The women who ran for US president

// 11 June 2008

WOC PhD has a great post up, which includes a long list of the women who ran for president pre-Clinton.

Hillary is the first woman to garner slightly less than 18 million votes but she is not the first woman to assume she had the right to be President nor to test that assumption at the polls.

This is a really impressive testament to the continued perseverance of women against the odds of a male-dominated, white political system. Our system is different of course, and correct me if I’m wrong, but I believe Margaret Thatcher is the only woman to have led a political party with seats in the Commons, and thus the only woman to have even been in with a shot of becoming PM. Look for the women on this list – the only one you’ll find is Margaret Beckett. Here’s one for the Tories. And for the Lib Dems.

Via Zuky

Comments From You

Jessica // Posted 11 June 2008 at 5:01 pm

You’re correct in saying Thatcher was the only woman to have a chance at being Prime Minister.

It is difficult to know how willing the electorate are to accept a female Prime Minister, seeing as very few people actually get to vote directly for them. Becoming leader of your party also depends on the individual political party, as they have different voting systems for what is, technically, an internal party matter.

Because the parties choose their leaders, only the people living in the constituency of the leaders of the major parties have a shot at voting for the leader of the county — and even then the ultimate power to appoint the PM lies with the Queen. Legally, the Queen could ask any member of either the Commons or the Lords to be her Prime Minister and form a government.

Kate // Posted 11 June 2008 at 5:16 pm

Not Westminster, but the Scottish Green Party has male and female co-conveners and seats in the Scottish Parliament. In the SP, both Labour and the Tories are also led by women (Wendy Alexander and Annabel Goldie).

Margaret Beckett was briefly acting leader of Labour at Westminster after John Smith died.

Jennie B // Posted 12 June 2008 at 5:16 pm

The UK Greens also have two principal speakers: Dr Derek Wall and Dr Caroline Lucas MEP (sits on European Parliament and is a member of International Trade Committee, and the Environment and Public Health and Food safety committees).

Benjamin Michael Goering // Posted 18 June 2008 at 7:24 am

I wasn’t a very big fan of Hillary, but I am proud (and a bit surprised) that my fellow Americans were generally civil about her gender.

I also feel that a female President will be more significant than a female Prime Minister simply because the PM isn’t a direct result of the votes of the masses. Most of the members of the Commons are intellectual, understanding people that are less likely to foster sexist ideas than some of the more ‘mainstream’ folks.

A female President will largely signify that everyday people, even the lower/middle class, have finally transcended ancient stupidity.

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