Skip This One if You’ve Got an Elephant Bumper Sticker on the SUV

I’ve gone far too long recently without getting my political mojo on here. That ends now.

(Sorry in advance to apolitical readers who just like it when I’m funny. I promise more Rock of Love II commentary and the new Candy Land rules according to Thalia to come.)

This week I had an opportunity to do a little assignment for a publisher that wanted to create a basic chart for their readers on where each candidate stood on mom-centric issues. While I’m grateful for the project and really liked the people I was working with, I have to admit a bit of frustration about the nature of the assignment in the first place. Narrowing down a candidate’s sixteen page health care proposal to one easily digestible bullet point is akin to asking someone to buy a car based on a single attribute.


“I’ll take it!”

Oh, our poor no-attention-span society.

What the project forced me to do however was to really delve into the candidates’ websites – all of them – and get to understand their plans, their differences, their similarities, their fuzzy math, their rhetoric, and which ones are truly batshit crazy.

(Oh pleaseohpleaseohplease let Huckabee be the Republican nominee. Huckabee in ’08! Whoo!)

So in doing the research (and I swear I was totally objective and journalistic) here’s what I found on each of the Republican candidates’ websites regarding women and families and children:


Not a thing.

Unless you count fetuses which are apparently a very big deal.

There’s no Supporting Parents and Caring for Children category laid out with like 8 zillion super specific proposals as there is on Clinton’s site. There’s no comprehensive Working Families category as on Edwards’ site. Heck, Obama has a simple, all-encompassing category entitled Families. You’d think Romney, McCain, Guiliani, Huckabee, or Paul could manage that.

Goose egg.

Not one of them mentions affordable childcare. Not one of them mentions the Family Medical Leave Act. Not one of them mentions sizeable deductions for stay-at-home parents, the promotion of telecommuting, or preventing workplace discrimination against parents and caregivers. Of course there’s a bit here and there on education, most of which has to do with charter schools and voucher programs, often code for government-funded parochial schools. (I learned a whole lot about code this week.) And then there’s Huckabee, whose dedication to music and art programs I actually found admirable until he goes and calls them “Weapons of Mass Instruction.” Because dude, it’s awesome to take a phrase meaning “nukes that can destroy life as we know it in four seconds” and change one syllable to mean “hey kids, let’s play the recorder!”

(Whoo! Huckabee in ’08!)

Mitt Romney’s site was actually almost promising with a category called American Culture and Values. But apparently American values have more to do with “enforcing our nation’s obscenity laws” than supporting paid maternity leaves.

What the GOP candidates do seem to have instead of info on families is info on faith. Oh, there’s loooots of info on faith and how faithful and wonderfully God-fearing and pious and super-faithful they all are in their faithy-faithfulness.

Also gun owner rights. Because as we all know, Jesus said, “Ignore the mothers for they are not as important as the gun lobby.”

Or something like that.

Now I’m not saying that everyone is going to be pro-choice. But man, shouldn’t everyone be pro-family? I mean they didn’t even mention the FMLA. Try googling any GOP candidate with FMLA. Or take my word for it…don’t.

The way I see it, anyone with a “Women for McCain/Romney/Huckabee” t-shirt is just being used. Because clearly, McCain/Romney/Huckabee is not for women.

Okay, so now you know (with probably too much detail) who I don’t like. Who do I like?

I don’t know.

For once in my life, I am hopelessly on the fence. I think a President Clinton, a President Obama, or a President Edwards could each do outstanding things for our country.

But I will say this:

After really tearing into all of their websites, Senator Clinton absolutely blew me away with the comprehensiveness of her proposals, the detail of her plans, and her thorough understanding of the issues and how they play out within the political machine, and exactly how each plan could be paid for. Blew me away. Just read her agenda for working families if nothing else.

When she says she’s ready to hit the ground running, she’s not kidding.



115 thoughts on “Skip This One if You’ve Got an Elephant Bumper Sticker on the SUV”

  1. I have to agree that I’m impressed by how well-prepared she is, particularly where it comes to budgetary matters. And since the basis of my conservatism is fiscal, I can’t help but admire that aspect of her candidacy.So far I’ve only hit Thompson (gone) and Paul in my candidate profiles at The Parental is Political, but here’s how I boiled down their views re family:Thompson: Families and Children – Supports strengthening institutions of traditional marriage and family.Paul: Families and Children – Voted NO on establishment of AMBER alert system (2003). (odd sidenote – so did Kucinich)Those are the most lucid points I could gather from their statements on the topic of Families and Children.Edwards and Richardson, on the other hand…Edwards: Families and Children – Supports investment in programs to prevent teen pregnancy. Proposes a family leave tax credit.Richardson: Families and Children – Voted for FMLA while in Congress, supports paid family leave.I’ll get to the front-runners in the upcoming weeks, but I don’t expect to find anything different from what you have.

  2. Okay. So there are tooooo many lines here to love you for, but this:“Jesus said, “Ignore the mothers for they are not as important as the gun lobby.”THAT is pure poetry.

  3. You seem well-informed – maybe you can tell me what GOP stands for. I’ve been trying to figure it out for YEARS. God’s Own Party?

  4. I went through this heart-rendering analysis a few months ago..I made myself do it, ev en though I was a Sen. Clinton proponent. And she just has it going on..yeah, there are unlikeable things about her but I am voting for a President, not my BFF.But I am am totally on the Huckabee ’08 campaign ’cause it would cause the moderate Republicans to vote blue…NAVY blue.From the liberal upstater… (btw, my word verification is exyatic and you know, I am so damm exyatic and thrilled about the upcoming primaries that I can’t hold it all in…)

  5. I am SO glad to hear this. I like her and want to LOVE her. Here’s a good place to start. I want to BELIEVE!Bonnie

  6. Ok, I’m not as unbalanced as that last comment sounded…I was just carried away by my enthusiasm.It ends up being, let’s have a mother and a woman as President. No, she’s not perfect, but are any among us?

