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A Woman in the White House?

Hillary Rodham Clinton was the best chance ever for a woman to win the White House. Photo by William B. Plowman -- NBC Newswire via Getty Images

Asked about the prospect of a woman winning the presidency during an interview on NBC's "Meet the Press" on Sunday, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton responded: "I'm not going to pretend that running for president as a woman is not daunting....and it is....probably a path that doesn't appeal to a lot of women even in elective office because it is so difficult."

Clinton's comments -- coupled with the resignation of former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin (R) over the weekend -- got us to thinking about the dearth of female politicians in the political world at the moment who are actively discussed as presidential mettle.

Clinton was widely regarded as the best hope women had to see one of their own elected to the White House; she was well-known, had a huge political machine at her disposal, pots of campaign cash to spend and was widely seen as up to the job by the American public.

"Meet" host David Gregory asked Clinton the "if not you, who" question to which Clinton responded: "I am convinced -- and I don't know if she is elective office right now or preparing to run for office -- but there is a woman who I am hoping will be able to achieve that."

But, who?

A quick glance at the roster of women currently serving in the Senate or as governor -- the ranks from which presidential candidates typically emerge -- turns up 17 senators and six governors.

Of that group, just one -- Texas Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison (R) -- has ever been seriously mentioned as a national candidate. But, Hutchison seems set on returning to the Lone Star State full time with her 2010 primary challenge to Gov. Rick Perry (R). If she wins that race, Hutchison would theoretically be in position to run but she would be 69 years old on election day 2012 and putting together a national campaign would be hard to imagine.

Outgoing Michigan Gov. Jennifer Granholm was widely seen as a rising star with the Democratic party when she was elected in 2002 but the cratering Michigan economy has diminished her appeal significantly. Also, she's Canadian -- not that there's anything wrong with that! -- making her ineligible to be president.

That leaves 21 other women -- none of whom are actively discussed as potential national candidates. The best possibility is Sen. Claire McCaskill (D-Mo.) who could be appealing given her ability to win statewide in Missouri. But, McCaskill will almost face a serious re-election fight in 2012 (Jim Talent, anyone?) and has to get through that race before she can be seriously considered.

Down a level to the House, the pickings are also slim. (Historically running from the U.S. House is a death wish for presidents; the last -- and only -- sitting member of Congress to win the White House was James Garfield in 1880.)

The most obvious choice would be Rep. Stephanie Herseth Sandlin (D-S.D.) who has a strong political pedigree (her grandfather was governor, her father was a longtime state legislator), the ability to win votes in a red state and is young enough at 38 to spend the time needed to build the sort of network she would need to run for national office. But, Herseth Sandlin declined an expected run for governor in 2010 -- delaying an expected ascent into a more high-profile office. If Sen. Tim Johnson (D-S.D.) decides against seeking a fourth term in 2014, Herseth Sandlin would be the obvious choice.

Among the candidates currently running for statewide office in 2010, there are few obvious choices. Missouri Secretary of State Robin Carnahan (D) and former New Hampshire Attorney General Kelly Ayotte (R) are each young, highly regarded and running for the Senate; at the gubernatorial level, former eBay President Meg Whitman (R) and Florida CFO Alex Sink (D) might be possibilities if they can get elected.

But, that is far down the road. The simple fact is that Clinton was by far the best positioned woman to win the nation's highest office and there is no one like her in the political minor leagues at the moment.

Could Palin be that person? Perhaps, although her high unfavorable ratings with Independents and Democrats complicate any path for her to the White House even if she decided to run.

Are there up and coming women we missed? Feel free to offer their names in the comments section below.

By Chris Cillizza  |  July 27, 2009; 4:07 PM ET
Categories:  Eye on 2012  
Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   StumbleUpon   Technorati   Google Buzz   Previous: The Most Important Number in Politics Today
Next: KY-Senate: Bunning Retires (Finally)


Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY Sen) is terrific and will be much more experienced in 2016. There are other state office holders who could be considered in the pipeline.

The main thing is for women to be more ambitious and less afraid of taking positions of authority. And for the rest of us to support them as leaders!

