Hear Four Women Who Helped Hillary Clinton Make History

EDITORIAL
The San Diego Union-Tribune

WWR Article Summary (tl;dr) Hillary Clinton’s place atop the democratic party in the race for the White House was a long time coming. While it is Clinton who ultimately broke the glass ceiling, there are plenty of other women who have been chipping away for years.

The San Diego Union-Tribune

Forget politics.

Love her or hate her, Hillary Clinton’s acceptance of a major party nomination to be president of the United States is a cultural milestone, a major moment for America. Yes, other female politicians have shared stages similar to the one Clinton took Thursday. Geraldine Ferraro, then a New York congresswoman, was the Democrats’ first female vice presidential nominee in 1984. Then-Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin was the Republicans’ first in 2008. Yet no one has stepped into a spotlight like this.

It was not for lack of trying. As the nation braces itself for what will be a brutal election between two candidates with hope and high unfavorability ratings, let’s not forget the women who paved the way, from Gracie Allen to Margaret Chase Smith to Shirley Chisholm to Elizabeth Dole.

Just think how far America has come since 1940 when comedian Gracie Allen ran for president on the “Surprise Party” ticket as a radio publicity stunt — a joke — and got between a few hundred and 42,000 votes (hers was a write-in campaign so there aren’t exact figures) to Franklin Roosevelt’s 27 million and Wendell Wilkie’s 22 million.

Her campaign song honestly (and hilariously) said: “Even big politicians don’t know what to do. Gracie doesn’t know either, but neither do you.”

Twenty-four years later, Maine Republican Sen. Margaret Chase Smith announced her entry into the 1964 presidential campaign despite ridiculous criticism that she didn’t have the “physical stamina to run” and her own concern that as a candidate she would miss Senate votes, thus ending her roll call record string of 1,590. “I have few illusions and no money, but I’m staying for the finish,” Smith said. “When people keep telling you, you can’t do a thing, you kind of like to try.”

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