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  • E-News U. Contributor 6:19 pm on December 29, 2008 Permalink |  

    Election fever at Hampton University campus 

    By NICQUITA REED

    The results of the historic 2008 presidential election warmed the hearts of many Americans and have also given many students and faculty members at Hampton University a reason to be proud of one another.

    Months ago, during the presidential campaigns, students and faculty members put in huge efforts to get the word out to HU students to vote on Nov. 4. There were students working to register other students and student organizations advocating the importance of everyone’s vote.

    Azania Jenkins, 21, of Baltimore was a student-worker in the writing lab in the English Department and assisted with getting students registered to vote. In the writing lab,
    student-workers were required to ask all students if they were registered voters as they entered the lab and offered them a registration form if they weren’t.

    “The fact that we were getting people registered made people understand the sense of urgency,” said Jenkins. “People understood that it was a big deal [to vote].”

    Adam Johnson, a professor from the Psychology department, did his part in getting his students involved as well. He frequently reminded students to be active in the election and convinced them to help volunteer at the Barack Obama’s campaign office in the Harbors with him.

    As a demonstration of his extreme advocacy for the new president-elect, Johnson said that this was the first time he worked for and donated money to a national presidential campaign. “This was definitely a presidential candidate that I really felt strongly about,” he said.

    This was the first time that Johnson voted in-person since the year 2000 because he usually cast absentee ballots for his home state of Indiana – as he did for the primary. Obama won Virginia and Indiana, two of the important battleground states, which made Johnson a contributor of Obama’s win for both states.

    Dinai Cooksey, 20, expressed her eagerness during the election. Cooksey, a 5-year MBA major from Chicago, experienced her first time voting Nov. 4 at the Hampton Public Library, as it was the first time she was eligible for a presidential election. “I chose to change my registration to Virginia because it was more important for him [Obama] to win Virginia since it was clear that he would more than likely win Illinois,” she said. She encouraged other students to come together and realize the importance of voting in Virginia.

    Then there were faculty members who provided absentee and Virginia residential ballots for students. In the English department, Margaret Lee supplied stamps and envelopes for students who came to her for voter registration forms.

    With these enthusiastic Hamptonians, in addition to the involvement of the Obama campaign in the Hampton Harbors, Hampton University had a great turnout and represented Virginia well.

    Is this the reason Obama won Virginia? If not, the fact that this election allowed students to be part of a historical moment is exceptional, participants say.

    Johnson believed the students at HU made a difference in a literal sense because there were a lot of first-time voters; however he said that they made such a difference because they saw the issues which would be affecting them within a decade such as the economy, jobs, health care and education. “I think that we have a new generation of people who are looking at these issues and contributed in the sense of seeing what they’re inheriting for the next decade.”

    Long lines, rain, and cold did not hinder many HU students from performing their civic duties to vote. This was surprising to older generations. Reported previously by Jane Reed, a volunteer with the Obama campaign,” I am so thrilled that these kids came out to vote … even in the rain,” she said. Reed expressed her enthusiasm in such a way because one of her friend’s didn’t think “those young folks” would go out and vote, said the volunteer.

    Although many HU students voted during this election, what about those who did not? Though Saysha Parker from Jersey City, N.J. wanted Obama to win the election, she did not vote on Nov. 4 because she believed he would either win or lose regardless if she voted or not.

    According to Parker, she initially wanted to, but “The main reason I didn’t vote was because I didn’t want to change my residency to Virginia and I didn’t want to drive all the way to Jersey just to vote,” she said.

    When asked if she would have done an absentee ballot, Parker said no.

    After the results were in, the students at Hampton University flooded the campus in celebration of President-Elect Barack Obama. There were tears, screams, and a faces full of disbelief that America would have its first African-American president.

    Cooksey celebrated at the rallies that took place in front of the student center and Ogden after the results were in. “And I took pictures to commemorate the day I helped make history,” she said.

    Lee became emotional after reading the stories in the Hampton Script that told how the students celebrated on campus the night of the election. “It almost brought tears to my eyes,” said Lee, “It took me back to the night of the election and all the emotions that I had.”

