Most everyone in the MSM assumes that Hillary Clinton will be running for president in 2008. Even most bloggers I read believe she’ll make a run for the White House. This speculation (some would say “sure bet”) has prompted many to float the names of potential challengers to Hillary. Not surprisingly, another woman, current secretary of state Condoleezza Rice has been mentioned, and is regularly polled on her prospects. Other women, like Kay Bailey Hutchison have been suggested as replacements for George W. Bush.
Just tune into any of the Sunday TV talker shows and you’ll sense a sort of inevitability to Hillary’s candidacy, which leads into the mentioning of all the other individuals and their potential to win. Clearly, it’s a hot subject that quickly turns into a debate about whether you like one over another.
But I wonder why I don’t hear this question asked or discussed.
Is America ready to elect a woman President of the United States?
Not ready to think about electing a woman president. Not ready to consider the idea of electing a woman president.
I’m talking about the last question that runs through a voters mind the second before they “pull the lever”. In 2008, will a majority of Americans vote a woman into the oval office?
Forget about chances, and the spin, conventional wisdom and specially worded polls (which release nearly every day). None of these can effectively predict what happens on that Tuesday in November.
The last time Americans considered this issue the country only dipped their toe in the water with Geraldine Ferraro as the Democratic Veep nominee in 1984. And, before you go any further…I’m not suggesting that Ms. Ferraro’s failed campaign was an indictment on placing a woman in the highest office in the land. That was a completely different time. But even then, there were many who believed that the act of electing a woman president was long overdue, given that many other western nations had already been served by female heads of state. Since the ‘84 election, the subject of electing a woman president hasn’t gotten a lot of significant air time, until now.
And the noise is everywhere. With the help of Friends of Hillary, (indirect, under the radar) help from the DNC, FOB’s and complicit members of the media, you’d think that America has made up its mind about a woman president, so much so that office pool funds are accumulating, awaiting the winner who successfully picks the designer of the dress the new “Madam” president will wear at her inauguration.
But, I’m just not sure that the all important majority are ready. It seems that in most all decisions, Americans play a “what if?” game. I believe they would play a similar game in this case, and I’m wondering how it would come out.
Maybe we need to take time now, before the hype of the primaries, to ask this question, to talk about it and help people think through it? Whether you’re for Hillary or Condi or Kay Bailey, or a future unknown, the success of their run for high office will be affected by the same single question.
Are we ready?