NEW MEXICO SPEECH – AUGUST 18, 2008
Women’s Victory Tour
My name is Lynette Long. I am a feminist, a mother, a Democrat and an ardent Hillary Clinton supporter and I am voting for John McCain and Sarah Palin on November 4.
I want to start by saying something about the Democratic Primary. First let me say that I have a Master’s Degree in mathematics and I am the author of 14 math books. I’m a numbers girl and I naturally calculate and extrapolate numbers in my head. The primary process consisted of fourteen caucuses and thirty-nine primaries. Obama only lost one out of fourteen caucuses yet he lost twenty-one out of thirty-nine primaries. You don’t have to be a mathematician to realize something smells fishy. I first noticed something was wrong when I watched the returns from Texas come in. Texas is unique in the Primary world because it has both a primary and a caucus - affectionately called the Texas Two-Step. Hillary Clinton won the primary by four points, yet she lost the caucus which was held on the same day by twelve points. That’s a sixteen point swing with the same pool of voters on the same day. Almost four million people participated in both the primary and the caucuses. If a poll with only 700 participants the margin of error is usually 3 or 4, then in a primary and a caucus, with millions of participants a sixteen point swing would be highly unlikely, very highly unlikely. What’s even more astounding, Obama came out five pledged delegates ahead in a state she won. After questioning the likelihood of the Texas two step results, I decided to analyze the rest of the caucus results. Washington State, Nebraska, and Idaho also held a primary and a caucus and the results were even more divergent than Texas results. In Washington State, Clinton did thirty-two points better in the primary than the caucus, but all delegates were based on the caucus only. In Nebraska, Clinton did thirty-four points better in the primary than the caucus, but the delegates again were only based on the caucus results. And finally in Idaho, Clinton lost the caucus by 62 points but lost the primary by 19 points. And again delegates were awarded only based on the caucus results. The divergent results in all four of these contests were partially the result of the disenfranchisement that is inherent in the caucus process since the elderly, mothers of school aged children and shift workers are less likely to attend caucuses. But they are also the result of voter fraud intentionally perpetrated by the Obama campaign and voter intimidation by Obama supporters. The result is that the primary was stolen from Senator Clinton. Even without factoring in the caucus results, Senator Clinton and Senator Obama were only 4 pledged delegates apart at the end of the primary process. Obama, Pelosi, and other senior Democrats paid superdelegates to cast their votes for Obama. Clearly the will of the people was ignored. The Selection of Obama over Hillary Clinton by the Democratic Hierarchy was a miscarriage of justice and my reason for my original contact with the McCain Campaign.
After the last Democratic Primary was over and it was clear Senator Clinton was not going to get the Democratic nomination, myself, and a small group of Clinton supporters met with Senator McCain. I personally explained to Senator McCain that women comprise well over half of the population, yet you will not see a single picture of a woman on paper currency. Women are underrepresented in every branch of government and there has never been a female president or vice president. I personally asked Senator McCain to choose a woman for the Vice Presidential slot and to increase the number of women in the cabinet and on the Supreme Court. Senator McCain listened respectfully to my request. Little did I know then that he heard me and the millions of women of this country who have gone unrepresented in the Executive branch of government for far too long.
When I made similar requests of the Obama campaign, I was laughed at by the canvassers outside my home, told there weren’t enough qualified women by a member of his Finance Committee, and asked by a member of a policy committee why I was making such a stupid request. Gender is the most fundamental human characteristic. The first comment made when a child is born is either, “It’s a girl” or “It’s a boy.” From that second on, boys and girls live in parallel universes in the same culture. You can’t learn what it is to be a woman, unless you are one. You can’t have a government essentially devoid of women that knows what’s best for women. You can’t legislate for women, without women.
But by choosing Governor Palin as his running mate, Senator McCain acknowledged that men can fully never know what it is like to be a woman, a mother, a daughter, a sister - things Governor Palin knows all too well. Senator McCain chose the second only bi-gender ticket in American history reinforcing his image as a maverick. Choosing a Vice-President, was the first significant decision Senator McCain and Senator Obama had to make. Senator Obama talks about change but picked a running mate who is part of the Washington establishment. Senator McCain’s choice speaks for itself.
Obama is a brand just like any other brand. Obama the Brand has a logo, a tag line, and a song. But Obama the man is not the same as Obama the Brand. Obama the Brand talks about new style politics, while Obama the man used Chicago style politics in every election. Obama the brand is for women’s rights while Obama the man pays the women in his office 77 cents on the dollar compared to men. And Joe Biden pays women 73 cents on the dollar. Obama the brand is pro-Israel, Obama the man is not. Obama the brand touts leadership while Obama the man voted present 130 times in the US Senate. Obama the Brand claims change, while Obama the man picks a Washington Insider as his running mate. Obama the Brand is a post-racial candidate while Obama the man plays the race card at every turn, listens for 20 years to the racial teachings of Rev. Wright, and makes contributions exclusively to Trinity United Church of Christ, the NAACP and Care Africa. Obama the man and Obama the brand are not one in the same.
I have given my loyalty to the Democratic Party for decades. My party, which is comprised primarily of women, has not put a woman on a presidential ticket for 24 years. My party was disrespectful to all women when they refused to nominate my candidate, Hillary Clinton, for president or vice president, even though she received more votes than any other Democratic or Republican candidate in history. My party stood silently by as Hillary Clinton was eviscerated by the sexist attacks of the mainstream media. My party’s candidate was mute when Rev. Jeremiah Wright and Father Pfleger openly mocked Senator Clinton from the pulpit of Trinity United Church of Christ. My party’s candidate was silent when the rapper Ludacris released a new song calling Hillary a bitch. My party’s candidate choose Larry Summers, the former President of Harvard, who said women can’t do science and math. Well here I am Mr. Summers, let’s talk. Neither my party nor its candidate has demonstrated in this election that they hold women in high esteem.