    Many of these students were first-time voters or voters who switched their registration to Virginia and felt like their vote made a big difference. Being that Obama was named presumed winner of Virginia by only a few percentage points, each student voter was able to feel proud about his/her vote and be a part of the history-making moment on the night of Nov. 4.

    Hampton University worked hard to get their students to vote and make a difference, and now has the opportunity to celebrate when the band marches in the inaugural parade on Jan.20.

    According to the HU Web site, the band got an offer from the inaugural committee and they will perform four songs; one being Obama’s campaign song, “Signed, Sealed, Delivered,” by Stevie Wonder.

    Sequoyah Sherrill, a dance captain for the cheerleading team, will be one of the 16 cheerleaders chosen to march with the band in the parade.

    “We are all ecstatic to go,” said Sherrill, “As soon as our coach announced it to us we started jumping up and down and screaming in excitement.”

    The writer is a junior at Hampton University Scripps Howard School of Journalism and Communications.

     
  • E-News U. Contributor 9:24 am on December 21, 2008 Permalink |  

    Black commander-in-chief: From fiction to reality 

    By KATHRYN De SHIELDS

    On the night of Nov. 4, the seemingly impossible happened; a black man was elected U.S. president. However, people have been viewing black presidents for a while on television and on the big screen. The progression of black roles in television and film throughout the years has improved just as black people have advanced in image and status.

    Eleanor Earl teaches screenwriting, film criticism and Introduction to Motion Picture courses at Hampton University. Although the English professor is originally from Virginia, she has lived all over including Atlanta, New York, California and London.

    “We’ve come a long way,” Earl said. “Earlier images gave cause for great concern. It was discouraging to have to watch and be bombarded with negative images and stereotypes of black men.”

    In the 1930s, blackface, or minstrel shows, was a common performance put on by white men where they would use grease paint or burned cork to darken their faces and imitate “dandified coons,” or “darkies.” A dozen years later, black people where imitating plantation days with ethnic speech and exaggerated features on television. However, no matter how dark their skin was, they had to put on “blackface.” Common roles played then, the mammy figure and Uncle Tom can still be seen in television today.

    Phill Branch moved to Virginia from California to teach at Hampton University. In Los Angeles he worked as a writer, producer and in entertainment brand marketing. Recently he has launched a Web site, IllProfessors.com, that focuses on movies, television, music and literature reviews.

    “There are seven main archetypes in television and film for black people,” Branch said. “The mammy figure, the strong buck, a magical negro, the tragic mulatto and so on. The thing is if you watch television closely, even when the character is not made out to be a definite mammy figure…she still has mammy characteristics.”

    Despite black people’s beginnings in television, forward motion has been made. However, there is still discontent about how black people, particularly black men, are portrayed.

    Even now, stereotypes and negative imagery of black men can be found on television and in movies when African-Americans are cast in roles such as gang members, dead-beat dads and heavy drug users or pushers. Branch and Earl believe that some of these roles are necessary in the industry.

    “I don’t think someone being a criminal is a negative portrayal, it makes things more realistic,” Branch said. “I think the whole positive and negative conception is tricky though, not useful.”

    “We wouldn’t want cookie-cutter perfect images because there are black robbers, gang members and so on,” Earl said. “Directors have a right to explore that part of society.”

    According to Branch, the main problem that people have when it comes to television and film’s portrayal of black people is that there isn’t enough variety. When the television and film industry capitalizes off of subject matter at the expense of someone or thing, that’s when things become negative.

    “When you have BET constantly showing videos filled with naked women and gangsters, I have a problem,” Branch said. “We need more diversity; things shouldn’t just lead in one direction.”

    Branch believes the true issue concerning television is whether or not shows allow a viewer to see the full spectrum.

    “It’s not that Hollywood is not letting us play powerful roles,” Branch added, “… it’s that we aren’t showing those roles ourselves as black people, in real life. We can’t expect other people to be in the business of making sure that the black image is appropriate.”

    To some, having black men playing the role of president on television aided Obama in winning the election. Because it is now a familiar sight on movies and television shows, it has helped the public accept it as a possibility.

    Keesha Wilson, a five-year MBA major from Pasadena, Calif., believes that the movies do a good job of keeping things realistic.

    “Just as seeing interracial dating on TV has allowed for it to be more acceptable,” Wilson said, “seeing minorities in positive position of powers has allowed for society as a whole to become more comfortable with the idea.”

