I think Kornblut does a good job of running through the possible explanations and pointing out their shortcomings. The excuse that the right woman hasn't come along, as she points out, "would seem to explain everything and nothing."
Rather, some think that the cause is a "pipeline" problem; there are not enough women in political positions to work their way to the highest executive office in the land:
"There are very few women in the pool when you think about it," said Debbie Walsh, director of the Center for American Women and Politics at the Eagleton Institute of Politics at Rutgers University. "The pool that candidates tend to come from in this country are U.S. senators and governors, and until recently we've had very few women in those positions. That's something that's really held us back. It's the whole pipeline that's been problematic, and frankly, our pipeline hasn't been doing that well lately."
There are just 14 female senators. At the state level, there are only 8 female governors. A pipeline problem, indeed.
The article continues with an analysis of Hillary Clinton's prospects, pointing out that it may well be her position on the Iraq War rather then her gender that keeps Clinton out of the White House. But I think asking the Hillary question muddles the issue a bit, because obviously, she comes with more baggage than the baggage claim at O'Hare airport.
So Hillary aside, why do you think we haven't had a female President?
Personally, I think the pipeline problem provides a partial explanation. Not just at the governor and congressional level, but with respect to politics as a whole.
The political arena is dangerous and cutthroat. It requires an offensive, aggressive posture, which, when assumed by males, comes off as a strong resolve of character. But when women adopt a similar posture, when they participate in politics with the same vigor as males do, I have too often seen the reaction to be one of disdain. The bottom line is that an aggressive male politician is viewed as a leader, while an aggressive female politician is viewed a bitch. I've been called the same for holding strong political views, as if the uterus inside me somehow requires silence or at the very least muted acquiescence to the world around me.
Watching CSPAN and seeing the Senate in session is sometimes like peeping into a treehouse, with a "NO GIRLS ALLOWED" sign on the door. Do you ignore the sign and bust in, or stay on the sidelines?
The internet I think will revolutionize the role of women in politics. Because online, behind asexual monikers, women of all faiths and colors and experiences can pull up a chair to the national table and participate--indeed, even lead--the political discussion without having to deal with preconceived notions of what a female in politics must do, or say (or look like!). And if and when we do decide to remove the anonymous veil or reveal the fact that we are indeed, women, and damn proud of it, there is a sense of accomplishment.
You see, because here, in the online world where you are judged by the content of your writing rather than by your gender, there are no boundaries. Revealed as females or not, we participate with passion and resolve, and no barrier--least of all that of gender--will prevent us from effectuating change. And who knows. Right now, there may be a feisty female netroots participant reading this on her monitor who just might become the first female President of the United States. Yes, I'm talking about you...
And if you're out there, just remember to pick a neutral color for the White House drapes, will you?