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article imageOp-Ed: Can We Trust Cindy McCain to Represent American Women?

By Samantha A. Torrence     Jun 15, 2008 in Politics
American women have often only had one person to turn to to represent womanhood in America, the First Lady. Some say she is the key to winning women voters.
This is article two of a two part series reflecting on Michelle Obama and Cindy McCain.
As an American woman I have always looked to the First Lady of the United States as a role model. A role she chooses when she supports her husband in politics and helps him take the Whitehouse. This year American women almost had for the first time a female to pick for President, but as that slipped through our fingers we are now back to looking at how the First Lady will represent women and America. Currently we are faced with two choices, Michelle Obama and Cindy McCain. These two women who have been revered and faulted in their lives, and it is important to look at them.
John McCain and Barack Obama have asked that people "lay off" of their wives, and as a woman I think that is very unfair to ask. Their wives are not just some arm candy, the consequences of having them in the office of First Lady are quite real. Typically First Ladies have guided the home front policies on human interests, from participating in charities, to environmental concerns. They take up the role for an entire nation, what a housewife did for her community. It is of my opinion that the First Lady needs to be as highly scrutinized as the President.
"The true worth of a race must be measured by the character of its womanhood" (Mary McLeod Bethune). I believe the same could be said for a country.
Cindy McCain has avoided much of the media scrutiny that her counterpart Michelle Obama has received. I honestly believe this is a reflection that she knows how not to put her foot in her mouth. She is poised, cool, and seemingly untouchable, but I have seen women like her before and not been impressed. Do not get me wrong, I feel she would be a better First Lady than Michelle Obama, but people need to understand that she may be another Hillary Clinton.
At first glance Cindy McCain is a proper, well bred, millionairess from a family company. She is savvy, sharp, and over all knows how to play the political game. One can see that she has participated in charity work that would rival most women, and indeed she has a compassionate heart.
Mrs. McCain has been involved in charity work from clearing landmines, to starting a charity to help children who need facial reconstruction. She has been inspired by her daughter she adopted from Bangladesh who needed extreme care after being born with a cleft palate. The adoption was prompted by Mother Teresa herself who implored Cindy to adopt the little girl. She did so without first consulting John McCain because of her compassion for the girl and her respect for Mother Teresa.
Cindy raised her children in Arizona instead of Washington. She sacrificed time with her husband to keep the children in a better atmosphere and has shown her commitment to her children. Her father's beer industry was put into her hands and she has since increased the company's profits. So yes at first glance she seems business savvy, committed to family, and a charitable and compassionate woman.
Mrs. McCain is also seen as well kept, almost Barbie like in her appearance. She is well dressed with her simple elegance. However, some seem to think she looks cold and fake.
Despite all of her achievements, Cindy McCain has a dark side that causes even admirers to question her honesty.
Mrs. McCain has openly admitted to having been addiction to pain medications. After a back surgery she became dependant on Vicodin and Percocet in 1989. Eventually her habit morphed into 10-15 pills a day. How that woman functioned is beyond me. It is a common addiction amongst political figures and celebrities. One people can easily forgive, since getting addicted to prescription drugs when they were actually prescribed to you is rather common. However, her methods of procuring the drugs are what has me questioning her honesty and if we can trust the President of the United States in her guiding hands.
To fuel her prescription drug addiction she used a charity she started in 1988 called the American Voluntary Medical Team, a mobile surgical unit that provided medical services world wide. Through the charity she used multiple names and phony prescriptions to procure the two pain killers. She was not caught till an audit in 1993 by the DEA. The discovery led to Cindy avoiding prosecution by voluntarily closing down her charity, paying heavy fines, performing community service, and joined Narcotics anonymous.
I understand being addicted to a drug can make people do some rather unflattering things, still it speaks to her character especially in light of her refusal to provide her income tax returns from 2007. Cindy and John McCain keep separate finances as agreed upon in a prenuptial agreement so that John would not have access to Cindy's fortune should things go awry. She maintains that since their income is separate that she is not required to provide her income tax return. I am skeptical as to what we would find on it.
Perhaps we will find that she did not cut off her business ties with companies who are heavily related to Sudan? Perhaps she is still trying to receive pain killers? These types of questions remain unanswered. Over all if she were to be the First Lady we may have another Hillary Clinton on our hands.
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