Ed Rendell stuck his foot firmly in his mouth when he chatted with the press at the National Governors Conference yesterday. He gave his reasons for supporting Janet Napolitano as Secretary of Homeland Security, most of which revolve around Napolitano’s lifestyle. Campbell Brown roasts Rendell for both the sexism of the comment and the stupidity of ignoring the open mic (via TMV):
Janet’s perfect for that job. Because for that job, you have to have no life. Janet has no family. Perfect. She can devote literally 19-20 hours a day to it.
If that’s the biggest qualification for a Cabinet-level appointment, why not add a few bloggers? I’m sure some of us would welcome a respite from the bathrobes and the basements.
Brown goes a little far afield in her rebuttal; I don’t think Rendell has much to do with shift scheduling, for instance, and the “working holidays” issue hits single men as hard as single women. However, it does highlight the folly of Democrats claiming to represent feminism and liberation. Rendell is no mere party hack; he’s governor of a key state in national elections, and his biggest reason for endorsing Napolitano is that she doesn’t have a family. As Brown rightly points out, Rendell never objected to Tom Ridge or Michael Chertoff on the basis of their families, so why should that even be an issue for Napolitano?
Rendell’s making this kind of bigotry a habit, isn’t he?