Posted by: mgwestcoast | July 30, 2009 10:08 PM | Report abuse

I hope American's don't get manipulated into voting for Hilary Clinton! I believe there are some women who would make absolutely great presidents! Hilary Clinton is as as much a Global Elitist in her beliefs and politics as President Barack Obama is! Haven't we had enough of Bilderberg,CFR, TC, IMF, NWO Elitists? Here is how they infiltrate our Governments, the difference in our last election was that instead of be the alternative Left, John McCain took a dive!

I am very concerned for the USA and Canada and our future, I am doing what I can to help Americans and Canadians become aware!

Be very, very careful of which Leader you vote for at Canada's or the United States next Federal Election! The NWO is pushing hard to set up to take over the world! Folks it is time to stand on guard for Canada! We don't need or want another Beranacke, Geitner, or a similar Fascist Marxist Obama etc. taking over Canada like they have taken over the USA! Here is the way rhey work in simplified form, once you know the basics you'll see through their scam!

Elitist Two Party Paradyne Trick at Election Time Note: Names used are ficticous for easy understanding!

Elitists hone two candidates, train a Left winger, take another and hone her or him to be a Right winger! With elitist methods these candidates are trained to move at the right time to be elected, wherby they will arrange financial controls of the country for power gain of the Elitists!
The elitist boss is named David,the Left wing candidate is Obooba, Right wing candidate Sarah !
Because the elite are wealthy they Lobby and are able to create PR for these candidates that gives the candidates credibility among the voters and are promoted to become Dominant candidates!
David doesn’t care who wins between candidates as they have been honed for the Elities and David their Puppet Master!
Liberal Obooba gets voted in as President ( Prime Minister ), he performs foremost for the Elitists! In spite of his oath!
Should Sarah, Right Winger get elected as President (Prime Minister ) ,she will perform for the Elitists, despite her oath!

Right or Left = Elitist Win!

Posted by: PaulRevere4 | July 29, 2009 3:03 AM | Report abuse

My oh my, lookie now everyone wants a woman President, is concerned about sexism in the media, etc. etc. etc.

I have been saying these things for YEARS, yet no one listened to me until 2008.

Let me just say now that the conservative wailing over how Republican women are mistreated is false. If anything, Democratic women are treated worse, because the Democratic party is associated with feminism, and men in power find that to be more threatening.

Just look at who has been in the news spotlight this year on politics: Sarah Palin, Michelle Bachmann, Bristol Palin, Meghan McCain, Liz Cheney, Carrie Prejean, ... pretty much every type of white Republican woman you can think of. Before that there was Ann Coulter, Michelle Malkin, Mona Charen, and tons of other conservative women pundits and authors. And for what? None of these women hold any particular posts, for a good number of them their only qualification for national attention is ability to make crazy remarks or being a relative of a politician. But they are supported and encouraged and thrust into the spotlight by the Republicans.

When the media focuses on Democratic women, like Hillary, Pelosi, and Sotomayor, it is only because they are forced to. You can't ignore Secretary of State, House Speaker or SCOTUS Justice nominee.

But the media (or Democrats) never goes out of its way to give voice to real liberal women who may not have been well known before and give them a chance to get known. If you look on Huffington Post, or the Daily Show, or the Nation, you see the overwhelming majority of writers are men. Where are the liberal women that inspire the liberal, progressive base of the Democratic party? Where are the liberal women trotted out by the Democratic party as counterpart to women like Coulter, Bachmann, Cheney, and Palin?

Posted by: Factaaa | July 28, 2009 9:35 PM | Report abuse

The presidential candidates who run in 2020 and beyond are likely to be people who - like Andrew Cuomo or Lisa Madigan- are not even in major office yet. Or very possibly not even in any elected office yet.

Palin is the only woman likely to run in 2012. You mention a few of those who could run in 2016 but, like Obama, the winning message won't be "We Need To Break a Barrier or a Ceiling." It will be "This is where we're going. This is where it needs to be going."

Posted by: birchbeer | July 28, 2009 3:25 PM | Report abuse

Women I Expect to One Day Run:

*Sarah Palin (running, not likely winning)

*Kirsten Gillibrand (very ambitious, but has been impressive)

*Claire McCaskill (if she can get re-elected in '12, I would think she would be a very tempting running mate in 2016, being a woman from MO. I personally find her to be as distasteful as yesterday's socks.)

*Hillary Clinton (if the stars align correctly, I doubt that the chances are as slim as she lets on. My personal favorite.)

