If roles reversed, Obama not likely to be urged to quit race

Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton (D-N.Y.) is receiving calls from Sens. Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), Chris Dodd (D-Conn.) and others to drop out of the presidential primary even though the difference between the popular vote and pledged delegates is minimal and neither candidate can win the nomination without the superdelegates. The question no one is asking is, If the fortunes of the two candidates were reversed, would there be calls for Sen. Barack Obama (D-Ill.) to withdraw? Frankly, I doubt it. The DNC would be afraid of alienating the loyal and highly vocal African American base. More than likely any attempt to push Sen. Obama out of the race would be met with charges of racism.

Women comprise 51 percent of the population and an even greater percentage of the voting electorate. Yet, women are vastly underrepresented in all three branches of government, from the congress to the cabinet, and there has never been a female president or vice president. On a personal level, I am reminded daily of the subtle yet significant government-sponsored sexism that permeates my life. Not a single piece of paper currency has a picture of a woman on it and the vast majority of pictures on stamps are of men. Pick up any newspaper and compare the number of photos of men versus women, and you’ll be astonished by the results.

From Wall Street to the White House, we are in many ways still a nation of “men and girls.” Women are undoubtedly still the second sex.

Hillary’s candidacy is significant to me as a woman. She knows what it is to be a woman, to be marginalized and sidelined. I want the Obama supporters who are trying to push Hillary out of the race to know that to me a woman in the White House is change, real change and the most significant political event of my lifetime. I want Hillary as my president for me, my daughter and the other women and girls of America. I am a registered Democrat, but if Hillary is pushed out of the race, I will not vote and I will urge other women to do the same. Why should I be loyal to a party where a group of white men try to push out the first female candidate for the presidency?

Bethesda, Md.



Changing the script

From Wes Pedersen

Isn’t it a bit too soon for Gen. David Petraeus to be talking about progress in Iraq? (article, “Presidential contenders expected back for Petraeus,” March 29.) As thing have developed in the past week, he may have to explain to Congress how matters got so bad again so quickly.

Chevy Chase, Md.