If elected this fall, the former eBay chairwoman would be the first business magnate in 150 years and the days of Leland Stanford – with all due apologies to Arnold Schwarzenegger, whose celebrity stems more from filmdom than finance – to occupy the first floor of the State Capitol. As the first governor with a home address in Silicon Valley and a résumé steeped in e-commerce, Meg Whitman also would be the first governor to embody the New Economy.
And did I mention that, if elected, Whitman would be California's first woman governor? That's funny, because Whitman seemingly has no interest in promoting herself as a lower-case first lady. And that puts her in line for another distinction: the rare woman to seek a high-profile office who didn't try to make the xx chromosome an x factor in her winning formula.