May 18, 2008

If Hillary is not to be the first woman President, is there a woman President on the horizon?

Kate Zernike surveys the possibilities. Of course, it's a ridiculously inadequate argument for Hillary, but I've heard it over and over: If we don't elect Hillary, we'll have to wait too long to see a woman President and a lot of us won't get to have a woman President in our lifetime.

Zernike thinks the potential female candidates may "feel dispirited" by what happened to Hillary:
“Who would dare to run?” said Karen O’Connor, the director of the Women and Politics Institute at American University. “The media is set up against you, and if you have the money problem to begin with, why would anyone put their families through this, why would anyone put themselves through this?”

For this reason, she said, she doesn’t expect a serious contender anytime soon. “I think it’s going to be generations.”

Others say Mrs. Clinton had such an unusual combination of experience and name recognition that she might actually raise the bar for women.

In fact, the biggest point of agreement seemed to be that there is no Hillary waiting in the wings.

Except, of course, Hillary.
Oh, good lord, is this really the way it is? I think people were open to the idea of a woman President, but Hillary Clinton did not suit us. We don't want someone else like her. We want someone different. For starters, how about a woman who did not build her political career through her husband?

63 comments:

Kirby Olson said...

Condoleeza.

Kirby Olson said...

The article mentions and then dismisses Condoleeza. Without any reasons given. Why was this?

Trevor Jackson said...

"Mrs. Clinton easily cleared the bar with many voters on her ability to be commander in chief, making it easier for people to see a woman in that role. Still, most people assume that the burden will fall on women to prove toughness — of a certain kind."

If she had showed the toughness to oppose the war in Iraq in the fall of 2002, we would be watching her run for her second term now.

Maguro said...

If she had showed the toughness to oppose the war in Iraq in the fall of 2002, we would be watching her run for her second term now.

If it were that simple, we'd be watching Howard Dean run for his second term now.

bearbee said...

...potential female candidates may "feel dispirited...

Not any more than any male candidate having 'fire in the belly'. Clinton made too many mistakes but once she got over the whineyness she has shown admirable toughness.

Elizabeth Dole seems to be articulate, extremely intelligent, tough with tons of experience. When she stumped for her husband she always appeared too scripted and I wondered how quick she was on her feet. At 72 she would be considered too old.

Trevor Jackson said...

"we'd be watching Howard Dean"

She'd have run circles around Dean, Gephardt, and the rest. Look how close she came this year.

matthew said...

If you listen to the various pundits, the media is against you if you're a women, a minority, or a republican. This means that they're against everyone in left in the presidential race. Something does not compute. Which is why I tend not to listen to anyone who blabs about the media being 'set up against you.'

bearbee said...

There are several women governors but except for ex-gov Whitman, Michigans Granholm (Canadian born), and the diasterous Blanco, haven't heard much of the others.

How about women in business or the military?

Bob said...
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Bob said...
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Bob said...

Damn Blogger! My links keep getting screwed up.

Anyway, check out Alaska governor Sarah Palin:

http://www.gov.state.ak.us/

Jake said...

That's easy. It is not even worth an article. It is Sarah Palin, Republican Governor of Alaska.

Lisa said...

The fact that HRC benefited from her husband's career wouldn't bother me so much if I felt she was actually qualified to serve as President. But there are many reasons she is unqualified to serve as President.

I won't vote for her because of her lack of ethics, which has been demonstrated time and time again during this campaign. Other reasons? She is willing to drag the Democratic Party through the mud for her own personal gain and has proven herself unable to run a campaign that pays its bills--at all, let alone on time. If she can't do that, how will she run the country?

Lisa said...

Condoleeza can never run because there will be too many questions about her roles related to 9/11, Guantanamo, torture, etc.

michael farris said...

I really can't imagine the US ever electing a woman president. It's just not that kind of country.

I'm mostly surprised that Clinton's gotten as far as she has. But let's face it, she was taken down by an empty suit. A very charming empty suit, but a guy's who's essentially a lightweight who's going for the brass ring about 12 years too soon.

If Clinton can't even get the nomination over a minor politician like Obama then really, I don't think there'll be a woman president for a good long time.

peter hoh said...

