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Women As Major Players In American Politics

1976 words - 8 pages

In recent years, the increase of women as major players in American politics has changed the political landscape. Despite women accounting for over fifty percent of the nation’s population, in 2011, women account for just over twenty percent of the nation’s state legislators, and sixteen percent of U.S. House of Representative and U.S. Senate members. This number is largely unchanged from the percent of women who held positions in these public offices in 1993 (Halloran, 2010). Although the numbers for women represented look bleak, major advances have been made in women’s abilities to make a large impact in national politics. Three women; Hillary Clinton, Sarah Palin, and Nancy Pelosi; have bursted into the national political spotlight and have paved the way for women to be considered serious contenders for powerful political positions in the United States. Despite the political and ideological differences these three women share with one another, Clinton, Palin, and Pelosi share one characteristic that have helped launch them into positions of political power and influence: they all worked hard to make it to the top by being lifelong visionaries.
Vision is defined in many different ways. Conger (1999) defined vision as an idealized goal to be achieved in the future. Boal and Bryson (1999) defined vision as an image of the future that articulates the values, purposes, and identity of followers. Klenke (2011) argued that vision is the future time perspective that drives current leader behaviors (p. 83). Clinton, Palin, and Pelosi were visionary in their climb to the political spotlight by being driven, confident, and and influential to the American public.
Clinton may very well be considered an archetype of women in American politics. As wife of President Bill Clinton, Hillary Clinton got her first taste of the political spotlight while the former President served as Arkansas governor. After serving as the First Lady, Clinton ran for U.S. Congress as a Senator from New York and won against all odds after having only resided in the state for a less than a year (CNN, 2000). When Clinton ran for President in 2008, her demeanor was evidence of the battle her generation had to fight to overcome the stigma and descrimination of women climbing to the top. During Clinton’s 2008 Presidential campaign, she came off as no-nonsense, serious, grounded, and concrete. Her personal appearance was business-like, and she often wore masculine pants suits during the campaign. Clinton was very passionate about the issues she platformed on, and was arguably more knowledgable on domestic and international issues than her competition at the time, Barack Obama. Despite losing the Presidential primary, Clinton still had a solid following of supporters who admired her tenacity to continue her climb towards the top of the political ladder. Many of Clinton’s supporters refused to lend their support to Obama: According to a 2008 Gallup poll, twenty-eight...

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