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Running While Female: 2020 Presidential Hopefuls Test Differing Strategies

By Janet Hook
Los Angeles Times

WWR Article Summary (tl;dr) Sen. Kamala Harris of California joins Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts and New York Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand in the upper tier of candidates seeking the Democratic nomination.

WASHINGTON

When Elizabeth Warren launched her 2012 Senate bid in Massachusetts, some Democrats there worried.

Another woman had run two years earlier and failed miserably. But Warren ignored warnings that she would be “another Martha Coakley.” She beat the incumbent by more than 7 percentage points and became the first woman elected to statewide office in Massachusetts.

Now Warren is among a record number of women running for president in 2020. Again, they’re operating in the shadow of failure — Hillary Clinton’s unsuccessful White House bid in 2016 — but also the widespread successes of women in the 2018 midterm election.

Sen. Kamala Harris of California joins Warren and New York Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand in the upper tier of candidates seeking the Democratic nomination. Each takes a different tack in navigating the powerful crosscurrents of being a woman in national politics.

Gillibrand plays the gender card most emphatically, emphasizing her record on protecting women from sexual assault and her support for female candidates. Explaining why she is running for president, she often begins, “As a young mom…”

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