Michele Bachmann is Important to Women and the United States Presidency

The lament is well worn by now.  We read and hear it again and again:

In countries around the world women are prime ministers and presidents, but in America a woman has yet to be named president.  While women have made headway in corporations and at the highest levels of educational institutions, in science and in engineering, no woman has ever been U.S. president. 

 The 2008 election was a watershed with Hillary Clinton as the almost-Democratic nominee and Sarah Palin as the Republican vice-presidential nominee, but if women are to continue to compete at the highest level of American politics, women must run for president.  

Michele Bachmann, Republican congresswoman from Minnesota,  inched women and the U.S. presidency forward.

Linton Weeks, NPR journalist asked an important question earlier this month:  “But what, if any, difference will the participation of Palin or Bachmann make in the campaign?”

I believe that to level the political playing field for women it is an imperative to have women candidates in every presidential election.  It is important to have Michele Bachman on the stage if for no other reason , that there is evidence that the more women who run for president the less that gender matters because women will not be seen as novelty candidates.

Michele Bachmann used her debate appearance last night to make her formal announcement of her candidacy for president.  She also raised her credibility by reminding voters that she is a former federal tax attorney.  She exuded all the markers of a president:  intelligence, wit, composure, temperament and perhaps most important in this multi-media age:  youth and charisma.    She also communicated forcefully and decisively by asserting:  “The president was absolutely wrong.”  Forcefullness is especially important for women candidates because critics of women and leadership are quick to question the toughness of women. 

Better than one woman on the stage last night would have been two or more and even better than that would have been all women and only one male candidate. 

Still, Bachmann gave an impressive showing at the debate last night and from the perspective of women and the United States presidency, that’s a very good thing.



6 Responses to “Michele Bachmann is Important to Women and the United States Presidency”

  1. June 14, 2011 at 12:16 pm

    I like your perspective, and do agree consistency and fortitude are key elements in looking at female candidates as legitimate contenders. Women who feel they have the qualifications and experience should communicate their message. The branding of these ladies, who are being considered more strongly than in the past have a created a buzz. If the buzzing gets loud enough, voters will start listening with greater interest, and that could lead to our first female president. Do you think now having our first black president will make it easier for a women to end up in the White House, and if so, why?

  2. June 14, 2011 at 12:25 pm


  3. June 14, 2011 at 10:57 pm

    Well said, Nikki. You are absolutely right. The simple fact of visibility for women, pursuing legitimately leadership positions in both the public and private areas, is the only way we’ll create a cultural comfort about what women bring to the table. The press has given BAchmann high marks for her preparation and professionalism at the debates, noting her commitment to presenting herself more effectively and learning from her mistakes. Political preferences aside, seeing women demonstrate the courage to be in the mix is important for generations to come. Thanks.

  4. September 4, 2011 at 4:08 pm

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