Posted by: robertt1 | July 28, 2009 1:56 PM | Report abuse

"First, how many comments were posted by staff members for the women they are promoting?"

RE: Sen. Klobuchar, I not only don't work for her, I find her more moderate than I would like. I would vote for her, but I wouldn't spend a lot of my time working for her if there were more progressive options.

I was merely stating that she would be a formidable candidate exactly because she is moderate and well-spoken with an appealing sense of humor and a history of consistant and defendable prosecution of criminals. It's a nice balance to run for the office of VP.

Posted by: prairiepopulist | July 28, 2009 12:47 PM | Report abuse

First, how many comments were posted by staff members for the women they are promoting? Second, Claire McCaskill seemed to be the only spokesperson during the 08 campaign who was straight talking and knowledgable ...I know my friends were talking about how sensible she seemed. And since then I've watched her on issues. She is a total fiscal watchdog and does not use DC Speak -- she sounds like a real person! And I do not work for her!!! I'll be watching...

Posted by: retireinfo | July 28, 2009 12:03 PM | Report abuse

I agree with Halfwayaroundtheworld. Sen. Amy Klobuchar is exceedingly popular in MN, is receiving accolades for her humor, and did a very responsible job during the "eight months with only one senator" fiasco.

My prediction (you heard it here first folks): Joe Biden decides that one term as VP was sufficient. Amy Klobuchar is nominated as the next VP candidate, recreating the 2008 buzz.

The only downside: Sen. Clinton's reaction could be negative. On the other hand, she has done a stellar job as Sec of State, better than I would have imagined. Perhaps she is satisfied simply doing well for the country.

Posted by: prairiepopulist | July 28, 2009 11:25 AM | Report abuse

I'm not sure if anyone said Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY Sen). I'm not a big fan of hers but she does seem very presidential and I could see why Hillary Clinton would like her (being that they both started off as Republicans and switched parties). The only problem is: she's filling Clinton's seat in the Senate so I can imagine that there's some friction there.
Nancy Pelosi would be good too except she's taking too much heat for the waterboarding controversy.
I agree with whoever said Oprah but I don't think she stands a chance (then again, neither did Bill Clinton or John F. Kennedy so you never know).

Posted by: newyorker123 | July 28, 2009 10:57 AM | Report abuse

I'm 28 yrs old. But if Hillary doesn't run in 2012 or 2016, then I will probably be a very old lady when we have a our first woman president. It's sad. But she's really the one one that has the full package right now!! I hope she doesn't rule it out completely. I know she can't admit that she'll run again, right now. But I hope that, in the back of her mind, she is planning ahead to give it one more go! ----You're our last great hope, Hillary! PLEASE don't let us down.

Posted by: ladyesq1 | July 28, 2009 9:34 AM | Report abuse

"Apparently the Republican big-tent forces women into that ideology too. I don't think any of the four female Republican Senators are against abortion."

Thank you for proving my point. The GOP doesn't force women to hold certain positions in order to have a voice in the party.

Compare that, on the other hand, to Democrats. If you are pro-life, you don't get within a mile of the platform at the national convention. And just in the past month or so there were pro-life Democrat members of Congress who wanted a chance to voice their opinion on the floor during debate on a bill. Pelosi & Co. shut off debate for the sole reason of keeping Democrats with pro-life views from getting behind a mic.

That's the point, and I appreciate you helping make it for me.

Posted by: dbw1 | July 28, 2009 9:20 AM | Report abuse

Amy Klobuchar is a machine, she works on her job as a Senator and her political profile literally day and night. If T-Paw can be considered a national candidate with two wins at 42% of the popular vote than certainly a 57% vote winner in Purple MN can get on the national stage. No one - literally no one - will outwork her. Something to keep an eye on for 2016.

Posted by: Halfaworldaway | July 28, 2009 6:31 AM | Report abuse

re: NYClefty

I have always said---fathers of dtrs make some of the best
feminists because they can see their dtrs being treated differently than they themselves are treated.
In the mirror image situation, when one of my sons was younger
(and his voice had not deepened yet and he was still mistaken for
a woman on the phone) he was treated dismissively and he realized
it was because the person thought he was a woman).
He looked up at me and said---at least my voice will deepen, but you have to continue to live with this.

