While I am in favor of having a woman president, I just don't believe, in my heart, that it will happen in 2008. I honestly believe that America just isn't ready for a woman to lead the most powerful nation on Earth. And, I'm not sure that the world is ready for a female POTUS.
"People in the know" claim that Hillary Clinton is gearing up for a run in 2008. She might well be, and maybe there will be enough polls to convince her that America wants her as POTUS. I don't think it she will be elected for several reasons.
- She's got too much baggage (can we say Whitewater?)
- She's a Northeasterner although I'll bet she'll play up the fact that she's originally from Illinois (the coveted heartland) and lived many years in Arkansas (the south)
- But most of all, she's a woman.
Although I trust her about as much as I trusted John Kerry, I admit that she's intelligent, speaks well, and she's turning more to the right than she ever was before. Although I think that's merely a ploy to garner votes. Do whatever is necessary to win the office. Sympathy over the Monica situation isn't enough to get her elected to the presidency.
Other "people in the know" say that Condi Rice is the only Republican who could possibly beat her. While I have the greatest admiration for Dr. Rice, she's got a few things against her as well. She's never held elected office, much less run for office. And the big two: she's black and she's a woman.
Are there any circumstances under which I would vote for Hillary? Perhaps, it would depend on who the Republican and third party candidates were. I would not vote for her, or any woman, simply because they are women, but I wouldn't hold that against them either. Many people would, however. I wouldn't hold it against Dr. Rice that she is black. Again, many people would. Of the two, my vote would go to Dr. Rice, hands down.
I think that before we start planning a POTUS run, we need to get a female VP elected. Get the public used to the idea of a woman a heartbeat away from the presidency. Then, we can start thinking about a female POTUS. One step at a time.
We've come a long way, baby. I just don't think we've come that far yet.
UPDATE: I'm not the first to write about a Rice/Clinton 2008 matchup, not by a long shot. Many have written on this topic. Here is a post from Stolen Thunder that very nicely details why Dr. Rice is the most likely choice for POTUS in 2008. And here is a website dedicated to electing Dr. Rice in 2008. I'm not backing down from my previous statements that I don't believe we'll see a woman president, but if Dr. Rice indicates she's interested, I'll do what I can to get her nonimiated, and then elected.
Maybe we've come further than I thought?