  7. …yes, would love to know what GOP stands for. Great Offence Potential?

  8. GOP = Grand Old PartyI have to ask: Why would a bunch of old white guys give a shit about young working families?They don’t, end of discussion. The old white guys who do care don’t run for republican president.

  9. I soooo want to love her. I WILL support her if she gets the nomination, but I WANT to love her, believe her, trust her. Sigh, I’m not there yet.

  10. I find myself a little upset that I’m not more thrilled about the possibility of being able to vote for a woman for President. A WOMAN! FOR PRESIDENT! I should be jumping for joy!But then – what if she gets the nomination and wins? For all her well laid out plans – will she actually execute them? Can she? It’s good to have plans. It is. And kudos to her for publishing them for all to see (and come back to hold her accountable to later.)I just wish, like many others, that I could get excited about her.

  11. I want to like her. But boy howdy, much more of this politics as usual (and she seems to really like it when it’s like that) and I’m going to have a hard time stomaching voting for her if she gets the nomination. The best laid plans…and a ton of angry enemies that you want to get back at who hate you too? Not a recipe for success. Oh, and I appreciate the political moment — I’m such an obsessed geek that I wonder why all my fave blogs aren’t talking about it. 😉

  12. As a long term resident of Massachusetts and the head of a family living in poverty I can honestly say that Mitt Romney is about the worst thing to EVER happen to families in my state. He cut every social service agency to the bare core including DSS DYS and the Dept of Mental Health. Case workers are barely educated and have such high case loads due to Romney’s cuts that there really are no services available anymore.They actually CHARGE parents to go to court to try and file a Child in Need of Services petition. That is unheard of anywhere else. He is a disaster waiting to happen because he’s still got a ton of money and the other Repubs are running out of cash. Romney is going to purchase the presidency, just as our current president did. Danger will robinson.

  13. I love when you get your political on.My number one issue is health care, and then world peace. Because if we’re going to get the world peace thing going on, we have to be well enough to do it; not spending our time trying to figure out how to do our own at-home root canals.

  14. Oh, Liz how I love thee. I’m proudly boasting the Hillary Clinton button on my blog. I was back and forth between Hillary and Obama (if only they could fuse to become Clibama! Oy!) for a while but now I’m 100% behind Hillary. Obama is brilliant, a true poet and I believe he will make an incredible president one day (maybe even the best?) but I think he needs to callous a little bit first, he seems almost too good to be true. Hillary may have enemies but she’s a bad-ass and I like that, not to mention the fact that she comes equipped with a serious hair-helmet (the ultimate thinking cap?)Regardless who wins the democratic candidacy I’m really excited about the candidates (I would be thrilled to have Obama represent this country as well, not too crazy about Edwards) and for the first time in a long time (maybe ever?) am proud to be an American. As far as Republican candidates go, well, you said it better than I. Thank you for this post.

  15. Really informative, Liz. Please, please, no Huckabee. I think there are a lot of families that won’t survive another 4 years of business-only government.

  16. Amazing how all that Republican lip service about family values is so utterly devoid of meaning, unless meaning means “put your boy in uniform and send him off to die” or “we control your reproductive rights”.It shouldn’t surprise me anymore, but yet somehow it always still does.And that Huckabee quote about changing the Constitution to better meet god’s unchanging law – that’s the stuff that nightmares are made of, not national policy!

  17. This was a fantastic return to political commentary! I am forwarding it to lots of people I know.I think that democrats are stuck with the most delicious of tasks this year… choosing between three excellent candidates.I just sent in my absentee ballot yesterday. I voted for Hilary. But I have the audacity to hope that Obama will be her running mate.Here’s to radical change in 2008!

  18. yay! I love mom-101-politico posts! Although I can’t vote, I rub my hands in glee over the impact of posts like these one. Wheeeee!!!!Now to work on Hubs and make him vote for Hillary. Or maybe Obama? Oh man! I am also on the fence of who I want to force my husband to vote for. Sheesh….

  19. Lady M: that is absolutely eloquently and succinctly put. Jen: The notion of a vindictive woman with “a ton of angry enemies that you want to get back at” is the kind of stereotype thrown out there by the Limbaughs of the world. She’s been my Senator for seven years now and she’s demonstrated none of those traits. If anything, she’s too centrist for me, bridging both aisles rather well and working often in a bi-partisan fashion to effect change. I guess I prefer my lefties a bit lefty-er. But like I said, I may be coming around.

  20. I’m so glad you posted this. I get the impression just from the debates and interviews that Clinton is most prepared for what she will do if she wins the presidency so it’s nice to hear that she actually does have plans to back her talk. As much as I like Obama, I can’t help but feel that he’s running on a feeling. I mean, who doesn’t love optimism? But our country can’t run on hope alone …I should do what you did and go through all the sites, but what you did sounds exhausting!

  21. Eh, Ron Paul has some points that would stick in the craw of a lot of women. Like the fact that he thinks the states should decide on abortion. But having been a waitress and bartender long enough to make the perfect margarita in my sleep (and I have woken up with one in front of me and not known how it got there) I have to love that he says DON’T tax tips. He is pretty much a strict constitutionalist so he isn’t going to vote for lots of stuff that is good…but not in the constitution. He was an OB-GYN though…so he must like women at least.Hillary, I don’t think she likes women. But I’m from Upstate New York, and I still can’t see how she was elected senator in the first place. Plus she has that whole “Yes, I am possessed by Satan.” smile thing. The best thing I have heard about Clinton is: “You wouldn’t want the spouse of a brain surgeon operating on your head, how does being married to the President make her our best option?”As long as neither Clinton nor McCain end up leading the country, I will consider the election a success.

  22. Kayleigh: you of course are entitled to vote your own conscience. But I must correct your assertion that Hillary is running as the former first lady. She’s running as a very effective two-term senator with a Yale Law degree (unusual for a woman of her generation) and 35 years of policy experience. One liners like that make fun sound bites but they don’t have much basis in reality.

