The face of politics is changing and it’s taking the shape of a female. Hillary Clinton recently announced her candidacy for the 2008 presidential election.
Conservatives, hold on to your hats because there is a high chance that in a couple years time, the leader of the free world will be a woman.
Aside from the notoriety she has received as Mrs. Bill Clinton, Hillary’s biggest stake in the election is her gender. While political conservatives are probably picking their jaws off the floor, Clinton’s candidacy is the best thing that has happened to this country in years.
The idea of a female president may seem unconventional and, most likely, has feminists jumping for joy, but Clinton’s gender is important for reasons other than the fact that this country is due for a woman president.
Since its creation, this country has been run by men – some Democratic, some Republican, some competent, some not so competent. In the past, voters who knew very little about politics may have based their votes solely on party association.
Elections came down to two men, similar in nearly every way except for their party affiliations.
Once a woman is factored into the situation, everything is different. Voters can actually see the difference between the candidates, which leads them to pay more attention to the different issues. Since Clinton looks physically different, voters may feel she has a different take on the major issues, which could inspire them to pay more attention to her. Thus, they may vote more responsibly because they have more information.
Although the campaigns are only in the beginning stages, Clinton already sticks out like a sore thumb, which works to her advantage as well as the voters’. People are already watching Clinton, taking notice of her personal life and actually listening to what she has to say – a rare quality in presidential candidates. Clinton’s gender is working in her favor because she grabs the public’s attention before she even opens her mouth.
Some may argue that Clinton is riding on the coattails of her ex-president husband and using her gender to gain an edge. However, Clinton already proved herself as a politically savvy woman during her term as a New York senator, and her inside knowledge of the White House can only better qualify her for the job. Gender may give her an edge, but she definitely is not a stranger to politics and she would be a fool not to use her gender to make voters take notice.
While it may seem unfair for Clinton to use her gender as a campaign tactic, she has already proven herself as a capable politician. She should use any advantage she can to help win the election and prove the voters right when she gets to the Oval Office.
Other aspects of political life that Clinton is all too familiar with include bad press and invasion of privacy. As a former First Lady and a current U.S. senator, much of Clinton’s dirty laundry has already been aired. Whatever dirt the tabloids and other candidates dig up on her, she is sure to be able to handle it well.
While her competitors hurry to cover up past mistakes, Clinton can maintain her dignity because much of her life has already been put on public display.
The best campaign angle Hillary Clinton has is her gender. This is not because she can win over the female voters who are sick of men running the country. It is because
she has highlighted hair. She wears makeup. She wears skirts. She is a mother.
Hillary Clinton is different from the male candidates. And people pay attention to different.
Shannon McDonald can be reached at