Well, the picture says it all about how I'm feeling about the 2012 elections---------it's just one big yawn. The presidential election season feels like a chess game where I already know all of the moves. 2008 destroyed my enthusiasm for any other election it seems. Not to belabor the point, but my hopes in 2008 were raised in such a way that any presidential election from now on without at least several women in the running will just seem BORING.
Apparently our little experiment in 2008 with a woman running for the top slot was just too much for the culture to bear and as it stands right now, the one woman currently in the hunt has lost her steam and can't seem to get her mojo back.
Once again, I'm issuing a warning to all of the haters out there who can't stand it, but I'm about to say some nice things about Michelle Bachmann. You can look at her as someone who if elevated to the highest job in the land will destroy our nation if you want. But I'm not looking at her that way. I can't get too enthusiastic about some of her positions and a few of her points of view. Heck----I can't get excited about some of my husband's ideas either and I'm madly in love with him. But I have a great deal of admiration for Bachmann in several ways. First of all, I love the way she expresses herself. She stands up, looks right at you or at the camera, and unequivocally tells you exactly how she feels and what she thinks. No hemming and hawing there. Secondly, I just adore the way she stands right up to the men in the race and projects that she is their equal and that she belongs in the position of running for President of the United States. She projects a level of confidence important for the (hopefully) legions of females who will come after her that they can and should be President of the United States. This example of confidence is no small thing. For a young girl wondering if women can ever be president of our country it is nice to watch someone who makes no apologies for herself and acts naturally and confidently in the role of presidential candidate. And let's not forget that Bachmann was the first woman ever to win the Iowa Republican straw poll. It may seem like a small thing as well, but every victory counts and it paves the way for more victories to follow.
I am hugely disappointed that neither Sarah Palin nor Hillary Clinton is coming forward to build on the job they started in 2008. I can't say that I blame them for not wanting to run again. The heat that the two women had to take because of their gender was exponentially greater than the heat any of the men ever have had to take. Anyone who says otherwise is either living on another planet and hasn't ever visited earth or is in a such a state of utter denial that they need to get to counselling and fast!! However, that doesn't lessen my gnawing sense of disappointment and regret about how the call to run in 2012 hasn't been strong enough to convince either woman to give it another shot. My mentor Mary Kay has always said that anything you do once you can do it again only better. If for no other reason, how will our girls ever believe it when we say that they can grow up to be president, or at least run for it? They sure as heck aren't seeing much proof of that!!!!
I've got a sinking feeling that Palin probably will never run again, and I am very sad about that. I hope I am wrong. I really really hope I'm all wrong on that one. For all of the sexist attacks on Sarah Palin, she added alot of new ideas, excitement, and thrills on the campaign trail. And if she gets criticized for bringing too much drama along with it, hello!!!! What about the current field of men and all of their drama? Newt, Hermann Cain? Between the two of them there is enough drama to last a lifetime!!!! I am also sad that Palin's excellent record as Alaskan governor somehow got buried somewhere. But I truly believe that none of Palin's negatives were insurmountable, and I believe she would have given the entire field a huge run for the money!!!To me, she's the most potent "not Romney" out there except for maybe Chris Christie. But with her out of the race, the Republican primary is just one big ho hum.
As far as it goes with Hillary Clinton, she has it all. She can win, she has all of the track record needed, she's presidential. She has two problems, neither of which is insurmountable either. One is that she is too much a party loyalist to challenge Obama. I could accept that as long as she was being a party loyalist in order to run in 2016. However, that butts up against problem number two and that is her age. For me, her running for president at age 69 is no problem at all. Hillary is made of sturdy stuff and she comes from a line of people who live very healthfully for a very long time. Her own mother just passed away at age 92, and by all reports was extremely healthy and high functioning up until her final illness a week before she died. From that angle, Hillary is still a spring chicken. I just miss the excitement of her race in 2008.
For those of us who were swept up in the historic possibilities of Palin and Clinton's candidacies in 2008, the 2012 race is dull. I want a do over. For all of the people who ridiculed those of us who were truly inspired by the possibility of a female VP or POTUS, I want another try so that they can join the band wagon this time. I think that alot of them would who abstained in 2008. Instead what do we have? A nothing race on the Democratic side, and a rather unremarkable almost all male Republican primary. Same old same old. Candidates doing all of the ridiculous things that they do to knock each other out. Sigh. And any talk of a woman president is nowhere to be found.
So excuse me while I yawn and try to keep myself awake. We really need to beat the drum for both parties to come up with women candidates for the top slots. And not just one or two women either----lots of them!! Women can lead and lead well. Read this recent article about Margaret Thatcher if you need any proof of that. Now that idea-----great women leaders------gets my adrenaline pumping!!!! It's about time for it to happen in the U.S.