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Sunday, September 7, 2008

One More Look At The Conventions

AP Photo/CNN, E.M. Pio Roda

YouTube's 2008 Convention Headquarters has a collection of videos from the conventions including a clip of CNN's John King at the Republican National Convention.

photo: E.M. Pio Roda / CNN © 2008 CNN

The CNN All Access Podcast from the last two weeks gives you a peek at what happens off camera at these conventions. In this first video, Donna Brazile provides us with a tour. (John King makes a brief appearance.)

photo: E.M. Pio Roda / CNN © 2008 CNN

The next CNN All Access Podcast features Sam Feist, Anderson Cooper, Jon Klein, and Wolf Blitzer.

This week's CNN article in the Metro features Tom Foreman with Dealing With The Other Woman. The full paper can be downloaded here.

Two men are walking down the street, when one says, “Oh no, here comes my wife with my mistress!” And the other replies, “Mine too!” With all the seismic rumbles over the GOP veep pick, this presidential race has become like that old joke. It is suddenly all about “the other woman.”

I don’t mean that in the sordid sense that permeates our politics these days, but in a political sense. In both parties there are well-meaning citizens who believe it is high time America puts a woman into the White House. But she has to be a woman who believes what they believe. And what she absolutely can’t be is “the other woman.”

For Republicans, “the other woman” was New York Sen. Hillary Clinton. Whether you supported her or not, she undeniably delighted millions of women by playing political hardball with the old boys, matching them almost vote for vote through the primaries, and coming within a whisper of grabbing the Democratic nomination. Eighteen million cracks in the highest glass ceiling? You bet. And every female politician in the future, regardless of party, will owe her a debt for paving the way to the top.

But for every voter I met who adored her, I met another who despised her. For every one who called her inspirational, another would call her divisive. Whether it was fair or not, too many voters thought she had too much baggage, too many negatives, so too-dle-loo. “The country is ready for a woman to be president,” they would tell me, “but not that woman.”

Now, Democrats have their own “other woman” to stuff into the dunking booth. Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin is staunchly conservative, opposes abortion and supports gun rights. So many Democrats who loudly proclaimed during Sen. Clinton’s run that it is high time a woman rises in the presidential sweepstakes are now saying, “but not that woman.” It is their turn to say she has the wrong experience, brings the wrong values, is the wrong kind of woman to stand a heartbeat away from the most famous corner office in the country. (I know, it’s an oval, not a corner, but you get the idea.)

Plenty of Democrats, Republicans, and independents say gender should not matter; leaders should be judged on their ability to lead and nothing else. But in this race it is clear, gender does matter. Gender matters because the election is running tight, and independent women voters are probably going to decide it. Gender matters because the first woman in the White House will go down in history.

Both parties know it, and they are fine with that. As long as she isn’t “the other woman.” “Every female politician in the future ... will owe her a debt for paving the way to the top.” | Catch Tom Foreman on CNN every Saturday at 6 p.m. on This Week in Politics for a look back at the presidential campaign trail.

One last clip before I go, we've been following the story of Fredricka Whitfield and her father, Mal Whitfield, over the last several weeks. Josh Levs spoke to her on Saturday afternoon's CNN Newsroom about the trip that her and her Dad took to the 2008 Olympics.

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