Hopefully, we can continue to have this discussion and thoughtless discriminatory behavior can be reduced.

Posted by: canaldoc | July 28, 2009 6:19 AM | Report abuse


If Gov. Palin won the GOP nomination for President, would you vote for her or Obama?

Posted by: JakeD | July 28, 2009 6:15 AM | Report abuse

@NYClefty: HRC wasn't called "shrill" always because she's a woman, she was called shrill because she had some really bad speaking habits. Dig up a recording of her addressing Ohio at a campaign rally close to their primary .. "you know what they say, as goes Ohio, so GOES THE NATION!" If you aren't covering your ears after "Ohio" then you have the volume way down. She did that a lot, her voice going higher and higher, louder and louder, and "shrill" is an apt description.

Obama made recordings of his own speeches and corrected his bad habits. HRC needed to do the same.

As for Palin, sorry, gotta disagree again. From where I sit she got the kid glove treatment, NOBODY was willing to call her on her idiotic statements, her nastiness, her narrow-mindedness, or on any of the vapid responses she let out to reporters. When she named seeing Russia from an island in Alaska as foreign policy credentials she should have had to drop out the next day. The media were walking on eggshells with her, doing more of the same disservice they did on the ginning up of Iraq.

Posted by: chrisfox8 | July 28, 2009 12:14 AM | Report abuse

The 19th ammendment was signed in 1920, the 14th in took 55 years after all men were officially granted the right to vote for women to gain the same right (although there were obviously many problems)- we as a country are not anywhere near gender equality and we won't even have a serious discussion. We still call female candidates shrill, comment on their wardrobes, and place stereotypes (Lady McBeth for smart/ambitious or airhead for down to earth) on women who run- there is no comparison in what ANY of the males went through compared to the females last year. Even though I entirely disagree with Palin on every subject- her treatment was somewhat gross- she was more qualified as a candidate than George W had ever been, but there was no equivalent outcry when he ran. As for Hillary- the treatment she received was disgusting, and she still garnered the same amount of votes in the Dem primaries as Barack did.

Barack will run in 2012 with Biden on the ticket unless something goes horribly wrong- anyone who thinks differently has little understanding of politics in the last 30 years or Barack himself. He has no particular agenda to promote women- although I don't think he is a sexist. This is not his issue. He is the ultimate politician, as he demonstrated by manipulating the caucus system and getting the left wing and AA voters in the party to back him despite no particular great record on issues for these groups. This is not saying anything bad about him, the Dems, a moderate party needed a great politician to win. There is no left wing party in this country- we are not represented.

As for women, I don't know when we as a country will be ready for a women president. That thought makes me very sad as the father of a daughter.

Posted by: NYClefty | July 27, 2009 11:57 PM | Report abuse



Stop forcing yourself to eat sewage and you'll stop throwing up, champ

Posted by: chrisfox8 | July 27, 2009 11:36 PM | Report abuse

Don't write off Hillary as a national candidate -- maybe even in 2012. By then, Biden might want HER position. Then maybe Hill and Joe would slug it out for the 2016 Presidential nod?








• President Obama must dismantle the nationwide GPS-activated extrajudicial targeting and punishment "torture matrix" and remove from power the federal officials who continue to oversee it.

OR (if link is corrupted / disabled): RE: "GESTAPO USA"

Posted by: scrivener50 | July 27, 2009 10:44 PM | Report abuse

I wish Patty Murray (D-WA) got more talk. A mom who saw a need for someone like her to make a change, running a successful grassroots campaign, and progressing to reelection fairly easily? She's got some good experience behind her in the senate, with some nice, populist, accessible decisions and votes. Why not get behind that?

Posted by: MH1212 | July 27, 2009 10:42 PM | Report abuse

Writes Like She Talks here:

I wrote about several other possible GOP women candidates a couple of weeks ago after a appearance, suggesting that Palin will have some competition from that angle AND that the GOP could have a female-female 2012 ticket:

Posted by: jillzimon | July 27, 2009 10:27 PM | Report abuse

Palin-Barry 2012. No doubt about it. The killer team.

Posted by: Martial | July 27, 2009 10:12 PM | Report abuse

An overlooked Senator is Blue Dog Mary Landrieu of Louisiana, smart, good looking and can carry a red state.

