Is it just me, or are other people mildly miffed that left-leaning sites like Blue Jersey are making a big deal out of the gender of Sen. Barbara Buono’s choice for lieutenant governor? Yes, Milly Silva, New Jersey executive vice president for 1199 SEIU, is female. And, yes, this is the first time that NJ has an all-female gubernatorial ticket. (Illinois and Kentucky beat us to the punch.)
But is Silva’s sex her most winning characteristic? Why does it matter so much? If I were Silva, I’d be insulted that Blue Jersey, her top booster, is trumpeting her gender and claiming that the lack of media coverage is the result of a “media black out” because of gender bias by not only “the local right-leaning Herald, but even supposed progressive media, like NJ Spotlight.”
Really? There’s no gender bias here. Barbara Buono is pretty well sunk. Her “historic” choice for LG doesn’t rescue her. Milly Silva doesn’t add any substance to the already-union-friendly ticket. If you were going to vote for Buono, you’ll still vote for her. If you weren’t, you won’t.
The one story that Blue Jersey recommends (Huffington Post) quotes NJ political science professor Jeff Smith, who notes, “”Buono’s selection seems to be a last-ditch effort struggling to gain traction. She is clearly hoping that the money and clout of SEIU and allied public sector unions will be a shot in the arm. I doubt it will succeed.”
I doubt it too. And the lack of attention or traction has nothing to do with Silva’s gender.