If you want straight answers to straight questions, then Elizabeth Edwards is your gal.

After hearing her speak at last week’s BlogHer conference, I know if she was the one running for president, she would be getting my vote — hands down.

Not only is she exquisitely tuned in to the issues many of us think are the most important ones, she knows something else that seems to elude most office seekers — if you want support from women, you need to make connections.

Not just the ‘let-me-shake-your-hand-and-plead-for-your-vote’ kind of relationship. Don’t just talk at us with the catch phrases and soundbites that you think will garner our support. We’re about way more than that, in case you hadn’t noticed.

Elizabeth Edwards knows from her own personal experience what it means to reach out to people for help in coping when things don’t go as hoped or planned in life — connections that are real and personal.

And once you’ve made the connections, a candidate who wants our vote needs to be someone who can lead on the issues we care about — not just tell us how they feel or why things might be hard to accomplish. I had the sense that, given the chance, she could be that kind of leader as a politician — someone who would stand up and have the courage to say what she believes is right and important without regard to polls or strategists.

I marvelled at Edwards’ passion and outspokenness, hitting all the rights notes with the BlogHer women as she effortlessly talked her way through all the issues we’re focused on these days — the war in Iraq, health care policy, elder care, truly balanced and in-depth news coverage, caring for the poor, and realizing the power that we, as women, have if we use our voices, and our blogs, to keep the discussions going about what is important to us.

Edwards, who has her own blog, when asked if more presidential spouses should be blogging, responded:

“It is the ultimate way to communicate with voters.”

So why haven’t the other campaigns picked up on that yet?

I’m inspired by Elizabeth Edwards. Maybe John should consider her on the VP short list?