  23. You are a brave woman to take on that task! I had done a quick review of the GOP sites and had come to the same conclusion — yeah, why care about working moms and children — kids can’t vote and working moms probably don’t have time to. (Am I dripping enough sarcasm?)

  24. “What the GOP candidates do seem to have instead of info on families is info on faith. Oh, there’s loooots of info on faith and how faithful and wonderfully God-fearing and pious and super-faithful they all are in their faithy-faithfulness.”Thanks for this. I am so sick of the Conservatives getting the “values voters” label. You better believe I have strong values and I vote my values. I have faith and my faith informs my values. But no way are my values anything like their values.Huckabee ’08!

  25. I think the candidate who has the best chance is the one who not only can figure out the dilemma of flexibility, but can figure out the economics of affordability as well. Because it’s not only getting harder to balance it as an American family, but also just to afford the basic necessities. I hope Hillary’s plan sticks! (There, I spilled who I’m voting for)

  26. While Hillary’s plans are comprehensive, I a more than slightly annoyed that she hasn’t done that much for women/families while a senator. I work in DC for a small women-focused policy group. Clinton sits on the Health, Education, Labor and Pensions (HELP) Committee. That Committee is charged with overseeing everything from NCLB to FMLA to the FDA to Social Security.While she and Patty Murray did oppose von Eschenbach’s nomination over Plan B emergency contraceptives, I just don’t see her as a leader on good, progressive family-friendly issues.Then again, neither was Edwards when he was a senator. Or Obama. Still, her expectation that women will support her because we share anatomical features is disturbing. I’d rather have a Senate full of the late Paul Wellstone than a Senate full of Kay Bailey Hutchison, y’know.And you’re so right about the GOP. They only care about family values before you’re born and when you’re on the way out. In between? You’re on you’re own.

  27. I am a conservative person. In my home growing up, conservative equaled Republican. Because of that, I think it’s easy to just vote Republican without looking too deeply at the candidates.I appreciate this post because it has really made me change my thinking about voting. Sure my single vote doesn’t really mean that much, but if 1000 other people vote the way I use to, that could make a difference.So thank you. This year I’m going to be more pro-active in finding out about the candidates and their issues. Then I’ll be more prepared to vote wisely instead of simply choosing a candidate based on their party.

  28. Laura, you just made me cry. No kidding. Thank you so much for these words. And a single vote absolutely means everything.

  29. Keep the political updates coming!!! As a non-mom obsessed with Mom Blogs, it’s nice to get a little adult talk sometimes…(but also, “the new Candy Land rules according to Thalia” sounds fun)

  30. Very nice essay. I too am undecided, though I have been leaning toward Hillary since, oh, I don’t know, the 90s? What I like about her is what most people don’t.The thing is that if she does get elected, she will have two years to get things done. Two years before the Grand Outrage Party gets their base in high dudgeon enough to flip the Senate or the House or both.I can’t tell which I’d rather have, McCain and a Dem house or Hillary and a GOP house.

  31. Liz, if you’d like some help on that project, my husband has been doing a lot of research on the Democratic candidates’ stances on various topics and has been posting the info on his blog in a handy chart format. It’s not specifically focused on issues important to parents, but you can bet I’ve been giving him an earful regarding what blogging moms would like to know. He’s at

  32. Excellent points, Liz. I haven’t paid any attention to what the Republicans are doing, so convinced am I that the American people have finally figured out we need a Democrat in the White House to recover from our Bush/Cheney PTSD.Goooooo, Huckabee!

  33. You took the words right out of my mouth. This is exactly how I came to be won over by Clinton when I was on the fence between her and Obama. Obama’s lovely and all but it will take him at least a year before he knows what he’s doing and can effect real change and get the policies passed. Clinton will just walk up in there and get shit done on the first day. Obama wants to buy the world a Coke…Hillary will actually go out and get it for them. I don’t care if I wouldn’t necessarily want to have a drink with her or be her best bud (though I do). She’s running for President, not prom queen.

  34. While I have been totally prepared to vote for whatever Democrat wins, your post made me care a little. I’ve voted 2 times now and not once has my guy won, lol! I really hope Hilary takes it all now. Which sucks cause I hate being emotionally invested in ANYTHING!!Jessica

  35. I think you’ve done something that if most of the voting population did they wouldn’t ever be able to elect another Bush. Ever.I spent a lot of time distrusting the Clintons, even though I voted for Bill both times. I was angry their health care initiatives seemingly went nowhere after his first year in office.But really? Bottom line: Hillary does her homework. She knows what she’s talking about and she looks into issues that matter to the consituents she addresses. She’s a good politician, perhaps too good.She doesn’t make a lot of mistakes in the political arena. And that is considered suspect by some.My guess is that if you were to poll people who have dealt with these hard social issues — lobbyists and the like who are trying to get more for people in need — you will find that the Clintons have done a lot more than they are credited for in popular opinion.I think you are right, she’d be a stunning president. But I kind of like the sound of GGC’s offering: Clibama ’08Of course I should note the GOP philosphy on supporting families and children is ‘Moms should stay home. Period.’

  36. <>Not one of them mentions affordable childcare. Not one of them mentions the Family Medical Leave Act…<>Well, you know those are just entitlement programs and how DARE all those commie liberal middle-class family types expect that their hard-earned tax dollars might be used in a manner that actually benefits them!!!

  37. without getting into political or party jargon–this is the point i’ve been trying to make in my own posts over and over and over again. women and children don’t amount to a pile of shit in this country–the end.i don’t know that i will truly be able to support any candidate 100% until s/he stands up in a public forum and admits that–then proposes what we collectively do about it.

  38. I’m not a mom yet, but I completely agree with many of the points you made. People forget to research a candidates position on issues that affect their daily lives. I’m totally uncertain as to who to vote for, but I really feel Hilary has it together. She has plans and outlines, and basically has her sh*t together! And like one of the previous posts says “we’re voting for a president, not a bff!”

