Why We Might Consider Running a Woman in 2016.
A solid conservative woman may be the ticket in 2016.
When Barack Obama became the Democratic nominee in 2008, most expected that his share of the African American vote would increase from John Kerry’s 88% share in 2004. Democrats had always had a huge advantage with African Americans so it wasn’t hard to imagine that some moderate black Republicans might want to vote to make history in electing the first black president.
I don’t think anyone expected to Obama to win 95% of the African American vote. Further, some super solid black conservatives I know went into the voting booth fully intending to pull the lever for McCain, but having had left the lever pulled for Barack Obama. “It was just too historic” said one of my friends, “It was a mistake looking back but it was too just too historic once I was faced with the choice.”
We cannot underestimate how much of a draw Hillary Clinton will be with women, even Republican women. According to a Washington Post/ABC News poll, Hillary polls at 66% of women overall, including 35% of Republican women. Of course, that number will likely decrease slightly as the campaign rolls on, but it should still be alarming.
There is a way to negate this effect and it’s to run a woman ourselves. And the grumbles about nominating “based on” start in 3, 2, 1. Look, I understand. As fierce proponents of looking at people as individuals and judging purely based on performance and nothing else, I get that people might get frustrated with this idea. The great thing is, we have some awesome choices in the Republican Party, far from being affirmative action, all of these women are accomplished public servants.
Former Alaska Governor Sarah Palin is a darling of the conservative movement and if she got into the race, it would immediately electrify the primary. She is a powerful spokesperson for conservative ideals and a champion of getting conservatives elected into important government offices. The question is does she really want to run for public office again? She has been rather coy about that going beyond not wanting to sound eager and sounding just straight up uninterested. Another question is will voters be able to look past the fact she was forced out of her term as governor that the media has framed as her “quitting”. These are important things to consider, but there is one thing that’s for sure, she would be a very powerful candidate going into the primaries.
Governor Susana Martinez is likely the establishment’s top choice for a Vice Presidential pick, but she might consider to jump into the race herself. She may not be sufficiently conservative in some areas for the base, but one things for sure as a former prosecutor, she is no squish. She would also be able to communicate to people who’ve traditionally voted Democrat who are on the fence as she explained in her speech at the GOP convention in 2012, she was a Republican who didn’t realize it herself.
The most obvious choice in my mind though is Gov. Nikki Haley who is a sitting governor, a strong conservative, and a very serious person. She also has a can-do joyful demeanor which is attractive to people. Especially if the establishment decides to get behind Chris Christie, Haley should make a run just to see how he would be around a female candidate. The best thing about a potential Haley candidacy is how well she’d contrast with Hillary Clinton. Once gender’s out the window, Haley is immediately the more appealing candidate. She stands for change from the Obama administration, whereas Clinton was apart of it. She is younger and more vibrant than Clinton is (Clinton would likely play up her “experience”). She has a growing list of economic accomplishment in her state, whereas Clinton’s accomplishments are limited to non-existsent.
The appeal of making history can not be underestimated this time around. There will be a day when the race or gender of a candidate won’t matter anymore, but right now, people like the idea of breaking barriers. We might consider it a good idea to offset that as much as possible, especially if our candidate can create a contrast and cast a better vision for the future.