Patricia Yarberry Allen, M.D. is a Gynecologist, Director of the New York Menopause Center, Clinical Assistant Professor of Obstetrics and Gynecology at Weill Cornell Medical College, and Assistant Attending Obstetrician and Gynecologist at New York-Presbyterian Hospital. She is a board certified fellow of the American College of Obstetrics and Gynecology. Dr. Allen is also a member of the Faculty Advisory Board and the Women’s Health Director of The Weill Cornell Community Clinic (WCCC). Dr. Allen was the recipient of the 2014 American Medical Women’s Association Presidential Award.

by Patricia Yarberry Allen, MD | bio

I watched the New Hampshire presidential debates, though I previously have avoided the debates because I detest the mean-spirited nature.

Instead I’ve been reading many stories and analysis from various points of view. I have worked on whom I will support by reviewing opinions from the left and right and learning about issues affecting the heartland and the urban centers — and from my own deep belief of what America needs.

The results of the Iowa caucus forced me to change my mind about the debates. I needed to see and hear the major Democratic candidates respond to each other in a group. I needed to hear if they could clearly and effectively answer each question and articulate a thoughtful position.

We live in a world that is becoming more dangerous each day. I want to know if the future POTUS can do the Big Things well.

I do not care if our next president is "likeable." What kind of nonsense is this? Was it created by pollsters and the media and grabbed by the political Machiavellians who run these campaigns with their simplistic messages, both positive and negative?

Here’s what I want to know:

– Can this candidate protect us from rogue groups with nuclear capability?

– Does this candidate have a plan for monitoring potential terrorist groups within our borders?

– What is the candidate’s plan for protecting us from ineffective monitoring of our food and drug supply from around the world?

– How does the candidate intend to overhaul our inadequate health care system? Currently the Democratic candidates are focused on universal care and yet not one of them has come up with a rational way to pay for comprehensive care that includes completely overhauling our medical malpractice tort system.

– How does the candidate intend to prevent the destruction of existing safety nets for the elderly and the poor — inevitably due to the overspending and underfunding of Social Security and Medicare?

– How will the candidate ensure that the United States is once again the world’s leader in innovation — in areas as broad as basic research and development and as specific as stem cell and genetic research?

– What concrete and innovative program does the candidate support to make our country less dependent on foreign nations for fuel and energy? How far will the candidate go to support alternative energy and to prevent the worsening of global warming?

– What economic infrastructure will the candidate create to stop the continued loss of jobs across most industrial sectors?

– How will the candidate direct young people and those who need new skills into vocational training that will give them the opportunity for long-term employment? While we are currently fixated on sending every high school student on to college — often providing only a mediocre education because of lack of aptitude or a real passion for learning — we need to focus on ways that each individual can make a living and a contribution based on the needs of our society. 

– What plans can the candidate offer the recently and chronically unemployed? And what will this candidate do to replace the aging employee base that provides essential services such as air traffic control and the building and maintenance of the country’s bridges, ports, roads and tunnels?

– Does the candidate truly understand that what really matters is a return to a fiscally rational economic policy? This means that increased taxes on the very rich and on corporate America are an absolute necessity. Philanthropy is nice, but the country needs capital to fund programs that address the critical problems our nation is facing.

– Who, among all these candidates, can exhort our citizens to create a new national character of personal responsibility, public service and self-sacrifice?

We don’t need to choose a candidate who is likeable, but we must choose the candidate who can do the big job in hard times. At least that’s what I think of when I hear candidates talk about the need for change.

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  • Mary Moss Greenebaum January 9, 2008 at 12:52 pm

    I was gratified by New Hampshire’s result last night, most specifically on the democratic side. Not because of a preference, but because I felt the voters rejected the over-reaching dependence on rhetoric, the press’ irresponsible obsession with a horse race mentality (rather than substance), and the sit-com state of mind focused on “likability”.
    From that point of view, Dr. Pat Allen hit a nerve. I care little which candidate between Senators Clinton and Obama one prefers. Both are intelligent. The whole business reminds me of friends who unwisely choose doctors because of their “bedside manner”, rather than whether they have the ability to diagnose a problem and save their life.
    We’re talking about life altering issues, if not civilization’s survival at this point. Everyone knows what these issues are. The electorate better hunker down and plumb the depths of these candidates before they vote.

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  • Dee Hoty January 9, 2008 at 1:27 am

    Really enjoyed reading your comments, Pat! As I write (from the West Coast) I’m hearing the New Hampshire re-hash du jour. How great to hear that women 65 and OVER made the difference in the votes for Mrs. Clinton. Whatever the outcome, women have to pay attention and VOTE! We can and do make a difference (love this website); and whoever wins the nomination for either party had better get a clue!!! Pat, you rock!

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  • M Beermann January 8, 2008 at 7:03 pm

    Hooray for Pat! I cannot agree with you more. If someone, any candidate, any party, could answer (and solve) these important questions, the country would be in great shape. I don’t wish to disclose my favor for either party because at this point, that is irrelevant. Actually having a plan as opposed to saying we need a plan or we need to solve this problem is where we are getting the run around. Pat’s questions cross all party lines. I’m with ya Pat, let’s forget likeable and look at the issues. I’m voting for the best problem SOLVER, man OR woman!

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  • PAT DOUGHERTY January 8, 2008 at 2:53 pm

    A few comments – all your points are valid – although it is impolitic to remind the American people about the excellent way Bill Clinton led our country, the fact remains – he will be Hillary’s side kick and will be the best advisor any president can have.
    2nd – the Republicans do not want Hillary or Bill back – so are secretly in favor of Obama because they think they have a better chance of defeating him in the final effort. (unfortunately racism is still a factor).
    And last are my own feelings women are their own worst enemy – a chance at last to see a woman in the White House – not just any woman, but a woman who can and will make a difference – where are you, why are you not standing up for Hillary? For many of us who have waited a lifetime for this opportunity – to see a woman president in our own lifetime – a woman who has the best credentials of any candidate in the race – how can you let this opportunity slip through your fingers?
    Men have not done a great job so far and we can and must effect this miracle. Women of America, stand up and take your rightful place in our democracy – do not allow this epic making opportunity to slip through our fingers. A Clinton-Obama ticket will save our country and possibly the planet. Stand up now – let’s make it happen.

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  • Donna Olshan January 8, 2008 at 10:06 am

    All your points are well taken. The question is how do we realistically move the dialogue from marketing to the mission?

    Reply