  39. Hillary is saying all the right things to get elected, and then will do what she wants once she and her husband get to the Whilte House. Who wants four more years of “slick Willy,” and really, what did he accomplish for families anyway. A lot of talk, not much action. Remember all those cuts for child-care for poor families? What this country needs — in terms of children’s issues and overall national and international interests– is a smart, visionary leader who will make some significant changes in the way politics works and who will engage people who’ve been asleep at the wheel.That’s why Obama is generating such excitement among young people. It’s contagious. Barrack Obama is getting my vote!.

  40. Mary513, I do recall that a Gingrich-led republican congress went after every bit of good that Clinton tried to do, every step of the way. Personally, I’d take another 600 years as him for President. Damn term limits. Was he perfect? Nah. Were the 90s an awesome time to be an American? Totally. And of course Obama is entirely smart, visionary, and engaging. Lurve the guy. Thanks for your perspective.

  41. As I’m sure everyone else is commenting on the complex issues you laid out so clearly, I just wanted to say…this was still totally funny, dude. No worries. 🙂

  42. This is the best political post I have ever read. I am now going to send it to everyone I know. Thanks for doing this research and also bringing on the funny.

  43. Took the liberty to send this miracle of good writing to Hillary’s campaign. Why should we be the only ones privy to Liz’s hard work?

  44. This is not fair! No one who is so great at writing about Life in General and born humor essayist and a sensitive observer should also be able to write so perfectly about politics. Is there anything you CAN’T do?I’m with you on your observations, too. You might want to read < HREF="" REL="nofollow">my NH post<> — Obama as idealistic rhetoric, Clinton turning into the Establishment but so very capable… We need his rhetoric and her resume and discipline.At least people are talking about real things. I just hope everyone isn’t so depressed by the economy that they just stay home under the covers on Election Day.

  45. I have to put it out there (you knew I would) that Edwards also has incredibly detailed policy positions. If you go onto his site ( you see an overview of his stance on the issues, but then each issue is broken down into specific detail (the bulleted points to the right of the main text.) His One America Plan pdf (80 pgs) is a must-read.I also have to put out there that he was first to put out many of his plans: first with his UHC plan, first with his economic stimulus plan. He leads and the others seem to follow.I was on the fence until I started to look at the issues that were most important to me—UHC, ending poverty, global warming, a nuclear free world—and how each candidate aligned with how I felt.I know that Edwards doesn’t have a shot at getting the nom and that saddens me. But what saddens me more is that after he bows out, I really don’t know who to vote for. My big problem with Hillary: I don’t trust her at all. Too much history there. Everyone knew she would have to go neg on Obama at some point and instead of sticking to the issues, she went there (and is still going there) with the smear campaign. That’s very disappointing to me.My big problem with Obama: I have no idea what he stands for. I know he’s about hope, but he’s on “appeal to emotion” lather-rinse-repeat mode. I want to hear something substantive from him. He also lost me on the “let’s explore clean coal and nuclear power” schtick.With Edwards I don’t feel like I’m trading off anything to vote for him (which I already did absentee). My heart and mind are in complete agreement. I am proud he’s my candidate and will support him until the bitter end. After that, I guess you could say I’m undecided, too.Thanks for this post and for pointing out in your inimitable way that the Republicans are completely out of touch with reality.

  46. Eloquently put Stefania, and excellent points, all of them. As I said at your place, your passion is inspiring.

  47. Great summary of positions and more justification of why I don’t like any of the Republican candidates.I like Clinton, Edwards and Obama, although I think I lean slightly towards Clinton. That could change, though. If her husband could run again, I’d vote for him without a second thought – I remember his time in office, and I remember those years as a time of prosperity. Times were good in the 90’s, and sure, a lot of it was outside of his control, but Clinton’s policies certainly didn’t hurt the economic boom. I’m tired of watching bills go up and our paycheck stay the same. The middle class and families in general are losing ground rapidly, and something needs to be done right away.

  48. Alright – I have been reading your blog for a million years and I am so hyped about this post that I am finally “delurking”. Thank you for writing what so many are thinking. I am still on the fence between Obama, Clinton, and Edwards, but there is just something about Clinton that I trust. Maybe because she is a mother…

  49. Thanks so much for this post — a Democrat’s dream!I’m with those who can’t vote for Clinton. She may be smart and experienced and have the best laid plans, but can she make those plans a reality? Good point about a Gingrich-led Congress in the 90’s, but I suspect there’s enough Clinton haters left in DC to make her Presidency difficult at best. Thanks for confirming what we Dems have known for EONs.

  50. I respectfully submit this comment to you Liz, with love and respect:I started out campaign season being pro-Obama, but very happy with Hillary and Edwards (though somewhat uneasy with the sort of dynastic and rather undemocratic notion of ruling families in America for the last 16 years, but what evs). As the campaign has progressed, however, and the Billary machine has gone into negative overdrive, I am becoming truly disgusted with their whole lack of integrity. Today I read this on This is from a diary on “Where the hell has this red-faced, angry, combative Bill Clinton been for the last eight years? Did Bill get angry and demand that wrongs be righted after the Florida miscount? After Bush v. Gore? After Bush, Cheney, and Rice blew off his concerns about terrorism for 8 months? After Bush’s unpreparedness for, inadequate and incomplete response to, and unconscionable exploitation of 9/11? After the unfair media and GOP attacks on Al Gore, Howard Dean, and John Kerry? After Katrina? Plame? The US Attorneys? The “lost” emails? The countless other mistakes and malfeasances of the Bush administration? Sorry, Bill — by remaining silent in the face of so many grave catastrophes, you forfeited your right to attack Obama… “Now you might say that Hillary’s going to be president not Bill, but I really don’t see the difference because Hillary’s claims about her experience are largely based on her time in the White House. And obviously we didn’t see Hillary come out strongly on many of these issues either . And I’ll save my comment for why Obama for another time, so as not to be a huge windbag!

