Parton for president? Why not

Dolly Parton for president!

Yep, I said it.

Dolly, I’ll be your campaign manager, your war horse, your fixer. I’ll be Stamper to your Underwood. (Not that you’d ever kill me with a letter opener.)

I’ve given this a lot of thought: Dolly should run the country.

She’s shrewd, she’s compassionate, she’s a brilliant businesswoman. She knows what it means to be poor, to be counted out because she’s small, she’s a woman and she’s a hillbilly. She’s been hungry, literally and figuratively. She’s worked hard for everything she has.

She’s also savvy, kind and suffers no fools. She’s smart enough to know what she doesn’t know, and she hires people who do know. Quote: “I know who I am; I know what I can and can’t do. I know what I will and won’t do. I know what I am capable of.”

She’s diplomatic—time and again, when asked her views on controversial topics, she politely but firmly says, “That’s my business.” She loves her fans, gay, straight, black, white, whatever. (She swears she once entered a Dolly Parton drag contest in a gay club and lost.)

She’s a consummate communicator and stays true to her moral compass. You’ve never read about Dolly Parton falling drunk and half-naked out of a limousine, or seen her on Access Hollywood heading back to rehab for the fourth time. She’s been married to one man for 50-plus years and whatever arrangement they have, I couldn’t care less about.

She’s driven, optimistic, and a born negotiator (there’s a reason she’s worth $500 million). She knows the value of education: Her Imagination Library, begun in 1995 for kids in her birthplace of Sevierville, Tenn., has distributed 127,948,148 free books to children in America, Ireland, Canada, the United Kingdom and Australia. Her program mails 1 million free books EVERY MONTH.

She’s comfortable on the world stage, big on family values (10 brothers and sisters, dozens of nieces and nephews), and she’s visited more countries than most presidents.

Some folks make fun of her Jessica Rabbit figure and country twang, but it’s worth noting that she could buy and sell her critics with the change in her pocket. In other words, don’t mess with success.

She’s re-invented herself several times: Pop, bluegrass, hardcore country, Broadway. She knows how to roll with the punches. She’s practical, fair, open-minded and forward-thinking.

She’s been in the public eye for 50 years without sacrificing her integrity.

Dolly Parton is routinely on lists of “Most Admired Women.” She’s comfortable on the world stage. She knows the value of teamwork.

A big-bosomed country singer? Why not? In the last 50 years we’ve had an actor, an oil man, a peanut farmer and a reality show host.

Can there be any argument? Of course she should be in the White House. I don’t care what party she represents. I don’t care if she invents a new party. I’m in.

I’m telling you, if Dolly Parton announced her candidacy tomorrow, people would be celebrating in the streets. When doctors, lawyers, bus drivers, lunch ladies, custodians, students, factory workers and teachers love you, well—she’d win by a landslide.

Imagine the cabinet she’d assemble. Tough, savvy public servants doing the Lord’s work. Imagine her going toe-to-toe with Putin. We all know he couldn’t actually get that close, but he’d look into her Botoxed eyes and know he’d met his match.

Dolly, we need you, your passion, your common sense, your work ethic. Bring it!

P.S. Your running mate? Jimmy Buffet, but that’s another column.

Julie R. Smith, who’s already ordering campaign signs, can be reached at