Posted by: Arroyo2000 | July 27, 2009 9:52 PM | Report abuse

I noted that JakeD claimed that Palin had "trounced" Biden in the debate, and wondered why no one had set him straight. Then I noted that JakeD had also hinted support for the 'birther' movement. That would explain why he's been completely ignored...


He's in here with that idiot birth certificate crap every single god damn day. You're damn right he gets ignored, otherwise we'd be talking about him all day long.

As for the Biden Palin debate, you can bet your wife's wedding ring and your other shirt that when Palin said "say it ain't so Joe." JakeD WET HIS PANTS

Posted by: chrisfox8 | July 27, 2009 9:20 PM | Report abuse

It is interesting how many GOP women are actually pro-choice. The list is long: Murkowski, Lingle, Rell, Snowe, Collins, Whitman, Fiorina, Rice, etc. Hutchison is a possible exception, but she's not strong pro-life.

But can a pro-choice candidate win the GOP primary? Probably not, see Guiliani, Rudy. Which makes the Dem side much more likely a path. And the Dems have many options.

McCaskill is the most logical choice, age 63 in 2016. But you'd think the most likely option is in 2020/4 after a GOP wins in 2016.

Sandlin is 38, and could run for Governor in 2014/8, and then President in 2024 still at the tender age of 53.

Gillibrand could win re-election in 2010, 2012, 2018 and run in 2020 as an experienced Senator still at the age of 54.

Posted by: JayPen | July 27, 2009 8:49 PM | Report abuse

The Congress of the United States consists of the House of Representatives and the Senate. The last sitting member of Congress to be elected President was Barack Obama.

James Garfield was the only sitting member of the House of Representatives elected President.

Posted by: bobschot1 | July 27, 2009 8:34 PM | Report abuse

If Obama decides not to run for reelecrion in 2012 then Hillary is the leading candidate, but not in 2012---her age will catch up to her.

If Obama does run for re-election in 2012 I do see him picking a new candidate for VP that would be the heir apparent in 2016. There are quite a few options out there. I see some of the leading candidates being Sebaliuis, Gov Christine Gregoire of washington, Claire McCaskill. The 2010 and 2012 election will be key for the 2016 presidental elections af far as women candidates. I could see someone following Obama's model for presidency.

Posted by: djp98374 | July 27, 2009 8:33 PM | Report abuse

I noted that JakeD claimed that Palin had "trounced" Biden in the debate, and wondered why no one had set him straight. Then I noted that JakeD had also hinted support for the 'birther' movement. That would explain why he's been completely ignored...

Posted by: JayPen | July 27, 2009 8:31 PM | Report abuse

"Jeff, you say that Garfield was the "last member of Congress" elected to the White House. But the Senate is as much a part of Congress as the House of Representatives. As the Constitution makes clear, the "Congress" refers to two separate legislative branches and is not limited to the House alone."

Dude, anyone who is on this board knows quite well what Jeff meant. Want a hard one? Who is the last SENATOR to become elected President?

Posted by: DDAWD | July 27, 2009 8:15 PM | Report abuse

Sarah Palin. Only one with the courage to clean up the mess that will be left after this spending-n-entitlement orgy.

Posted by: NoWeCant | July 27, 2009 8:12 PM | Report abuse

Jeff, you say that Garfield was the "last member of Congress" elected to the White House. But the Senate is as much a part of Congress as the House of Representatives. As the Constitution makes clear, the "Congress" refers to two separate legislative branches and is not limited to the House alone. Thus, the historically accurate statement would be that Garfield was the last president elected while serving in the House of Representatives. Of course, later presidents were elected AFTER serving in the House, notably including JFK, LBJ, Nixon, and Bush I. And Ford was appointed vice president while serving in the House and then, of course, ascended to the presidency.

Posted by: hanklacey2000 | July 27, 2009 7:55 PM | Report abuse

A comparison of Palin with Hillary Clinton four years ago.

Posted by: DDAWD | July 27, 2009 7:51 PM | Report abuse

Longshot: Michelle Obama in 2016 to extend O-Nation to a third term...

Posted by: broadwayjoe | July 27, 2009 7:49 PM | Report abuse

No Audra Shay consideration? 38-year-old president of the "Young Republicans."

Posted by: broadwayjoe | July 27, 2009 7:46 PM | Report abuse

If you are a woman thinking of running for national office, just be sure that you are pro-abortion.