  51. And I forgot say, when you are ready to discuss the more important issues at hand–you know–how old is Daisy really?, why is that French stripper with the bad lip job really there?, and is Bret’s weave terrible or just the worst you’ve ever seen?, please let me know. I could talk about ROL2 for dayz.

  52. Thank you! I have been shocked over the last few months to read so much on blogs and in the press that sounds like informed people coming up with excuses to hate Clinton’s policies because they don’t like her persona.It is so refreshing to read someone who looks at her policies.Thank you!

  53. I love the fact that at least you are discussing the issues. I am in Australia, so don’t get too much coverage on some of the sutff that you are talking about specifically. I love the political process of democracy and find it maddening that when election time comes around in our country, women I know don’t seem to hava views on the important and relevant issues. I will not try to persuade people to my “Green” side of the fence, but do like to talk about the key issues. The fact that I am number 64 in comments means you deserve a big congratulations for putting it out there!

  54. I really ought to have commented here with my compliments for a brilliant post before haring off and quoting 20% of the post on my own blog. Please accept my belated ‘this was great; thank you!’Also, if you’re really trying to get a 360 degree view of the candidates’ positions, do take a look at this article, which addresses one of the most hard-hitting issues of the campaigns: Oh, that wacky NYT.

  55. Liz, this was a really great post. I’ve thought about (and read about) all of them and I’m still unsure who I like the most. Obama, Clinton, Edwards…well I’ll vote for any of the three. But none of them completely have it. There are issues that they are all missing. Too bad we can’t have someone who has each of their good qualities and great ideas. That’d be a phenomenal president. I honestly think Obama or Clinton, with Edwards as vice, would be a good match.No clue how it will end up…but I’ll continue to pay attention.

  56. And THIS is why the campaigns are making a mistake by ignoring moms.

  57. This is why I have crush on you!I love hearing Obama speak – specially after 8 years of having a moron-cum-robot as president – but Hillary knows her shit.I respect that. I’m hoping for a Clinton-Richardson ticket.

  58. Great post, Liz.I grew up in a very non-political family of immigrants, happy to be able to live in a country where you don’t need papers to cross its borders.It’s not that my parents didn’t voice their opinions – hell, they don’t call us hot-blooded-Hungarians for nothin’ – it’s just that, they saw complaining as a sign of someone being unhappy.Growing up in the middle of a war zone and going hungry, more often than not, will do that to a person, I’m guessing.Until this day, my parents will not vote for his own reasons – none of which I agree with, btw – but, I am raising my children differently.As it should be.Today, you and your readers have taught me something new – perhaps, who I vote for really does matter – and I have decided that it was time I stopped listening to everyone else.I’m going to visit these sites and follow this campaign through to the end and, FINALLY, vote for the person who I feel should be MY president!As it should be.

  59. It’s hard for me to believe that Clinton supports children and families since she was such a supporter of 1996 Welfare Reform, which excludes immigrants who entered the United States after August 22, 1996 EVEN IF THEY ARE LEGAL DOCUMENTED RESIDENTS. It is also a bill that hurts single mothers and poor children. You can read Patricia Ireland/NOW’s statement against the Clintons and their passing of 1996 Welfare Reform here:

  60. Liz, this is why I love you. Well, just one of the reasons.While I know who I don’t like (GOP), I haven’t had a chance to go through each Dem’s individual plans to see how they match up. Thank you for informing and directing us to this important information. I’m not a mother, but I will be in the next four years, and I guarantee you I will be a working mom, so this is an important topic for me. I read every single comment to this post thus far, and your responses to them are flawless. I want the entire country to read this post, even though I think some people misunderstood you as being completely pro-Hillary. You complimented her, but you also complimented the other D-candidates. Well done, Liz. Well done.

  61. With all due respect Cynthia, I would think that Patricia Ireland would be the last person to hold a woman responsible for the actions of her husband. Again, I can’t say for sure if I’m supporting Hilary, but I’m not going to do so – or not do so – based on someone else’s voting record besides her own.

  62. Amen, sister. I actually pity the GOP–their list of candidates is pathetic. Scary to think of people actually voting for one of them. Edwards, Obama and Hillary–I’d be happy with whomever gets the nomination. The choice during the Nevada caucus was tough. I respect John Edwards so much. I love Barack’s idealism and appeal to young voters. Six months ago, I would never have dreamed that I would support Hillary, but that’s what happened. She is sharp and focused and has obviously put much thought into her platform. Thank heavens the Nevada debate was civil. South Carolina turned me off rapidly. Not everyone sees things the way we do, every vote is going to be important.

  63. All important political debates aside, I love how you manage to make it interesting (even if it’s only these few comments)!

  64. Great post! I’ll just add a word of warning about wishing the batshit crazy candidate on the other side gets the nomination. Sometimes that happens and then that batshit crazy person goes on to win.I lived in AZ during when Evan Mecham was our governor. When the Republicans first nominated him, all of us Democrats thought we’d win the race. It didn’t turn out that way. (Of course, the normal people vote was split by a third candidate, but that could happen here, too, with Bloomberg…)So, be careful what you wish for!

  65. It’s true, she’s got the background to really know how stuff works and know that if she wants to make change, she’s got to be ready to start right away, because it takes time, and it takes being ready for all comers. If nothing else, she’s got a great strategist and advisor behind her…

  66. Don’t tell anyone, but this might be the year I vote Democrat. I don’t like any of the GOP candidates.Not a single one. At first I thought Huckabee was a dream, but then I realized < HREF="" REL="nofollow">he’s a loon<>.As far as Dems are concerned, I feel like I’m forced to choose between the lesser of three evils. (And I mean that in a nice way.)

  67. Love it, love you, love Hillary. I love Edwards, too, but that battle is lost. I too am really impressed with her willingness to not just say in some vague way that she WILL do something, but also HOW she will do it. No one does that.

