Put a woman in the White House

I’ve got a couple of opinions, thank you. One national, one local.
Now that the Republicans have nothing to do, maybe they can concentrate on a face lift for their embarrassingly tarnished image. Nothing could save them more than Elizabeth Dole. Now, she’s not just a gimmick. This woman is very real in terms of what she could do in the White House. Again, she has not yet officially announced her candidacy. And if she doesn’t, come on Hillary Rodham Clinton.
Dole resigned as president of the American Red Cross in January, and the innuendoes about her running for the top slot haven’t quit since. Then again, her husband, former Sen. Bob Dole, was spreading rumors about his wife’s candidacy for 2000 back in the 1996 Dole presidential campaign. Even she dropped a hint when leaving the Red Cross: “The Red Cross is now solid as a rock and, at this important time in our national life, I believe there may be another way for me to serve our country.”
Any woman that can manage America’s blood supply is someone I can sure trust.
This woman does not need to ride her husband’s coattails. She’s got more charisma than Bob does anyway.
The rally is on. There’s a “Draft Elizabeth Dole 2000” Web site, run by folks from her hometown of Salisbury, NC. The committee is governed by the Federal Election Commission (FEC).
Elizabeth Hanford Dole has eight years of public service experience with the Red Cross. She graduated from Duke University in 1958, Harvard Law School in 1965, and has a master’s in education and government also from Harvard. That matches any male political whiz kid I’ve ever heard about.
She developed educational programs for the deaf. She was named to the Federal Trade Commission in 1973. In 1983, during the Reagan administration, Dole was appointed America’s first female Secretary of Transportation. Five years later Bush named her Secretary of Labor.
She’s led a task force for women. She’s a Republican who knows how to be liberal. And you can bet this woman has a room full of awards: humanitarian, leadership for women, uniting volunteers, fund raising efforts, on and on. Oh yeah, she donated her first year’s salary as Red Cross president.
I could run through the issues but it’s not necessary. Abortion, crime, Hussein — she can handle it. So Republicans, if you want to do something good for America — I mean, something really good — put a woman in the White House.

The first thing Dole can do is solve the University’s parking problems. Amidst all this fees committee hoopla, I’ve got a practical place to put some funds. Have you ever pulled up to the East Bank Bookstore on Pleasant Street, thinking you can just whiz in to get the book you need for class and then whiz out, only to be ticketed? How ’bout towed? That’s one expensive book.
Here’s something I think students would be willing to pay for: a whole bunch of 30 minute limit parking meters. At the University, 15 minutes ain’t enough. In fact, I’ll pay for a meter myself. I already have considering all the tickets and tows I’ve paid for. I’ll even jackhammer the cement and plant the meter in myself. That’s all I need — 15 minutes to 30 minutes. I just want to run in and run out. Maybe I have to drop off a paper. Maybe I have to pick up a loan check. That’s all! Just these silly little errands. Hell, most of these errands take even less than 5 minutes, but it takes me an hour to find a place to park!
So while the fees committee, MSA, Coffman renovators and other idealists debate which political group gets funded or which building gets a prettier face, let’s do something really practical and solve this damn parking nightmare. Meters: Put them up and down Church, Pleasant and Harvard streets. Put them in all those little secret places we all try to park in without getting caught. And for Godsakes, throw in a couple coin machines so we don’t have to run all over begging for change.
If the meters don’t work, hire a bunch of people to stand there and monitor us errand runners. Pay them University wages — that’ll save bucks. All they need is a Mickey Mouse watch. We give them a quarter and they start clockin’. Worried they might get robbed? Try vouchers. I for one, will be most glad to pay increases in student services fees if I know the return on my investment gets me a parking spot, even if it’s just to run in and buy a book I can’t resell.
Jerry Flattum is the opinions editor for The Minnesota Daily. His column appears every Friday.