Janet M. LaRue

It’s simple. The most competent candidate who comes closest to sharing my core values and political philosophy will get my vote as president. Nobody gets a free ante in the biggest card game of all because of race, gender, religion, or POW status.

When any candidate plays one of these “trump cards,” it tells me something when the media fold rather than call them on it. Thus far, Republican John McCain and Democrat Barack Obama are getting by with a little help from their friends in the press.

The Religion Card:

When Republican Mike Huckabee appeared to make a negative comment about Mormonism to a New York Times reporter, the media pounced on the former Baptist preacher. Huckabee apologized, and rightly so.

In contrast, Obama accused Democrat Hillary Clinton’s campaign of circulating Internet rumors that he’s a Muslim, and Team Hillary took the media hit.

The Gender Card:

After getting pummeled by the boys at the Democratic debate in Philadelphia on October 30, Clinton went in for the spa treatment at her alma mater, Wellesley College. She proclaimed “this all-women’s college prepared me to compete in the all-boys club of presidential politics.”

CNN reporter Campbell Brown asked Hillary if she is using the gender card. She said “I’m not exploiting anything at all” and “I’m not using the gender card.” Clinton then quipped: “People aren’t attacking me because I’m a woman, they’re attacking me because I’m ahead.” Not a minute passed before she said: “I am thrilled to be running to be the first woman president ever.”

When Hillary (“I am woman, hear me roar or cry, depending on pre-primary polling”) got called for playing the gender/victim card, she bluffed by saying her opponents weren’t picking on her because she’s a woman, it’s because she’s the “leader” trying to crack the great “glass ceiling” on Pennsylvania Avenue.

I forget. Which leader coined that one, Lincoln or FDR?

Janet M. LaRue

Jan LaRue is Senior Legal Analyst with the American Civil Rights Union; former Chief Counsel at Concerned for Women; Legal Studies Director at Family Research Council; and Senior Counsel for the National Law Center for Children and Families. Be the first to read Janet LaRue's column. Sign up today and receive Townhall.com delivered each morning to your inbox.