    Kyle Winfield, junior theater arts major from Orange County, Calif., says that the movies are still too overly dramatic with not enough substance.

    “It’s entertaining but it isn’t real,” Winfield said. “It’s still just acting in the end although it does look good on TV.” Obama winning the election, he said, can dispel the illusions that Hollywood has put up about the presidency being one intense situation after another.

    “Obama will show America what a real black president is like,” said Winfield. “It’s not going to be just yelling orders or looking stressed out when he finds out there is a bomb somewhere.”

    In 1997, Tommy “Tiny” Lister played as president in the sci-fi movie “5th Element.” As president, he was depicted as a brute and wasn’t a positive portrayal of what a black president could be.

    However a year later in “Deep Impact” Morgan Freeman played president and was calm, collected and carried himself in a more respectable manner. In FOX television series “24” starring Dennis Haysbert as President David Palmer, a black president is shown handling intense situations, like the impending doom of humanity.

    “I think that black men are portrayed a lot better than we give television credit for,” said Branch.”We see black cops and lieutenants, presidents, hospital managers, business men and women on shows; we see a lot of diverse images.

    Chris Rock plays the part of a black president in the movie “Head of State,” a comedy displaying what it might look like if a young, black man ran for president. In the movie, Rock uses hip-hop music to endorse his campaign and represents extreme stereotypes as he makes his way to the top.

    “It’s interesting because although the movie was made as a speculative comedy, now there’s not a punch line,” Branch said. Obama used musicians such as Will.i.am, John Legend and Stevie Wonder to strengthen his campaign by reaching out to younger generations.

    “Head of State was letting people know that this is possible,” Branch said. “This is where we’re headed.”

    The writer is a junior at Hampton University Scripps Howard School of Journalism and Communications.

     
  • E-News U. Contributor 8:35 am on December 21, 2008 Permalink |  

    Recession touches students too 

    By MAEGAN SMITH
    With a $700 billion bailout plan proposed, the abrupt end of more than a few financial firms and the current credit crunch as indicators, America’s current economic crisis is undeniable. While what this means for Wall Street has been explored ad nauseum, what this implies for college campuses is somewhat less traversed territory.

    When the housing market bubble burst, the resulting mess did not stay contained to just that one industry. Its effects rippled throughout the whole of the American economy as seen in the swift downturns of the stock market, current rate of unemployment and general wariness of most businesses to put their necks out financially.

    “One of the things that makes this thing [economic crisis] so difficult is that it hit all the sectors,” said Sid Credle, dean of Hampton University’s school of business. “It hit the banks, the real estate market, retail … It went nationwide and now it’s international.”

    The effect of the crisis in service industries has touched students. Jobs in food service and retail serve to sustain many while they matriculate through college.

    “It has been beyond difficult to find a job,” said Shannon Hayes, a music education major at Hampton University. “I have been looking basically the whole semester, but I’m getting nowhere.”

    Hayes had a part-time job at a boutique in Norfolk until it went out of business is September.

    Her struggles were shared by Iyanna Fairweather, a biology major at HU.

    “It took me forever to find a part-time job,” said Faiweather. “I looked all over, but people just aren’t hiring right now. Everywhere I went, that’s what I heard.”

    It is not just in Hampton that students are having difficulty finding employment. Lynella Charles, a film student at Pennsylvania State University in University Park, Pa., lost her job at a local restaurant that was forced to close and has been unable to find a replacement.

    “The owner was having difficulty keeping the doors open,” Charles said. There was a noticeable drop in customers from last year to this year.”

    While some students depend on part-time jobs to help finance their higher education, most depend on loans. With this recession has come a loss of some of these opportunities. Just as stores cut back on hiring and in some cases are even forced to close their doors, college loans could also be affected by the current market.

    “Loan rates are going higher,” Credle said. “There is going to be a great demand for loans and banks aren’t just going to give them to students carte blanche.”

    While rates have yet to rise, Credle says if the economy isn’t fixed or on the road to being fixed soon, that will be inevitable.

    Meanwhile, as according to the College Board, total borrowing for school has reached an all-time high of $85 billion in the 2007-08 school year, which is more than double what it was just 10 years ago. Federal aid growth, however, has stayed relatively flat in that same time period.

