After Klobuchar, Warren, record number of women are running for president, but old attacks remain

After Klobuchar, Warren, record number of women are running for president, but old attacks remain


Five notable female politicians—the largest number in U.S. history—are now vying for the U.S. Democratic Party's 2020 presidential ticket. Some are already heaped in the type of criticism only women tend to receive when running for office, according to one expert. Listen for more.



Glenn Reeder: Two more candidates have jumped into the 2020 presidential race. Today Minnesota Democratic senator Amy Klobuchar announced her campaign. And yesterday Massachusetts Democratic senator Elizabeth Warren formally entered the race, bringing the number of notable female politicians running for a major party ticket to five, a new record. 

Jody Strait: The total number of women running for president now stands at five of the nine major declared Democratic candidates. Most recently, Amy Klobuchar, the longtime Democratic Minnesota senator, announced her bid for the ticket during a snowy Sunday rally in Minneapolis. 

Amy Klobuchar: I am for this job for every person who wants their work recognized and rewarded. I am running for every parents who wants a better world for their kids. I’m running for every student who wants a good education, for every senior who wants affordable prescription drugs, for every worker, farmer, dreamer, and builder. I am running for every American.

Jody Strait: Klobuchar joins Massachusetts senator Elizabeth Warren in the lineup. Warren formally announced her campaign one day earlier with a focus on America’s shrinking middle class.

Elizabeth Warren: The rules of our economy have gotten rigged so far in favor of the rich and powerful that everyone else is at risk of being left behind. Listen to this: In the 1940s, 90 percent of all kids we’re destined to do better than their parents. By the 1980s, the odds had slipped to 50-50. And now, we could be the first generation in American History where more kids do worse than their parents. 

Jody Strait: Other female candidates include California senator Kamala Harris, New York senator Kirsten Gilibrand, and Hawaii representative Tulsi Gabbard, an unprecedented number of female candidates. So far, no challenges have been announced to presidential incumbent Donald Trump’s spot on the Republican ticket.

Klobuchar--the first woman from Minnesota elected to the senate—spoke about campaign finance reform, climate change, net neutrality, foreign policy and diversity at her rally. But press coverage was mired in details of a Huffington Post report alleging Klobuchar of having a temper with her staff and scaring off potential campaign managers. Questions surrounding a female candidate’s likability are nothing new.  Anne Moses, founder of IGNITE—a national nonpartisan organization promoting political ambition in young women, says women face a number of expectations that men don’t when running for office. 

Anne Moses: I really don’t like all the attention that is paid to women’s appearance and women’s personality, women’s likability. Somehow we expect female candidates to be likable. We have no such expectation of male candidates. We just elected a very unlikable person president two years ago, and that seemed to be a selling point for him, so I would love it if America could stop focusing on the personal characteristics that they associate with men and women and start focusing on the policy issues. 

Jody Strait: A key time to focus on issues will come in June, when the first Democratic primary debate is expected. The potential to have five or more women facing off in a debate stands in stark contrast to previous U.S. history. Primary debates have never included more than one female candidate at a time. Seeing more women on the dais is likely to inspire others to run for office in the future, according to Moses.

Anne Moses: When you have this many women running for president it really tells young women that what they thought was possible before has changed, and that’s a great thing.

Jody Strait: Moses welcomes this shift in the status quo. She says the United States is currently 76thin the world for women in politics. She says adding that policies like universal childcare could help to change that number. In 2014, a report by the Institute for Women’s Policy Research found gender parity in Congress could take up to 100 years to reach. Currently, men still comprise over 70 percent of Congress, despite a record number of women being elected last November. 

For the Pacifica Evening News, I’m Jody Strait. 

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This post was written by Jody, lead writer at Strait Writing. If you are looking to improve your writing, schedule a coaching session and get practical tips on how to take your writing to the next level.

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