August 31, 2006

How do you feel about a woman President?

I mean, really. Deep down inside. Don't lie.

UPDATE: A FOX News poll shows 51% of Americans think Hillary Clinton is prepared to be President. That's 75% of Democrats, 24% of Republicans, and 50% of independents. But who knows what that says about whether people think a woman can be President? I never feel that anyone is ready to be President. Every single time a new person is designated to become President, I've found it incomprehensible that that person could be President. This is a feeling I've had nine times.

94 comments:

Revenant said...

I don't especially care what gender the President is, but I can't think of a woman who is (a) qualified for the job and (b) politically acceptable to me.

Hillary is neither -- she'd only get my vote if she ran against an even worse Republican.

Dave said...

I say Carolyn Kepcher for Prez!

Eli Blake said...

I'd be happy to see the right woman as President. Considering that of the last five governors we've had here in Arizona, three were female and the other two left office early (Evan Mecham was impeached and Fife Symington resigned after being indicted), we've certainly had better luck with women than with men in the top spot.

The problem is that in the context of the national political situation as it exists right at the moment 'woman President' is code language for Hillary Clinton. While I had high hopes for her when she was elected to the Senate, she has bent to the right and disappointed at every turn. She is still defending the Iraq war, which other than Joe Lieberman puts her pretty much alone in the Democratic party.

As a progressive Democrat and activist I don't feel that she would at all be the best choice for our party. If she wins the nomination I will support her, but I intend to work during the primary season to prevent that.

So the bottom line is this:

Yes, I would be happy to see a woman President. But no, I'm not happy if it is Hillary Clinton, as far as I'm concerned her record in the Senate suggests that a Hillary Clinton Presidency would be not that much better than a Republican administration.

Bensilly said...

ann- i dont think any woman commands equal respect as a man yet, or ever.
Lennon said 'woman are the niggers of the world' a lomg time ago.
Feel free to edit.

Paul said...

No different than a male as president, it doesn't matter to me; what they think, means very much.
That's the truth.

JohnF said...

I'd take Margaret Thatcher any day.

Michael H said...

Sure, America would support a woman president. And conservatives would support a woman president, if she was in the Margaret Thatcher mold. Condi is still an intriguing choice, though many conservatives are disappointed by her handling of the Israeli/Hezbollah conflict. The main people saying America won't support a woman president seem to be Hillary supporters - it sounds like they're preparing excuses well in advance in the event America rejects Hillary. "Well, it wasn't about Hillary. America's just too small-minded to vote for a woman president."

A Menken Moment said...

Deep down inside? It depends on the woman. If there were an American Margarette Thatcher running, yes. Condi Rice, maybe. Hillary Clinton, definitely not! ... Ann Althouse, hmm, that would require some thought.

Squiggler said...

I would vote for a woman in a heartbeat if she (1) wasn't a raging man-hating feminist (no NOW endorsed candidates), (2) had strong background running a large organization, (3) was a tough cookie of the non-touchy/feely variety in the Maggie Thatcher/Jeanne Kirkpatrick mode)

I would never vote for Hillary under any circumstances.

I liked Condi until this latest Israel/Hesbollah cease fire debacle. She lost some points in my book over that, although it might be unfair to blame her for the entrenched anti-semitism/anti-war cabals in the State Department working against her all the time.

Doug Sundseth said...

" How do you feel about a woman President?"

Which woman?

Off hand, I can think of nothing relevant that is common to women as a class when assessing my choice of a vote for POTUS. How do you feel about a president of Chinese ancestry or a Mormon president or president who is a survivor of polio?

jinnmabe said...

when Lennon said that, a long time ago, it may have been true, but is it still true? Based on my personal experience, I'd say no, but that could just be the people I hang out with.

Wickedpinto said...

Conceptually, I have no problem. As far as any woman I can think of? No.

The US, as it applies to women is too adolescent, and most women in the US who are "strong" either come off as "matronly" or "confrontational."

Most women in the US haven't developed the political savvy that is necessary for it. Mags Thatch is an abheration, even in england. It will happen, but I think it will take until at least my generation comes of age, though really it will prolly have to wait for one more.

Thats just how it is, somewhat unfortunate.

SuperMom said...

I'd feel fine about a woman president... just not that woman as president.

Susan said...

I was going to say "If we could find an American Margaret Thatcher" but see a lot of others have beat me to it.

Eli Blake said...

Bensittin:

ann- i dont think any woman commands equal respect as a man yet, or ever.

That may have been the case once upon a time, but society is much more mature now. Your argument is proven as meritless by the large numbers of women who command respect in all sorts of areas right now.

The only way in which a woman is different from a man in a position of authority is that maybe she isn't physically as large. But that is irrelevant. Physical strength was critical in caveman days, very important in ancient times, important in the middle ages, useful in the industrial age, and in today's society is no more relevant for nearly all jobs than being a good basketball player or the ability to flip playing cards into a trashcan.

And it's a fact that with 2/3 of college degrees now going to women, the future will certainly involve many women in positions of authority, mostly with male underlings.

And frankly if you are serious in your comment, you may find a bleak future waiting for you in terms of your employment outlook.

john(lesser) said...

Well, it's an old joke, but we made it 11 comments without anyone using it.

The good news ? We wouldn't have to pay her as much.

Revenant said...

i dont think any woman commands equal respect as a man yet, or ever.

What's that even supposed to mean? That Republicans don't respect Condoleeza Rice as much as they respect Ted Kennedy? That Democrats don't respect Hillary Clinton as much as they respect George Bush?

