I was thinking about the election of Barack Hussein Obama,
and what a historical event this is. I’ve even had conservative
friends (yes, I do have some), whom did not vote for him,
admit that this is a pretty historic achievement in U.S. history.
And now I’m wondering what’s next?
There are certain other “firsts” that haven’t happened, some
that I thought would never happen in MY lifetime, but who knows?
Now it seems that anything is possible. In many ways, Barack Hussein Obama was in the proverbial Right Place AT the Right Time. That could happen again. So I thought I’d examine the odds of the possibility of other Non-White Male Presidents.
And before anyone starts complaining about affirmative action,
no I’m not saying that anyone should be elected based on race,
gender, etc. If all of our future Presidents are White Christian Males,
that would be fine, as long as they’re qualified. I’m just speculating.
And I’m talking about The President, but this could apply to V.P. as well.
Also, I need to narrow down what I mean by “my lifetime.” I’ll be
optimistic, and give myself at least another 40 years (yeah, right),
so that takes us to 2048, which isn’t as long as it sounds. That’s
only 10 more Presidential elections. And if you factor in that
several of those Presidents, maybe all of them, could serve 2 terms,
that further narrows down the opportunity for “change.”
Okay, so we’ve got ONE Black President, is that it? Over 40 years
ago, JFK broke barriers as the first Irish Catholic President, but
we haven’t had another one since. Currently, there aren’t a huge
number of possibilities, in my opinion. NY & MA have Black governors,
but I don’t know much about either. Word is that congressman
Jesse Jackson Jr. is in the running to take over Barack Hussein
Obama’s vacant Senate seat. He seems more politically astute
than his father was, so I wouldn’t be surprised if a Presidential
run was in his future. Congressman Harold Ford from Tenn. lost
a tough Senate race in ’06. Will he try again, or go for Gov.?
If he makes it, he could be a contender.
But the man I’m really keeping an eye on is Michael Steele.
Former Republican Lt. Governor of Maryland, who also lost
a close Senate race in ’06. I’ve seen him over the years at
various “Black” political events, where he always carries himself
well, and holds his own, despite usually being the only Republican
in the crowd. He’s currently running for Pres. of the Republican
National Committee. If he were to win, and then help the GOP
make significant gains in the House in 2010, or even pull a Newt
and take back the House, that would put him in a great position.
I could see him on a future GOP ticket, either as the lead or the
Verdict: For some reason I’m optimistic. I think there’s a 70%
chance we’ll see one more. Whether it’s any of the men I mentioned,
or someone else, I can’t say.
I actually thought we’d see a female President before we got a
Black President. And we got close this year. Sen. Clinton very
nearly got the Dem. nomination, getting 18 million votes. If she’d
ran a better campaign, it would’ve been hers. And, for all of
the talk of Gov. Palin’s various shortcomings, almost half the voters
in this country voted for a ticket with a woman on it. So I think
America is clearly ready for it. And when you factor in that women
make up over half the eligible voters, it seems almost inevitable.
It just depends on the candidate. Sen. Clinton, now taking the
Sec. State job, is likely out of it now. So far, Gov. Palin appears
to be attempting to position herself as a leader in the GOP, so
these next 4 years will be crucial for her, in terms of her political
future. We’ll just have to wait & see. And there are many other
competent female politicians out there, as well.
Verdict: I’ll say that I’m 99% sure it will happen, only because you
can never be 100% sure of anything in politics. Of course, I’m
specifically talking about White women here…
A NON-WHITE WOMAN
My first instinct says NO. Sorry sistas. Our first female President
will be White. It’s hard for me to imagine a Latina, Asian, or Black
female winning the Presidency, because they’ll have to compete
against sexism and racism in the minds of voters. There can be exceptions, depending on the circumstances. If, for example, Dick Cheney had resigned (or died) either during his first term, or near the end of it, and Pres. Bush had selected Condoleeza Rice to be
his V.P., I think they still would’ve beaten Kerry in ’04. She is,
literally, a genius, and the Right-wingers love her. Of course, that
doesn’t necessarily mean she’d be a good candidate, since I’ve
never seen her campaigning. But, still, it was a possibility. Her
name was floated as a V.P. pick for Sen. McCain, but I don’t
think that would’ve worked this year, since she’s so clearly
identified with the Bush Administration, and Sen. McCain was
trying to distance himself from them, so that would’ve hurt
him. And she’s shown no interest in political office at this point,
so I don’t see it in the future. And there aren’t any other
“minority” women, on either side, that stand out to me now.