If you dare to espouse a pro-life view as a woman, the NOW gang has made it crystal clear they will not be coming to your defense no matter how nasty and sexist the attacks from the media and DNC become.

Welcome to the Democrat "big-tent" that forces women to adhere to a common left-wing ideology or else they are silenced.


Seeing monsters again?

It's your party that kicks out people who don't toe the line on every single issue.

Stem cell research? Gay marriage? Global warming?

Posted by: chrisfox8 | July 27, 2009 7:43 PM | Report abuse

I had a smile on my face reading this. A real good thought-experiment article until I came to...

"Could Palin be that person?"

Ugh. What is the malfunction here?

Posted by: broadwayjoe | July 27, 2009 7:39 PM | Report abuse

Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers is on the rise . . . in fact the only woman in the GOP House Leadership.

Posted by: brstark | July 27, 2009 6:51 PM | Report abuse

Posted by: JakeD | July 27, 2009 6:45 PM | Report abuse


To be fair, the National Organization of Women DID come to Gov. Palin's defense during that dust-up with Mr. Letterman.

Posted by: JakeD | July 27, 2009 6:42 PM | Report abuse

"Welcome to the Democrat "big-tent" that forces women to adhere to a common left-wing ideology or else they are silenced."

Apparently the Republican big-tent forces women into that ideology too. I don't think any of the four female Republican Senators are against abortion.

In fact, all four of them are pretty darn liberal for Republicans, aren't they? Maybe the Republican party shouldn't force them to adhere to left-wing ideology.

Posted by: DDAWD | July 27, 2009 6:40 PM | Report abuse

No it isn't.


It IS for Hillary however, as it would be for any man who's statements shifted so often they can not be trusted in a leadership position such as the Presidency, as her's do.

Hillary Clinton is fine as long as she has a non-baby-boomer watching over her.

A woman WILL be presiudent one day.

The future POTUS will NOT however, be a baby boomer.
Will NOT be infatuated with Gloria Steinem's failed hypocrisy.
And WILL exhibit a logical, transparent platform free of lobbyists like President Obama did.

Stop viewing the world through 1970's eyes and you'll clearly see a woman will be president!

...Just not a 1970's reactionary, illogical, vacillating, failed philosophy Gloria Steinem-chip-on-their-shoulder type.

Posted by: onestring | July 27, 2009 6:26 PM | Report abuse

If you are a woman thinking of running for national office, just be sure that you are pro-abortion.

If you dare to espouse a pro-life view as a woman, the NOW gang has made it crystal clear they will not be coming to your defense no matter how nasty and sexist the attacks from the media and DNC become.

Welcome to the Democrat "big-tent" that forces women to adhere to a common left-wing ideology or else they are silenced.

Posted by: dbw1 | July 27, 2009 6:24 PM | Report abuse

How about Kathleen Sebelius? Successful governor and she'll have cabinet experience. If health care reform (or Obamacare or whatever you want to call it happens) and actually works (the Blades dodges a few hundred rotten tomatoes), then Sebelius will be a *very* attractive face for the future.


Posted by: FairlingtonBlade | July 27, 2009 6:23 PM | Report abuse

Hillary Clinton will be the clear front-runner for the Democratic nomination in 2016. She'll only be 68 and there'll be no Vice President to oppose her. Clinton is the clear successor to Obama.

Posted by: awong3303 | July 27, 2009 6:22 PM | Report abuse

ddawd- I agree about Klobuchar. Very likeable & certainly competent, she has a goofiness that wouldn't work well on the Presidential trail. A few years in the Senate may reduce that, but such time usually trains a certain pedantic wonkishness into Senators that also doesn't work well on the Presidential trail. Not to mention the pesky voting record.

Posted by: bsimon1 | July 27, 2009 6:09 PM | Report abuse

"How many Democrats or pundits thought in 1985 Bill Clinton could become president in the 1990's? Or in 1953 thought John F Kennedy had a chance to be elected in 1960?"

Don't spoil our fun.

Posted by: DDAWD | July 27, 2009 6:07 PM | Report abuse

"I think Klobuchar of Minnesota has the best chance of anyone currently in Washington. Definitely someone who should have been mentioned."

You mean the SENIOR senator from Minnesota? hehehe.