If all you're saying is that no woman is as respected as she'd be if she was male, well, that's an untestable claim. It is also not a very interesting point, since it can never be anything other than hypothetical.

Lennon said 'woman are the niggers of the world'

Well, he was married to Yoko Ono. That'd give anybody a dim view of women.

Freeman Hunt said...

I don't care about the President's sex on one condition:

We don't have to hear endless talk about what it's like and how it feels to be a female President. If the media could abstain from that, I'd be very happy. I hate all of the touchy-feely navel-gazing that the media encourages women to do.

XWL said...

It almost seems as if Democrats are preparing their excuses for the 2008 presidential election should they nominate Sen. Clinton for President.

It's never that voters choose Republicans, it's always somehow some other (unfair) factor causing them to reject the Democrat.

So in the aftermath of another electoral defeat in '08 the commentary about how folks just weren't ready for a woman President will begin shortly after the polls close.

(Sen. Clinton is no lock for the Democratic nomination, especially since the leftier Democrats are feeling emboldened about their chances and embittered about her choices in the Senate)

XWL said...

Forgot to mention, whichever kind of genitals a candidate has doesn't matter one whit (or who they choose to share them with).

I'd vote for a Guiliani/Rice, or even a Rice/Guiliani ticket in a NY minute.

Eli Blake said...

XWL (6:25)

(Sen. Clinton is no lock for the Democratic nomination, especially since the leftier Democrats are feeling emboldened about their chances and embittered about her choices in the Senate

I don't know if 'embittered' is a good word. I think at 5:46 I used the word, 'disappointed.' That better describes what I feel. I don't feel betrayed by her, I just feel that we have seen the true Hillary in the Senate, and she is a centrist DLC-type candidate in the mold of her husband. We have some of those in the Democratic party, and I recognize that, but I prefer a truer progressive.

If Al Gore were to reconsider, then I would very likely support him. If he does not then I will see who is running and then decide who best reflects my values while also having a chance to win and deny Hillary the nomination, and support that person.

tcd said...

I think that woman Clinton has the Democratic nomination in the bag and her move to the center is just a ruse to lure moderates. She'll move so fast to the left once she gains the White House, the country will never recover from the severe whiplash.

The Drill SGT said...

Hillary is ready to be President. She's better qualified than Jimmy or Bill, or even W were when they were elected. but I certainly won't vote for her.

I think the first women president will likely be a Republican. Primarly because that first woman will need to be able to survive the Defnse/security test and that will be easier for a GOP candidate. a Thatcher.

Later we might be ready for a touchy feely woman, but the first time, it will need to be an Iron Lady.

charlotte said...

Gosh, whatta notable quote. My daughter's been seeing Lennon's son :(

I'd vote for a hetero, gay, bi-, transgendered or asexual male or female for Prez, as long as he/she/it were center-right in his/her/its political sensibilities, promoted a strong national defense, and eschewed socialistic program panderings.

Bob said...

I second/third the "right woman," like Margaret Thatcher or Jeanne Kirkpatrick. I, too, would be vehemently opposed to any NOW-endorsed candidate.

Jeremy said...

Ann -
Do you mean that you've felt that every president since (and including) JFK has been unready for the office? Or am I reading that wrong and you mean you've had an uneasy feeling the last nine elections?

Squiggler said...

Hillary is ready to be President. She's better qualified than Jimmy or Bill, or even W were when they were elected. but I certainly won't vote for her.

What? Hillary more qualified than W? In what way? W is better educated with undergrad from Yale, masters in business from Harvard, is a trained/qualified jet pilot, was a succesful businessman, a twice elected Governor of a huge state and had most of his lifetime as an apprentice/intern for the job at his father's and Reagan's knee, not to mention the network of power people at his disposal. Hillary couldn't even negotiate a real estate deal without screwing up. She is a socialist nanny-stater.

Carter is the worst president we ever had and Billary not much better, but at least they both had governships under their belts.

Simon said...

Cripes - that's twice in a week I agree with Eli. It would be a terrible shame if the cause of Hillary Clinton and the question of a female President were to become intertwined - if Hillary is denied the nomination, or recieves it and is wiped out in the general election, it will not be because she is a she, but because she is Hillary Clinton. I would not only not be dissuaded by a Presidential candidate being female, I would regard it as a strike in their favor.

America is ready for a female President, just as it is ready for a black President. That Nancy Pelosi or Al Sharpton are non-starters has nothing to do with this country's readiness to vote for a woman or a black. Condi Rice is both, and she would win an election by a landslide in '08.

kettle said...

It's time to give it a try! Time to pop our non-WASP presidential cherry. And Hilary is probably as qualified as anyone. And just think, Bill could then make more mischief in the Oval Office! I'd say she's as good as anyone else out there, and such being the case, she'll probably get my vote simply for novelty's sake.

Simon said...

A Menken Moment said...
"If there were an American Margaret Thatcher running, yes. Condi Rice, maybe ... Ann Althouse [for President], hmm, that would require some thought."

Perhaps a dry run is in order.

Coco said...

"It would be a terrible shame if the cause of Hillary Clinton and the question of a female President were to become intertwined - if Hillary is denied the nomination, or recieves it and is wiped out in the general election, it will not be because she is a she, but because she is Hillary Clinton."

I don't think I disagree with your overall point here Simon, but I think its a bit more complicated. Hillary wouldn't be who and where she is were she not the first First Lady in a long long time to have a real active role as First Lady from a policy standpoint. I think there is a good swath of the populace who formed their negative opinion of Hillary back then as a result of that role. Thus, while I can't say that some folks' negative assessments of Hillary were formed BECAUSE she was a woman per se, some were quite likely formed because she was a woman acting in a manner unlike the way many people like their first ladies: seen (in fashionable outfits) but not heard. Its not apples and apples, but its pretty intertwined.

Also while I am not a Hillary supported, I must admit that objectively she is as prepared to be President as any woman in today's America.

Simon said...

Eli:
"If Al Gore were to reconsider, then I would very likely support him."

Well, two things about that. First, Gore has never said that he won't run, he has pandered and prevaricated and said things like "I can't imagine any circumstances under which I would run for the Presidency", which is politician-speak for "...unless I think I can win." And secondly, of course, if Gore runs for President, he will wipe out any credibility his workon climate change might have had. It will instantly become clear that his movie -- which can already be barely taken seriously given its overt "and the solution is to vote democratic" -- is simply a "vote for me" campaign ad. You can't have it both ways. You can't be a friendly neighbour and a salesman.

Chris said...

I don't see what Eli Blake is upset about. Hillary is a woman of the Left in moderate's clothing. What's good for Republicans is that no one trusts her. She exudes malice. Lucretia Borgia without the charm.

Conservatives pining for a Maggie Thatcher will have to settle for Condi if she can be persuaded to get in the game. There was only one Maggie, after all, and she had a soulmate in RR. Condi may have to get in after all, given the dearth of talent in the race on the Pubbie side (well, with the very notable exception of Rudy).

As for Time Magazine's execrable pimping of Hillary Clinton on their cover, well, the less said, the better.

Simon said...

Coco,
That's a fair point. However, I respectfully disagree with the premise. Is it really accurate to say that the "good swath of the populace who formed their negative opinion of Hillary ... as a result of" her being "the first First Lady in a long long time to have a real active role as First Lady from a policy standpoint"? Was the objection really that she sought (or was given) an active role in policymaking - or, alternatively, was it the policies that she sought to make that resulted in that "good swath of the populace who formed [a] negative opinion" of her?

In other words, was the objection to the idea of a first lady writing a healthcare policy, or was the objection to what the substance of HillaryCare turned out to be? I think it is the latter; if she had instead sought to use her position to help Newt abolish the Department of Education, would the people who objected to HillaryCare still have objected?

Steven said...

Like so many others who have commented, my reaction to the question was, "Can we get Maggie?"

Lincoln said...

I can't help but be enormously amused whenever a liberal complains that Hillary is too conservative, as if her political position of the moment were actually a genuine reflection of her true ideology.

Revenant said...

Thus, while I can't say that some folks' negative assessments of Hillary were formed BECAUSE she was a woman per se, some were quite likely formed because she was a woman acting in a manner unlike the way many people like their first ladies: seen (in fashionable outfits) but not heard. Its not apples and apples, but its pretty intertwined.

There's a key point you're missing, which is that "First Lady" isn't an elected office. Neither is it an executive office to which the President makes appointments, ratified by Congress.

It isn't that people object to a First Lady doing more than look pretty. Plenty of first ladies have done that over the years -- Laura Bush most recently. Its that people object to the First Lady acting like she's entitled to wield political power and have an actual role in the government. People were shocked to find Hillary Clinton apparently attempting to decide the future of health care in America... simply by virtue of having married the right politician. The whole thing smacked of aristocracy.

Simon said...

I wonder: how many of the conservatives presently saying "if it was Thatcher I'd vote for her" would think twice if they knew Thatcher was pro-choice?

charlotte said...

Warning- overly sensitive feminist alert:

"How do you *feel* about a *woman* President" clearly intones a sexist subtext that women are about feeling, their emotions, intuition, and men feeling them up. A gender neutral PC interrogator would ask, "What do you *think* about this *person* (Hillary, Condi, Geena, Xena, Temperance) becoming President?"

Ann Althouse said...

Jeremy: Yeah. All the way back to JFK.

Lincoln said...

I'd vote for Queen Elizabeth if I could. There's a leader whose prudent method of dealing with dissenters involved having their hands cut off. My kind of woman. :-D

altoids1306 said...

It's hard to talk about a woman president with out the obvious candidates looming, but just considering the differences between two candidates, male and female, who are otherwise identical:

Pros: The prospect of a woman delivering the smackdown on Islamic regimes.

Cons: Criticism of the president will be impossible - the media firestorm will be beyond imagination.

Simon said...

Lincoln - I suspect that had a great deal more to do with Sir Francis Walsingham than it did with Elizabeth herself. I think she was far more concerned with the what (in this case, dealing with traitors) than the how.

On a not wholly unrelated topic -- and in the fashion of an Althausian pivot to popular culture -- I continue to believe that Geoffrey Rush was done a terrible wrong by the academy for not getting best actor for portraying Walsingham in Elizabeth - in every way a towering performance.

Robert said...

kettle said...
It's time to give it a try! Time to pop our non-WASP presidential cherry. And Hilary is probably as qualified as anyone.


Let's see, Hillary is:

White
Anglo-Saxon
Protestant

What am I missing?

Simon said...

altoids1306 said...
"Cons: Criticism of the president will be impossible - the media firestorm will be beyond imagination."

I find it hard to believe that if the 44th President is a woman, they will recieve any more of a media firestorm than they will receive by virtue of being a Republican. The liberals have worked themselves into a frenzy such that I very much doubt that they will be much able to comprehend defeat in '08. There is absolutely no reason not to expect the firestorm that ignited in late 2000 to abate any time soon.

