The New Face of the GOP

2010 June 9
by Dave

It is no accident that the GOP nominees for the two highest profile statewide elections are female CEOs. It is the beginning of a trend that you will see more and more of for the next several decades.

The Republican establishment’s take away from Sarah Palin’s popularity with the base is that male Republican voters will actually vote for a woman. Who knew? While Palin’s lack of professionalism proved a liability in a general election, it did point the way to the ideal candidate to top the GOP ticket. A female CEO.

Female executives tick so many boxes on the Republican candidate checklist that it is surprising that this is the first that we are seeing of them on a large political stage. First, conservatives have always loved the “I’m a businessman not a politician” narrative of a pragmatic, experienced outsider. Second, being female humanizes them and makes it harder to paint them as cold and detached from real people’s problems. If they have children, they can honestly talk about the challenges of working and raising kids in a manner that many voters can relate to. Finally they have a built in story of struggling to overcome establishment norms in order to be a woman at the top.

These are electoral advantages that a male executive son of privilege like Mitt Romney can’t match. If Whitman can pull it out against Brown and win the governor’s office, follow that up by doing a good job and winning reelection in 2014, then she will be a perfect Presidential candidate for the GOP in 2016. Under those circumstances I would say that she would be a shoe in to win the nomination.

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