When it comes to women, sixteen is a special number. Did you ever hear the song 16 candles. Or the phrase “Sweet sixteen and never been kissed.” Eight plus Eight is sixteen, four times four is sixteen, and 2 x 2 x 2 x 2. But sixteen is special for other reasons.
- Guess what percentage of the members of the House of Representatives are women?
- Guess what percentage of the members of the Senate are women?
- Guess what percentage of the governors are women?
- Guess what percentage of equity partners in Law Firms are women?
- Guess what percentage of Science Professors at MIT are women?
- And guess what percentage of US Presidents or Vice-presidents were women?
- Not 16.
How can having a country composed of 52% women with only 16% representation be fair? How can it accurately represent the will of the people? In fact, the United States ranks 69th in the world with regard to women in government.
Sarah Palin is good for women. She has kept the debate about women in government and feminism alive. She is helping us define a new brand of feminism that unites both Republican and Democratic women. She has a chance to put a sledge hammer to the ceiling that Hillary Clinton put eighteen million cracks in. I happened to be on an Alaskan Cruise when Governor Palin was nominated for Vice-President. When we docked in Ketchikan my Blackberry was buzzing away with emails shouting, “It’s a girl.” I thought, “Who is a girl?” My friends are too old to be pregnant and I didn’t think my daughter would hold out on me. As soon as I stepped on-shore, my tour guide told me their governor, Sarah Palin was the VP pick. I can testify here today, that every person that I met in Alaska loved her. Alaskans are proud of their Governor.
I heard many people say they don’t think Sarah Palin is ready to be one heartbeat away from the presidency since Alaska has only 750,000 people. Let’s get this straight. Sarah Palin is only one of only fifty governors in the entire country. If Alaska was a country, it would be the twentieth largest country in the world. The unique topography, economy, population, and climate of Alaska, all make Alaska a challenging state to govern. Home of the Alaska pipeline, Alaska hosts the majority of our oil resources and some of the largest fiscal projects in the country. Alaska is home to indigenous peoples and remote towns that are not on the electrical grid. Alaska is the only state in the Arctic climate zone and is profoundly impacted by global warming. Alaska is home to diverse wildlife and consequently management issues. International relations are a major issue Alaska and I’m not talking about cab drivers. Alaska shares a border with Canada and ten miles across the Bearing Strait is Russia. Consequently it has a standing National Guard. I don’t want to hear Sarah Palin is only governor of Alaska. There is nothing only about Alaska.
I do not agree with Senator McCain and Governor Palin on all the issues, but I don’t agree with any candidate on all the issues. I am emphatically pro-choice. Being pro-choice doesn’t mean I am pro-abortion. I would not want to trade places with any woman trying to decide whether or not to terminate a pregnancy or any mother trying to advise her teenage daughter on the same issue. It is not a choice most women make lightly. But even though I will defend a woman’s right to choose, I will not surrender by vote to the Democratic Party out of fear of losing that choice. I will not vote for a Democratic candidate I feel is unfit to lead, just to protect Roe V. Wade. The Democratic Party has blackmailed and bludgeoned women with Roe v. Wade for decades nullifying their power. Women’s votes cannot belong to a single party, because if they do we are hostage to that party. Women make up 52% of the population and 56% of the electorate. If Democratic and Republican women ban together we can elect any candidate or pass any bill. We can change the world.
No one knows what is going to happen during the next four years. In the recent past, the challenges to each President have been enormous.
When he took office, Harry Truman did not know that he would have to decide whether or not to drop the atomic bomb on Japan.
Lyndon Baines Johnson didn’t know that on April 4,1968, Martin Luther King would be assassinated, propelling the country into racial unrest.
George Walker Bush didn’t know that on September 11, 2001, terrorists would wage the greatest attack on US soil.
We need a President that is prepared to lead on day one - ready to handle any attack, any crisis, any financial emergency.
I cannot vote based on POLITICAL PROMISES and POLITICAL PANDERING. But I can vote based on PRICIPLES and PATRIOTISM. In Senator McCain and Governor Palin, I find two people with personal integrity and a love of their county --- individuals who not only talk the talk but walk the walk. I can work with that. I will vote for McCain-Palin. In fact, I’ve decided to try to win one vote a day for the McCain-Palin ticket. My new personal mantra is, “A vote a day, keeps Obama away.”
Make no mistake about it, we are in a war. I am not talking about the Korean conflict where our soldiers literally stand shoulder to shoulder with the troops from South Korea starring at the demilitarized zone the most heavily armed strip of land I the world. I am not talking about Afghanistan where our troops search for Osama Bin Laden and the other terrorists that perpetrated nine-eleven. I am not talking about Iraq, where over 100,000 of our young men and women are embroiled in a civil war. I am talking about a war on our own soil, a fight for our way of life. This war pits socialism against capitalism. Barack Obama may call it “income redistribution” but socialism by any other name does not smell sweet. If we lose this war what we know as our way of life will disappear. This is a war between Barack Obama and John McCain. You are the foot soldiers in this war. Are you willing to fight for economic freedom or do you want to live in a socialist country? Will you vote for John McCain and encourage everyone you know to do the same? Our country needs you. John McCain and Sarah Palin need you. Join me on Election Day and save our country. God’s speed.