Energizing her party with the passionate support of millions, a strong, independent American woman stands on the threshold of history. An inspiration to her gender, she has come to embody the dream of women being professionally successful and personally fulfilled. Balancing both a historic political career and the demands of motherhood and matrimony, she is living the dreams of those who came before her and setting the standard for those to follow. The first woman on her partys presidential ticket, the American people will decide on November 4th what the next entry will be beneath her name in our countrys history. By the way, did I mention her name is Sarah Palin? The prospect of this surely vexes Senator Hillary Clinton just as much as it delights Palin and her supporters. That being said, the question facing Senator Clinton in the wake of Palins meteoric rise is How does Palin impact the future prospects of her still unfulfilled presidential aspirations? The answers lie at the heart of Hillarys dilemma. Being a lifelong feminist, one of the driving forces that propelled Senator Clintons presidential dreams was the hope of being the nations first female president. Having been thwarted by Barack Obamas equally historic pursuit of the Democratic presidential nomination this year, Clintons dreams, while not destroyed, were at the very least delayed. Should Obama win the presidency and serve two terms, currently 60 years-old, Hillarys window of opportunity would still be open in 2016. While opinions differ on whether or not a run for the White House at age 68 would be viable for her, theres little doubt that the additional experience added to her resume between now and then - including a potential stint as Governor of New York would only enhance her chances should she mount another campaign for the Oval Office. On a potentially darker political note, should Obama find himself taking on the visage of a modern Jimmy Carter, Clinton could become the rallying point of an anti-Obama insurgency within the Democratic Party in 2012. Were economic calamity and political tumult torment Obama as it did Carter, could Hillary resist the cries of her supporters and Democratic pundits to mount a challenge to the politically mortally wounded incumbent much like Ted Kennedy did in 1980? While it would surely lead to a bloody and potentially devastating civil war within the Democratic Party, it might likewise provide Clinton with her quickest route to the White House and the realization of her dream of being the first female president. With John McCains selection of Palin as his running mate, though, those dreams became starkly dimmer and much more complicated. Should McCain defeat Obama, Palin would then become the nations first female vice president. Having secured her place in history, Palin could then mount her own run for the presidency and the historic distinction so fervently sought by Clinton. From the position of vice president, Palin would naturally enjoy substantial advantages in her quest to move from the Naval Observatory to the White House. For both Palin and Clinton, the primary factor influencing their respective shots at the coveted title of first female American president is McCain himself. Should McCain serve one term and be denied a second at the ballot box, how would that impact Palins future prospects for the Republican presidential nomination? On the other hand, were McCain to defy the political odds and maintain Republican control of the White House for an uninterrupted sixteen years by serving two terms, would Palins presidential prospects be dashed by an electorate burnt out on pachyderm presidencies? Were that series of events to fall into place, the odds of Hillary donning the historic mantle would be dramatically improved. Then again, a McCain presidency also holds a potential combination nightmare-dream opportunity for Clinton and Palin; his health. At 72, McCain would be the oldest person to take the Oath of Office for a first term. Having had skin cancer removed previously, McCains health in conjunction with his age gives many pause. It also would give Palin the distinction of being Americas first female president should McCain become incapacitated or die in office. While this would close the door on Hillarys historic hopes, it might well set the stage for a titanic all-women battle royal between herself and an incumbent President Palin. Following the logic that a seasoned Hillary could easily dispatch Palin even while enjoying the advantages of incumbency, there is growing talk among Clintons supporters that perhaps they should lend Fate and Hillary a hand by voting for the Republican ticket this coming November. Though failing to grasp the title of first female American president, her dream of rising to the presidency would nonetheless be fulfilled; albeit in an admittedly less grandiose and historic fashion. Thus the crux of Hillarys dilemma Whose victory on November 4th would best serve her own future presidential aspirations? That being the case, one wonders who the junior Senator from New York will actually vote for once she enters the ballot booth come the first Tuesday of November. Ah, to be the proverbial fly on the wall...... Decisions, decisions, faithful readers. Stay tuned for further updates as events warrant and the pieces fall into place.