I was still a little mopey that Bush had chosen Dick Cheney as his running mate, rather than my personal favorite, Gov. Frank Keating of Oklahoma, when I heard Sen. Barbara Boxer, D-Calif., saying some very nice things about Cheney on CNN. She said, for example: "This is probably the most anti-choice ticket we've ever had."
"You look at the women's vote," Boxer continued (referring to the jaded feminist vote). Cheney "voted against the Equal Rights Amendment -- very anti-choice, even anti-family planning. And on the issue of guns -- which is a big issue -- sensible gun laws -- he was one of just a handful to vote against banning terrorist guns, which are those plastic guns which we were warned could get across the metal detectors."
I have no idea what Boxer is talking about. But neither does she, since there is no such thing as a gun -- capable of firing ammunition, anyway -- that can slip through a metal detector. Apparently, though, by choosing Cheney, Bush has cavalierly written off the enticing prospect of having women like Barbara Boxer, who would never, ever vote for a Republican under any circumstances, hate him a little less.
Boxer bemoaned the fact that Bush had passed over "mainstream" choices such as Olympia Snowe. "To my mind," Boxer said, Snowe "would have been an unbelievable addition to the ticket." It is undeniable that adding one of Maine's sorry "Republican" senators would have been "unbelievable."
Dick Cheney served as President Ford's chief of staff when he was 34 years old, was elected to six terms in Congress from Wyoming, and served for four years as Pentagon chief under President Bush, where he successfully managed the Persian Gulf War. By contrast, Olympia Snowe's home page prominently displays precisely two items under "hot issues" (cutely written in flames): two Maine pork projects at a cost of 9.7 million taxpayer dollars. Obviously, only rank sexism can explain such a stateswoman's absence from Bush's short list of prospective running mates.