The XX Factor

Meg Whitman for Governator?

It’s official. Former eBay CEO Meg Whitman is running for governor of California . She faces a daunting task if elected: California has a crushing budget deficit and the Democrat-dominated state legislature is not going to be happy about her pledge to cut 40,000 government jobs or her planned $15 billion budget cuts.

I want to be excited. Republicans need more women in leadership positions. But I also remember that I was a little too excited the day that John McCain picked Sarah Palin to be his running mate, and eventually I came down with a case of buyer’s remorse (though the fact that Palin drives liberals so absolutely bonkers tells me she’s doing something right). As the election got closer and the economic meltdown picked up speed, I really, really wished that perhaps Mitt Romney, with his sound business mind, had been tapped to be McCain’s wingman. So I’m going to temper my enthusiasm for now, lest I regret it later. (A little. I’m already pondering what it would be like to have GOP women in charge of two of the three biggest states in the nation. Go Kay Bailey Hutchison!)

I don’t want to be someone who supports a woman just because she’s a woman, but Whitman has a pretty solid résumé regardless of gender. She no doubt made some enemies during her time at eBay, but she also turned the company into one of the big stars of the Internet . If she could pull California out of its financial morass-something that Pete Wilson, Gray Davis, or Arnold Schwarzenegger have all failed to do-it would a victory for the state, for the GOP, and, partisan politics aside, women everywhere.