John McCain’s Republic of Women

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A pre-Palin take on McCain and the ladies:

He is visibly uncomfortable talking about social issues and, when pressed, tends to veer between conservatism-in-a-can (“I agree that marriage, as [a] uniquely important institution, should be protected”) and a kind of jokey admission that he is reciting talking points, his voice taking on a sarcastic tone as he adds, “And every home should display the flag, and every mother should cook apple pie once a week.” When we arrive at the next destination just as he finishes his answer to one such policy query of mine, he says with a wink, “Just in time.”


Usually, having lots of women in one’s life is a cure for this sort of myopia. It’s McCain’s peculiar fate to be surrounded by women—heiresses, CEOs, hard-charging junior staffers without spouses or children—who’ve been curiously immune to the curse of sexism. He is great for the women he knows; then there are all those other women out there—the ones who might not be able to get birth control, and, perhaps even more to the point, those whose background and income haven’t given them the means to combat inequality.