Today I met a famous person. And I thought instead of spilling the beans right away, I would give a few clues and we could play a version of Twenty Questions. Ready?
#1. She is a woman.
#2. She is American.
#3. She comes from a background of modest circumstances.
#4. She grew up in a rural area.
#5. She was raised in the wide open spaces of the American frontier.
#6. She knows how to handle a gun.
#7. She is a Republican.
Any ideas yet?
#8. She is known to be independent and practical.
#9. She entered politics as a young mother.
#10. Before she entered politics, she did volunteer work in a school.
#11. She is very familiar with large animals.
Ready to guess? A few more clues on this mystery woman:
#12. Today her name is a household word.
#13. People who know her describe her as “warm” and “down to earth”.
#14. She was almost completely unknown when she was chosen to make history.
#15. She is known for breaking barriers for women.
#16. She was famous from the moment she stepped onto the national stage.
#17. Her face was immediately splashed on magazine covers.
#18. Her first name begins with the letter “S”.
Pretty sure you have it now?
….Guess again. Because :
#19. She is highly respected and humble.
Now you’re wondering….
Okay. Last clue. The deal breaker.
#20. She does NOT wear glasses.
And now you know–I did not meet the Republican nominee for Vice President.
It’s highly unlikely that she would be attending a conference celebrating Authors and Ideas.
Which is where I met Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O’Connor. She was speaking about the book she wrote with her brother, Lazy B, about the cattle ranch where they grew up.
By now I’m sure you’ve gone back and re-read the 20 questions. And they are all true. Of both women.
The most important thing they share is a position in history. Each of them entered the spotlight as pioneers who represent the women who came before them, and those who will follow.
As a woman I remember the pride I felt when O’Connor took her seat on the Supreme Court. I did not always agree with her, but I respected her–for her intellect, her accomplishments, her qualifications for the vital role she would play in determining our nation’s path. I wish I could respect the woman who could soon be a heartbeat away from the Oval Office–I wish I could feel anything other than fear and embarrassment for our country.
Because the achievements, abilities, and words of these two women speak clearly on their own.
I didn’t get to ask about the 2000 Supreme Court decision that gave us George Bush–or about the current election. But I did wonder, as a fellow American, what Sandra Day O’Connor might think of the woman chosen by John McCain as the best qualified to be our nation’s Vice President. If she were asked, say by Katie Couric, I have a feeling Justice O’Connor at the very least, would be able to express herself quite well.