Verdict: I’m 90% sure it won’t happen. Now, back to the men…
OTHER NON-WHITE MALE
With all of the anti-immigration sentiment in this country, it’s would
be hard for an Hispanic man to win. I won’t say it’s impossible though.
Some studies say that by 2050 Latinos will make up a majority in
this country. Even if those numbers are off, they’ve already replaced
Blacks as the largest “minority,” and their numbers are increasing.
Gov. Bill Richardson ran this year, but I think he was hurt as much by
the fact that he’s a dull public speaker (& he’s fat), as he was by
any anti-Latino bias. I would bet that our first Hispanic President will
probably be a Republican. A real conservative “family values” type.
A 2nd or 3rd generation American, who probably won’t even know how
to speak Spanish. Basically, he’ll a be a “White” Hispanic, in every
sense of the word.
Normally I’d say we probably won’t see any other ethnicity than Black of Hispanic in
the White House, but I have to keep an eye on LA Gov. Bobby
Jindal, an Indian-American. He’s a young man, not even 40 yet,
so he’s got a long potential career ahead of him. He was also
mentioned as a possible V.P. for McCain, but was considered too
new (just got elected in ’06), but many see him as a Rising
Star in the GOP. These next few years will be crucial for him, as
Verdict: 50/50, really. I wouldn’t be shocked to eventually see a
Latino President, & for Gov. Jindal, it just depends on how he turns
out. Gov. Jindal, if elected, would also be the 2nd Catholic President.
He converted from Hinduism as a young man, which is good for him
because, otherwise, he wouldn’t have had a shot…
It seems like a prerequisit for running for office is that you most
be, outwardly at least, a Christian. You must mention it in
speeches, speak at churches and before religious groups, and say
“God Bless America,” at the end of all your speeches. Both Senators
Obama & McCain went to a religious forum where they were asked
questions like “What does being a Christian mean to you?” While
I was thinking, what the heck does that have to do with either of
them being President? They’re not running for PASTOR of America!
But that’s what you have to do.
And I should include non-“mainstream” Christian faiths. MA Gov.
Romney did well during the primaries, despite facing many doubts
about being a Mormon, whom some don’t consider to be “real”
Christians. If he’d gotten the nomination, would he have overcome
that bias in the general election? I don’t know. A Jehova Witness
would have trouble winning too, but I don’t think their religion allows them to vote anyway.
We saw how the charge of being a Muslim was constantly used against
Barack Hussein Obama during the compaign. Not even just a Muslim
terrorist, but a Muslim. Period. And that’s all they had to say because,
to many people, Muslim = terrorist. And Barack Hussein Obama never
asked “What difference would it make?”, he just kept denying that he
was one, which feeds into the notion that it would be a bad thing if
he were a Muslim.
I don’t see that attitude changing anytime soon. So, no Muslims, Hindus,
Buddhists, Wiccans, Scientologists (unless maybe it’s Will Smith, whom
everybody loves), Baha’i’s or other non-Christians will get elected.
And definitely no openly atheist or agnostic Presidents. The only
possibility I can see is MAYBE a Jewish President. In 2000, a slim
majority of the popular vote went to a ticket with a Jewish
running mate on it. I do think some residual anti-semitism probably
did cost Gore/Lieberman some votes, but I think that could be
overcome in the future, with a strong enough candidate.
Verdict: 50/50% for a Jew, 99% sure we won’t see any of the
other religions, or an atheist, in the White House.
And, last but not least..
OPENLY GAY (OR BISEXUAL)
I wouldn’t be shocked if, at some point in the future, a President
gets busted in a gay sex scandal (imagine if Bill Clinton got caught
with Mark Lewinsky), but no openly gay candidate will have a chance.
Yeah, I know what I said about how you can’t be sure about anything
in politics, but I’ll go ahead and say I’m 100% sure that it won’t happen.
Of course, all of this could wrong. It all depends on the
particular candidate. Looking back at our current President-Elect’s
career, it’s rather amazing. In 2000, he couldn’t get into the Democratic
convention, because his credit card was declined when he tried to buy
a ticket. In 2004 he was giving the keynote speech at the convention.
And in 2008 he was accepting the party’s nomination at the convention.
No one could’ve predicted that 8 years ago.
So who knows? There could be some 17 year old Black Lesbian
Buddhist in high school right now, who will unify the country
and win election in a landslide in 2036, and I’ll be forced to come back
to this blog and admit that I was wrong, just like I did on Nov. 4th of
this year. Only time will tell. . .