Christine Todd Whitman was sworn in as EPA Administrator on January 31, 2001, a position she held until the spring of 2003. Prior to that, Whitman served as the 50th Governor of New Jersey. Whitman was New Jersey's first female governor. She appointed New Jersey's first African American State Supreme Court Justice, its first female State Supreme Court Chief Justice and its first female Attorney General.
She is the author of the book about the GOP, IT'S MY PARTY, TOO, published in January of 2005. She served in the Cabinet of President George W. Bush as Administrator of the United States Environmental Protection Agency from 2001 to 2003.
Governor Whitman is now the President of the Whitman Strategy Group, a consulting firm that specializes in government relations and environmental and energy issues. She is co-chair of the National Smart Growth Council and is a member of the governors' board of the nonprofit Oquirrh Institute, which seeks innovative solutions in environmental management and other critical public policy areas.
Governor Whitman currently serves on the Board of Directors of S.C. Johnson and Son, Inc., Texas Instruments, United Technologies, and the Council on Foreign Relations.
Since 2006, Christie Whitman has co-chaired the Clean and Safe Energy Coalition (CASEnergy) with Dr. Patrick Moore, co-founder and former leader of Greenpeace. CASEnergy is a national grassroots coalition which promotes the expansion of nuclear energy as part of an environmentally friendly and economically beneficial energy portfolio.She is also the President of The Whitman Strategy Group, a management consulting/strategic planning partnership servicing both government and business clients.
Governor Whitman is also Co-Chairman of the National Smart Growth Council, and serves on the Steering Committee of The Cancer Institute of New Jersey; the Leadership Council of the Republican Pro-Choice Coalition; the Governing Board of the Oquirrh Institute; and as a member of the board of the New America Foundation.
Question: How would you evaluate Sarah Palin’s tenure as governor?
Christine Todd Whitman: Any governor with 80% approval rating has done something very, very right, and that is not a partisan. 80% approval rating isn’t a partisan approval rating. That’s a non-partisan approval rating. So, while I don’t live in Alaska and haven’t been there in the last year, actually, who knows what happened there within a year, but she is clearly doing something right.
And the nice thing about having someone with executive experience is just that the Presidency and the Vice Presidency are executive positions. We need someone that has actually made executive decisions and balance the budget and, near as I can tell, she’s the only one of the four that’s balanced a budget.
Question: Has the media treated Sarah Palin unfairly?
Christine Todd Whitman: She is new and there’s going to be intense scrutiny. She’s new and this is the Federal level, about the second most important job in this country. So you’re going to expect very hard, harsh light being thrown on her and hard questions to be asked.
On the other hand, there’s also sexism in our media. There’s no question about that. Hillary Clinton suffered from it, and so is Sarah Palin.
And I think, at this point, the media is going to be a little careful about how they ask their questions and the kinds of the questions they ask because they create a backlash. There are a number of people now that are going to the McCain-Palin campaign because they’re mad. They’re mad at the way Hillary Clinton was treated. They don’t like the way Sarah Palin is being treated, and I think it’s time for a woman.
Recorded on: September 15, 2008