Is that? [sniff] No, couldn't be. [sniff][sniff] Yup, I thought I smelled paranoid liberal.
Taxpayer-financed journalist Bonnie Erbe smells a rat, namely the plurality of men in a recent poll who dared declare Caroline Kennedy unfit for serving in the U.S. Senate. From the PBS "To the Contrary" host's December 31 blog post at US News & World Report:
No one should feign surprise at a new poll showing women more supportive of Caroline Kennedy's bid to replace Hillary Clinton as New York's junior U.S. senator. But what is interesting about this poll is why men are less likely to support her:
Fifty-seven percent of the women taking part in the new CNN-Opinion Research Corp. Poll said that Kennedy is qualified to be a senator from New York. But only 47 percent of men agreed.
CNN's polling director, Keating Holland, says that the gender gap reflects dramatically different perceptions of Kennedy's record.
"Men may think of qualifications for public office in terms of work experience, while women may be looking at a candidate's life experience," says Holland. "Caroline Kennedy has a personal history that may be compelling to many women, but her resume is not very long, and that may be a mark against her to some men."
Do I smell a bit of sexism in men's decision-making processes? Would those same men have held it against Barack Obama that he had only two years in the Senate when he started running for president? What about Arnold Schwarzenegger's long legislative career or that of Ronald Reagan when he ran for governor?
Caroline Kennedy is certainly not qualified for the office she seeks. But qualifications seem to be much less important to men when male action stars seek office.
So let's get this straight. The men in the CNN poll are a whole lot closer to being 50-50 on the question of Caroline Kennedy's qualifications and Erbe herself thinks Kennedy is not qualified for the job. Yet it's men who are sexist, not women, for disagreeing with Erbe?