Is this the year for a woman VP; Neither presidential nominee seems likely to name a woman as his running mate in '84, but for the Democratic Party that move is edging ever closer
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Among those who differ from that view is Rep. Corinne C. (Lindy) Boggs, a Louisiana Democrat, who is also named as a possible vice-president and whose varied political career began with being the wife of the late House majority leader Hale Boggs Sr. Although elected to fill his vacancy in 1973, she continues to identify herself as ''Lindy (Mrs. Hale) Boggs.''Skip to next paragraph
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She is in many ways a blend of the new and old. Prominently displayed in her office is a model of a National Aeronautics and Space Administration telescope, soon to be sent into orbit. It is a symbol of her fondness for the US space program. And among her proudest moments in Congress is the time she inserted language to protect women from discrimination in a fair-credit law.
Yet this same woman, raised on a Louisiana sugar plantation, still exudes the graciousness of a Southern hostess whose protected life has surely not encountered difficulties obtaining credit.
IT didn't take long for her to see the need to speak for women in Congress. ''Because you're a woman, you're sensitive to the problems, and you become aware that there's an opportunity,'' she says, taking care not to judge her male colleagues too harshly. ''A lot of the seeming uncaring of male legislators is really that they're unaware. They're not uncaring.'' Mrs. Boggs shows no shyness about the vice-presidency. If picked, she says, she would run ''with vigor.''
''I'm very enthusiastic about a woman for vice-president,'' she says.
''Especially the first vice-president. I think that women have tendency to bring an enthusiasm to a new role and to do it as perfectly as possible because they recognize that they will become the role models in the future.''
Rep. Patricia Schroeder, who despite her relative youth is the dean of the women members of Congress, also holds that having a woman in the No. 2 spot could be a boon for the country. ''Every president says, 'My vice-president is going to be different,' '' says the Colorado Democrat.
''Then they end up plugging the VP into fund raisers and funerals,'' she says , posing the question, ''If you had a woman, would it take away some of the male vs. male competitiveness that always seems to paralyze the office of the vice-presidency?''
Moreover, Mrs. Schroeder scoffs at criticism, especially from liberals, that no qualified Democratic woman exists. ''Would they stand up and say George Bush is not qualified?'' she says, noting that nearly all of the women in the House now have served longer than the four years the vice-president was a congressman. The pool's smaller,'' she says of women qualified for the vice-presidency, but she maintains that they exist.
Mrs. Schroeder, a Harvard-educated lawyer who won her seat on her first try at electoral politics, is generally said to be one in the ''pool.''
She was considered a fluke when elected in 1974. Even Colorado's Women's Political Caucus refused to endorse her at the start because they said it was too soon for her to run for Congress, an irony that she now likes to cite. After her victory, Mrs. Schroeder and her husband confidently picked up their two small children and moved permanently to Washington. Representative Schroeder has steadily entrenched herself in her district as well as become a chief publicist for women's and liberal issues in Congress.
''You're flattered that you're mentioned, but you don't think it's real,'' she says of the vice-presidency talk. She adds, ''It's not a popular idea in Colorado, which already has one candidate (Sen. Gary Hart).''