(for the full story, click here)
Actually, a case could be made that McCain does more than walk the walk, as his female staffers actually average slightly more in salary than his male staffers. The story linked to above deals with McCain, Obama and Hillary Clinton with regards to the number of women each had on staff compared to the number of men, as well as compared the salaries for both.
From the above referenced article:
Both McCain and Clinton also employed more female than male staffers, while Obama employed more males than females. However, Obama's staff was more balanced between male and female staffers than either McCain's or Clinton's. Also, McCain and Clinton had more female than male staffers making six-figure salaries, while Obama had more male than female staffers making six-figure salaries.
The reason I find this information so telling is this (from another article that you may read in its entirety by clicking here):
While Sen. Barack Obama’s presidential campaign has produced a television ad criticizing Sen. John McCain’s position on equal pay for women and pointing out that women in America are paid only 77 cents on the dollar compared to men, Obama pays his own female Senate staffers, on average, only 78 percent of what he pays male staffers.
The referenced Obama campaign ad says:
“Today women work to help support their families but are paid just 77 cents for every $1 a man makes. It’s just one more thing John McCain doesn’t get about our economy.”
It goes on to say that McCain said equal pay would be "a burden on business". That is not what McCain said regarding equal pay, it was what he said regarding the Ledbetter legislation proposed by Dems (more on that in just a bit). Meanwhile, also from the article:
NOW President Kim Gandy did not view the pay disparity as a problem. “It depends on what positions they’re in,” Gandy told CNSNews.com. “Certain positions are paid more than other positions. I do know quite a number of women very high up in his staff and in his campaign who are extraordinarily strong supporters of women’s rights. We don’t advocate people be hired because of their gender. We advocated people be hired and paid without regard to their gender.”
Okay, first of all, I just gotta say...how dumb of a statement was that? The part about "I do know quite a number of women very high up in his staff and in his campaign who are extraordinarily strong supporters of women's rights". Well, duhhhhhhh. If they're women, one would hope they would be supporters of women's rights, wouldn't one? Anywho...other than that goofy part, I agree with the general assessment of reasons for equal pay. It does depend on what job someone is doing, how long they've done it, etc. I will even go further and say I advocate paying someone based on ability and aptitude, not gender or race or hair color or shoe size or batting average or any other criteria (unless you are a player in Major League Baseball in which case that batting average issue would be of some importance, obviously).
The point as I see it, though, is that Obama's camp made this big deal out of saying that McCain does not understand the economy because he doesn't support equal pay when it would appear that Obama doesn't understand or "get it" too well himself. I'm simply not seeing how McCain has illustrated his so-called "not understanding" of equal pay - he seems to have a firm grasp of that concept, certainly within his own staff. The only other thing I've found regarding John McCain and equal pay has to do with Lilly Ledbetter. Anybody remember her name being brought up in the 3rd debate? Obama brought up the legislation regarding Ms. Ledbetter during the debate as a supposed example of McCain's unwillingness to support women. If you remember, McCain very firmly called that legislation "a trial lawyer's dream" and I believe he was right about that. This whole accusation of McCain's failure to support women came from McCain’s reservations about a bill that would overrule the Supreme Court’s take on a technical statute of limitations issue. The bill, the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act, is named after the plaintiff in the Supreme Court case at issue, Ledbetter v. Goodyear. The Court rejected Lilly Ledbetter’s claim that Title VII’s statute of limitations is reset with each paycheck, declining to establish a special rule for pay discrimination cases. Regardless of what you may think of the technical issue in the Ledbetter case (and I happen to think it does bear some looking at), it's sheer bull-hockey to equate McCain's opposition to overruling the decision with opposition to equal pay for women. I think this country is lousy with lawyers willing to sue anybody over anything and I wholeheartedly agree with having laws in place to prevent too much of that nonsense. As I alluded to earlier, though, I also happen to believe that the Ledbetter case brought to light some interesting aspects of the fair pay laws that should be addressed and looked at, but the sort of sweeping legislation that the Dems tried to pass through is not the answer. As far as the issue of equal pay goes, please keep in mind that pay discrimination against women legislation has been in place since the 1963 Equal Pay Act and Title VII of the 1964 Civil Rights Act. As John McCain was serving in the United States Navy during those time periods and not the United States Congress, I think it'd be a tad bit disingenuous for the Obama camp to claim McCain either supported or opposed that particular legislation.
I see this as another example of the differences in the candidates. John McCain is certainly "walking the walk" on this issue and not just "talking the talk". What do you think?