Republican Representative Michele Bachmann from Minnesota announced Monday night during the debate in New Hampshire that she has filed the necessary paperwork to run for the presidency in 2012. As a female candidate, Bachmann has an uphill battle, but it won't be nearly as difficult as it would be if she were liberal.
The fact is, Bachmann with her 28 children, anti-abortion viewpoint and limited understanding of the history of our country is a very safe female candidate. She has no chance of winning, she is painfully uninformed about US geography and history and she does not demand any pesky "special" rights because she is female, like equal pay or the right to control her own body.
These simple facts make her the ideal female candidate to get behind. After all, who does not like a non-threatening, attractive woman? And after the way Hillary Clinton was treated in the 2008 election, a truly capable woman might never run again. Luckily, Bachmann has less to worry about in that department.
She has made her priorities clear and they are safe -- family comes before everything and she is very easy on the eyes. She is the perfect female candidate -- none too threatening, ultra-feminine and pretty, not smart enough to ever win and not caught in the "ugliness" of feminism like demanding equal pay for equal work or wanting the ability to decide for ourselves what we can do with our bodies.
She won't win, of course. She does not have a chance. But she likely will not be attacked in the way Hillary Clinton was -- for her pantsuits, her decision to stay with her husband, her beliefs and strength. Somehow, a conservative woman goes over better. She probably feels like a safer bet. She is not nearly as scary.
The fact is, it is good to see women advance in politics, there is no doubt. The more optimistic side of me would like to see it as progress even if she does not jive with my beliefs. On the other hand, Bachmann is like the meanest girl in the high school. She wants to rise to the top, but does not seem particularly concerned with who she steps on to get there.
Bachmann is a woman and that's great. But she is a "safe" woman. The real progress will be when a woman who supports other women climbs the heap and does not get criticized for her fashion choices. The day a woman as intelligent and capable as Hillary Clinton without all the political baggage can actually run and be taken seriously, then I will say we have made progress.
Until then, women like Bachmann (and possibly Palin) are just pretty diversions until the male candidates rise to the top.
Do you think she has a chance?
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