Oprah For President! Impossible Dream or Unconventional Reality?
by Peggy Butler
Oscar- winning actress Geena Davis isn’t president of The free world, but she does play the chief executive on TV. Davis stars in Commander-in-Chief, as the female vice president who ascends to the oval office when the president is rendered incapacitated.
The show is so popular, it’s prompting many to ask, ” Is America ready for a woman to lead the country?” According to a poll conducted by the White House Project, a non-partisan organization, it is. The survey found that 79% of Americans would accept a woman as president and 63% think that a female could occupy the White House within 10 years.
Now imagine what would happen if one of America’s most powerful women, Oprah Wifrey, became president. Imagine the drama and gamut of emotions of those who believe that the presidency is limited to individuals of the male persuasion. Now, before you unleash your gender fury, read the scenario below.
The year is 2016 and President Oprah Winfrey is seated at her desk analyzing the latest unemployment figures, when she is interrupted by a knock at the door. Opening the massive portal, the former talk show mogul is greeted by the Attorney General who wryly informs her; “President Winfrey your constituents want to know when they can start capitalizing on those promises you made four years ago?”
Adjusting her skirt, the president gestures toward a stack of documents on her desk. “Exactly what promises are those,” she asked. “Oh come on Madam President. Don’t you remember telling your constituents that you would put them on Easy Street?” the Attorney General stammered. “Well I reduced taxes, cut unemployment by 50% and increased the minimum wage to $17.50,” the president explained. “What else do they want?”
“Hey you know I’ve got your back Madam President. But they say if you don’t solve all their problems within the next two years, they are going to run you down the road.” “They can’t run me,” said the president incredulously. “This is my second term in office. And you know by law I’m forbidden to seek a third term.” “Yes I know that and you know that” said the Attorney General with a strained frown, “but they say you are not taking care of business on the j-o-b.”
Before she could address the Attorney General, the president heard loud voices from outside. Visibly agitated, Winfrey rose from her desk and went to the window to see what all the commotion was about. Staring out the window, the president spotted dozens of protesters carrying signs. One poster which read “Winfrey is Funked up with the Tunkromp,” caught her eye. Laughing, the president turned to the Attorney General. “You didn’t hear a peep out of voters when George W. Bush nearly put Americans in the poorhouse. It was as though they were invisible,” she said irritably. “Yet, they torment and rip me to shreds. What’s up with that?”
Moving toward his friend of 15 years the Attorney General murmured, “When it comes to voters one thing is certain.” “What’s that?” asked the President. “No matter what you do for them, they still find something to complain about.” Moving from the window, Oprah Winfrey began the long walk to her desk. Then the Tennessee native smiled as she thought about what the Attorney General said. “I hate to admit it A.G. but you are absolutely right,” said the president extending her hand. “If I were a man they would not subject me to this anguish; but since I’m a woman, they figure I’m easy pickings.”
Okay, allow me to play Devil’s Advocate. Suppose by some miracle that a women is elected president. As soon as she entered the White House, those thoughts would quickly turn to such verbal tirade as “She thinks just like a woman,” or “She’s not strong enough to handle such virile issues as war and terrorism.” And at the slightest hint of a crisis, they would denounce her with the disclaimer: “See I told you, only a man is capable of wearing the presidential mantle.”
To reiterate, if by some miracle a woman is elected president, her greatest crisis won’t come from terrorists or military warfare. Rather, it will come at the hands of people who for too long have convinced themselves that men have a monopoly on the chief executive throne. So to readers viewing this commentary, Good night Madam. President, or should I say Rock On Lady P?