Wednesday night, the GOP brought out Hawaii Governor Linda Lingle to drum up support for soon to accept VP candidate Sarah Palin. First of all, she is a terrible speaker and it was a terrible speech. I could feel her fingernails clawing into my skin in desperation for her party. You can get the full transcript here. But, essentially, she says nothing of any truth that lends itself to a vote of confidence. Here are, according to Linda Lingle’s qualifications, some women that I think would make better choices for VP:

In high school, she led her basketball team — as point guard and captain — to victory in the state championship.

Rumor has it that during one high school basketball game, Lisa Leslie scored 101 points in the first half of the game. The other team snuck out during half time through the locker room. We all know, of course, that Ms. Leslie has since gone on to lead Team USA to FOUR Olympic gold medals, over a 19 year career. She also was a maverick (that’s right, MAVERICK) in the WNBA, playing 10 seasons for LA. What you got to say to that, Palin?

Two years later, she was crowned Miss Wasilla and finished second in the Miss Alaska pageant.

Who can forget Ms. America September 1983-July 1984. The first Black Miss America was truly a maverick, sticking to the establishment and being stripped of her crown for refusing to fall in line (i mean nude photos…). This woman is no stranger to controversy, but her perseverance and dedication have seen her through. From the Miss America website:

An Atlantic City contestant representing New York, Vanessa won both the swimsuit and talent competition, going on to become the first African American Miss America and making an unforgettable mark in pageant history. Despite her resignation over questionable photos, she performed her duties as Miss America in an exemplary fashion. She moved into the world of entertainment with ease and grandeur. Vanessa’s talent as a singer, dancer and actress has catapulted her to stardom due to her perseverance and determination.

Today, Vanessa has four children and some describe her as the embodiment of American values. She nurtures at home, encouraging her children in their educational endeavors and social activities, and, of course, continues to pursue quite a remarkable career, being well recognized for recording hits such as “Save the Best for Last” and “Running Back to You.

Do you hear that? The EMBODIMENT of American Values. How can we reject that kind of leadership. She has her perseverance to thank for her stardom. How can we question perseverance? Isn’t that what we need? But wait I’ve “saved the best for last.”

Before serving as Governor, Sarah was the mayor of Wasilla for two-terms…again, defeating the incumbent! Some have tried to diminish this experience by pointing out that Wasilla only has a population of nearly 10,000 people. This is the size of many cities all across our country. The size where everyone knows everyone, and where as mayor you are held personally accountable for your decisions.

Personally accountable, eh? Is that why she was almost booted out of office over unethical firings? Good old fashioned American accountability. But I digress. Seriously, Mayor Denise Simmons oversees the city of Cambridge (fondly known as the People’s Republic of Cambridge), with a population of over 100,000 people- more than 10 times that of Wasilla. Here is a woman I would be proud to hold as an example to my own (fictional and hypothetical) daughter. A native Cantabridgian, a former School Committee member, and a mother of school ages children, Simmons is a role model for young women throughout Greater Boston, and a partner in making Cambridge the haven of progressive living that it is. She is also the first Black Lesbian Mayor in the country. Still think Sarah Palin is a maverick?



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