    With students loans at an all time high, fears are rising that defaulting on these loans will rise as well.

    “The credit crunch could affect student loan default rates as well,” Credle said. “The convergence of the high rates of borrowing and this economic downturn could create a serious issue. It’s definitely something people will have to watch for.”

    With borrowing at an all-time high, college student securing good jobs post-graduation would seem paramount. However, prospects for recent college grads aren’t as bright as some would hope.

    “Coming into the job market as a recent grad was daunting,” said Ronald Smith, a 2007 college grad. “Then with my field of study [business and market], it was next to impossible to actually find a job.”

    Smith, who graduated at the top of North Carolina Central’s business school, could not find a job in business or marketing upon his graduation.

    However, according to Credle, the future for students in not as dark as it seems.

    “Right now students have a unique opportunity,” Credle said. He explained that though the current crisis is daunting and serious, it does afford the opportunity to get in on the ground floor of the equities market at what he called a, “seriously reduced cost.”

    He argues that if students can learn to prioritize and not spend frivolously, than they won’t only survive this crisis, they could come out the other side in better condition.

    Credle also pointed out the new opportunities that this crisis could create.

    “Federal government employment will open up. They will pick up the bright hard workers to help fix this problem and stimulate economic growth.”

    Not only will there be new opportunities in the wake of this crisis, but there are ways that students who find themselves in any of the situations mentioned can help themselves.

    “Obviously the first thing to do is budget,” Credle said. “After that, grads who find themselves in situation where they can’t pay loans can contact their lenders and see about deferment and forbearance. As far as continuing to finance an education, federal loans will remain unaffected by this crisis.”

    The writer is a junior at Hampton University Scripps Howard School of Journalism and Communications.

     
  • E-News U. Contributor 4:57 pm on December 19, 2008 Permalink |  

    Obama: Hero to some, tough pill for others at HU 

    By MICHAEL TURNER

    In the wake of 2008’s Olympic triathlon of a presidential race, trends were overturned, tradition uprooted, antes upped, and history written. Almost a year ago, the players in this season’s political contest took to the starting blocks along each of their individual paths.

    At the farthest end of the arena stood U.S. Sen. Barack Obama, D-Ill. and U.S. Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., geared and cocked for one of the most grueling political marathons of recent history. Little did these soon-to-be caricatures of opposing political ideology and prescribed platform know just how lengthy the race would be. And even less, aware, perhaps, was the American public.

    Now, in the aftermath, Hampton University students, like many others across the nation, are examining their lives in this country under a new light.

    Early Race
    Across Hampton’s campus, students took an early interest in the election. In 2006, the ears of many perked up at the thought of the young candidate Obama running for president. At the time, U.S. Sen. Hilary Clinton, D-N.Y., had won the clear nod of the Democratic Party, but was receiving some suggestion that she would have to face a strong contender to prove herself deserving of a shot at the presidency.

    Justice Telfare, a political science major from Newport News, Va., remembers being a freshman when he first heard the news.

    “I had heard the name,” he said, “but I never knew just how much I would come to love it.”
    On the other side, when McCain announced his candidacy for president on the “Late Show with David Letterman” in March 2007, Gabriel Taylor, an outspoken Republican supporter, suddenly became interested in the election. Taylor, a history major and sophomore at the time, was fond of McCain’s strong-willed approach to the Iraq War. A third-year Army ROTC cadet, Taylor takes personal interest in a new president’s stance on issues such as the war.

    “Back then, McCain seemed like the candidate who wasn’t afraid of finishing what we started overseas,” he said. “I understand that I may be asked to fight for my country, and that’s exactly why I signed up for the program.”

    Taylor and Telfare are clear representatives of the two sides of debate on campus that began to emerge in the earliest stages of the presidential race. As the race got underway and the two competing frontrunners—Obama and McCain—surpassed the other nominees in their party, tensions grew among Hamptonians. Though a more advertised Democratic presence appeared on car bumpers, in heavily populated student areas and in the school paper, a population of McCain supporters existed beneath the seemingly homogenous surface of the university’s political climate.

    Gregory Pizzarro, a freshman political science major and close friend of Taylor, sided with the Republican ticket throughout the race.

