Last week San Francisco mayor Gavin Newsom announced his candidacy for CA governor with a tweet heard round the state.
Last week San Francisco mayor Gavin Newsom announced his candidacy for CA governor with a tweet heard round the state. But he's not the only candidate with technological savvy. Meg Whitman, the former CEO of Internet giant eBay, announced her bid back in February. Whitman, a Republican, wants to become the first woman to run the golden state. She was a national co-chair of John McCain's campaign, but her work experience lies in the private sector.
I chatted with the chair of Meg's Women's Coalition, Jillian Manis, to find out how Meg plans to appeal to women for votes. From our conversation, I got the sense that Meg sees herself as a different breed of Republican than, say, a certain female governor from Alaska.
While she's fiscally conservative, Meg is pro-choice and has a bit of a tangled stance on gay marriage — she voted for Prop. 8 because she personally feels marriage should be between a man and a woman, but she claims to respect everyone's position. In other words, she doesn't want to make opposition to same-sex marriage a crucial plank in her platform. Here's a recap of my conversation with Jillian.
- Why will Meg appeal to women?
First of all, I don't think women vote for a gender. I really don't think they vote for a party for the most part, either. I think they vote for the person. And I think that Meg is a person that represents a leadership perspective that is both domestic and global, which will be extremely helpful right now as this world is flat and we do need to create relationships with other states and countries to move our state forward. (By working at eBay) she understands what interdependence is, what community building is.
- Positions on female reproductive rights, especially abortion, typically separate the two parties. How does Meg explain her pro-choice position, since it's unlikely for a Republican candidate?
I think Meg has always preached inclusion. I think she very much respects people's choices. . . She's not going to force her own personal choices on others. That's not about working together that's about driving each other apart. I would say I'm socially moderate and fiscally conservative, but that has been redefined here in California and definitely in the Republican party. We are definitely more progressive and more inclusive than the rest of the country vis-a-vis our party. I know Sarah Palin doesn't represent me.
- So Meg is pro-choice because she doesn't want to force her own choices on others. How was her Pro Proposition 8 stance consistence with her stance on abortion?
To see Jillian's response to this question, and for more on Meg's thoughts on gay marriage, read more