What are the most important qualities the U.S.'s first woman president should possess?
Camille Paglia answers this question today in a Time magazine essay.
Sorry, Hillary, but Paglia has some ideas you might not like:
Most of the American electorate has probably been ready for a woman president for some time. But that woman must have the right array of qualities and ideally have risen to prominence through her own talents and not (like Hillary Clinton or Argentina’s President Cristina Fernández de Kirchner) through her marriage to a powerful man.
What characteristics would be desirable in a woman president?
She must find a happy middle ground between the trumpet-like triumphalism of Margaret Thatcher, Iron Lady of the Falklands War, and the swooning cult of personality of Evita Peron, dangling boons and bribes before the masses. She should show consistency of ideology, avoiding poll-driven flip-flops. How she manages her campaign signals her executive competence to run the labyrinthine federal bureaucracy.
She must be statesmanlike, pursuing women’s progress without playing victim or bashing men. She must deal forthrightly with the news media, a political reality since 18th-century Great Britain. In 1984, Geraldine Ferraro, the first female vice-presidential nominee of a major party, held a high-stakes, two-hour, no-holds-barred press conference that was a bravura display of tough, courageous candor. Alaska Governor Sarah Palin’s exuberant promise as a national figure was short-circuited by her thin-skinned inability to handle the hostile press. Current GOP candidate Carly Fiorina, though ultimately limited by her lack of government experience, is remarkably nimble in jousting with the media.
But today’s best model for aspiring women politicians is German Chancellor Angela Merkel, who combines a take-charge persona with engaging spontaneity and zest for life. She is a soccer fan, an opera lover, and a home cook and gardener — a real person, not the prisoner in a gilded cage that our heavily guarded American presidents have become.
Terrific essay–and people will be talking about it.