    “I didn’t want to say it out loud, seeing as I was surrounded by ‘Obamanites,’ but I really thought that McCain would do a better job as president,” he said. “I like Obama and all, but I know for a fact that he alone is not the answer to all of the current problems the country has.”

    The Final Stretch
    During the final weeks of the campaign, students across campus joined Facebook groups, signed up to volunteer, and even coordinated voter registration events for either of the two candidates and their running mates. The introduction of new faces into the political stew inspired an entirely new debate across campus: How much weight does a president’s selection of his vice have on his judgment?

    “It was clear that McCain was playing a big political game,” said Delisaned Gonzales, a junior psychology major from Richmond. “It just made you question his genuineness when he picked Sarah Palin because it didn’t even seem like they had chemistry.”

    Others were critical of Obama’s pick, U.S. Sen. Joe Biden, D-Del.

    “When he picked Biden, I just thought ‘Oh, great, he picked a risky one.’ I felt like the party was already taking a chance with Obama,” said Telfare.

    He and Justin Manning, a coordinator for “Students for Barack Obama,” among other students, were inspired by the constant e-mails they had received from the campaign headquarters asking for final donations and volunteers at polling booths during the final two weeks of the campaign. Both increased their efforts in organizing and promoting Obama’s platform.

    “I knew that I couldn’t let up until my team—with my help—had succeeded in putting Barack Obama in the White House,” said Manning, who also helped direct voters to the polls.

    On election night when the early news broke of Obama’s victory, students flooded the streets of Hampton University in celebration. Car horns, music and firecrackers echoed in and around the campus. Meanwhile, Taylor and a handful of McCain supporters took the announcement well, and not entirely by surprise. The following morning, evidence of election night jubilation still littered some back streets of the campus.

    Aftermath
    More than a month after the election, a sense of accomplishment still possesses a majority of Hampton’s campus. Those who supported the Obama-Biden ticket are proud of their victory, while opposition hasn’t seemed to let hard feelings outweigh the pride they share in witnessing the naming of the country’s first black president. However, the question that now remains is how students personally involved or otherwise plan to face the president and his new nation of awakened youth and minority groups.

    Manning draws from the experience he gained from his involvement as a Students for Barack Obama coordinator to keep him invested in the upcoming administration.

    “I’m no letting up because there are still congressional races in the spring that we have to be ready to fight for,¬¬¬¬¬¬¬¬¬¬¬¬¬¬¬¬¬¬¬¬¬” Manning said.

    Others, like Gonzales, who voted Republican even though critical of McCain’s run at the presidency, are making their own personal peace with President elect Obama.

    “There’s no disputing that he won,” Gonzales said. “I just hope he does a good job because there is a lot riding on him, and honestly, even the color of his skin as a minority.”

    While some are weary of Obama’s skin color opening his performance up to unfair scrutiny, others on campus feel that it could open numerous doors for other fresh, pigmented faces in government. Jerrold Roy, assistant dean of the Howard Scripps School of Journalism and Communications constantly refers to Obama as the first president that happens to be black, versus the first black president. Jokingly, he mentions that “as soon as Obama’s in office, I’m sending him my resume. He needs qualified people in his Cabinet, right?”

    Roy is just one of many on campus who feel that Obama’s skin color and history will prove much more of an asset than extra baggage, just as it played a positive part in the election outcome. One thing that individuals at Hampton University, among billions worldwide, have realized, is that Barack Obama has been democratically elected as the next president of the Untied States of America and will not only work for, but represent all of its citizens.

    “At the end of the day,” Gonzales said, “everybody is counting on him to change this country for the better. They have no choice.”

    The writer is a junior at Hampton University Scripps Howard School of Journalism and Communications.

     
  • E-News U. Contributor 4:48 pm on December 19, 2008 Permalink |  

    ‘Bradley effect’ has a new name: Obama 

    By MYA SINGLETON

    As America recently voted for its 44th president-elect Barack Obama, people are noticing how race and politics are bringing a new twist to the “Bradley effect.”

    The event that occurred in 1982 affected former Los Angeles Mayor Tom Bradley, a black candidate who ran for governor in California. RealClearPolitics.com states how pre-election polls predicted an easy win for him between 9 and 22 points. However, white voters who claimed they would vote for Bradley went against their word and voted for his white Republican opponent George Deukmejian, causing him to lose the election by 1.2 percentage points.

