Shoales' Roles for Ms. Dole

Pundit? Spin doctor? Wiccan priestess? Amazon warrior? Liddy's future has never looked brighter

Published November 5, 1996 2:26PM (EST)

by the time you read this, William Clinton is probably leading the bored parade over the bridge into the 21st Century. Would-be president Bob Dole is probably back in his Florida condo, recovering from his marathon, where he'll spend his days looking at daguerreotypes of Kansas, working on his tan, and grousing. Even if he has won, Dole will soon alienate most Americans by his insistence on addressing them as "whippersnappers" whenever he makes a speech.

The point is moot. In either case, what's Liddy going to do now? If she is First Lady, she just can't run around the White House in an "I'm not Hillary!" T-shirt all the time. For one thing, she's not a T-shirt kind of gal. For another, well, she IS Hillary, in a sense: ambitious, smart, stylish. She's bound to get restless in the shadow of any man.

And if she's not First Lady, do you really think she's going to settle into condo life, spending her days shopping, listening to Bob Dole mumble about the liberal media, organizing lawn bowling tournaments? I think not.

In either case, what will she do? She's bound to be a little conflicted for a few months, indecisive, confused.... Yes, even the great, bright Liddy Dole could find herself as uncertain as Diane Keaton in a world of Woodys.

My own self-confidence borders on self-delusion; I possess a certitude so unwavering it verges on the pathological. Sure, there's nothing in my miserable life to justify this insane bouncy enthusiastic determination, but, hey  what are you gonna do?

Point? Well, if I can maintain self-assurance when I have nothing going for me, I can definitely install the same steely indomitability in a woman as formidable as Ms. Elizabeth Dole. My certainty on that point is unwavering.

So here's some advice for her, re: career options.

Afternoon Talk Show Hostess

I'm not the first to suggest this, but I think Liddy Dole is a natural for the Chat Show genre.

We all saw the fine job Ms. Dole did hosting the salute to her husband at the Republican National Convention. She worked the floor, dazzled the cameras with her winning smile, and segued to pre-taped segments like a pro. Given enough outfits, TelePrompTers, and conspiracy-theorists-who-cross-dress, she could whup that liberal Rosie O'Donnell, no sweat.


If, for some reason, the afternoon talk show hostess deal falls through, she could make it as an independent contractor. Dashing from a spirited yet civil encounter with George Will to a civilized yet sprightly soundbite for "20/20," from backscratching with Mary Matalin to arm-wrestling with conspiracy-theorists-who-cross-dress on "Jenny Jones," she could make a pile. (She'd have to figure out a way to shelter her pile, though. Or at least keep up with the quarterly payments to the IRS. I'm self-employed myself believe me, I really know what I'm talking about.)


Failing to catch fire as a pundit, she can always whisper advice to other pundits, such as William Bennett, William Kristol, or Bob Dole.

Spin Doctor

Failing that, she could always find employment as someone who puts the best possible face on the public relations disasters of those who refused her services as consultant.

Wiccan Priestess

If she doesn't succeed as a spin doctor, she may have to swallow her Republican pride and go New Age. Channel a few souls from the past, start wearing white robes  the world's her oyster.

Best-Selling Author

This option, of course, is always available. Liddy Dole could write her memoirs, and make a quick buck. But a quick scan of the best-seller lists should reveal that self-help books by Wiccan priestesses have a much longer shelf-life than reminiscences by Republican women, even if their name is Barbara Bush.

Amazon Warrior

Why not go for it? All you need is a breastplate, a broadsword, and the ability to ululate while smiting your enemies. To learn how to become an Amazon Princess, I urge Liddy Dole (and everybody, really) to watch Xena: Warrior Princess," an excellent television series, starring Lucy Lawless, whom I worship beyond reason. Check your television guide for local times and stations.

Mistress of Pain

Apparently, many otherwise powerful men have a secret need to be humiliated and lightly whipped by women in black leather. These men are usually Republicans, let's be frank; there aren't that many Democrat fetishists  they're into the more generic forms of debauchery.

But the point is this  Why should the so-called "professional sex workers" get these jobs? You know for a fact those women all voted for Bill Clinton (he probably even got money from their lobby). Why shouldn't Liddy Dole be the one to discipline those naughty naughty boys? If not she, who? If not now, when?

I hope she turns to the Internet for solace, and hence to the Web, and thence here, to my little virtual page. Elizabeth? Beth? Betsy? Liz? Lizzie? Liddy? Babe? Hon? Ms. Dole? Mind if I call you ma'am? I'm here for you. Whatever you decide to do, just stay away from health care issues, and stick to one hair style. Believe me, you'll be all right.

By Ian Shoales

Ian Shoales is a regular contributor to Salon.

MORE FROM Ian Shoales

Related Topics ------------------------------------------