  68. I was referred to your blog by someone who particularly wanted me to read this post. I have to say…I watched the New Hampshire Democratic debate, and I was impressed with Senator Clinton’s ability to make all three men sharing the stage with her appear to be posers. She had educated rebuttals for each of their declarations and indeed seemed like the most worthy of the bunch. However, the whole party (Hillary included) is pro-choice, and thus goes without my vote. I am a woman. A daughter. A sister. An aunt. A wife. A mom. And I will not vote pro-choice, regardless of the other issues (which, by the way, I am also well-informed about. Another side note, you may want to research more than the candidate’s own web site, which is simply a glossy internet campaign speech. Try non-partisan fact checker sites, or voting records, or even old clips on Youtube that show what they promised [and didn’t/couldn’t deliver] on other campaign debates.)Abortion is a one-issue deal for me. Not like “shiny.” Not like buying a car. If there were a single issue difference between the parties such as rape…one party saying it’s a man’s choice whether or not he wants to rape women and he is free to have that choice, and the other party saying that rape should be illegal no matter what the man wants to do with his body, wouldn’t that issue be important enough to you to sway your vote?I suppose if all women thought of killing the “fetus” as murder, we would all view this as a very big deal. You might want to check out my blog: mywildernessvoice.blogspot.comMay God have mercy on us all.

  69. I know you are all on fire, but I’ll be honest anyway: I want the wo/man who will do the LEAST. That includes my congress as well. Just get the F out of my way! That said, if we don’t revamp our budget we’re screwed. There is no good reason that our gov’t can’t just spend what it makes like the rest of American households have to do. Dem or Rep, I hope the next pres has a line item veto and can take that pork out. Pisses. Me. Off.aaahhh, i feel better

  70. ONE, You don’t know me but I can assure you I am a critical thinker; the websites in fact were the last places I went to research the candidates’ platforms.Checking your website, you are an evangelical anti-choice proponent using the same tactics I have proudly marched against for the past twenty years. I might suggest that if you truly have issues with abortion, you would consider the candidates whose common sense proposals will make it more rare. A right-to-life candidate in favor of ineffective abstinence programs, against morning-after pills (which prevent the creation of a fetus), or supportive of cuts in reproductive education, in truth does nothing for the cause. And therein is the great hypocrisy of the platforms so-called “faithful” candidates. I am trying to be as diplomatic as I can here, but as a woman, a mother, an aunt, a daughter myself, the notion of religious dogma creating deplorable circumstances, particularly for the less fortunate women among us, is not something I can abide. I have never said this to a commenter before, but this is not the right forum for your views.

  71. You nailed it.The Republicans have zip to offer us. Big fat goose egg on all the things near and dear to our hearts.The Democrats are trying to do the right thing in these areas … although I wish they’d stop trying to drag each other down and focus on what <>they<> have to offer… otherwise we may end up with a big fat gooseegg by default.Great post.

  72. a note:This is my personal blog. I am under no obligation to accept comments that attack me or my readers, or that I simply deem offensive. The best part is, I can be entirely arbitrary! Whooo!

  73. I’m with you, “I don’t know” who the hell I’d vote for. This is probably one of the most important elections in recent years, and I couldn’t be more apathetic. Thanks for your summation. It’s the most enlightening political information I’ve read in a loooooong time!

  74. Oh, how I want to marry this post.And have babies with it.And then fight with Republicans about my rights as a mother.

  75. Sadly I think the candidates’ websites are merely reflective of the hot buttons the majority of Americans are waiting to have pushed. Generally speaking we don’t care about what’s necessarily best for the nation. Instead we care about what someone we think is cool told us to care about. This spoon-fed topic is usually very litmus testy and it’s mere mention helps drive up media ratings.The chances of any candidate overturning Roe v. Wade for instance are slim to none. Same goes for taking away our constitutional right to own guns. But this is what candidates jump all over, not because they think they can do anything about it, but because the public demands it. These are our fears, and as stupid and ill-founded as they are, politicians will be right there to address our concerns in exchange for our vote.It really is a pity that as a nation we can’t actually care about something that means some shit.

  76. Oh Kevin, I couldn’t degree more on the litmus tests. That said, how interesting that the idea of support for moms and families doesn’t somehow pass the GOP test. They don’t even pay lip service to the notion of supporting families in any substantial way. And if, like you say, the public is not demanding a stance on these issues…well then, we’re all way worse off than I thought.

  77. Just a thought: looking at the family situation of the candidates themselves can be telling. If you could choose your family, would Bill and Hillary be at the top of your potential-parent list? I’m impressed with Mitt Romney as a husband, father, and grandfather. Does one’s personal family life reflect their priorities? I say yes.

  78. Anon 2:01, funny enough I’ve been thinking the same thing in terms of their parental skills. It’s a fair enough point. I think we’d all be delighted to have children that turned out as well as Chelsea Clinton has – or many of the other candidates’ children, for that matter. I could garner from Chelsea that her parents instilled in her outstanding values, a sense of decency and charity, and tremendous self-esteem. I respect that. On the other hand, I’m not voting for a parent. I’m voting for a president. I wouldn’t choose Ronald Regan for a dad (nor would some of his children, or so they say) and yet there were a lot of Americans who considered him a great president.

  79. Liz – It would be heinously lurkish of me not to comment since I’ve sent this link to everyone I know, including a few of my fellow Silicon Valley Mom Bloggers, some of whom have commented even before I saw this. Maybe I’m a little chicken because I did send it to everyone I know who would agree. It was one of those I-shouldn’t-have-been-surprised things, but the way you put it together was absolutely brilliant and provided a HUGE service.Now my husband the republican would say (and I didn’t show it to him because I was too tired this weekend to get into our typifal debate- I guess it’ll be our usualfamily vote cancellation in November) that of course they all have programs and the taxes to pay for those plans and programs will shrink your hard-earned paycheck down to next to nothing. Obviously I disagree with him, but I do feel the pain of our tax bill, especially here in California. Let’s just say “sigh” here.I’m also walking around with my permanent absentee ballot in my work bag, but I’m still undecided so I’ll probably be dropping it off at the polls on the 5th.Maybe I can get him to vote for Huckabee in the primary.

