Lockport Union-Sun & Journal Online

April 10, 2013

ROOT: Hail the 'Iron Lady'

Lockport Union-Sun & Journal

Lockport Union-Sun & Journal — Even as a kid, I could tell that no one messed with Margaret Thatcher. She never looked like she was in over her head and she never gave the impression that she was ever going to back down from a fight. She was a world leader who made you think of her accomplishments long before you thought of her gender. She wasn’t much of a looker, so that probably helped as well.

I remember thinking that former Texas governor Ann Richards reminded me a lot of Maggie. There was a point in time when I thought that Richards would run for president and could have won. She was a strong woman, but she was also never afraid to remind you that her name was Ann and you better call her ma’am.

Maggie and Ann Richards were the last two women that I felt had the fortitude necessary to run a country. Thatcher was Prime Minister of England during one of the worst British recessions in recent history. She not only persevered, but she managed to maintain the vote of confidence she needed to stay in office.

I guess I bring this up because right around the same time I heard that Margaret Thatcher died, I was also hearing that Hillary Clinton was going out on a book signing tour that looked a lot like the start to a presidential campaign.

First of all, can we please do something about politicians who run for president when there is still three years left on the current president’s term? People complain about the Christmas decorations at Wal-Mart being put out in September, yet no one complains about a presidential candidate for the 2016 election starting her campaign in 2013.

Look, I was a big fan of Bill Clinton. It wasn’t his politics that I liked, it was his ability to make me feel like I could walk up to the president and just shake his hand. He is a punch line in American history, but the guy is extremely smart. He helped to perpetuate economic growth and he was not afraid to laugh at press conferences. He managed to make the other world leaders look almost human. That was why I think Clinton got elected to a second term despite all of the women issues he was having. People just liked the guy.

I am not sold on Hillary as a politician and I am definitely not sold on Hillary as a presidential candidate. Hillary Clinton does not command attention when she enters a room and she does not demand respect with the way she carries herself. I think that Hillary is a better politician than Sarah Palin, but that really isn’t saying much.

The most powerful woman in the United States is Nancy Pelosi and she’s a lunatic. I would vote for Hillary and Sarah Palin before I would vote for Nancy Pelosi. I would vote for a used stapler before I voted for Nancy Pelosi.

I think the time is right for a woman president, I just don’t think that there are any real options available right now. I remember the steady hand that Thatcher had when she would address the circus that is the British Parliament. She never backed down and she was always looking for someone who felt that they had better answers than she did. She was called the “Iron Lady” for a very good reason.

I don’t care if the next president is male or female, and I certainly don’t care about the color of his/her skin. What I want is a president that makes me feel good about being an American again. A strong-willed female president would be ideal. Men have done nothing but screw the country up since it started. It is time to put a woman in charge. But I refuse to vote for Hillary just because she is a woman. I am tired of placing a vote for the best choice of two bad options. I won’t vote like that anymore.

I know what a strong woman can do to improve people’s lives. But our female president would need to be really strong because Washington will tear anyone apart. I want to vote for a female president, but I want to feel confident about it at the same time. I know that Hillary is definitely not the answer, but I don’t know what the answer is.

R.I.P Maggie. You gave the world the blueprint for the ideal, strong-willed female leader. The problem is that no one has been able to follow in your footsteps.

George N Root III is a Lockport resident and a strong believer that it is time for a woman in the White House. His column appears every Wednesday, thankfully. He can be reached at georgeroot@verizon.net any time of the day or night.