Michael, your theory does not account for the lack of preparation on the part of the Clinton campaign. She was prepared for a coronation, she was not prepared for a campaign that continued beyond Super Tuesday.

peter hoh said...

Don't forget that lots of seemingly promising male candidates don't fare very well once the primaries commence. In recent years, only two women have engaged in the primary process. That's not a large enough sample with which to make judgments.

There are quite a few female governors who seem to be successful. I'm not sure what it takes to get any of them to the national spotlight, but senior party officials (in both parties) need to start making sure that there are prominent roles for these women after they serve as governor.

Mr. Forward said...

Althouse in the White House!

bearbee said...

If she can't do that, how will she run the country?

You mean a country that is mired in debt, in the process of destroying its own currency, creating soaring inflation and soon to be in an energy crisis?

Beats me.

misterarthur said...

How did Chelsea Clinton wind up in the Times' list, anyway?

Fen said...

For starters, how about a woman who did not build her political career through her husband?

How about a person who is best qualified to lead us, regardless of race or gender?

We're in a global war against radical theocrats who seek to destroy the West through terrorist proxy attacks. And they want nuclear, biological and chemical weapons to use against us.

But its SO much more important that the Patriots draft a woman or black quaterback to lead them to the next superbowl... because that will "heal" the wounds of the perpetually indignant.

vbspurs said...

If Caroline Kennedy ever ran for Governor of NY, yes.

Right now, I don't see any other woman other than Condoleeza Rice with the name recognition to pull it off.

This is the question with Michelle Obama. Phrased indelicately, but if she becomes First Lady, does this give her the same opportunities in future to be a black Hillary Clinton?

Sure it does. And that is part of what is off-putting to so many that disliked Hillary Clinton, in the first place.

I don't think Americans do Evita very well.

Cheers,
Victoria

garage mahal said...

Oh, good lord, is this really the way it is? I think people were open to the idea of a woman President, but Hillary Clinton did not suit us.

Us, meaning the media and pundits I'm guessing here. Funny more people voted for Hillary than either Obama and McCain, and the candidate polling 3rd on the electoral maps is the likely Democratic nominee.

vbspurs said...

She was prepared for a coronation, she was not prepared for a campaign that continued beyond Super Tuesday.

Peter, I agree, but I also think Clinton wasn't prepared for Iowa.

I know she wasn't favoured in the first place, and she had a clear idea that caucuses bring out the activists in her Party (advantage Obama), but she looked absolutely shell-shocked that night.

She had very poor preparation and advice all around, with flunkies who pander to their egos, or moonfaced supporters.

Michael later said that a lightweight going for the brass ring 12 years too soon brought her down. I agree, on both counts.

The funny thing is, THIS is her year, baby. There might be a 2012, but after 8 contentious years of Bush, it should've been Hillary's without breaking a sweat.

But just like Al Gore, anyone tied to Bill Clinton seems to have a tough time getting elected President.

Cheers,
Victoria

Fen said...

And then there's this gem:

“No woman with Obama’s résumé could run,” said Dee Dee Myers, the first woman to be White House press secretary, under Bill Clinton, and the author of “Why Women Should Rule the World.” “No woman could have gotten out of the gate.”

Women are still held to a double-standard, and they tend to buy into it themselves.


Do women really want to be held to Obama's lower standard? Dee Dee just echoed Geraldine's statement that Obama's race compensated for his pathetic resume. Do women really want to be given a pass on a shoddy resume because of their gender?

Yah, he's the AA hire. He only got the promotion because of his skin color ...

Thats the future you want for your daughters?

bearbee said...

I don't think Americans do Evita very well.

Will Americans ever do Golda, d'ya think?

rcocean said...

If we get a woman president she'll be a Republican.

Republican's nominate based on qualifications and performance, with the Democrats its all identity politics.

Trooper York said...

See what happens when you let girls play? They want to change the rules and complain boo hoo, boo hoo. Suck it up and fight to win like Hillary is doing. When you have some one who is mean enough to run and win, that's when we will have a woman President.


First woman President: Omarosa.

vbspurs said...

