by Constance Daley
American Reporter Correspondent
St. Simons Island, Ga.
July 31, 2007
WHY I'M NOT VOTING FOR RUDY
ST. SIMONS ISLAND, Ga. -- According to The American Reporter's readers choice presidential poll, Democratic Senator Hillary Clinton and Republican Rudy Giuliani are the front runners. And the July 17 Gallup Poll, a more scientific survey, reported little change in the public leanings for the Democratic and Republican presidential nominations. Again, Senator Hillary Clinton and Rudy Giuliani are leading other hopefuls in their respective parties.
Until about two months ago, I could say with confidence that I'd walk into the voting booth on Election Day in November, 2008, and cast my ballot for fellow New Yorker Rudy Giuliani. Slam dunk! He was the one who cleaned up my wonderful Times Square by ridding those world famous corners of the pimps and prostitutes, the drug dealers and junkies, plying their dirty, sordid trades while at the same time filching the tourist dollars and besmirching that spectacular city.
To me, Giuliani could do no wrong. He continued to be a man among men throughout the 9/11 tragedy and I thought of no one else as a candidate who could count on my vote.
Then, during an interview with both Giuliani and his wife, a reporter asked him if he'd allow his wife to attend Cabinet meetings. Giuliani said: "Sure, if she wants to." Up until that moment, he had me. "If she wants to?"
I didn't care that his first wife was his third cousin and the marriage ended in divorce. I didn't concern myself with his marching in the St. Patrick's Day parade with this Judith Nathan while his wife at the time, Donna Hanover, was not marching in her traditionally rightful place at his side, and I didn't take into account that he is now estranged from his children.
No, none of that excessive baggage (and it is excessive) would stop me from voting for someone if I felt they would stand up and swear to uphold the Constitution of the United States, helping to preserve my rights to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. Everything else is his own business. I don't care what he or she does on their own time as long as it doesn't interfere with the duties of office.
But I have strong feelings about the spouse's position in the White House. I don't expect her to "sit home and bake cookies," as Mrs. Clinton once said when detractors suggested she was overstepping her bounds. She lost me on the first day of President Clinton's first term.
On that day, Hillary Clinton walked toward his meeting with the Cabinet with briefcase in hand, dressed in the garb of a lawyer going to work for the day, ostensibly as President Clinton's lawyer.
That didn't sit well with me at all, and with many other citizens, Republican and Democrats alike. During the national uproar accompanying the ERA (Equal Rights Amendment), there were slogans like: "A Woman's Place Is In The House ... And In The Senate." I voted for that, and would march in step with others advocating equal rights and equal pay for women. There is no question there.
But I feel strongly about this: my vote is for a candidate, and assuming that I would want two functioning winners for my one vote is inexcusable. We don't vote for a pair, and if we are lucky and the candidate married someone who will carve their own niche in the history of the serving president, then wonderful. Lady Bird Johnson said it best, I believe: "The First Lady is an unpaid public servant elected by one person - her husband."
Lady Bird called upon us all to help beautify America. Jacqueline Kennedy restored the White House and her work instilled pride in our national home. She also taught us how to grieve for our fallen President. Any First Lady can find a cause of her own - if she chooses. Nancy Reagan brought us the "Just say no" campaign against drugs, an important statement. The slogan caught on and resulting programs saved many a youngster from embarking on a path to drug addiction.
In Mrs. Reagan's case, there is no question she advised her beloved Ronnie, the President. But when she had his ear, it was "pillow talk," they said - and he listened. He often said she was his finest advisor.
We want our President to be in a comfort zone, but that shouldn't mean a spouse in the room ready to comment later about who said what and why didn't you say this when he said that - you know, typical marriage banter.
The point I'm addressing is for the pollsters. They should not for a moment think they can predict who we will vote for. Yes, I would vote for a woman, but not for Hillary, and yes, I would vote for a black person, man or woman, unless, of course, that candidate would include his spouse in business of state - I only elected one of them.
So, I haven't decided how my one vote will go. Right now, I'm hoping every candidate for president is reading the Constitution, with special emphasis on the Bill of Rights. When our next Inauguration Day comes around, I hope the person who swears to uphold the Constitution knows and means exactly what he or she is saying.
Visit longtime AR Correspondent Constance Daley at www.skylinetoshoreline.com.