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ReelTalk Movie Reviews
A Woman President?
by Betty Jo Tucker

With Hillary Clinton running for President this year, I can’t help thinking about a 1964 motion picture titled Kisses for My President. It was a comedy, of course. But after all these years, we have the serious possibility of life imitating art. We actually recognize now that a qualified woman could handle this top executive job as well as a man.

The 1964 film starred Polly Bergen as President Leslie McCloud, the first female President of the United States of America. And Polly attempted to prove her character could handle this important job. No matter how silly some of this comedy was and how ridiculously it ended, Polly’s scenes as a tough, intelligent President making decisions were done superbly. As Elizabeth Gregory pointed out in The Huffington Post, “The Soviets gave the new president some grief, and Polly Bergen made them settle down, exactly as if she were Margaret Thatcher or Golda Meir or Indira Gandhi.”

Because we can’t forget the image factor, Polly’s President McCloud really knew how to dress for success -- and as a result, Kisses for My President won an Oscar for costume design. But, seriously, we should look for the same qualities in a woman that we would in a man running for this office. I want an intelligent and courageous President who’s open-minded and knows how to communicate with us. I also want our President to place the good of the country above personal ideology or concerns. And, Polly Bergen’s Leslie McCloud met all those qualifications during the limited time she served as President.

Limited? Oh, I forgot to mention she was married and that her husband (played amusingly by Fred MacMurray) found it awkward to be the “First Gentleman.” So how does the film end?

(SPOILER ALERT) President McCloud faints one day because she’s pregnant. Naturally, she has to resign. Remember, this movie came out way back in 1964. If Hillary Clinton wins in 2016, at least this is one situation she doesn’t have to worry about.  

Glass ceilings crash and that’s not wrong,

for women know where they belong.

Everywhere – even the top

and to get there they shouldn’t stop.

Gender is not a crime or sin.

Don’t judge people by shape of skin.

(Released by Warner Bros. Not rated by MPAA.)

For more information about Kisses for My President, go to the IMDb or Rotten Tomatoes website. 

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