When will America choose to elect a female president?
Richard Carter | 10/12/2012, 4:17 p.m.
If Clinton waits until 2016 and wins the nomination, she'd have to face a strong GOP candidate such as New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie; Florida Sen. Marco Rubio; Wisconsin Rep. Paul Ryan or current candidate Herman Cain. On the other hand, beating a sitting president-as she would have to do in 2012-is a formidable task
After Clinton, the controversial Palin, 47, who recently declared she would not run in 2012, once seemed a certain candidate. In 2008, Palin surpassed Clinton as America's leading female politician. And McCain's risky pick of her as his running mate polled 10 points higher than Obama's choice of gaffe-prone Delaware Sen. Joe Biden.
Palin's undeniable personal appeal and star power attracted 70 million TV viewers to her Oct. 2, 2008 debate with Biden-second only to the 80 million who saw Reagan and Jimmy Carter spar 28 years earlier. And it exceeded the number watching any of the three, mostly boring presidential debates between Obama and McCain.
Notwithstanding bad advice and tepid support by McCain's campaign staff and disastrous TV interviews with ABC's Charlie Gibson and CBS's Katie Couric, the charismatic Palin is a favorite of the Republicans' powerful Tea Party faction. And her popularity hasn't waned despite vicious news coverage of her family's personal problems.
The 55-year-old Bachmann is a tax lawyer and Iowa native who won that state's important Ames Straw Poll in August. She's attractive, smart, experienced, fast on her feet and has positioned herself well in GOP candidate debates. Her compelling personal story includes giving birth to five biological children and raising 23 foster children.
Finally, there is Rice, 56-touted by Dick Morris, former Bill Clinton guru and pollster, in his 2005 book "Condi vs. Hillary: The Next Great Presidential Race." Although that scenario didn't pan out, one of his thoughts was intriguing. To wit:
"I think the public will increasingly realize that the only way to beat a woman is with a woman. And the only way to beat the Democratic Party is to take away the African-American vote. And every single Black mother is going say to herself that my baby will know there is no ceiling if this woman [Rice] is elected."
Bottom line: Since Rice is no longer a player, millions of women-including my wife-would love a 2016 tussle for president pitting Democrat Hillary Clinton vs. Republicans Sarah Palin or Michele Bachmann. And that's the name of that tune.