Hillary Rodham Clinton — imagine if she runs and wins!

In America, moms and dads of daughters will throw their arms around their girls' shoulders and say, "OK honey, now that the highest and seemingly most impervious glass ceiling is gone, in terms of your future, the sky's the limit!" Grandpas and grandmas will do the same with their granddaughters.


Expect wide approval from American women of any age and enthusiastic response from women worldwide who will welcome the news that the charismatic, eloquent and tireless campaigner for women's welfare, rights and opportunities also is the new leader of the free world.

Governments of our north Atlantic partners will applaud the election's outcome. Some might even add, "About time!" That same response might be expected from those Latin American nations that have promoted women to important leadership positions.

Despots and leaders of countries that treat females according to medieval standards will shudder at the prospect that the new U.S. president's admonishment about treatment of women carries even more authority than before.

Within the U.S., suddenly having a woman as head of state, expect there to be a surge in female confidence. More will seek election to office — at the city, county and state levels as well as to Congress. If two fellows can organize a startup business using their garage, why can't a couple of enterprising women follow their dreams and establish a startup business using the basement or spare bedroom, or even their own garage for that matter? All it takes is some imagination, seed money and self-confidence.

At the university level, more women students may elect to study economics and business courses to take advantage of widening opportunities for females in finance and business (see the Federal Reserve; see General Motors).

A female commander in chief is unlikely to tolerate the military's ho-hum response to the outrageous record of rape and sexual assault perpetrated by servicemen against their female service counterparts.

In short, election of our first woman as president will be to politics what sports writers term a "game changer!" Events will begin to be judged by "before HRC" and "after HRC."

While she sits in the Oval Office, President Clinton may expect to hear from citizen groups pressing for issues concerning women such as what compensation is paid men compared with what women receive for doing the same job. Other interest groups will attempt to enlist her as an ally in the campaign to provide more and better day care facilities to assist working mothers.

Americans may recall the first few days of the John F. Kennedy presidency when JFK was photographed in the Oval Office with his children playing around the president's desk.

The first few days of this Clinton presidency promise another historic photo opportunity as newly inaugurated head of state, an attractive blond woman taking care of the nation's business at her desk in the Oval Office — a radiant, self-confident smile on her face.

William L. Jacobsen, Jr. is a retired educator and diplomat. He entered the Foreign Service in 1966, with assignments to Brazil, Portugal, Mozambique, South Africa, Botswana, Namibia and Guinea Bissau. He was a staff member of the National Security Council in Washington, D.C., in 1988. President George H.W. Bush named him ambassador to the Republic of Guinea-Bissau where he served from 1989 to 1992. He retired from federal service in 1993. In retirement he accompanied his wife, an administrative specialist with the United Nations, on her postings to Lesotho, Morocco and Indonesia. They have lived on Maryland's Eastern Shore since 2002. His email is wjacobsen@hotmail.com.

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