Bruce Hayden said...

Woman president, yes. Hillary, definately not. Condi, yes, though I don't think she is running, and doubt if she could get the nomination for president. But VP? That would be a good fit for her, and maybe an easier way for women to break into the top job.

Simon said...

Bruce,
I think there's a good chance that Condi could get the nomination. A lot of conservatives are hostile to either McCain or Giulliani, but aware that Mike Pence is too young we need someone a little closer to the middle than Sam Brownback. Condi is associated with the approach of our present foreign policy, but not tarred with its actual execution, and she could win in a landslide. I think that if she ran - and I am far, far from endorsing her, as I have repeatedly explained - she could get the nomination, and that she'd win.

J said...

I'm disappointed to see that 51% of Fox viewers think HC is prepared to be president, less because of where her political orientation is at any moment than because I just don't think Senators are qualified to do that job, though at least she has some private sector work experience.

"Time to pop our non-WASP presidential cherry. And Hilary is probably as qualified as anyone"

Well, not to "pop our non-WASP cherry" she isn't. A Methodist granddaughter of English immigrants is as WASPy as it's possible to get.

Ruth Anne Adams said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Charlie Eklund said...

A woman president?

Great!

But Hillary? Uh...no.

Go Condi!

Seven Machos said...

I have no problem with a woman president. Gender doesn't matter. It's the ideas and policies.

chuck b. said...

If she's a hot or a lesbian, okay.

No fat chicks!

Fenrisulven said...

Can anyone throw together a quick list of women governors from each party? For me its leadership, not gender.

Hillary's negatives are too high for her to win. And they are only going higher when the public scrutinizes her in the primaries. Besides, Hillary is too corrupt to serve as President. She would have events on par with sodomizing interns, thus handicapping the gender issue for future female candidates.

I like Condi. Not happy with her recent performance, but would vote for and campaign for her.

Mark Daniels said...

I have no doubt that if the country had the opportunity to vote for a compelling female candidate for President, it would do so.

Bill Clinton himself has apparently said that the first woman President will likely be someone from the right, a la Thatcher. I think there's something to that, given doubts harbored by sexists of both genders over whether a woman could be tough enough for the presidency.

While that thought may lead some to tout Rice, I think that quite apart from the fact that she's not really an elective political animal (it's hard to imagine Condi talking about pork bellies or the price of pork chops at the super market), Rice would, unless she waits until 2012 or beyond, carry the baggage of an increasingly unpopular Bush foreign policy should she run for President.

I've never felt that Hillary Clinton would be a candidate for President in 2008. My guess is that, in the end, she'll conclude that though she might win the Democratic nomination--a remote prospect for a party desperate to nominate a candidate without all the negative polling numbers Clinton has--she cannot win the general election.

Besides, for the first time in her life, Clinton is doing work largely out of Bill's shadow and she's shown herself to be adept at the work of a legislator, irrespective of what one thinks of her politics.

Both her predecessor in the Senate, Daniel Patrick Moynihan--once called the greatest Senator in US history by George Will--and Ted Kennedy, who personally destroyed his chances of becoming President (a job I doubt that he ever really wanted in spite of the whole Kennedy entitlement thing) found life in the Senate to be to their liking.

I rather think that Hillary Clinton will look at those examples and determine she'd rather be a successful Senator than lose the presidency in a year when every Dem in the country will be salivating for the White House and condemn her if she loses.

At present, I can't think of any Republican women who could make a viable run for the presidency.

Among Democrats, I could see Dianne Feinstein running, but time may be running out on her; she's already 73. (Though I have wondered whether Mark Warner, the person I think will win the Dem nomination in 2008 is likely to give Feinstein serious consideration to be his running mate.) In the end though, I think that Feinstein's liberalism would cause her real problems in the Red states.

Having said all this, I will end with the only appropriate summary of my speculating...or not.

Mark

PS: Word verification is "cdgaga," although it's been a whole year since I was gaga over a new CD.

Johnny Nucleo said...

History is rife with warrior queens - there's Queen Elizabeth, Queen Amidala ...I guess that's about it.

How do I feel deep down about a woman president?

Let me contemplate this.

I've contemplated it.

I think it's fine.

Ideally, a leader should be three things: Good, Strong, and Smart (I consider Wisdom an aspect of Smartness). Plus at least one of the following two things: Lucky or brilliantly machiavellian. A leader does not need to be super-good, super-stong, super-smart, super-lucky, or super-brilliantly machiavellian. But a leader needs the right combination of these things.

When it comes to finding the right combination of these things, there is no difference between men and women in general.

One big difference between men and women in general, however, is ambition, or at least how their ambition manifests itself.

Mark said...

Honestly, I think that all other things being equal, a woman is not as well suited to be a leader of a nation as a man.

I am reminded of the female Governor of Louisiana all teary and verklempt during the Katrina disaster. Someone aptly said at the time that if Hillary wanted a chance at the Presidency after that, she'd better get down to New Orleans and shoot a few looters herself.

Of course not all women are like that. There are women out on the far right of the bell curve of female trait distribution who are more "manly" than the average man. And if a woman candidate really hit the ball out of the park on all of the issues, it would be tempting to vote for her.

But I think the simple biological truth is that women on average are less suited to handling tribal warfare (which is what leading a nation sometimes amounts to, on a large scale) than a man. A woman in that position might overreact to try to prove her mettle, or might dissolve in emotional distress like the Louisiana governor did. Of course a man could too, but all other things being equal, a man is less likely to.