I actually like her a lot, but she might be a little too quirky to win a nationwide election. Kind of like Joe Biden, but without the ego.

Posted by: DDAWD | July 27, 2009 6:04 PM | Report abuse

Janet Napolitano will be 61 on election day 2016. She's been a state AG, 2 term governor and now the Sec. of Homeland Security. She will be more than qualified when she runs in '16.

Posted by: TheCampaign | July 27, 2009 5:58 PM | Report abuse

I'll toss in two more names of women who have yet to run for office, but have been close enough to the action to know what to do (and what not to do).

Meghan McCain - obviously loves the spotlight, knows new media, and a "maverick" like her old man

Karenna Gore Schiff - Harvard grad, Columbia Law, author and journalist

How about McCain vs. Gore in 2036?

Posted by: gateway_joe | July 27, 2009 5:58 PM | Report abuse

This is inadvertently, I think, a rather silly column, which seems to unfairly dismiss the possibilities of a woman being elected president within the next eight years. Had Chris written a oolumn eight years ago entitled "an African-American in the White House?," it's highly unlikely he would have mentioned a then obsscure Barack Obama as having a chance to become president within two elections.

How many Democrats or pundits thought in 1985 Bill Clinton could become president in the 1990's? Or in 1953 thought John F Kennedy had a chance to be elected in 1960?

The point is there are probably some women, currently Representatives, Senators, governors, cabinet officials, even state legislators who could be elected, most likely in the 2016 election. Hillary Clinton herself would have a very good chance of winning then. As to Palin, no way, a lot of people in this country are ignorant or right wing ideologues, a lot more are often easily deceived, but a Palin nomination would be akin to Goldwater's nomination in 1964. Most remaining moderate Republicans, the majority of independents would vote for Obama, who would easily be reelected with about 60% of the popular vote.

Posted by: Aprogressiveindependent | July 27, 2009 5:53 PM | Report abuse

I think Secretary of State Clinton is playing coy.

What about Chelsea Clinton?

Mom did say "I don't know if she is in elective office right now or preparing to run for office" but it sound more like a statement then a question to me.

Posted by: MrZoltanBlack | July 27, 2009 5:52 PM | Report abuse


Are you claiming that her trouncing of Joe Biden was not a real debate? You probably think that Senator denouncing Dan Quayle "You, sir, are no John Kennedy" WAS a real debate, though, right? Also, are you suggesting that Ms. Spears or Ms. Hilton have ever been elected Governor or chaired a State's Energy Commission?

Posted by: JakeD | July 27, 2009 5:48 PM | Report abuse

The woman who is tough enough besides Hillary is Liz Cheney, I believe she is planning a run for public office and would guestimate her being the 1st female President around 2020 or 2024 assuming we have one this century.

Posted by: vbhoomes | July 27, 2009 5:41 PM | Report abuse

Small correction, Chris:

Michigan doesn't elect foreigners to the governorship, either. Granholm is not a native-born American, but she is an American. You can call her Canadian-American if you want, but not Canadian.

PS the governor of California is Austrian-American. Get the idea?

Posted by: mikeinmidland | July 27, 2009 5:39 PM | Report abuse

I cannot for the life of me understand why people are still talking about Sarah Palin. Her status as a celebrity may rival that of Brittany Spears or Paris Hilton, but she has about the same amount of depth and knowledge of policy matters. Can't the media give it a rest and just ignore her. We have serious problems in this country and they aren't going to be solved with a little touch of folk wisdom like some 1950s-era TV show.

Give it a rest, people. Palin does not belong on the radar for the Oval Office. Can you imagine her in a real debate? She gets up at a GOP debate in a primary state, she won't be able to tell the moderator that she's "not going to answer your questions, but will rather talk directly to the American people." She got away with that stuff once. Won't happen again.

Posted by: topperale | July 27, 2009 5:36 PM | Report abuse

Senator Maria Cantwell of Washington?? Senator Jeanne Shaheen of New Hampshire??

Posted by: dpmeehan1 | July 27, 2009 5:32 PM | Report abuse

Palin may make a lot of money off the boobs and rubes, but for the rest of her life she will never have as good a day as the day after McCain tapped her (pun intended).

Posted by: koolkat_1960 | July 27, 2009 5:26 PM | Report abuse

It won't be Palin because she is already a known quantity. And thems that know her, don't think much of her. She's been Dan Quayle-ified (apologies to Quayle).

