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Wellington Daily News - Wellington, KS
  • Madame President: Can it happen?

  • There is a major push to elect a woman President in 2016.
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  • There is a major push to elect a woman President in 2016.
    Emily’s List has kicked off a “Madame President” campaign to put a woman at the top of the 2016 ticket and elect her to the White House.
    I don’t have a problem with that. I don’t agree in saying we “need” a woman President because we need the best person for the job.
    But I can certainly believe that a woman fits that description. I have worked almost primarily for women. I have been a night clerk at a hotel with a woman as a manager, a campaign manager for a female candidate, and an editor for a female publisher.
    I have never had a problem with women in authority. Trust me, a lot of the females I have worked for and worked with have been far more talented and less difficult to deal with than some of the men.
    Now most of America seems to agree. A recent poll said 86% of people asked said America was ready for a woman President.
    That has to be true. Hillary Clinton gave Barack Obama a run for his money in 2008. Sarah Palin was on the ticket with John McCain and a lot of conservatives would love a chance to vote for her.
    A new poll Thursday by Quinnipiac University showed Clinton leading the field of potential 2016 Democratic candidates, favored by 65% of Democratic voters, with Vice President Biden a distant second at 13% and Gov. Cuomo third, with just 4%.
    But I don’t know how soon a woman will be elected President.
    Obama isn’t the smartest guy in America or the best leader.
    The President rides a wave into the White House. There needs to be a story that the media can tell over and over during its 24-hour news cycle. It takes an event or issue that plays into that story and keeps it going.
    But more than anything, it takes money – a lot of money.
    Whether or not voters are ready really doesn’t matter. Are huge donors ready?
    Emily’s list knows that. The name is an acronym for Early Money Is Like Yeast. They support primarily pro-choice democratic female candidates for office and are one of the largest PAC donors to qualified campaigns.
    But a lack of funding will do more to impede a woman on the path to the Presidency than the electorate.
    Sure there are still sexists out there. In 1992, I was helping run a state senate campaign in Oklahoma when I ran into a lot of them when we went door-to-door. One man asked me what her husband thought of her running for office. Another said he would never vote for a power hungry… well it rhymes with snitch.
    Page 2 of 2 - That was half my life ago. I know those attitudes have changed. Some sexists have become more enlightened. Others have died and left behind offspring who are more educated dedicated to equality for all people regardless of race, sex or religion.
    Mitt Romney is the whitest of white guys. He also had tons of money. But some people refused to support him due to his faith. Some people discriminate against faith groups, some against different races, and some still discriminate against women.
    But that is changing. Slowly but surely, people are being judged based on the content of their character and not just faith, race or sex.
    EMILY’s list is pushing to help a woman rise to the pinnacle of American politics. They wouldn’t mind Hillary Clinton but there are a lot of women who are capable.
    Part of me would rather Hillary not be the first female President. Some of her popularity comes from her husband who was a two-term President.
    A woman who has a shortcut into the White House doesn’t break the glass ceiling, she just cuts a small hole in it that only she can squeeze through.
    I want a woman who serves as governor, senator or CEO somewhere to get noticed for how well she does the job herself and ride her own wave into the highest office in the land.
    Emily’s list has made it clear that they would support Clinton in her quest but if she chooses not to run in 2016, they are sure there are other qualified women who will.
    Kent Bush is the publisher of the Augusta Gazette, the El Dorado Times, and the Andover American newspapers.  
    He  can be contacted at: kbush@augustagazette.com

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