A Woman for President?

Ruth Mandel (Director, Eagleton Institute of Politics; Board of Govenors Professor of Politics)

In 2016, U.S. voters will elect new leadership.  For the first time in our nation’s history, a woman stands a good chance of being nominated to head a major political party's ticket for the office of President of the United States. This historic possibility will intensify the interest in the national elections, with many people discussing gender whether or not they regard it as a legitimate or relevant campaign issue. This seminar will focus on: (1) a brief history of female presidential candidates, including Shirley Chisholm's historic 1972 campaign; (2) shifting public attitudes about electing a woman to the White House; (3) and women's changing political roles and status over the last four decades. A focal point of the seminar will be the life and career of Hillary Rodham Clinton, the sole woman so far with a realistic chance to make the presidential breakthrough, the first woman to be taken seriously as a viable major party nominee. We will devote special attention to Clinton's 2008 presidential campaign and her potential 2016 candidacy. We will pay attention to media coverage of presidential politics with respect to female candidates and will interview friends, family members and neighbors about the 2008 campaign and the next national elections in 2016. If possible, we will engage with political practitioners by taking a trip to an event or speech, and/or by meeting and visiting with women leaders and campaign strategists.

Course Number: 
01:090:101 section 42 index 06796