The Key West Mystique

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Americans are never going to elect a woman as president

By Linda Grist Cunningham, editor and proprietor

Linda Grist Cunningham is editor and proprietor of Key West Island News and KeyWestWatch Media LLC. She and her husband, a park ranger at Fort Zach, live in Key West with their Cat 5s.

01/05/2012

By the time, Michele Bachmann pledged yesterday to rally round the eventual Republican nominee for president, I’d wearied of hoping she’d come front and center as a viable candidate. She just couldn’t do it.

There are a handful of analyses on the whys of Bachmann’s fall from the elephant, including an empathetic one from Washington Post conservative columnist Jennifer Rubin. Most everyone has turned their attention to the “Santorum surge” — I am hating  that word, surge.

But before Bachmann is little more than a footnote, three things did her in:

(1) Americans are not about to elect a woman as president — and especially not a girly-girl woman. Hillary maybe, but cynical me doubts even our own Iron Lady could make the cut. Hillary Clinton should have been president today, followed by Barak Obama. The timelines were screwed up.

We just can’t get past a MAN looks presidential — and CEO and pastor and doctor and lawyer and judge; heck, and newspaper editor. I predicted a hundred years ago Americans would elect a black man before they elected a woman. Did. And, we’ll keep doing it because in America, women are, were and appear to always will be, second tier.

Full disclosure: I will campaign for Hillary Clinton next time around. Despite my cynicism about Americans and women, I think she’d be an outstanding president.

(2) The Tea Party extremists are just that, extreme, and for all America’s love affair with the bad boys and girls on the fringes, we don’t want them in the White House or at the family dinner.

So, Bachmann’s ouster in Iowa (along with the others, no matter how well Santorum and Whacko Paul polled) is indicative that America will play footsie with the Tea Party fringers, but they aren’t going to put them with their finger on the nuke button.

(3) Bachmann had no substance. On that her campaign mentor Ed Rollins is spot on. I got to the point listening to her that I wanted to stick a needle in my eye every time she opened her mouth.

She sounded like a wind-up toy, repeating the same 227 words ad naseum in that flat, nasal Midwestern twang. Someone clearly told her to make sure she hammered home her central themes, and heaven knows, she did. Problem was, she could never go off-script more than a sentence or two because she just didn’t have the juice.

Bachmann never had a chance. Too bad.

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Linda Grist Cunningham

Linda Grist Cunningham is editor and proprietor of Key West Island News and KeyWestWatch Media LLC. She and her husband, a park ranger at Fort Zach, live in Key West with their Cat 5s.

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