This week I’ve been scanning the list of women who want to sit in the Oval Office.

A week ago I wrote a column about our male candidates. I promised the women in my life that the women candidates would be next. So here’s what I’ve seen.

I find all of them to be scary, brilliant, neat, handsome, fierce, honest liberal Democrats with jaw-dropping, breathtaking life stories and political résumés, and each deserving of your vote, should you choose to vote for them. Keep this in mind and pick your winner.

The ice, for all of them, is thin. I am told that a white male in the key states of Pennsylvania, Wisconsin, Michigan or Ohio, and even in the broader-minded fringe of Trump’s base, would kill their prize livestock and flush their Bud Light down the toilet before voting for a woman, and certainly not for Mayor Pete Buttigieg, who is gay. That is what I’m told.

Sure, but you’re a Democrat, the stakes are high, and you’re on for the game.

At this writing it will be 576 days, 13 hours and 58 seconds until the 2020 election. The game will be hard. Stamina will be required.

After much reading and viewing, I’ve cut down to my favorite two. I’m skipping Elizabeth Warren, Tulsi Gabbard and Kirsten Gillibrand. I admire them all, but I’m limited for space and time. So sue me; I’ve got good lawyers.

Kamala Harris: Kamala is a 54-year-old former prosecutor and the junior senator from California. She was California’s first female attorney general, first black attorney general, first Asian-American attorney general. She was the second black woman ever to win a seat in the United States Senate. Her mother’s name is Shyamala Gopalan. That’s a name that would give Trump palpitations.

Amy Klobachar: The senior United States senator from Minnesota. She is a graduate of Yale University and the University of Chicago Law School. Klobuchar was first elected to the Senate in 2006, becoming Minnesota’s first elected female U.S. senator. Her mother, Rose, retired from teaching at age 70. Growing up with a teacher-mother (and being married to one) qualifies you for anything. Her father was an author and newspaper columnist. OK, I’m biased. So she grew up in Minnesota snow and cold with a father who was, sadly, a drunk.

This impressed me. Her first foray into politics came after she gave birth and was forced to leave the hospital 24 hours later, a situation exacerbated by the fact that Klobuchar’s daughter, Abigail, was born with a condition whereby she could not swallow. That experience led Klobuchar to appear before the Minnesota Legislature, advocating for a bill that would guarantee new mothers a 48-hour hospital stay. Minnesota passed the bill, and President Bill Clinton later made the policy federal law.

God bless both of these ladies and their rivals for the chair.

Still, I’m told today that a woman, no matter how qualified, being elected president of the United States is blocks from a sure bet.

Still, being from Hollywood, I’m open to fantasies, and I’ve seen stranger things happen. It’s possible that in a meteor-hits-Las Vegas miracle moment, a woman or gay candidate could get elected and do something wonderful or crazy — maybe not as exciting as curing cancer, putting the first woman on Pluto or Nancy Pelosi and Michelle Obama on the Supreme Court; but cutting ties with Russia, making equal pay a law, selling that fence to Home Depot and installing Stacey Abrams and Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez in the Senate? Isn’t at least one of those things worth a try?

Finally, I was told to read this headline by AP writer Nicholas Riccardi: “After 2016 loss, Democrats know they need white male voters.”

I’ve also been told that no male in the key Midwestern states or any other male dominated state will elect a gay man.

I choose to snort at both of those statements.

Good luck to all players. Game on.


J.P. Devine is a Waterville writer. 

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