Will Americans ever do Golda, d'ya think?

What a woman that was! From Milwaukee, to boot.

One could only wish there were such American women as Golda and Lady Thatcher on the horizon. But I don't see them.

Olympia Snowe? Libby Dole? Nancy Pelosi?

If New Zealand can have a Mary Clark, Finland a Conan O'Brian, and even Moçambique, a Luisa Diogo (I've blogged on all three), the USA should have at least one coming down the pike.

Maybe all Hillary achieved was to keep strong female politicians down.

Cheers,
Victoria

Trooper York said...

I mean Omarosa is at least as qualified as Barack Obama. She's black...she's on TV a lot...she has the audacity to hope...she doesn’t like typical white people....she's physically attractive....she can't bowl....did I mention that she's black.

I would actually have more confidence in her facing down Iran and North Korea. And just think:

Secretary of State Donald Trump.

ricpic said...

I'd vote for Michelle Malkin in a heartbeat. Beautiful gams and she doesn't take any crap from the anointed ones.

blake said...

Sarah Palin's been floated a lot as a VP possibility for McCain, like Bobby Jindal. Neither are ready.

But a Jindal/Palin or Palin/Jindal ticket in 2012 or 2016? Wow.

It's hard to tell with Condi. Who she is and what she would do versus what she's done as part of the Bush administration.

From the public sector, I know Carly Fiorina's name for some reason. Some blame her for trashing HP but I don't know if that's fair.

Just as I suggested an alternative for Barack, I now suggest one for Hil(l)ary.

vbspurs said...

From the public sector, I know Carly Fiorina's name for some reason. Some blame her for trashing HP but I don't know if that's fair.

I read her autobiography (I read a lot of autobios).

Her upbringing similarities to Hillary Clinton were starkly similar, driven by a task-master dad (only hers was a law prof and later, judge).

Another similarity, which is inexcapable, is her strong personality which is just like Hillary's. She's polarising, no doubt because she's not just tough, she was sometimes downright mean.

Like Hillary's autobio, you get very little of others in her life. It's all about her.

You know, even with the tradition of Mrs. Pankhurst and the suffragettes, we in the UK are not a feminist society.

So I wonder just how much militant feminism has held women BACK in the USA, politically.

Thatcher, Meir, Merkel, Clark of NZ, etc. None feminists.

Cheers,
Victoria

blake said...

Well, feminism really isn't anymore, is it?

It ceased to be when it stopped being about parity for women and started being about left-wing ideologies.

Women's rights? Very classically liberal, baby! Groovy!

Violent overthrow of the oppressive male patriarchy? She's a man, baby!

Richard Fagin said...

Martha Stewart.

Built up a half billion dolar empire on her own sheer will. Nasty mean temper when crossed. Anyone gets in her crosshairs is dead meat. Got that, Ahmedinejad, Assad and Kim Jong-Il?

Jim Hu said...

My thoughts here. Shorter version:

D's: add Blanche Lincoln?

R's: big unknown is the fallout from getting slaughtered this fall. I think this could lead to a fight to blame the loss on different factions. If the movement conservatives win, I'm not seeing female candidates rising to the top of the ticket. But I can imagine alternatives where Rice, Whitman, Linda Chavez, Gale Norton, and/or Susan Schwab become leaders, either of the GOP or a center-right third party.

Overall: who knows?

Middle Class Guy said...

Others say Mrs. Clinton had such an unusual combination of experience and name recognition that she might actually raise the bar for women.

In fact, the biggest point of agreement seemed to be that there is no Hillary waiting in the wings.



Thank God there are no more Hillary's waiting in the wings. How can she reaise the bar. She has absolutely no verifiable experience and her calim of thirty five years of public service is just that, a claim. There are many real qualified women who could be president and if they had thrown their hat in the ring they woukld have made Hillary look like the piker she really is.

There will be a woman president in the near future. A real qualified woman. Hell, my teenage daughter is more qualified than Hillary. She is smarter too.

wgh said...

For starters, how about a woman who did not build her political career through her husband?

AMEN.

Randy (Internet Ronin) said...