So I am in no hurry to see a woman as President. I think it would likely occur as a gimmick or a form of affirmative action rather than because she was truly the best candidate for the job. I think we would be poorly served and, in the end, it is quite possible that cause of female leadership would be poorly served as well.

Dr. Melissa said...

I'm waiting for an American Margaret Thatcher. I haven't seen her yet. Of course, I haven't seen a male President since Reagan possess the steel in his spine that Thatcher had either.

Clinton isn't the answer.

Any nominations Ann?

Revenant said...

Bill Clinton himself has apparently said that the first woman President will likely be someone from the right, a la Thatcher. I think there's something to that, given doubts harbored by sexists of both genders over whether a woman could be tough enough for the presidency.

Another factor is that female Republicans are less likely to be saddled with a history of association with embarassing activist groups like NOW or Planned Parenthood.

Black Democrats have the same problem. I'll happily vote for a black President, but not if he's cozied up to the likes of Jackson, Sharpton, and Farakhan.

Dr. Melissa said...

By the way, I'm a (very) conservative willing to vote for Rudy in drag, and s/he's pro-choice.

This election: It's about the war.

The rest can be sorted out.

JDM said...

Same way I feel about any politician - are they smart enough to agree with me on issues that matter?

I vote for ideas, the colour and shape of the package around them isnt that important (although I did give a second preference to a porn star once, mainly because her surname was the same as the outgoing member).

Maggie T. - now THAT was a woman!

Fenrisulven said...

This election: It's about the war. The rest can be sorted out.

I shudder to think what a Hillary cabinet would look like - all the old players [or acolytes of] who still think this is a criminal investigation and not a war.

Kirk Parker said...

"Daniel Patrick Moynihan--once called the greatest Senator in US history by George Will"

Well, George Will has his opinion, and I have mine--and that is, Moynihan is one of the greatest disappointments in the history of the Senate. Really, how anybody that wrote "Defining Deviency Down", and all the rest of what he did, could continue to vote pretty much in lockstep with the Democrat leadership to try to preserve that misbegotten world...

Mark,

I see your point, but certainly those characteristics aren't limited to women. Think of Jimmy Carter and his feckless reaction to, well, just about every unfavorable thing that happened during his term in office.

Squiggler said...

I'm supporting Mitt Romney who is:
Brilliant, personable, experienced, well read, lots of media savvy, has terrific sense of humor, a great public speaker, very easy on the eyes, a genius at business and a superb organizer and troubleshooter if the salvage of the Salt Lake Winter Olympics is any test. Pair him up with Condi and save Giuliani for Attorney General, Head of Homeland Security, or Intelligende Czar.

JDM said...

Actually, if there was ever anyone more unprepared for the US Presidency than JFK, then perhaps it was someone like U S Grant.

All JFK had going for him was undoubted charm and a family machine. A "gentlemanly C" in the Senate and war service of mixed success (in a time when pretty much every [male] candidate had was service to his name) were objectively not the greatest preparation for the Presidency.

Appointing one's brother A-G once President does not strike me as the wisest course of action either, of course.

Loathe Nixon if you will (and many, perhaps even most do) but it is interesting to speculate what would have happened had the outcome of the 1960 election been different (or, alternatively, been the same without the Democratic ballot-box stuffing).

Remember, it is by no means clear that JFK would have won a second term. Getting assassinated was the best thing to happen to the Kennedy family legacy, despite being a horrible tragedy.

Revenant said...

Remember, it is by no means clear that JFK would have won a second term.

It's pretty clear that he *wouldn't* have, in my opinion. He barely beat Nixon the first time around (to say nothing of the argument that the election was stolen) and Kennedy's first term was pretty much one disaster after another.

Ann Althouse said...

J: When FOX News does a poll, it's not just of FOX News viewers!

Steven said...

If I could build my perfect presidential candidate, she'd be a former cabinet secretary in Defense or State; former governor of a large state; Jewish; happily married; one quarter each black (Ethiopian Jew maternal grandmother?), Mexican-American, Filipino, and American Indian; and fleuent in Spanish, Arabic, French, and Chinese.

Her VP would be female, openly atheist, lesbian, one quarter each Hawaiian/East Indian/Cuban/Turk, a Gulf War vet, founder of a Fortune 500 company; and fleuent in Russian, Japanese, Hindi, and Portuguese.

Politically, of course, they'd agree with me except where they were knowledgable enough that, were I fully informed and smart enough, I'd disagree with me. Both would be as tough as Margaret Thatcher.

Hamsun56 said...

Makes no difference to me. If anything, on the surface I'd have a positive prejudice towards a female who makes it to the politcal big leagues on her own. That's evidence of determination and smarts. How far would Bush have come if he were a woman or not politically connected?

Hillary's situation is a bit difference. Although she smart and was successful attorney, she's gotten her politcal status through being Bill's wife.

JDM said...

"beat Nixon the first time around"

ah, but Revenant, would he have beaten Nixon in 64 - remember, after the 62 Cal Governor's race "you wont have Richard Nixon to kick around any more".

I wonder, if Kennedy had been vulnerable in 64, who would the Republicans have nominated? Still Goldwater?

Funny too, Nixon was actually a domestic moderate, just one who took no prisoners. Strange in a sense why the left hated him. Some of the things he did and tried to do as President were interesting.

