Hillary Clinton announced this week she won’t be running for president in 2020, and I, for one, am glad. Full disclosure: I am not a Democrat, or a member of any political party — registered independent for more than two decades. I did vote for her in the 2016 election, but not because I wanted to. As I described my choice to family and friends in my southern, suburban, Trump-leaning hometown, when the given options are a bag of crap or a flaming bag of crap, one tends to choose the option that isn’t on fire.
That being said, I did agree with much of her platform. Since her time as first lady, I have agreed with many of the stances she has publicly taken on various issues. And, like many, I believe this country is overdue for a female president. But, she shouldn’t be the first one. Nor, for that matter, should Michelle Obama. As much as I admire Mrs. Obama and agree with her stances on issues, she should bow out of consideration for the 2020 Democratic nomination.
Despite the fact that both Hillary Clinton and Michelle Obama are both very intelligent women and have the ability to be influential, effective leaders in the Oval Office, they are both former first ladies. So, if either were to become the first female President of this country, the vignettes in the history books of the future will briefly describe their childhoods, their graduation from law school, their career in the private sector, and will review their time as first lady in the story of how they became the first female President of the United States.
It will be a story of a woman who rode the coat-tails of her husband into the Oval Office.
Rather than shattering gender stereotypes, it would reinforce them.
It would teach the little girls dreaming of one day becoming leaders in this nation that, regardless of their own intelligence, talents, and capabilities, they must marry well and wait until their husband gains recognition before they can expect anyone to acknowledge their own abilities.
The numerous smart and talented women beginning to populate the field of potential 2020 Presidential candidates, Elizabeth Warren, Kamala Harris, and others, demonstrate that stereotype is simply not true. When this country finally gets its first female President, the story of how she rose to that office should demonstrate the same.