Blog or Not?

A statistically improbable polymath's views on politics and culture.

Saturday, January 17, 2004
A few days ago I was floating the idea in my head that maybe, just maybe, the Forty-Fourth President of the United States should nominate a woman for Secretary of Defense; the obvious choice would be Lieutenant General Claudia Kennedy, former deputy Army chief of staff for intelligence. Tonight I happened upon Foreign Policy's list of the foreign policy advisors to the various Democratic presidential candidates (thanks to Professor Drezner). I'm a Dean supporter myself, but Kerry's inclusion of General Kennedy in his team of advisors, and the lack of any other military/defense personnel among his advisors, is looking damn attractive.

The political question: Would Kerry gain or lose support in Iowa by publicizing General Kennedy's involvement with his campaign? On the one hand, Iowan feminists could be intrigued by the possibility of a female Secretary of Defense*, on the other, she's never served in combat. But at least she's served in the military, unlike former Secretary of Defense Richard B. Cheney.

*Sometimes I lament the absence of gendered articles in English; if I were writing in French I could have just said "une ministre de defense**" and avoided the clunky modifier which I feel rather overemphasizes the General's gender.

**This is legal now, according to the Academie Française.

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