The Women’s Programming Advisory Council (WPAC) is hosting a free screening MAKERS: Women in Politics this evening at 5 p.m. in 114 Classroom Building. The episode is part of a PBS series that seeks to highlight influential women in various areas.
In accordance with the theme of this week’s episode, WPAC would like to highlight a few up-and-coming and well-known names of women in the political world. 2016 could be the year we see the first woman elected as President of the United States.
Of course we can start with the obvious, Hillary Clinton, who is the rumored front-runner for the Democratic nomination for president in 2016. Clinton is a jack’tress’ of all trades. An alumna of Yale Law School, First Lady to 42nd President William ‘Bill’ Clinton, former senator for the state of New York (2001-2009), and former Secretary of State (2009-2013) under President Barack Obama, Clinton brings a plethora of legitimate experience to the table if she pursues the presidential nomination next year. **On a side note, let’s not forget to mention Clinton’s protege and senate seat successor, Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY), who is fast making a name for herself in the Democratic party.
Right on her heels, is Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.), a former Harvard law professor and considered one of the foremost scholars on the issues of the U.S. economy and personal finance. Although, Warren has stated she is not interested in running for the Democratic presidential nomination, many see her as a legitimate contender, especially after her speech about Wall Street and government bailouts on Dec. 12, 2014. Warren is seen as a woman who works for the working class and was instrumental in the formation of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. If a presidential run isn’t in her future, we can still expect to hear more from her over the next election season.
Not to leave the Republican party out, Sen. Kelly Ayotte (R-N.H) has been generating buzz about her involvement on a presidential ticket since she was considered as a potential vice-presidential candidate on the 2012 Romney presidential campaign. Ayote has established a strong and firm opinion on core conservative issues that have been key talking points in the Republican party as of late. With prior experience in public and private law and as attorney general of New Hampshire (2004-2009), the junior senator is now making a name for herself in Congress.
Another frontrunner in the Republican party is New Mexico Gov. Susana Martinez. With the GOP’s efforts to sway the Latino vote, Martinez’s experience as a Latina politician who has been on both sides of the Congressional aisle, could pose a threat to the Latino population’s traditional support for Democrats. Since making the switch to the Republican party, Martinez has been firm with her stances on abortion and same-sex marriage. Many love her firecracker personality, which she attributes to her humble and strict upbringing by her three-time boxing champion father.
More of a moderate candidate, Alaska’s Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska) has proven she what it takes to stay in the game. In 2010, after losing a controversial primary for reelection, Murkowski launched a write-in campaign and became the first senator in more than 50 years to be elected through write-in votes. While the Republican party usually appreciates a tenacious attitude, they may not, however, appreciate her moderate stances on abortion (she is pro-choice), stem-cell research, and the “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policy of which she voted to repeal. But who knows, maybe a little bit of moderation could do this country good.
And let’s not forget Oklahoma’s very own, Gov. Mary Fallin, who has also been making a name for herself over the past few years for her rigid stances on many key conservative issues. 2012 Republican vice-presidential candidate Sarah Palin has said she views Fallin as a fellow “liberty loving Mama Grizzly“. Since becoming Oklahoma’s first female governor in 2011, Fallin has been a poster-child for enforcing key conservative values. Time will only tell if a future congressional or presidential ticket will have her name on it.