For years, politicos and rights advocates have debated about who may have the right combination of political tools and savvy to become the first woman president.
Sunday night at the Dole Institute of Politics, pundit, author and journalist Eleanor Clift said eventually, the search may end right here in Kansas - with Gov. Kathleen Sebelius.
"She comes from a political family, and she's done a good job," Clift told the packed house at the institute. "She is the kind of woman who you could imagine having prospects."
For the second installment of the institute lecture series "The First Woman President," Clift said that her experience, both as a professional woman and a political journalist, has left her feeling like the world is ready for a Ms. President, but the lack of suitable candidates waiting to run could slow an already crawling push toward a woman in the Oval Office.
"They have to be the female George Washington," Clift said.
Clift is a contributing editor to Newsweek magazine. Among her books is "Madam President: Shattering the Last Glass Ceiling," published in 2000 and updated for paperback in 2003.
Although Sebelius' long-term political aspirations are a mystery, Clift said that candidates in her position are often ripe for a presidential push.
For several election cycles, governors have been elected to the White House while U.S. senators have typically been vice presidents.
Which, she said, doesn't bode well for Hillary Clinton, the New York senator with suspected presidential aspirations. She's a strong woman, Clift said, but being a senator isn't her only drawback.
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Although she pulled through with grace, she will forever be tied to the scandals of her husband, former President Bill Clinton. Plus, she said, Democrats likely feel that they can win back the White House, but a woman candidate right now may jeopardize their chances.
Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice - who has denied interest in running for president - knows foreign policy and is a commanding presence. But she's an academic, Clift said, more suited for the vice presidency than commander-in-chief.
After them, she said, the pipeline isn't exactly brimming with good candidates.
Clift worried that many women fall prey to the same concerns when contemplating a presidential push: They'll appear weak, the self-confidence won't be there, that politics are too dirty.
"It's never going to be cleaned up," she said. "You've got to get in it, and you've got to get in it now."
But there's hope yet, Clift said. A decade ago, Bill Clinton and Bob Dole ran a heated race for the White House. Now, their wives hold Senate offices while the men are in the spouse's club.
A lot has changed already, Clift said. She thinks that there is much more - the shattering of the final glass ceiling - just over the horizon.
"We are taking our place just about everywhere," she said. "Progress is definitely being made."