By Jerry Zremski
The Buffalo News, N.Y.
WWR Article Summary (tl;dr) Interesting look at the possible affect a female Presidency could have on women entering politics. Democratic consultant Amelia Showalter who did research on the subject while in graduate school at Harvard University suggests much could change. Showalter’s findings show successful women politicians seem to inspire other women to run for office.
A quarter century after first appearing on the national political scene, Hillary Clinton is, ironically, something entirely new: the first woman ever positioned to win a major political party’s nomination for president.
And that fact could have a dramatic impact not just on the nation’s capital, but on the gender balance of city councils and county legislatures from Buffalo to Bakersfield, and in state legislatures from Albany to Alaska.
At least that’s the hope of those who want more women to run for public office. What’s more, there’s some evidence that their hope may indeed become a reality.
For one thing, there are women — like Sen. Kirsten E. Gillibrand and State Senate candidate Amber Small of Buffalo — who say Clinton already inspired them to enter public service.
And for another, there’s research indicating that women who succeed at running for public office inspire others to do so.
Of course, Clinton is by no means an inspiration to every public-spirited woman in America. She still inspires disdain among women who support the progressive agenda of Sen. Bernie Sanders, Clinton’s rival for the Democratic presidential nomination, as well as among Republicans who portray her career as one long vapor trail of scandal.
But women who support Clinton said Wednesday that her history-making clinching of the Democratic nomination would change the way ambitious young women think about politics — as well as politics itself.
“I think it will inspire more women to run for Congress,” said Gillibrand, a Democrat who replaced Clinton as a U.S. senator representing New York in 2009. “They will be able to envision themselves in public service in a leadership position. And to have the commander in chief, to have the greatest leader in our land be a woman — that would not only encourage them but inspire them to dream big.”