Ambrose's chapter on Nixon in "To America" is well worth a read. Heck, Daniel Patrick Moynihan worked for him and apparently had only good things to say. Mind you, memory is a funny game.

Ann is up early again it appears!

Ruth Anne Adams said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
El Presidente said...

I always thought Angela Davis would have made a great President. If it isn't Angela then Hilary would be a clse second.

J said...

"When FOX News does a poll, it's not just of FOX News viewers!"

Sorry Ann. Maybe that was too sarcastic. My core problem with these polls is that I can't conceive of a circumstance under which I would answer questions about my political views asked by a cold caller I didn't know. I assume their methodology corrects the results for the population that will, but I have no idea how one would do that.

Word verification: evuzi, an air navigation waypoint northeast of Corpus Christi, TX, over the middle of Aransas Bay.

hdhouse said...

As long as "whoever" runs, has a brain, has a sense of history and future, wants what is best generally for the people not specifically for some people, is literate and not an embarrassment, and generally knows north from south, i'll vote that way and then, on the day after the election, see if its pants or dress. if you are in the workplace in the real world day after day, the intellectual difference, the competency difference is nil between men and women, if not tilted somewhat in woman's favor right now just because in my particular profession we are proportionate m/f or f/m depending on correctness and we are results driven not sexist bent.

if we look at the male only presidency considerations of the past ... well no nice way to put it...it is hardly a ringing endorsement of the male's ability to either lead or read.

hdhouse said...

and to those of you who are non- new yorkers...and make now the faux news led RUDY RUDY RUDY v. Hillary "oh I hope" observations, please note that Hillary was beating Rudy like a rented mule when he dropped out of the 2000 senate race. I mean landslide. biblical porportions. And if Rudy runs, believe me that there are 100 million posters already printed with a copy of the Show-cause keeping Rudy from sleepovers with his mistress at Gracie mansion while his wife and child were in the house.

As to Condi...her track record of lies and general incompetence will hang her not elect her.

Point being, the question is if a woman is competent to be president and therefore how would you feel if there was one...not if you would elect an individual or pick from a pair-off. how would i feel?

i'd feel great if we had a president who could talk in complete sentences and didn't sound drunk all the time.

Simon said...

Mark said...
"Honestly, I think that all other things being equal, a woman is not as well suited to be a leader of a nation as a man. I am reminded of the female Governor of Louisiana all teary and verklempt during the Katrina disaster."

But that assumes that the reason she was "all teary and verklempt" was because she was a she. Isn't there an equally good chance that a man who suddenly realized that this immense disaster was upon them, they were utterly incompetent, they had completely failed to make it better and may well have made it worse, and worst of all, that they'd be oout of a job if they couldn't find someone to blame, would have reacted in the same way? And even if it were not the case, is there any reason to assume that any female governor would have reacted as Blanco did, or for that matter that no male governor would?

(I can't resist pointing out that the argument that a woman isn't "tough enough" for the White House is ludicrous; show me a man who's squeezed a tennis ball out of his johnson and we'll talk about who's tough enough for the Presidency).

Simon said...

hdhouse said...
"As long as "whoever" runs, has a brain, has a sense of history and future, wants what is best generally for the people not specifically for some people, is literate and not an embarrassment, and generally knows north from south, i'll vote that way."

Actually, I doubt you will, since a candidate meeting that description will have an R after their name.

Simon said...

Dr. Melissa said...
"This election: It's about the war. The rest can be sorted out."

I disagree that this election is about any single issue, but even to the extent that one issue does dominate, that issue is the future of the courts, not the war on terror. Al Queda can huff and puff, but they cannot blow our house down.

Mark Daniels said...

A comment on whether JFK would have won re-election in 1964:

The what-ifs are usually avoided by historians. However, several facts lead me to conclude that he would have been re-elected.

First, at the time of Kennedy's death, Barry Goldwater was the presumptive nominee of the GOP and all the polling had Kennedy way ahead of him.

Second, before sunny Ronald Reagan made conservatism acceptable to the mainstream (and before the Democrats' big government philosophy brought the war in Vietnam and enormous deficits that brought seemingly no solution to our broiling social ills), Goldwater and all conservatives of his stripe were regarded as dangerous radicals.

I remember that my parents and grandparents were big Goldwater supporters in 1964. But when we shared this with our Republican family and friends, they were all shocked. They were voting for Johnson, deeming Goldwater to be what some would today call a RINO...because he was too conservative.

If you read Theodore White's account of the '64 campaign, you see the reason Goldwater won the Republican nomination: His troops were more well-organized than anybody out there. The organizational skills his backers developed that year later allowed them to take over the Republican Party.

But most Republicans and most Republican leaders were so put off by Goldwater that when he had to nominate someone from the mainstream of the party to be his Veep candidate, the only person willing to do the job was William Miller.

Miller was a Congressman from NY and a former GOP national chairman. But in spite of that, he was no heavy hitter. Years later, he did one of those American Express, "Do you know me?" commercials, trading on his obscurity.

The Goldwater candidacy would have been in trouble in 1964 whether JFK had lived or not. He was considered out of the GOP mainstream and dangerous by the general public.

Third, JFK had a high approval rating at the time of his death. While those sorts of things change--think of Bush the Elder after the first Gulf War, Kennedy's popularity wasn't the result of a war, which always provides leaders with approval that is ephemeral. (Churchill was turned out of power after winning the second World War and Truman's 1948 post-war victory was a miracle resulting from the arrogance and complacency of Tom Dewey and his handlers.)

