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Presidential race is merely a boy-girl thing

November 06, 2007|By TIM ROWLAND

Hillary Clinton to America: "I'm the chick, and don't you forget it."

Nice. I was hoping, really hoping, that we might make it all the way to 2008 - the actual year of the election - before this whole presidential trampoline act broke down into strictly a male-female thingie.

Heaven knows I wasn't within 10 miles of a TV set for the most recent debate, but by the sounds of it, the six male candidates spent appreciable time screaming at the female candidate.

You didn't know whether she was a presidential candidate or a bank teller.

Hillary responded by breaking the glass on the old use-in-case-of-emergency "boys club" hatchet. You know, woman rises up against the all-male establishment that oppresses the female race. Like if Erin Brockovich decided to run against Andy Griffith for sheriff.

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I'll spot her this: I don't know where all this talk comes from that America isn't ready for a woman president. Nations from Britain to Russia to Pakistan have been run by women. Saying that the U.S. isn't ready for a female leader puts us in the same category as, notably, Iran.

And if not now, when? Is there a target date, like we'll be ready in 2028? We'll be ready when the biggest crisis facing America is selecting a new face for the Betty Crocker cookbook?

I think this is the perfect time for a woman president on the sound, well-reasoned grounds of, "How could it be worse?"

War, falling dollar, credit crisis, record deficit, dogs and cats living together - can anyone seriously argue that we would be in worse shape if, in 2004, we had elected the entire cast of "Steel Magnolias?"

I equate the situation to my lawn mower. I try to work on it, unscrewing this and disconnecting that. Then after about six hours of record-setting failure, I collect what has now become a tangled heap of parts and drop them off on the doorstep of a lawn mower mechanic and wash my hands of the whole mess.

So if the women think they can clean up the chaos that we men have created, I say, have at it. Knock yourselves out. We'll be in the den watching the ball game.

We men should be happy to bow out. Let Hillary Clinton lead the executive, let Nancy Pelosi lead the House, let Larry Craig lead the Senate, we don't care anymore.

Of course had I been around at the dawn of the 20th century, I could have warned everyone it would come to this. Once the suffragettes had the right to vote for president, it would only be a matter of time before they would want to become president. In this case, about 100 years. With the exception of wars, no one can accuse the United States of rushing into things.

'Course there is always the outside chance that the male candidates are slapping Hillary Clinton around not because she is a woman, but because she is, well, Hillary Clinton.

I realize that front-runners don't like to say anything meaningful for fear of making a horrible gaffe, but every once in awhile a verb would be nice. And solving the Social Security pickle by appointing a committee is ...

No, I don't want to get into any issues. I want this election to be painted purely as a male-female portrait.

I want it to boil down to a matter of who deserves to control the remote, who is better at taking directions, who remembers to take out the trash, who leaves the toilet set up, who - that reminds me ladies, if you really want to solve the toilet seat issue, I have two words for you: Super Glue. If you can teach your dog to sit, you can teach him - is better at balancing the checkbook, whose cake rises better, who can park the car in the garage without wiping out the tool bench, who can get by with the fewest pairs of shoes, who remembers the anniversary, fails to put the socks in the hamper.

Presidential? No. Important? Yes. Sound presidential policy is so 1962. I want this race to focus on the things that really matter. If Hillary can remind me when my next dental appointment is, she has my vote.

Tim Rowland is a Herald-Mail columnist. He can be reached at 301-733-5131, ext. 2324, or via e-mail at timr@herald-mail.com. You can listen to his podcast, The Rowland Rant, on www.antpod.com.

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