The attempted analogy to Obama falls flat, because Obama was an unknown quantity in 2005. (although apparently Carl Eller was prescient enough to mention him in his HOF induction speech in 2004!!)

Posted by: koolkat_1960 | July 27, 2009 5:25 PM | Report abuse

Of course it could be Gov. Palin.


EX-Gov. Palin

Problem is, she isn't qualified

Posted by: chrisfox8 | July 27, 2009 5:05 PM | Report abuse

I think Klobuchar of Minnesota has the best chance of anyone currently in Washington. Definitely someone who should have been mentioned.

Posted by: bloodbath97 | July 27, 2009 5:03 PM | Report abuse

It is somewhat bizarre that this post focuses on female congresspeople and businesspeople while ignoring (except for the ineligible Gov Granholm) the pool from which most modern Presidents have come: Governors. Two women in the Obama administration, Napolitano & Sebelius, are former governors. Jodi Rell, of CT, and Linda Lingle of HI are current governors. Lisa Madigan of IL was considered a shoo-in for next year's Gov race there, though has apparently postponed such ambition while her children are young. If she runs for Gov there in 2014, that could prep her for a 2020 run for Pres.

Posted by: bsimon1 | July 27, 2009 4:59 PM | Report abuse

How about Hillary Clinton?

In her late 60s, younger than John McCain and Ronald Reagan when they ran for President, with 8 years in the Senate and 4+ years as Secretary of State.

Posted by: benjp | July 27, 2009 4:58 PM | Report abuse

I always thought Sen. Feinstein D-CA would have been a good presidential timber as well as a pick for VP, especially in 2000 instead of Holy Joe Lieberman.

She has that vaulted executive experience as mayor of SF as well as her years in the senate. But she is in her 70's so the presidential ambitions may have passed her by.

Posted by: MerrillFrank | July 27, 2009 4:55 PM | Report abuse

Pelosi? Of course she is highly polarizing and would not have a chance.

Interesting canaldoc brings up Michelle Obama. Although she doesn't have any elected political experience she could be competitive.

Posted by: usf002 | July 27, 2009 4:53 PM | Report abuse

More Granholm-trivia: she was a tour guide at Universal Studios and, like California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger, she was once a contestant on the daytime television game show "The Dating Game".

Posted by: JakeD | July 27, 2009 4:46 PM | Report abuse

P.P.S. if Obama can be elected President, then I see no reason Granholm can't too.

Posted by: JakeD | July 27, 2009 4:41 PM | Report abuse

If Carly Fiorina gets to run against Barbara Boxer in California, I'll vote for Fiorina because she's much easier on the eyes.

Posted by: bpai_99 | July 27, 2009 4:32 PM | Report abuse

P.S. why isn't Meg Whitman's name in "bold" type?

Posted by: JakeD | July 27, 2009 4:30 PM | Report abuse

First, thank you Chris for this blog on women in politics. Sadly we women are only 16% of the house/senate (less in governorships).
And, only 3 SC justices in more than 200 years. I only hope Obama
realizes he has the possibility of rectifying that imbalance in what appointments he gets in his term(s).

I think Michelle Obama ought to be on your radar screen. She is
wildly popular, and who knows if she has any interest, but she
has intelligence, accomplishment and represents possibility.

Posted by: canaldoc | July 27, 2009 4:28 PM | Report abuse

No one but the loons will remember who palin is by 2012.

Posted by: drindl | July 27, 2009 4:28 PM | Report abuse

Of course it could be Gov. Palin. I mean, who really thought in 2005 that Obama would be elected President?

Posted by: JakeD | July 27, 2009 4:27 PM | Report abuse

I suspect Kay Hagan's ability not only to knock off the once-beloved Elizabeth Dole, but to do so by a surprisingly large margin, has established her as at least somewhat viable in terms of women in Congress with a shot at the Presidency. Of course, she's perhaps more conservative than Susan Collins and Olympia Snowe.

Of course, there's Oprah too. ;)

Posted by: andyroo312 | July 27, 2009 4:26 PM | Report abuse

It won't be flailin', failin' Sarah Palin.

Posted by: koolkat_1960 | July 27, 2009 4:20 PM | Report abuse

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