Who's for Second Spot? A group of Democratic women yesterday strongly urged their party to give "serious consideration" to nominating a woman as vice president next year.
Speaking for the group of about 200 party leaders, Lynn Cutler, vice chairman of the Democratic National Committee, said there is "a growing national consensus" developing for the election of a woman vice president.
"It would be foolish to say we demand a woman be nominated as vice president because we are all political people, but we think it is time to have very serious discussions about it," Cutler told a news conference at the end of a three-day leadership conference for Democratic women.
San Francisco Mayor Dianne Feinstein, the closing speaker at the session, said the movement toward putting a woman on a major party ticket has progressed faster in recent months "than I ever thought it would."
Feinstein is one of the women mentioned as a potential vice presidential candidate, but she said she wants to continue as mayor. Others mentioned include Lt. Gov. Martha Griffiths of Michigan, Texas State Treasurer Ann Richards and Reps. Barbara A. Mikulski of Maryland, Corrine C. (Lindy) Boggs of Louisiana and Geraldine A. Ferraro of New York.
All seven Democratic presidential candidates have said they will consider a woman for a running mate. Sen. Edward M. Kennedy (D-Mass.), the party's most prominient non-candidate, went one step further yesterday, telling the women's conference that it is time Democrats "talk seriously about women candidates" for not only the vice presidency, but the top job as well.
After lengthy applause, Kennedy said, "It is fair to . . . wonder when America will join India, Israel, Britain and other nations that have chosen a woman for the highest office in the land.
"It is a hopeful sign that more and more leaders and more and more candidates and workers in our party are committed" to women's equality, Kennedy said.
"But, in the end, what may well count the most is our success in electing more women to public office."
Democratic woman are looking at 1984 as a the year to expand their power base in the party because of the "gender gap" confronting President Reagan.
The conference yesterday recommended that the Democratic Party launch a major drive in the campaigns next year to elect three women to the U.S. Senate, pass the Equal Rights Amendment, increase female voter registration and "ensure women understand the devastating impact of the Reagan administration's programs and policies for women."