clearer picture of what the past has been and what the future could look like. The dramatic difference between Hillary and Obama reflects the reality that many women experience on a daily basis. Men who look like society expects them to look and talk the talk are in the positions of power, reaping the benefits of their power, while women do the work.
Work Horse vs. Show Horse.