    Pre-election polls are taken for a number of reasons. Quentin Kidd, chairman of the Department of Government at Christopher Newport University, said, “It’s an effort to determine how voters are feeling about the course of the campaign, which issues are resonating with them, and their views on important issues.

    “News organizations like to write stories about which candidate is up and which is down and polls help them write these types of ‘horse race’ stories.”

    Pre-election polls can predict one result, but sometimes the exit polls have different outcomes. In 1989 Douglas Wilder, a black candidate for governor of Virginia had pre-election poll results with a 9-point lead, but ended up winning by less than 1 percentage point.

    Some people believe a person’s race plays its part to skew public opinion. Bradley effect believers assume some white voters will tell pollsters their decision, but actually vote against a black candidate. “Race is still important in our society, from the way someone talks, to the way they dress and walk, all of these things are visual cues,” said Kidd.

    However, since Obama is the United States’ first black president-elect, his win against his white opponent, Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., shows how he defeated this effect that occurred more than 25 years ago. “I could say America accepts Barack Obama because he talks white, dresses white, smiles a lot and has degrees from the top schools,” said Kidd.

    In order to win, a candidate needs to receive 270 Electoral College votes. According to FiveThirtyEight.com, Obama received 365 Electoral College votes, while McCain received 173. Obama won the popular vote margin by 52.3 percent, compared to McCain’s 46.2 percent. By states, Obama won more votes in the West, Northeast and Midwest regions. As Virginia was a battleground state between the candidates, Obama won the state that hasn’t elected a Democratic presidential candidate in the last 44 years.

    As indicated by NOLA.com, Obama captured 43 percent of the white voters, in which 46 percent were white women and 41 percent were white men. He got support from more white voters than Democratic nominees John Kerry and Al Gore in the 2000 and 2004 elections.

    Craig Stafford, a junior political science major at Hampton University, said, “Obama won this election because he didn’t portray a pro-black power attitude as was the case for Jesse Jackson when he ran. He was encouraging to all races and even got support from some Republicans.”

    According to USNews.com, among voters across the nation, Obama was able to capture 56 percent of female voters and 49 percent of male voters while also gaining support from more than 84 percent of Democrats who supported Hillary Clinton in the primaries.

    FiveThirtyEight.com stated how Obama captured votes based on race by 67 percent of Latinos, 62 percent of Asians and 96 percent of blacks. He had 66 percent of voters between the ages of 18-29 and 52 percent of voters between the ages of 30-44.

    Chad Smith, a junior political science major at Hampton, said, “The Bradley effect still occurred because Obama didn’t win the vote of white conservative males, but he did win the vote of more white women to some degree.”

    One can not compare these two different elections as Bradley attempted to win a state election, while Obama ran for a national position. Both California and the nation as a whole are ethnically diverse, but perhaps times have changed over the last 25 years.

    Obama overturned the Bradley effect that was highly publicized before Election Day. Pre-election polls predicted his possible win against McCain, and now the polls have become a reality as voters didn’t turn against the black candidate.

    The writer is a junior at the Hampton University Scripps Howard School of Journalism.

     
  • E-News U. Contributor 6:04 pm on December 9, 2008 Permalink |  

    Women politicians make history in 2008 election 

    By BRITTNEY FENNELL
    The 2008 presidential election is one that will forever be remembered in history. Not only was an African-American male elected president, but female politicians made great strides, and showed that the possibility of having a woman as president or vice-president was not a far-fetched idea. U.S. Sen. Hillary Clinton of New York and Gov. Sarah Palin of Alaska may have changed the course of female politicians everywhere by inspiring a nation and showing that America is indeed ready for change.

    Clinton’s campaign became a strong contender for the White House during the Democratic primaries. According to nytimes.com, she captured 22 battleground states and won 1,920 delegates. For much of the race, Clinton was the front-runner, but she wasn’t able to thwart the success of U.S. Sen. Barack Obama, D-Ill.

    When it became evident that she would not be the Democratic nominee for president, she bowed out and encouraged her supporters to rally behind Obama so the Democrats could take back the White House.

