What would a female conservative presidential candidate look like? First, she wouldn't wear pantsuits - except when climbing into helicopters. She would wear St. John (note to male readers: look it up; women are impressed I know this). Her husband would be mostly in the background, like Denis Thatcher. Unlike Bill Clinton, who can never leave the stage, this conservative woman's husband would be secure enough in his own skin to allow his wife to promote her beliefs unencumbered by him.
A conservative female candidate would tell stories of empowerment and overcoming personal challenges that begin not in Washington, but in the home. She might recall Barbara Bush's commencement speech at Wellesley College in 1990 in which she said, "Your success as a family Š our success as a society depends not on what happens in the White House, but on what happens inside your house." Home, not Congress or the White House, is where ultimate power lies. Getting and staying married, being responsible to your children and spouse, these are the American values that built and sustained our nation. No politician can do for an individual and a family what that individual and family won't do for themselves.
A female conservative candidate would not reflect the narcissism that characterizes the male quest for power. She would be tough, like Thatcher, but she would be experienced in disarming egotistical males who would end up (grudgingly) praising her for the experience. Like your mother or grandmother, she would tell us to "stop whining, suck it up and make something out of yourself. Don't wait for opportunity to knock at your door; go out and break down opportunity's door."
Hillary Clinton may not have broken the "glass ceiling" for a female president, but she's put a crack in it. Now if we can get beyond gender to ideas that work, perhaps a conservative will break through that ceiling and become our first female commander in chief.
Cal Thomas is co-author (with Bob Beckel) of the book, "Common Ground: How to Stop the Partisan War That is Destroying America".
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