I have always hoped to see a woman president in my lifetime. Now, I'm afraid that I will.

I had every confidence that California women would have the savvy to see that Hillary Clinton is not the one. I was sure that when pen met primary ballot, a foreboding, a shudder would instruct their choice elsewhere. Or perhaps the voter might have used the novel approach of considering the candidate's past actions, associations, voting record, her unholy alliance with Bill that drives her to do, say, tolerate anything for their mutual lust for powerthese might have served as an indication that we must wait a bit longer for a more honorable candidate.

But no. After the primary, all the political analysts relate that the women of this state carried the vote for Hillary, in their wish for a woman president. Women voted for Hillary, and for one reason only: She fits their anatomical qualification, ethics and policy be damned.

The remainder of the carrying vote for Hillary was, per the same analysts, Latinos. What does that say about Latino expectations of the Clintons regarding immigration laws?

The shallow relic of the Clinton political machine is dying of its own inadequacy of principle and must be left alongside the road as we seek better. Besides, it is not a woman we would be getting for president: It is a couple. Bill will unavoidably be an element. They share an ethically challenged approach to having and keeping power, trading favors in a smarmy political ritual old as time.

So, we have another election. For the third election in a row, the choice is slim to none, partially because we don't demand better. Odds are, andquot;Better Candidateandquot; wouldn't have enough money to outlast this ridiculous torture that allows a few backwater states to decide and limit the choice of an entire nation in a ludicrous political process that challenges all reason and most budgets.

We are forced to try to guess which candidate will be less embarrassing, internationally, than that of the previous eight years and, more importantly, who will cost our nation less in lives and treasure.

I'm guessing that candidate is Barack Obama on all considerations of idealism, ethics, vision and intent. But idealism has to be tempered with realism, and one senses a measure of naivety here. It is unlikely that he is equipped for the deadly international chess game he would face and, given the colossal national debt any candidate would inherit, little realistic chance of addressing any but minimal social change.

Good luck to us all!

Sybil Saxelby

Smith River