My blogging friend and public relations expert David over at It’s Not a Lecture has a question on his mind and has tossed it my way:
And if we are, does she have to be made of iron, as many other women heads of state have been dubbed?
The possibility of the first woman American president has long been an exciting thought to me, even though at the moment I’m not completely sold on Hillary. Think of the things that would, or could, be different simply by having someone in The White House whose brain is wired differently from every other occupant before her.
I was actually wondering this morning whether I should change my stance and just throw her my support precisely because she is a woman. After all, the guys haven’t really done such a great job, so maybe gender is a good reason to get on board the Hillary bandwagon.
I do know what I want in a president — someone who is smart, principled, has a complete grasp of the issues and the potential implications of decisions that are made by the Leader of the Free World. I also want someone who is capable of compassion and empathy.
Our current president and most of his advisers seem to be missing that personality chip. Unless you count the recent weepiness of Defense Secretary Robert Gates. Judith Warner wondered in her recent New York Times op-ed what we would have made of such a display of humanity if it had been Condi Rice who had shed a tear over the casualties of war.
I have a feeling it would have been something like this — if Gates weeps, he’s feeling their pain; if Rice cries, she’s weak and not strong enough, not steely enough, to handle the hard decisions.
So, at least for the moment, my answer is this — I’m not sure that a country that has active organizations like the Eagle Forum and well-read publications like The Weekly Standard are ready for someone who wears skirts and gets cards on Mother’s Day to occupy the Oval Office unless she at least has the appearance of being made of iron, steel or titanium.