The Home of Steven Barnes
Author, Teacher, Screenwriter

Wednesday, July 20, 2005

Condoleeza Rice for President?

I was recently asked if I thought Condoleeza Rice could win the presidency. The answer is "no," and part of the reason is that she is not, and has never been, married. This may sound kinda strange (and I've even been accused of sexism), but my defense is simple: when was the last time a bachelor ran for President? I don't think this is just some statistical anomaly. Nor is it just to get "the women's vote." No, I think on a subconscious level, we know we can learn a huge amount by looking at the woman by a man's side. People DEFINITELY judged John Kerry by the behavior and demeanor of his wife. No question about it. Ms. Rice might be perfect for the job, an exemplary human being in every way. On the other hand, there could be very, very serious flaws that would be immediately obvious if she married a weenie, or some domineering hulk, or someone who displayed some other personality problem. If she has never found that life partner, I'm sorry--I'm going to assume something is out of balance, because the pair bond instinct is simply too strong in most human beings for me to give the benefit of the doubt. Yep, I've met what seemed to be perfectly healthy, sane, wonderful people who never married. But most of the time, there seemed to me good and obvious reasons why that connection never happened. And if we make judgments based on what we see--then one damned fine window into the invisible world of her heart would be her partner. Absent that, too many of us--me included--just don't know who this human being is, and won't take the chance. Oh, you might say, she sacrificed relationship on the altar of ambition. Well, I don't consider that balanced or healthy enough to trust with one finger on the Button. What else that most people hold dear might she be willing to sacrifice? Sorry, not interested. And I think an awful lot of Americans would agree. Add that to her race and gender, and I think you have insurmountable obstacles. Of course, that's just my opinion, I could be wrong.

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