The fundamental point is that all the lights were green for Kennedy to win in 1964.

Of course, the great historical what ifs of a Kennedy second term are twofold:

Would he have pursued pretty much the same policy in Vietnam as Lyndon Johnson did? In spite of latter-day spinning by Ken O'Donnell, Dave Powers, and other JFK insiders, I believe that he would have. The indications of the direction of his policies there were in place before his assassination.

Would he have initiated the big government War on Poverty? I doubt it. Kennedy was not an FDR liberal the way LBJ was. He had an illiberal cautiousness born of something like indifference to most domestic issues.

By 1964, even for Johnson, the war in Vietnam was not yet an issue. Goldwater's assertion that we should be more aggressive, involving the deployment of more troops--not unlike what Goldwater's Arizona philosophical heir, John McCain, is saying today about Iraq--fell on deaf ears. Criticisms of the war on poverty had more legs among voters in 1964. But not enough to sway them to vote for Goldwater.

JFK would not have likely won by as big a margin over Goldwater in 1964 as LBJ did. There clearly was something of eulogy in the vote for Kennedy's successor.

But Kennedy would not have required what until that point, was the most lopsided presidential win in history to have been returned to the White House. (Goldwater carried Arizona and five southern states, losing the popular vote by something like 36-million to 24-million.) Given the political climate of that time, it's hard to figure what other states Goldwater might have picked up, although the raw popular vote would probably not have been so lopsided.

Mark

Mark said...

I see your point, but certainly those characteristics aren't limited to women. Think of Jimmy Carter and his feckless reaction to, well, just about every unfavorable thing that happened during his term in office.


As I said: "A woman in that position might overreact to try to prove her mettle, or might dissolve in emotional distress like the Louisiana governor did. Of course a man could too, but all other things being equal, a man is less likely to."

Simon wrote: Isn't there an equally good chance that a man who suddenly realized that this immense disaster was upon them, they were utterly incompetent, they had completely failed to make it better and may well have made it worse, and worst of all, that they'd be oout of a job if they couldn't find someone to blame, would have reacted in the same way?

No. I contend than men, on average, are less likely to react with tears to stress than women are.

And even if it were not the case, is there any reason to assume that any female governor would have reacted as Blanco did, or for that matter that no male governor would?

There's this real common problem some people have with the idea of an average, or a distribution. They think that if they can find one example of, say, a woman who is tougher than the average man, or a man who is more emotional than the average woman, that they've somehow disproved the idea that men ON AVERAGE are less emotionally vulnerable and tougher than women. To put it in the typical snotty internet posting way: what is it about "on average" that you don't understand? As I said, all other things being equal, I don't think a woman is as well equipped to be a war chief as a man is. Just because Jimmy Carter was a wimp proves nothing. There are lots of Jimmy Carters out there and lots of Margaret Thatchers, but still, on average, men are better suited to be leaders of nations in a cut-throat world.

And I think that what men experience in combat is at least as stressful as giving birth. Let's stop using the giving birth thing as some sort of argument-stopper that women are as tough as men. It's condescending and silly.

Simon said...

Mark said...
"I contend than men, on average, are less likely to react with tears to stress than women are."

I contend that we shouldn't be electing average men or women to the single most powerful office on the planet. If average is as good as we can manage, then the least of our problems is whether that person has breasts or bollocks.

Simon said...

"And I think that what men experience in combat is at least as stressful as giving birth."

In what century was the last war fought where the President - or king - led his troops on the battlefield, Mark? The comparison is not to toughness on the battlefield, the comparison is to sitting in a comfortable chair in a comfortably air-conditioned office making important decisions four thousand miles from the fighting. If we sent Presidents into battle, how long do you imagine FDR would have lasted? Would he have led the battle of Kursk from his own, custom-made motorized tank-chair?

The Presidency is certainly stressfull, but it is not a warzone.

37383938393839383938383 said...

There is actually a nice website solely devoted to the issue of what the United States would be like with a female President. If an actual female Presidential candidate wore the outfits and engaged in the activities depicted on this website, I would definitely vote for her, with the caveat that I'm not particularly fond of living in a cage.

37383938393839383938383 said...

If average is as good as we can manage, then the least of our problems is whether that person has breasts or bollocks.

Uh, right. But, really, the men we elect to office, generally, are rather youthful-looking for their age or are conventionally attractive (note I did not say super-hot). This is not surprising, of course, in the age of television. But the point is that there are much fewer women than men who enter politics, and thus a much smaller pool of female potentials for the seat. It seems like if we were to elect a female President, she'd have a much greater chance of being less attractive than we normally expect our Presidents to be. Is it so wrong, then, to criticize female Presidential candidates on the basis of their looks? Why should their be a lower standard for women? If I have to go up against Mitt Romney to win, Hillary should have to go up against an attractive woman. Of course, that means breasts do cunt.

37383938393839383938383 said...

Count. I meant count. Typo.

Word verification: uuvfvfa

Mark said...

I contend that we shouldn't be electing average men or women to the single most powerful office on the planet. If average is as good as we can manage, then the least of our problems is whether that person has breasts or bollocks.

I didn't say we should elect an average person. I said that men, on average, are less emotional and better suited to national leadership. Do you understand the concept of a bell curve distribution and averages? Perhaps I should have used the term "mean" rather than "average" to discuss the statistical reality of male/female differences. Of course then you'd probably have said we shouldn't be electing "mean" people to the highest office on the planet, only nice ones.