  80. Liz, Great post. But even better, reading the comments here has been fantastic. And I, like you, am undecided. (Although, love Obama’s message and mojo. Love that we have a mom running. Love tons of other things too, but I won’t hijack here.) Mainly, I’m just loving the discussion. Thanks for creating the platform.

  81. Love this post! I just linked to it on my site. I have been tormenting my readers with political stuff too. I’m an Obama fan, but I’ll vote Hillary if she gets the nomination. Seems to me anything would be better than what we have!

  82. Um, thank you for your reply to ONE. I loved your post, but THAT was my favorite part.

  83. Martha – I feel ya. I’m employed by a CA company. Even so, I feel like I’m paying my fair share and that part of living in a decent society is that we take care of our own. I’d be real happy to divert all the tax dollars going to no-bid Haliburton contracts into the FMLA. You might want to point out to your husband that your tax burden is happening at a time with a GOP president, a GOP governor, and up until recently a GOP house and senate. So the old “dems raise our taxes” line? It’s been disproven over the last 7 years. And Dana – HOLY CRAP. Did you just say that?

  84. i’m a fan of Hillary’s. that said, i’m not sure she’s the one to win this particular election. the good news, and what i lovelovelove about NOT seeing her on the ticket, is the idea of having her remain in the Senate, if only to piss off all those “old boys”.i think Obama will be our candidate, and i think he has fantastic shot at winning the whole kit and kaboodle. my dream ticket would include John Edwards as his running mate, altho’ i’ve ALWAYS thought the former S. Carolina senator would make a terrific president, as well.whoa, what the hell was that? a <>serious<> comment?? when i haven’t been here for, like, <>months<>?? oy. what can i say, Life has been Hard. (i’ve missed you, tho’, does that soften the blow of my absence at <>all<>????) ; )

  85. Ah, yes. “Fiscally responsible” Republicans take issue with social welfare programs like consistent enforcement of FMLA or insuring access to healthcare for children. Wall Street welfare, well, that’s another story. Apparently, in Republican Bibles, Jesus also said, “To whom much is given, you should give more.”

  86. I came back, feeling compelled by your comparing me to Limbaugh (although honestly, I wouldn’t know because I can’t stand to listen to more than 2 seconds of crap like that). But then my lovely and really very conciliatory post vanished into the ether of random windows lost on my screen. But, to clarify, again. I like Hillary’s positions on things. I think she’s been a fine senator (in part perhaps due to her desire to be president, of course, but that doesn’t make her any different than a lot of others there). However, I don’t want another “I’m right, so if you don’t agree, you’re wrong” president. Sure, I’d rather one that shares most of my beliefs rather than the current one, but if I can have more than that? I want it. I want someone who doesn’t have scores to settle. It’s definitely not a gender thing or a color thing — I think that’s in both of their favor. But I sure do wish she’d not played so dirty, so fast and with such, well, “now it gets fun” sort of attitude. And then Bill. Sigh. I voted for him twice and I’ve have done it again in 2000, if we were allowed. I hated that Gore marginalized him in his campaign (or so I assumed). But the stuff now? It’s wrong. I’m glad they say they’re pulling back a bit. Leave that for the real meanies.

  87. I have a friend who’s going Obama now that Kucinich is out of the race, and she was horrified, HORRIFIED that I’m leaning Clinton. Because of Bill and his antics, really. I said, Erm, I’m not contemplating voting for Hitler here, she’s a DEMOCRAT. Settle down. Geez.I’m ok with any of them, Obama, Clinton, or Edwards. Really, I’d like Edward’s wife to win. She’s awesome.

  88. I’m a new reader and I guess I started at the right time…very thought provoking post. I’m not sure if I agree with all of your conclusions but you’ve made this lifelong Republican curious to take a closer look at those issues.I’m happy to see other moms talking about politics in an intelligent and civil discourse. I feel like a lot of moms tune out politics and then just go into the voting booth not informed and prepared. Heck, many just don’t even vote.Liz, I’d love for you to check out my new site that just launched last week called Politics for Moms. It’s a non-partisan site that simply helps educate moms on the candidates and the political process. We could use a voice like yours to challenge and stretch our thinking.Hope to see you there:

  89. Thank you for this post. Up until now I have beem leaning towards Romney (don’t hate me). After reading your post I went to his website and sent him an email demanding an explanation. Yeah, I’ll let you know when I hear back. LOL. I’m just not sure that detailed plans regarding my family and how we should/can live under Hillary makes me feel any better. Sometimes I think less is more. I remember as a little girl thinking “Wow! Someday a woman could be president of the United States.” I wish that Hillary was representative of what I thought/think the best traits are that a woman could bring to office. Am I alone in this?

  90. Hillary was the biggest proponent of Welfare Reform – helped draft it, encouraged the passing of it, spoke out in favor of it. This was one of her big First Lady tasks.

  91. I’ve never been a huge fan of Hillary Clinton. (due largely to my upbringing and the fact that I was 10 when her husband first took office in ’92)I watched the Democratic Debate tonight between her and Obama and I have to say, she speaks eloquently and she knows her stuff.I’m still not sure I want her as my President, but I have a lot more respect for her than I did before.

