Carol Platt Liebau: A Bizarre Obsession

Sunday, June 11, 2006

A Bizarre Obsession

Why are so many people, as evidenced by this piece in The New York Times, obsessed with the concept of having a female president? What's the big deal about "Commander in Chief" -- or Hillary Clinton, for that matter?

The fact is that America will elect a woman president when there's a woman running who's worthy of being elected. It's worth pointing out that, whether the left will admit it or not, America is still, to some extent, the world's policeman. And no woman will be elected until Americans are confident that she is familiar with and friendly to the military and willing to order the use of military force when necessary.

Hillary Clinton, with her membership on the Senate Armed Services Committee, understands this. But absent unusual circumstances, all her calculated efforts aren't going to be enough to overcome the polarizing effect she has on voters and a lingering sense that, despite her support for the war (which is costing her on the left), a large part of her heart remains in the '60's and early '70's, when liking the military wasn't "cool."

And, as one of the commenters in the linked piece points out (Kathleen Turner, of all people!), Hillary Clinton has allowed herself to become a "celebrity." In America, we don't elect celebrities, who pose on the front pages of Vogue, to the presidency; we elect leaders. Once again, Hillary may want to have it both ways, but she can't.

The Times and the feminists should relax. The gender of the president is so much less important than his/her capabilities and principles.

Update: What I should have written is that we don't elect celebrities "to the presidency" -- because, as readers point out, a number of actors have had successful political careers, primarily on the Republican side. However, it's worth pointing out that by the time Ronald Reagan was elected president, he was hardly a "celebrity" in the sense that Arnold Schwarzenegger still is; his film career was long over.


Blogger Justine said...

Re: Celebrities - you elected Ronald Reagan.

7:48 AM  
Blogger Duke-Stir said...

Reagan, indeed.

"The gender of the president is so much less important than his/her capabilities and principles."

And his/her capabilities and principles are trumped by: name recognition; sewing up all the party's big money in advance of other potential contenders; and a willingness to effectively cultivate xenophobia (and a little homophobia for good measure).

8:07 AM  
Blogger wrabkin said...

If "in America, we don't elect celebrities," why do the Republicans keep running actors? Reagan, Schwarzenegger, Fred Dalton Thompson, Fred Grandy. Oh, and let's not forget Jesse Ventura.

9:16 AM  
Blogger COPioneer said...

How about "Christophobia" for the liberals.

But I have to agree with duke on this "name recognition; sewing up all the party's big money in advance of other potential contenders", because that's a part of politics I can't stomach...Ted Kennedy, Al Gore, John Kerry, Hillary, There's not much hope for unknowns.

I'd welcome a fight between Obama and Romney...that'd be refreshing.

10:03 AM  
Blogger Greg said...

There's a HUGE difference between supporting the military because you know you have to and supporting the military because you believe in it. The former is posing. The latter knows its purpose and, however reluctantly, will use it when necessary.

Hillary's problem is that most Americans recognize her as a poser.

On celebrities:

Ronald Reagan was a minor celebrity who became a major leader. Only then was he elected - and at exactly the right time!

Arnold, as far as I can tell, is only a celebrity. I'll concede that he was elected as result of his celebrity with the following comments:

He was only elected in a situation where "anybody but the incumbant" was going to win. His celebrity got him noticed. But it was his campaign "performances" that made the sale to the public. That's no different from any other elected official.

Jesse "The Body" Ventura is probably a worse example of getting elected because of celebrity. In fact, Ventura's celebrity was something he had to overcome in order to be considered a serious candidate. Neither did he win by sealing up the party's big money in advance of potential contenders. Once again, excellent campaign performances convinced the public.

And since when did the Republicans "run" Jesse Ventura? Is he or was he a Republican?

Obama is in consideration now ONLY because he has been made a celebrity by the Democratic Party and the MSM.

I guess my theme for this post is that the public has to be sold on a candidate regardless of their celebrity. Americans want to elect good and strong leaders. Celebrity or not, a candidate has to convince the public he or she is the right person for the job.

This is done on the campaign trail where you have to show the public who you are (or who you want them to think you are). To do that you have to perform well in front of the public during the campaign.

I contend Hillary Clinton will have great difficulty performing well in a protracted campaign. I predict she will grate on the public nerve and become a bitter disappointment to the Democrats.

Obama, on the other hand, may do quite well on the campaign trail.

11:35 AM  
Blogger Pete said...

We have had a few "celebrities" on on the Republican ticket - past and present. They, with the exception of Ventura, (Remember that Ventura ran in the little general's party), have had good ideas that resonated with America, or their local constituency.

On the other hand, your loud mouthed leftist celebrities couldn't get elected and they know it - and they do not have the courage of their "convictions" to expose themselves to guaranteed defeat. What would that do to their egos?

Can ANYONE in their right mind consider voting for a Clooney, a Sarandon, a Robbins, a Striesand, and the list goes on, and on, and on... Left wing celebrities are much happier whining and crying over alleged right wing bad policies than to involve themselves in legitimate dialog to find common ground and/or remedies.

12:39 PM  
Blogger JillMartin said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

6:12 PM  
Blogger Jessica said...

And what foreign policy experience did Clinton have as governor of Arkansas exactly?

6:12 PM  

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