Out of the shadows, into the spotlight

<a href="http://www.uwiretoday.com"(U-WIRE) GAINESVILLE, Fla. – Elizabeth Hanford Dole’s resignation as president of the American Red Cross has some of her advisers hinting that she could be clearing a path for the Republican Party’s nomination for the 2000 presidential election.

With that announcement, Dole joins a small group of other hopefuls vying for the Republican nomination. She skyrocketed up Republican primary polls and is second only to Texas Gov. George W. Bush as the favorite prospective GOP candidate.

More importantly, Dole joins a growing group of women poised to snag the reins from an inherently patriarchal system running itself into the ground.

Political insiders in Washington have raised the possibility that First Lady Hillary Rodham Clinton, the only person to make it through the impeachment hearings politically unscathed, could join the race for the Democratic nomination to replace New York Sen. Daniel Patrick Moynihan in 2000.

In the cases of Clinton and Dole, the outcome of the potential races is not as important as the legitimacy of their campaigns. Though no platforms have been laid out for either prospective candidate, both appeal to women and men alike as sensible players in a sketchy political scenario. With the growing presence of women politicians in Washington, coupled with the high esteem in which many of them are held, it appears the gauntlet has been thrown.

When the political process has a member of the Bush family governing one out of every eight Americans and a Miami lawyer trying to shanghai Minnesota Gov. Jesse Ventura into the White House, these women are rebuilding a crumbling foundation at a time when a little bit of stability could turn the whole system upside down.

-Staff editorial of the University of Florida’s Independent Florida Alligator.

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