    Palin rose to political notoriety by being U.S. Sen. John McCain’s running mate for the Republican nomination. Not since 1984, when U.S. Rep. Geraldine Ferraro of New York was chosen as the Democratic vice-presidential candidate with Walter Mondale, a woman had not served on a presidential ticket. Palin made political history in her own right by becoming the first woman on a GOP presidential ticket.

    Throughout the campaign, Palin’s knowledge of foreign policy and the Bush Doctrine were called into question on two occasions after her televised interviews with
    network TV journalists Charlie Gibson of ABC and Katie Couric of CBS.

    In an interview with Gibson on Sept. 11, Palin described the Bush doctrine as President Bush wanting to “rid the country of Islamic extremists who want to destroy the country,” when in actuality it says that the United States has the right of anticipatory self-defense, and America has the right to strike against any country that may want to attack.

    When asked about foreign policy, Palin said that Russia is a neighboring country with Alaska, and can be seen from Alaska’s land.

    During an interview with Couric Sept. 25, Palin defended her statement by saying she meant that Alaska had a very narrow maritime border with a foreign country which is Russia, and has a boundary with Canada.

    Despite Palin’s foreign and political knowledge being criticized, she and Clinton were able to add a female presence to this year’s presidential election.

    Was the glass ceiling shatterd?

    Now, with Clinton being selected as Secretary of State by Obama, it causes many to wonder just how far women can now go in politics and if the glass ceiling has really been shattered.

    “I think it’s strategic in the sense that it gives her something to do,” says Erica Woods-Warrior, a political science and philosophy professor at Hampton University, on whether it was a wise choice to make Clinton the Secretary of State. “I think Americans don’t trust her because of the campaign backstabbing.

    “That’s not to say that she can’t be effective.”

    Gene Moore, a fellow Hampton political science professor, had a different perspective:
    “It’s a good idea. Obama is his own man. Hillary Clinton won a lot of rapport internationally. She has a good reputation.”

    Ken Barton, a junior political science major from Alpharetta, Ga., agreed with Moore:
    “I’m pretty happy [Clinton will be Secretary of State]. She made me angry during the primary, but Barack recognized her strengths, so I think she will represent the country well.”

    During this election, never before had America seen two female candidates almost make it to the White House. Clinton’s and Palin’s campaigns may have served as inspirations for other female politicians to someday want to seek residency at 1600 Pennsylvania Ave.

    “I think Clinton’s campaign inspired women,” Barton said. “I think women were taken advantage of when Sarah Palin was nominated. They chose her because she was a woman and not qualified.”

    “Without a doubt Clinton’s campaign was inspiring,” Moore said. “Palin was an embarrassment. When she talks, Palin and Clinton aren’t in the same league. Just those two being nominated will make a difference. Twenty five years ago, there weren’t that many women in the Senate.”

    Woods-Warrior believes that women have always wanted to be president, regardless of the campaigns of Clinton and Palin. “Sarah Palin is the Al Sharpton of politicians. Hillary Clinton is more effective in terms of mobilizing women. Nobody knew who Sarah Palin was before this election and we still don’t.”

    Ready for a woman president?

    At this moment, Americans are witnessing history in the making with the first black president being elected. Because of this, America may now be ready for a female president, right?

    “We’re not ready for females in the military,” says Woods-Warrior. “We’re not ready for an African-American president, but Barack came at the right time. We still have race relations issues and gender issues. I don’t think we’re ready for a female vice-president either. A woman would have prepared us for an African-American president, and an African-American president would have prepared us for a female president. This presidential administration will prepare us for that [a female president].”

    Barton, a staunch Barack Obama supporter, is putting all his faith in Clinton that she will be president one day: “Hillary Clinton will be president. I don’t know what can pop up in 10 years. We didn’t know who Barack Obama was five years ago. We don’t know who’s going to pop up. It could be one of our senators or governors.”

    Moore agrees. “Hillary Clinton came close to winning,” he said. “The next could be a female. I thought both of them [Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton] could have won.”

    Female politicians came a long way this political season. They proved to be serious contenders among the male candidates and were even predicted to win. Who knows, there may just be a Ms. President taking up residency at the White House in a few years.

    The writer is a junior at Hampton University Scripps Howard School of Journalism and Communications.

     
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