The Overton Salon

The first female president

Posted in Politcs by Andrew Dyrli Hermeling on January 20, 2011

By Andrew Dyrli Hermeling

Since Hillary’s defeat in the 2008 Democratic primary, many people have moved on from talk of the first female president of the United States. That being said the current state of politics features a lot of excellent female politicians making such talk seem as relevent as ever. Therefore, although many were disappointed to see Clinton get so close yet not ascend to America’s highest office, I don’t think it will be too long before I am pulling the lever for a woman (and it certainly won’t be Ms. Palin.)

In no particular order, here are five women who I perceive as being presidential. Vegas oddsmakers will certainly disagree.

1. Presupposing that only I my wife and I voted and that she had no say in regards to whether she was a candidate or not… Rachel Maddow

I doubt she wants to be president, and even if she did, I doubt the country is ready to elect the first woman and homosexual president in one fell swoop. That being said, she is probably one of America’s most level-headed liberal pundits and is unafraid to express her more moderate views with the same conviction. Simultaneously she is arguably the most intelligent pundit from either side of the aisle. Despite many complaints concerning Obama’s purely academic intelligence, I still believe that being brilliant should be a criteria for being President.

2. The Rookie… Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand

Again, right now, this emerging star is probably content being a member of the most efficient and powerful duo of senators currently at work on Capitol Hill. She is the quintessential new-look female politician. As the country becomes more comfortable with women in positions of power, she is no longer held back by worrying about coming across as either too weak or too emotional. By not spending so much time on stereotype navigation, she has instead racked up one of the most impressive resumes of any rookie senator.

3. The most moderate of all moderates… Sen. Olympia Snowe.

While she enraged me during the debate over Health Care, the truth is, this woman has set up camp squarely in the middle of the aisle. While this makes her a frustrating senator, it would make her a wonderful compromiser in the White House. Sadly, she probably could never win the Republican Primary, but she is the 09-10 UConn Woman’s Basketball team of politics… undefeated in every election she has run in, so you never know.

4. The perennial dark horse… Sec. of Health and Human Services, Kathleen Sebelius

Prior to 2008, there were many whispers that she was preparing to run. When Obama won the Democratic nomination, the whispers began speculating that she would get the nod as his running-mate. Instead, she has moved from the Governor’s Mansion in Topeka to Obama’s cabinet in Washington. She certainly has the experience, as a wildly popular two-term Democratic governor in a Red state, and is only improving her list of credentials as Secretary of Health and Human Services.

5. The obvious choice… Sec. of State, Hillary Clinton

Although she failed to secure the Democratic nomination in 2008 and has insisted that that would be her only attempt at a nomination, with all the speculation that Obama will choose not to seek re-election, it seems to me that Hillary’s chances are as good as ever. Often criticized for her lack of experience, she has proven herself in her position as Secretary of State. Considering her appeal among the Blue Dogs, she could very well be the best candidate if the Dems want to hold onto the White House in this polarized political atmosphere.

Honorable Mentions:

Too bad she was born in Canada... Gov. Jennifer Granholm

An intelligent tweeting alternative... Sen. Claire McCaskill

Since she doesn't want to compete with good friend Hillary... Sen. Jeanne Shaheen


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