The first time I can remember feeling personally insulted by a political commentator was back in 1988. It was the Republican Convention and they named George H.W. Bush their nominee for president. He chose the little-known Dan Quayle as his running mate and some wonk commentator said that Bush could then count on the women’s vote because he had selected such a handsome man to run for vice president.


What a condescending and ignorant comment! I couldn’t believe that this guy thought women were so stupid, superficial and shallow. He dismissed women as critical thinkers and implied that women don’t worry about the economy, foreign affairs, health care, education, or justice. The TV anchor indicted women as easily swayed by unimportant physical features.

And now we learn that in the last 20 years virtually nothing has changed.

Can you tell me what Sen. John McCain sees in Sarah Palin? Is it her extensive political resume? Is it her years of party politics? Is it her global perspective? Is it her stewardship of the environment? How about her in-depth understanding of international dynamics?

OK, OK, maybe it’s that she’s the only member of the GOP who has socially conservative views.

I’m no social conservative — and neither is John McCain for that matter — so I can’t rule out the fact that he couldn’t find any other social conservatives to carry the banner for him.

I had to look it up.

It turns out that a November 2007 Rasmussen poll states that approximately 40 percent of Republicans consider themselves to be socially conservative. So that’s not it: seems he had quite an assortment from which to choose.

And it certainly isn’t for the electoral votes she’ll deliver; Palin’s from Alaska and Alaska’s good for only three votes.

So that leaves her with one quality that must have really caught McCain’s eye.

Gov. Palin has a uterus and she’s not afraid to use it.

By picking Sarah Palin, McCain has managed to kill two birds with one stone. He hasn’t just landed a girl for his ticket, thereby setting the bait to lure disgruntled Hillary Clinton supporters away from the Democratic Party. No, McCain has also found that special kind of gal who isn’t just content making decisions for her own uterus; she also wants to make decisions for every other uterus in the country.

There’s one problem with a guy picking a girl only because she’s a girl — and here’s the problem that’s plagued society for millennia — women just aren’t interchangeable.

And even though some gals may like one woman, that doesn’t mean they’re going to like them all.

When was the last time you heard of a woman having a harem?

And while 10 million or so American women liked Hillary Clinton in the Democratic primaries, it was because she was ideologically correct, not because she was anatomically correct.

I’d like to meet Hillary Clinton — it’s not her politics — it’s her character. I think if I had a chance to know Hillary Clinton, I’d be pretty darn impressed.

I didn’t support Hillary for president but that’s because she voted to give President Bush the power to invade Iraq. The abrogation by Congress of its duty and responsibility to wage war and the transference of that power to the worst chief executive in the history of the United States is politically unforgivable to me.

Still, when I think about making friends with Hillary Clinton I get psyched. Mostly, I admire this woman who loves her daughter and did a great job raising her even though the country gossiped constantly about their private lives. And I admire that she kept her promise to her husband even when he didn’t deserve such loyalty.

The senator’s an example of intense personal strength standing up to a nation of busybodies.

Besides, if I knew Hillary Clinton I could get a few things off my chest. I wouldn’t just object philosophically to McCain’s inference that any girl will do. I’d make a personal objection.

If Hillary Clinton and I were friends I’d write:

“John McCain, I know Hillary Clinton, Hillary Clinton is a friend of mine, and Mrs. Palin is no Hillary Clinton!”

Pat LaMarche of Yarmouth is the author of “Left Out in America: the State of Homelessness in the United States.” She may be reached at