Since I've never watched Commander-in-Chief, I don't understand why the show's ratings started high and have sunk lower, but perhaps part of the reason is that the prospect of a female president grows less novel the more one thinks about it. The potential Hillary Clinton administration that we began contemplating several years ago is, in my mind, already finished, done -- I've been picturing it for so long and handicapping its likelihood so incessantly that I've imagined it right out of existence and passed on to livelier futuristic scenarios starring more dynamic main characters. Ones with actual human features rather than poll-driven, mechanized expressions that digitally adjust themselves to three points plus or minus the margin of error.

But one question about Hillary's possible candidacy continues to interest me: who will her no-doubt-male running mate be, and what persona will he adopt? Al Gore was the somber younger brother to Bill Cinton's exuberant chosen son and Dick Cheney comes on as George W's tough, rich uncle, but what auxiliarly-yet-subordinate-seeming psycho-familial-sexual role will Hillary's partner play? He could play kid brother, too, I guess, and if he turns out to be John Edwards, he'll be able to play it convincingly. But such a duo might lack traditional gravitas. Maybe Hillary should choose a kind of doting, proud father figure-- not someone as old and daft as Senator Byrd, but along those general lines. Or she could cast her number two as the loyal, devoted, supportive mate that her real husband has never been but that every ambitious woman dreams of having. This might be a job for John Kerry. They could hug a lot, and then he could stand aside -- and down a step -- and nod and smile and give her the thumbs-up sign while she orates horizonward about her 'vision.'

Tricky business. Any suggestions?

--Walter

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