Anyone else notice how Clinton was vilified for exaggerating the danger during her trip to Tuzla 10 years ago but Obama was given a virtual free pass for exaggerating his courage and the reaction when recently speaking to automobile executives?

Is that what you meant by ethics, Lisa? Is it fine with you that your candidate continues to intentionally quote out of context McCain's statements about Iraq and the economy? I bet you were thrilled when, at a meeting with senior citizens in Gresham, Oregon, Obama waved that tired and worn old red flag that John McCain would endanger their Social Security benefits. It's a little early for that one, a part of the Democrats' "October Surprise" campaign for over 60 years now. Gerard Baker of The Times of London has the best take so far on the Great Redeemer.

Money quote:

The idolatry of Mr Obama is a shame, really. The Illinois senator is indeed, an unusually talented, inspiring and charismatic figure. His very ethnicity offers an exciting departure. But he is not a saint. He is a smart and eloquent man with a personal history that is startlingly shallow set against the scale of the office he seeks to hold. It is not only legitimate, but necessary, to scrutinise his past and infer what it might tell us about his beliefs, in the absence of the normal record of achievement expected in a presidential nominee.

Funny quote:

You will not see a finer example of the genre than the cover story of this week's Newsweek, which was entitled “The O Team”. This rhapsodic inside account of Senator Obama's campaign reads a little like a cross between Father Alban Butler's Life of St Francis and the sort of authorised biography of Kim Jong Il you can pick up in any good bookshop in Pyongyang.

Mr Obama is portrayed throughout as an immanently benevolent figure. Not human really, more a comforting presence, a light source. He is always eager to listen to all aides of an argument, always instilling confidence in the weak-willed, resolutely sticking to his high principles and tirelessly spurning the low road of electoral politics. I stopped reading after a while but I'm sure by the end he was healing the sick, comforting the dying, restoring sight to the blind and setting prisoners free.

jdeeripper said...

It's bad enough we put women on our money like the Europeans. We don't need a woman President, we need better men as President.

Having a woman leader is a sign of weakness.

And don't hand me that Boudicca/Elizabeth I/Maggie Thatcher lecture.

Look, I like Maureen O'Hara but she's not John Wayne.

Why do we need a woman President? What are we trying to prove? Let's try to prove it some other way.

Synova said...

Feminism limits a feminist to feminism.

A woman president won't be there to represent women (the same could be said for a black president not being there to represent blacks) but to represent a broadly diverse nation... including a whole lot of men.

I know that a lot of people don't like Condi for VP and I sort of doubt she'd do it anyhow, but can you really see her presenting herself as having something to do with feminism and promoting women?

I can't.

And it's not that she's not every bit as "ill-behaved" as any militant feminist out there. But she doesn't seem to say, "feminism is what I'm about."

The idea that, say, within foreign policy there is a "feminist" viewpoint is silly. And worse, it suggests that women are very different from men.

Smart, ambitious women marginalize their own selves through feminism. Maybe that *will* mean that most of the most ambitious and smart women will not have the broad appeal necessary to win a presidential election.

But it's not, even for a moment, because people won't vote for a female.

Synova said...

So, okay, jdeer may not vote for a woman no matter what, but most men aren't intimidated by capable women.

It's called personal confidence.

vbspurs said...

So, okay, jdeer may not vote for a woman no matter what, but most men aren't intimidated by capable women.

I disagree with that, actually. But I do believe some cultures are better able to transcend the jdees out there, than others.

I think America is one, without question.

peter hoh said...

Randy, the complaints about Obama and those who fawn over him would be a lot more convincing if they acknowledged, as I heard Michael Medved do the other day, that we've seen all this before -- with Jimmy Carter and with George W. Bush.

What's worse than a lousy one-term president? Being a lousy two-term president.

peter hoh said...

And for those who think that identity politics only matters for the Dems, remember that it was identity politics that sank McCain in S.C. 8 years ago, and identity politics that doomed the Romney campaign this year.

blake said...

Ooh. Touché, Peter.

Randy (Internet Ronin) said...

Peter, there is absolutely no comparison to the cult surrounding Obama today (as evidenced by that hagiographic Newsweek edition) and what went on in 1976 and 2000. As I expect Obama will be elected in November, we shall soon see just how much he reminds us of Jimmy Carter once in office, however.

amba said...

