Saturday, May 17, 2008

No Woman, No Cry

A downside of the internet is its endless craving for something, anything new to fill the information vacuum created by its very existence. Hence, we get articles like this waste of time, talent, energy, and space, which supposes that Hillary Clinton's looming defeat signals the end of any real possibility of a woman president in the near future. There's no one, it seems, with Clinton's "name recognition, fundraising network or political connections." (These are the kinds of "qualifications" that tempt a candidate to make a calculated vote in favor of a war he or she likely has little enthusiasm for.)

It belabors the obvious to point out that four years ago almost any American would have bet on the likelihood of hellfire in the Arctic Circle over the probability of an African-American being a major party nominee for president of the United States. And, somehow or other, Barack Obama managed the feat without name recognition, a fundraising network, and virtually no national connections. Obama does have charisma, vision, an agile intellect, and superior political mind. A woman candidate with these credentials will be formidable indeed, even if we don't know at the moment who she might be. If nothing else, Barack Obama has proven that a genuine political force can come out of nowhere and dominate the political scene.

In truth, the "next" woman candidate (and who is to say that there won't be more than one?) doesn't have to be the second coming of Barack Obama to be a better candidate than Hillary Clinton. After all, Clinton's name recognition, fundraising, and connections result from being the spouse of a popular president. Her successors will achieve what they achieve on the basis of their own abilities. They may not be so lucky, but my guess is that they'll be better.

No comments: