It’s time to go out on a limb and consider the possibility that the Obama-Biden ticket might win the election.

The reason to go so boldly where no one has gone before — almost — is that Democrats need to start thinking about giving credit to those who are most responsible for their victory. Those would be the women.

Say what you will about a superior campaign organization, the huge fundraising advantage, the cratering economy. The two guys who will be taking over (I think) owe their success to the females. Think about where they would be were it not for …

Sarah Palin She was at first considered a master stroke (pun intended) by the nihilists who ran John McCain’s operation. For a while Sarah stopped Barack/Joe in their tracks and breathed new life into the McCain campaign with her combination of looks, TV sports-anchor moves, Hockey Mom shtick and, oh yeah, gender. But it didn’t take all that long before all those so attracted to her lowest-common-denominator fresh face realized she was little more than a cynical ploy — and a vacuous one at that. The responsibility for that goes in large part to …

Kate Couric Katie did her fundamental job. She just asked questions and then follow-ups. We are not talking off-the-wall topics. They were the most rudimentary ones imaginable, offering Gov. Palin an easy shot to demonstrate she was not a bubblehead. Alas, Sarah didn’t do well. Of course, Ms. Couric had the advantage of being a “Ms.,” which meant that none of the Republican opportunists could play their flim-flam sexism card. That ploy became so quickly transparent it disgusted the most frustrated Hillary supporters and sent them racing back to the Democratic ticket. It also provided tremendous material for …

Tina Fey Palin’s act was so astonishing that Fey needed to rely only on her brilliant impressionistic talent. The actual material wrote itself. Tina Fey got laughs by merely channeling Sarah Palin. In the process she exposed the Palin routine as the act of a Republican Party desperate to make people stop pondering whether John McCain would simply extend the Bush presidency. Rarely, if ever, has this nation been so consumed by a desire for change, at least not since the 1700s. It is so intense it has overridden the disappointment over thwarted ambitions that is still burning inside …

Hillary Clinton Even though her career of public service is still in front of her, she can already take satisfaction for ending, once and for all, any debate about whether a woman can lead this country. The effort to exploit female progress with anti-female tokenism fell with a thud thanks, in large part, to the example set by Hillary. She went toe to toe with Obama and the other candidates during the long, long primary season. No gimmicks required.

We’re seeing a huge amount of history in this campaign. We’ll be seeing a lot more, including, we can only hope, the glass ceiling, with its 18 million cracks, shattered once and for all. We won’t elect a female president in 2008, but any sane person can see there’s no reason not to. To a large degree, they set the agenda this time around. Now it’s time for them to claim full equality, to be judged strictly on their qualifications. It’s time for all those who use subterfuge to undermine this reality to step aside or be run over by progress.

Visit Mr. Franken’s website at

Tags Conservatism in the United States Hillary Clinton Joe the Plumber John McCain John McCain John McCain presidential campaign Katie Couric Parodies of Sarah Palin Person Career Politics Public image of Sarah Palin Sarah Palin Saturday Night Live parodies of Sarah Palin Tea Party movement Tina Fey United States
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