I think that line of argument is self-pitying bullshit. It's basically saying, "Oh, guys, be gallant, give us our president."

There's Condi, there's the governor of Michigan -- oh wait, wasn't she born in Canada? Anyway, I think Hillary broke the ice by being completely, plausibly presidential -- she was just the wrong person. The talent, the presence, the confidence, just too much baggage. She showed that we can well imagine having a woman president, that a woman can be tough enough, and I think a whole next generation of candidates will be stepping up now, and will be taken seriously.

amba said...

Yes, I've heard Sarah Palin's name floated too.

amba said...

If we get a woman president she'll be a Republican.

Likewise very possibly the first black president, and for the same reason:

Republicans nominate based on qualifications and performance, with the Democrats it's all identity politics.

"Course, that doesn't explain Dubya -- guess sometimes they nominate based on connections and ideology.

Randy (Internet Ronin) said...

6 years of executive experience as governor of Texas explains George W., I think

Seven Machos said...

I just want to clarify that a person does not have to be born in the United States to be president.

The issue has never been litigated, of course, but the plain meaning of the statute is clearly that the person need only be born a U.S. citizen.

bearbee said...

Why do we need a woman President?

We don't *need* an anything President, except one that is an experienced, knowledgeable, tough, country-first-politics-second, honest straight shooter.

Trevor Jackson said...

"executive experience as governor of Texas"

Now there's a contradiction in terms.

former law student said...

Janet Napolitano for President. Very capable governor of Arizona. A real human being with a sense of humor.

While smart as a whip, Condoleeza's loyalty to W. overrode her independence of judgment several times in his second term.

Republican's nominate based on qualifications and performance,

If W. was the best we could do, I'm leaving the Republican Party. I figured he was nominated based on family connections and the support of the superrich.

BTW, I looked up "self-serving" on an online dictionary, and it linked me to Fiorina's autobiography on Amazon.

Obama waved that tired and worn old red flag that John McCain would endanger their Social Security benefits.

McCain provided the Dems with a fresh copy of that red flag in his interview with the WSJ published March 3. Oops.

Sisyphus said...

I agree Napolitano and Palin are both good choices for the future. And Pelosi is powerful, although perhaps not plausibly electable. But why are we forgetting probably the most powerful female senator besides Clinton, Senator Diane Feinstein of California? She is one of the more experienced and capable Democratic senators, but is seen as generally mainstream. And she got to her position on her own merits (with perhaps financial help initially from her wealthy husband).

I am a Republican, and even I would say that Diane Feinstein is the most likely successful female Presidential candidate currently, after Clinton.

blake said...

While smart as a whip, Condoleeza's loyalty to W. overrode her independence of judgment several times in his second term.

Yeah, I'm pretty sure your "independence of judgment" is supposed to be overridden by the President's wishes, when you're Secretary of State.

former law student said...

I'm pretty sure your "independence of judgment" is supposed to be overridden by the President's wishes

Positioning herself as W.'s rubber stamp is not the best strategy for a Condi candidacy. Until and unless the electorate starts longing for the good old days under W., she should probably try to get back her old gig at the Hoover Institution.

Fen said...

Trevor Jackson: executive experience as governor of Texas". Now there's a contradiction in terms.

What are you trying to say? That being governor of Texas doesn't provide you with executive experience?

Trevor Jackson said...

As preparation for the presidency? Yes.

blake said...

Just as a curiosity, what if not governorship (besides being President) would count as experience?

Trevor Jackson said...

Lots of things and more than we probably consider these days. But Bush's claim in 2000 was that he had executive experience comparable to that of the presidency that made him more qualified for the job, and that just ain't so. Texas governors are about the most toothless governors in the republic, a rubber stamp.

It's largely a moot point, though. I was responding to Randy's point that Bush's experience as governor was what got him the nomination in 2000. It was not; it was his name. Thankfully we're about to see the end of family ties as the chief factor in choosing our presidents.

blake said...

Wish I believed that (about family ties), but lets hope you're right.