The Women in Time’s Most Influential List 2011: Michele Bachmann

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I think by now Michele Bachmann is a pretty household name. A representative from Minnesota that I had hardly heard of before has been thrust into the national spotlight with a run for president.

  • A state representative from Minnesota
  • She was attempting to gain the Republican presidential nomination for the upcoming race until she dropped out this morning (that’s breaking news)

Is she influential? Hard to say. I think government leaders to some extent are more or less influential. It’s hard because I would have answered this differently weeks ago, when she was more a front-runner in the presidential race because as a potential president, of course she would be highly influential. But the numbers now are not playing out like she will be successful, which means she will probably disappear and we may well never hear much about her again. (Do you hear much about the people who didn’t do well in the Republican primary in 2008? Not really – not unless they ran again or made some significant win in the primaries.) So maybe it’s a wait and see. Iowa, after all, doesn’t have to doom you – but it can often doom you. And certainly, I’m sure she didn’t want only a 5 percent vote and to come in last. At any rate, it looks like Iowa won’t really matter at all for her, as she announced this morning that she is dropping out. At this rate, since she dropped out, I think her influence will continue to diminish.

Note: I have often been asked on what I feel about women being president. My answer? I don’t think you should support anyone woman for president just because she is a woman. Additionally, I am almost, at this point in my life, harder on women candidates than male candidates. Why? Sort of for the same reason that George Washington had to be the right first president. I think the first woman president will set a precedent for future woman presidents, just like George Washington set the president for the rest of presidents. If he had acted too much like a king, then I doubt our democracy would have been successful. In the same way, my fear is that the first woman president elected, if unsuccessful, would make it harder for future women to be elected – so I always want to make sure when I look at a woman running for president that I ask myself “If she were to be the first woman president, would it be harder for women to be elected after her?” The first one of anything is important. So that’s my stance on women presidents.

Sources:

Other influential women from Time’s Most Influential List 2011 that I profiled include Major General Margaret Woodward, Maria Bashir, Mia Wasikowska, Esther Duflo, Felisa Wolfe-Simon, Oprah Winfrey, Hilary Clinton, Blake Lively, Kate MiddletonSue Savage-Rumbaugh, Dilma Rousseff, Michelle Obama, Gabrielle Giffords, Aung San Suu Kyi, Kim Clijisters, Jennifer Egan, Amy Chua, Angela Merkel, and Amy Poehler.

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