  92. “I have never said this to a commenter before, but this is not the right forum for your views.”I respected your opinions till you leaked the knowledge that yours were the only ones that were worth listening to. It seems that it is really hard in this political climate to find anyone willing to listen to the other side.You go ahead and be arbitrary. I’ll leave you to your fans and seek open minded enlightenment elsewhere…

  93. Lynette, Before you go and accuse me of “not listening to the other side,” there are plenty of commenters here who are avid Republican supporters. Some of them are even my friends. The only comments I deleted spewed hatred against certain groups of people. The other comment remains, and in fact I’ve had a somewhat civil debate with her on another blog. I don’t want to have it here. Here’s why, and you can take it or leave it:I don’t want my blog being used as a forum for people to spew anti-choice propaganda, and throw around terms like “murder.” I won’t have it. That is not a point of view that I have any obligation to listen to, for any reason at all.On top of that, it derails the discussion which is deliberately <>not<> about abortion. It’s a hijack, to use a message board term.As the author of this blog, I have the right to moderate the discussion as I see fit. I also have the right to decide what offends me so deeply that I don’t want it here, googleable and searchable and cached forever. Most people don’t feel as passionately about anything in the world as I do about protecting women’s health via safe and legal abortions. I hope you can respect that in some way.

  94. Response to ONEI am also an evangelical Christian and I’m against abortion in many cases. However, throughout my adult life, God continues to bring people into my life who have made this decision for very personal reasons that while I cannot say I agree with because as a Christian I am certain God will provide but I certainly could not condemn them for their decision. Each person who has shared their story was a mother who fully understood what they were giving up. All were poor and could not fathom raising another child in this expensive country. All were making less then $10 per hour and while savvy enough to take advantage of the benefits our government provides could not afford to raise another child.I have researched Hillary’s views on abortion and I was impressed to find that during Bill’s presidency, she tackled the problem from the source by starting the National Campaign to Prevent Teen Pregnancy with the goal of reducing teen pregnancy by 1/3. The goal was achieved 32.5 percent! If you want change, it has to happen at the source of the problem. The programs Mom-101 has mentioned are impressive because it shows that Hillary is thinking at the root of the problem! Can we say the same for the Republicans?No candidate will ever match our Christian or any faith views 100%. We need to find the candidate who best represents our total interests and remember, it is God who appoints leadership.

  95. Hi Liz,I agree with Lynette. I was thrilled to see the open discussion between women and men in these comments. In my opinion, One was joining in the conversation – telling you and your readers which topic related to women and children is most important to her and why. She was engaged in the discussion and sharing her view, not manipulatively taking it in a direction you may not agree with just to annoy you. I am not part of an evangelical Christian group, and I agreed with her on some points and disagreed on others. Equating One sharing her view with spewing anti-choice propaganda is just that – propaganda. Using ANY semantic slants – “pro-life,” “pro-choice,” “anti-abortion,” “pro-abortion,” “anti-life,” “anti-choice,” they’re all attempts to sway people to agree with our own points of view. People on all sides are not nearly as open-minded as they would like to believe. And, you’re right, it is your blog and you are completely entitled to keep the discussion in the parameters that you set. But in a sense, you invited the discussion, and then took your ball back and told her she had to go home and wasn’t allowed to play with you anymore when she didn’t play by your rules.-Kelly

  96. Mom-101, I realize you asked me to refrain from sharing my views on your blog, and I will honor your request. However, I felt obligated to leave one last comment, to clarify something. You explained to a subsequent commenter that your response to me was because (in part) I “hijacked” your blog and “derailed the discussion” by mentioning abortion. However, my reason for bringing up the subject of abortion was to clarify why I was a ONE-ISSUE VOTER, a topic YOU included in your original post…something I thought I made clear with my original comment and references to “not like ‘shiny'”. Your post was about candidates and their platforms. I praised Clinton where I thought she deserved praise. I criticized her stance (not *her*) where I thought she deserved criticism. I wasn’t rude in doing so. I stayed on topic. All I did was share my view the way everyone else had shared theirs. But I brought up a point of view that is offensive to you and was asked to never do so again. It is your blog, and you have a right to take that stand. But please be completely truthful about why the stand was taken. As a side note, I never said that I thought abortion is murder, but yes, that is what I personally believe. But if you read my original comment, the supposition I made was intended to provoke thought. After all, isn’t our definition of a fetus the bottom line of where we all differ on abortion? I was asking a question. If every woman DID think of abortion as murder, it would change how we feel about the procedure. Sure, not every woman thinks of it that way, or ever will. But can you understand my question? What if we all DID think of it that way? Can you admit that it would change everything else we think about abortion? (I was trying in my own thinking to discover how people can think so differently about the same procedure–a procedure we all understand, and that was the only denominator I could find.)

  97. Thank you. Lately I feel inundated by complete crap about the “sanctity of life,” which appears to only be sacred in utero. I was considering moving into a cave because the world around me is clearly 100% bonkers until I read this and remembered that not everyone is a lunatic who compares an abortion to the Holocaust and can’t understand why my grandfather, sole survivor of a family of 30+, would be insulted by their “compassion for life.”

  98. I recently fell into the Obama camp, but I really do like Hillary. Just not enough. I will of course, vote for her should she win the primary (duh!). And don’t think you’re alone in “feel[ing] as passionately about anything in the world as I do about protecting women’s health via safe and legal abortions.” I’m right there with you.

  99. Wow. I just read this seven months after it was first posted and it just blows me away that Palin ended up being the VP pick. What absolute and total hypocrisy. How can these people put forth a candidate that is the total opposite of what they stand for (pretending they are nominating her on merit) when it is so obviously a PR stunt. Moreover, why is the country not seeing through it?!

  100. Yes, fetuses are a very big deal. “I have never said this to a commenter before, but this is not the right forum for your views” says it all. Crystal clear–the only acceptible feminist perspective is one that aligns with the far Left on every issue. I’m leaving and won’t be back because I’m not welcome, and I’m so OK with that. No need to reply; I’ll never see it.

  101. Oh 2nd cup, of course you’ll be back. In any case, I have plenty of readers and friends who have issues with abortion. But they are not permitted to come on this blog and call pro-choice advocates murderers. Particularly when the topic at hand didn’t open the door for such a discussion.By the way, it’s not the “far left” that believes in choice. It’s a centrist position if you look at any polling data, particularly considering the continuum of pro-choice positions. Painting the world in black and white may be easier, but it’s not accurate.

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