Last night, while driving around with a big ole "Obama 08" sign on top of my car (that's a big deal for a car guy like me, really), my 6 year-old daughter looked me dead in the face with her big beautiful brown eyes and asked: "why don't you want Hillary to be president?"
Now a little personal disclosure is due. I'm a feminist. A rabid feminist. An "a woman needs a man like a fish needs a bicycle" feminist. I was raised by my mom, and I read what she read - The New Yorker, Psychology Today and Ms. Magazine. (And the book "Our Bodies, Ourselves" but that's a totally different discussion.)
The idea of a woman as president has never seemed odd or weird to me at all. What seems strange is that it's taken this long to even get close to considering it. I mean Pakistan had a woman president for crissakes! What the hell is taking us so long.
So when my little girl, who is seeing me push hard for the candidate who is not a woman, asks me why, this is a big moment. And in all big teaching moments in my life, I look for an analogy.
I said that this election is like picking what you want to eat. And that Obama and Clinton are like ice cream. I said that Hillary is like her second favorite ice cream (strawberry) but Obama is like her first (vanilla - and no, the irony that I compared the chocolate candidate to vanilla ice cream is not lost on me). I asked her if she was happy to have strawberry ice cream, she said uh-huh. I asked if she would rather have vanilla, she smiled and said an enthusiastic YES. Then I asked her if she wanted cabbage instead of ice cream - of course she wrinkled up her face and said "ewwww." How about brussel sprouts? - "yuck!" Cauliflower? - "gross!"
So there you go, Obama is your favorite ice cream, and Hillary is your second favorite. McCain is cabbage, Huckabee is brussel sprouts and Romney is cauliflower. So if the choice is vanilla or stawberry, she picks vanilla. If the choice is ice cream or a vegtable, she goes with ice cream. Especially if it isn't even a good vegetable like broccoli (I don't know which Republican makes it up to broccoli status, but it sure ain't any of the three that are in the race now. Maybe Maria Shriver's husband, but he's not allowed to run, and that's a different blog).