Here are the contenders:
Eve – she believed in dramatic change, but it didn’t always work out as planned…
Asenath – powerful connections, but as a foreigner she would be ineligible
Queen of Sheba – all the right connections but would she care about ordinary voters?
Rebecca – astute, politically manipulative, sees the big picture, plans for the long term – the voters could do a lot worse than Rebecca
Rahab the prostitute – capable, excellent connections, but her past would be a drawback
Sarah – born to command, a tribal princess accustomed to power but sometimes gets caught up in quarrels
Hagar – a foreigner, so she wouldn’t be eligible to run for election
Rachel – focused on home and family, not really interested in politics
Tamar – keen on social justice and the rights of the oppressed, a suitable Democrat candidate
Potiphar’s wife – a foreigner, not eligible
Athaliah – tough, ruthless, used to power, but quite scary
Miriam – conservative, powerful connections, a born leader – short odds on Miriam
Deborah – ideal for the War Cabinet, but might frighten the voters
Delilah – she was probably a foreigner, and in any case has too much of a past to suit conservative voters
Bathsheba – an ideal candidate: powerful connections, politically astute, popular with a wide range of the voting public, good publicity machine
Jezebel – born outside the country and so not eligible, which is perhaps just as well
Ruth – focused on family and community, a quiet achiever not interested in world politics
Esther – clever, popular, good public profile, influential, could be an ideal candidate
Judith – astute, beautiful, absolutely ruthless but respected by everyone, she would be hard to beat
Who would I recommend?
I’d stick with Bathsheba or Esther, because they were more astute than most people, certainly more canny than the people around them, and tough when things got nasty. They weren’t always blameless, but politics is a pretty slippery game and a wide-eyed innocent would get slaughtered.
One way or another these women managed to get what they wanted, and what was good for their people. I guess that’s what I’d want a President to do.
If I were choosing from the New Testament I’d certainly go with Mary Magdalene – not the long-haired redhead ex-raver shown in old paintings, but the real MM, an astute Jewish businesswoman who, when the chips were down, stood firm. She was loyal to what she believed in, so you’d feel you could trust her.
The women in the New Testament have not been included in the list because they were from obscure backgrounds, and were more interested in religious ideas than politics. But if I had to include one, it would be Mary Magdalene, for her organizational powers, her integrity and her unflinching loyalty to Jesus of Nazareth.