Thu | Jan 17, 2019

George Garwood: Is it Hillary's time?

Published:Thursday | February 4, 2016 | 12:00 AMGeorge Garwood

So far, there have been five United States (US) presidents who have visited Jamaica either as sitting presidents or in some other capacity. Their coming to the island signalled that tiny Jamaica is still a 'buddy' of the mighty US.

Barack Obama visited Jamaica on a state visit, April 9, 2015; Bill Clinton, October 25, 2010; Ronald Reagan, on a state visit, April 7 and 8, 1982; Lyndon Baines Johnson (as vice-president) at Jamaica's Independence celebrations in 1962; John Fitzgerald Kennedy visited Jamaica on vacation in 1960.

Of course, Hillary Clinton, as secretary of state, visited Jamaica on at least two occasions - June 22, 2011; and another time, January 2010, when she briefly stopped off at the Norman Manley International Airport. But the question remains: Will Hillary next visit Jamaica as a US president?

However, more to the point are these questions: Is America ready for a female president? Is America ready for Hillary? Can a woman now make US political and presidential history and finally break the glass ceiling? In theory, all these questions can be answered in the affirmative.

Hillary has been around politics for a long time. She has distinguished herself in that tough and unforgiving field; but she also has a lot of baggage.

However, despite the negatives that Hillary carries on her report card, she has enough positives to qualify her for the presidential office.

But more significantly, the time might now be right for a woman to become president of America. Now, after all, there are several female leaders in various parts of the world. We can think of our own Portia Simpson of Jamaica; Angela Merkel of Germany; Ellen Johnson Sirleaf of Liberia; even, the recently elected Tsai Ing-wen of Taiwan. So if other countries can have female political heads, why not the United States?

So to give a direct answer as to whether Hillary can become president of the US, in theory, yes! But what about the practicality? Well, if she goes up against Donald Trump, certainly she will become president. If she goes up against one of the other candidates, perhaps she will become president.

In practice, she will become president if she gets the support of the broad female electorate; the support of the so-called minorities - Hispanics, African-Americans, Asians, Muslims, human and civil rights activists, and such other groups.

Let us see how it turns out.

- George S. Garwood is an adjunct professor of world religions in Florida. Email: