"Commander In Chief" Could Soon Be Reality

September 27, 2005 – Posted at 9:44 p.m. CDT

JONESBORO, AR -- ABC's Commander-In-Chief aired Tuesday night. The political drama takes an in-depth look of the first woman president, and the issues she faces at home and from her country. And while the concept of a female president is only fiction right now, its reality could hit home soon.

“In many cases, society follows Hollywood, and I think the show itself is going to do a lot to help raise the level of debate about that actually happening,” said political consultant Gary Harpole.
He believes the story line in Commander-In-Chief may be far from fiction.
“I don't think it's unrealistic, I think it's still....I think people are not going to elect someone just because they are a female. But I certainly think in this day and age, that a female that proves that she has creditentials has a legitimate shot of being elected,” said Harpole.
And while the names of Condoleezza Rice and Elizabeth Dole have come up, one New York senator remains a front runner.
“There are probably a handful of females on the national stage right now that have a shot right now at being a contender, but realistically, the numbers verify that if it's going to happen anytime soon, the odds are it's going to be Senator Clinton,” said Harpole.
And it could be a battle in the South...Harpole predicts the run off might be between Hillary and Huckabee. But voters and viewers should remain gender neutral.
“Someone who I feel like could do a good job leading the country and who could bring the economy back to where it needs to be and who could take the positions on our national defense that they need to have, and the same qualifications for a man,” said Harpole.
Arkansans will vote in February of 2007 in the presidential primary caucus. Legislators decided that voting earlier then the traditional may election could cause the state to have a better chance of attracting candidates during the election.