Magazine article The American Enterprise

Burning Both Ends

Magazine article The American Enterprise

Burning Both Ends

Article excerpt

The day after she was elected lieutenant governor of Massachusetts in 1998, less than three weeks after the birth of her daughter Elizabeth, Jane Swift said the question of whether women can combine full-time work with childraising "has long been settled?" But recent revelations that Swift has misused state resources in order to ease the burdens of that combination have caused many Bay Staters to rethink her claim.

Swift was working in an obscure position at the Massachusetts Port Authority when she was tapped by Governor Paul Cellucci (R) to be his running mate. Cellucci, who has made it his administration's policy to appoint women whenever possible, crowed "Massachusetts will now have a working mother at the table every day, making policy decisions?"

Swift's husband volunteered to stay home with their child when Swift was elected, but it was obvious Swift did not want to switch roles, allowing her husband to be the caretaker while she became the breadwinner. She wanted to "have it all," and remain a constant physical presence in her daughter's life as well. "I can't bear to have her very far away from me," she told the Boston Globe. This natural yearning for a strong mother-daughter bond soon caused Swift's downfall.

The Boston Herald reported that Swift ordered state police to helicopter her home for Thanksgiving because her daughter was ill; asked staff members to baby-sit her daughter (without pay) both at the State House and at her home; and requested that they give up vacation days to drive a U-Haul and help her move into her new home. …

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