The comparison is not to toughness on the battlefield, the comparison is to sitting in a comfortable chair in a comfortably air-conditioned office making important decisions four thousand miles from the fighting.

Governor Blanco didn't have to be waist deep in flood water, hauling sandbags in order to get teary and verklempt. She just had to be presented with the facts of the situation, in her comfortably air-conditioned office where she was supposed to be making important decisions but was instead dithering and fretting for days before giving the Feds permission to intervene.

hdhouse said...

Mark said...
"I didn't say we should elect an average person. I said that men, on average, are less emotional and better suited to national leadership."

that must be some whale of a scientific study. frankly i would have felt better if Bush had shed a tear of sorrow rather than turn the page to My Pet Goat.

Coco said...

ANyone really think Hillary would cry? I ain't buying that. Bill "I feel your pain" was a cryer...(but itsn't that what helped him get reelected?) ..Hillary, not so much.

Revenant said...

and to those of you who are non- new yorkers...and make now the faux news led RUDY RUDY RUDY v. Hillary "oh I hope" observations, please note that Hillary was beating Rudy like a rented mule when he dropped out of the 2000 senate race.

First of all, Rudy dropped out of the Republican primary race. He wasn't even running against Hillary yet.

Secondly, Hillary only managed to beat the largely-unknown Rick Lazio by 12% at the same time that Gore was beating Bush by 25% among New York voters. And Gore himself only managed to get 48.4% of the national vote in that election. That strongly suggests that, as a Presidential candidate, Hillary is unelectable.

Finally, Giuliani's poll numbers were at record lows when he dropped out of the Senate race -- his marriage scandal and the various New York police scandals had tarnished his reputation. Since then he's risen to near-sainthood as the 9/11 "America's Mayor". If the Senate election were held today there's little doubt he'd whip Clinton like a redheaded stepchild.

Chrees said...

I wouldn't mind a woman president. Especially Jessica Alba. 'Cause if I watch the news, I'd like to really enjoy it.

hdhouse said...

oh silly goose...

800,000 vote margin in a state that elected a republican government is hardly swiss cheese but i digress.

are you saying and therefore admitting that guiliani's "transformation" to America's mayor was caused by an event that he had nothing to do with and if it wasn't for 9/11 he would be in the "keep your zipper zipped at home" quagmire?

ohhhhhhh i pray for him to run. pray pray pray.

Mark Daniels said...

Frankly, I can't believe that any person can seriously contend that women are "more emotional" than men and therefore less able to lead.

Even if one accepts the absurd premise, the conclusion doesn't follow.

Mark Daniels

Revenant said...

800,000 vote margin in a state that elected a republican government is hardly swiss cheese but i digress.

Digress from reality, maybe. The NY Assembly has a Democratic supermajority, and has for decades. A RINO governor and narrow control of the state Senate do not a "Republican government" make. Nothing happens in NY state politics without strong Democratic support.

In any case, my point is that voters wanted Hillary even less than Gore, and they didn't even really want Gore either.

are you saying and therefore admitting that guiliani's "transformation" to America's mayor was caused by an event that he had nothing to do with and if it wasn't for 9/11 he would be in the "keep your zipper zipped at home" quagmire?

First of all, it is a bit silly to scoff at Rudy having fallen ass backwards into popularity when Hillary Clinton owes her entire political career to the fact that she's boinking Bill Clinton.

That said, if 9/11 hadn't given Rudy an opportunity to shine -- while the whole nation was watching -- I don't think he would have had a future in national politics. He'd probably have defeated Hillary in 2006, though.

ohhhhhhh i pray for him to run. pray pray pray.

Should I get the tissues and lotion? You seem awfully excited about this.

OhioAnne said...

Would I vote for a woman for President? Absolutely if I felt that she was qualified (or more qualified than her competitior).

Is that person Hillary Clinton? No way. Had she come out of college and carved out the same career for herself that she did instead for her husband, I quite possibly - even probably - would have had another opinion. She didn't.

Second reason - I have no objection to woman deciding that a straying husband is worth taking back even when he continues to stray. That's her business. Doesn't mean that it makes me trust her judgement, however. One time I will concede to anyone if violence is not involved. When he got involved in Monica and she turned to the paranoid response of "the vast right wing conspiracy" instead of just telling him to zip it up AND took him back again, she became a joke. (As did many women's groups ...)

Third, I have a lot of Democratic voting New York relatives. ALL of them refer to her as "the carpetbagger" or similar terms. I'm not that sure she would reelection even as senator against a half decent opponent.

As to people being prepared to be President - I agree wholeheartedly and never more than in the last 2 elections. (The only one who came close to being prepared IMO was George Bush senior and he certainly was not a great president.)

But turning to the fictional for a moment ...

There was a great scene in Stargate SG-I a couple of seasons ago. The show mirrors the current day, so the new President there knew he was facing Iraq, Afghanistan, etc when he ran for office.

On his first day, he asks simply to "enjoy the moment" of walking into the Oval Office under "his watch".

The head of the Joint Chief of Staff responds "The moment's over, Mr. President" and goes on to tell him that the military has been visiting other planets for over 5 years and Earth has been attacked already on at least 3 occasions by hostile aliens.

Definitely an "oh, Sh%#!" look on that new President's face.

Makes me wonder if modern president's have had any surprises on their first day that may have been enough to change their mind about running.

Mickey said...

jinnmade-I think it`s still like that(lennon). judging from condi in lebanon. No place for a lady, yet.

Eli-see above. the arabs slapped the diss on her...I would vote for a woman but not yet.