Are there some Americans who'd give a female candidate preference over a man? An ABC/Washington Post poll taken last month says yes. Twenty-three percent of women voters told those pollsters they are more likely to vote for another woman. Even though female candidates like to paint themselves as agents of change, only 9 percent of men said they'd give a female candidate extra points. Lord knows, if there ever were a time when the nation could benefit from major changes in our political leadership, this is it.
I give Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton major kudos for softening her image (which she needs to do in the worst way to woo female skeptics) in her series of online chats this week. She was seated on a comfy sofa, answered a good mix of questions ranging from family matters to world affairs, and seemed extremely composed and confident. What we don't know is how many female detractors, who might have been swayed by this performance, were watching.
Perhaps she can pull off nationwide what she accomplished in New York this past fall. She won 73 percent of the women's vote (and 61 percent of male voters). In that race, of course, she had no real opposition and spent as wantonly as President Bush is spending American taxpayers' dollars. However, if things keep getting worse in Iraq and Sen. John McCain (who supports increasing troop levels there) is her opposition, who knows? Perhaps she could pull off a repeat.