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Posts Tagged ‘Obama’

Amid all of the rumor mongering about the Clinton campaign today, I spotted this. Hillary is reportedly ‘open’ to a veep role. I think an Obama/Clinton team is unbeatable. And I love the idea of a visionary leader backed by a no-nonsense go-getter.

I’ve heard that some ‘feminist’ groups don’t like the idea of Clinton taking a back seat to the male candidate. But seriously people, Vice President of the United States is nothing to be ashamed of. I’m keeping my fingers crossed that this rumor is true, and that the oneabout Gina Gershon isn’t. (I mean really, how much heartache should one woman be served in a single week.) 

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In 16 Ways of Looking at a Female Voter in yesterday’s New York Times Magazine, Linda Hirshman wrote about how women engage with politics. What I found particularly compelling is the idea that when a women holds office or runs for office, other women are more likely to be engaged in politics. They pay more attention, are more knowledgeable about their representatives, and vote more often.

I tend to favor Obama over Hillary, but this article gives me pause. I really like the idea of electing a president whose very presence in office is likely to help women feel empowered and engaged in politics. Even before reading this article, I’ve been wavering. I love that if Hillary gets elected, then my little monkeys will grow up associating the presidency with a female.

At the same time, I really like Obama’s style and compelling leadership, which I think is something that our country needs right now, to pull people together and get us moving in a good direction. While I think Hillary would do a great job, I’m not sure she’d be an inspiring leader in the moment. But the very fact that she’s a woman could mean that she can inspire a whole generation of women — and help a generation of young men see women differently.

So the question is – do you vote for someone who you think is good for the country right now, or do you vote for someone who will set a great example for our children, and might have more enduring impact far into the future?

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Yesterday’s Wall Street Journal had a great article about how Obama is trying a new approach to win South Carolina. In the past, the way to win in the South has always been to use established networks and leaders, get the endorsements or preachers and politicians, and roll on to victory. In part because Hillary has tied up some crucial endorsements, and in part because he’s going after a younger audience, Obama is going direct to the voters, establishing his own infrastructure, and trying to motivate voters who might not otherwise participate in the primary.

When I first read the article, I thought to myself, Obama, you better stick with what works if you want to win this state. And then I realized that what’s playing out in South Carolina is what plays out in the business world all of the time. The established players stick with what works, and newcomers innovate to create new approaches, products, services and businesses. Often, the newcomers end up building very large businesses very quickly. The established players, sticking with what works and playing the same old game, end up with much slower growth. It’s the classic Innovators Dilemma as described by Clayton Christensen

It’s also something I’ve been encountering at home. When our nanny of two years was leaving, I wanted to stick with what worked – finding another nanny to replace her so that our combined school/nanny schedule would stay the same. It hasn’t worked out very well (more on this later!) and now we’re mixing it up – trying to have the boys in school more and considering not even looking for a new nanny.

It is scary to try a new approach when there’s so much history telling you that the old one worked really well. Sometimes you try something new because you can’t go the established route, like Obama not getting the support of some key established players in South Carolina. Sometimes you try something new because you try the old way and it fails, like me with the new nanny. And sometimes you try something new because you have a hunch that it might work.

I’m keeping an eye on the South Carolina primary – I hope that Obama’s campaign innovation strategy works. And I’m keeping my fingers crossed about our innovation in the childcare routines, too.

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