By Colleen O'Connor
Remember the massive Women’s March that erupted almost spontaneously after Donald Trump was inaugurated as President?
Remember the elation about turnout and then the jealous remarks regarding crowd size from the same President?
Or how about the 2018 wave election in which so many women in so many counties and cities delivered control of the House of Representatives to the Democrats and the Speakership to Nancy Pelosi?
And those highly educated, articulate women all running for—gasp—President of the United States on the Democratic ticket?
What historic achievements in recent years. What thunderous applause. There is lots to cheer about during this year’s Women’s History Month.
But sadness does still prevail as not one woman survived the Democratic presidential primary calendar.
They are now each, in their own way, vying to be the vice-presidential nominee. It’s not the top spot, but still some progress.
So, what are these new pioneering political women doing? They are still campaigning, but with more subtlety.
Sens. Amy Klobuchar and Kamala Harris opted quickly to endorse former Vice President Jo Biden. Each is probably eyeing at least a potential cabinet slot in new Democratic administration.
Klobuchar stage-managed a “verbal malfunction” in speaking to a large rally in Michigan—after she dropped out of the race.
Her slip of tongue, when speaking to a crowd of supporters, artfully suggested she might already be Biden’s pick for vice president.
“I could not think of a better way to end my candidacy, as hard as it was to do with our beloved staff and everyone else, than to join the tick–” she was heard saying to the crowd.
Chants of “Amy, Amy “quickly followed. Klobuchar then corrected herself by saying she was going to say “terrific” not “ticket.”
“Guys, I was going to say … ,” she said over chants of her name, “than to join the terrific, the terrific, terrific campaign of Joe Biden.”
The public relations battle for second place is both stage-crafted and just beginning.
Klobuchar could deliver the middle-of-the-road Midwestern vote. But Harris, might deliver California as a prize.
Being both female and of minority descent, she covers the field and generates enthusiasm. She is also telegenic.
Sen. Elizabeth Warren, however, owns the liberal lane with her “Dream Big, Fight Hard” credentials.
She booked her first post-departure sit-down TV interview with MSNBC’s popular Rachel Maddow. Then followed up with Saturday Night Live’s opening and, according to several reports, “stole the show.”
Warren continues to generate interest for several reasons. She hasn’t endorsed Biden or Sanders. She remained the last woman standing in a field of highly-educated, once promising candidates. She generated huge crowds, invented the selfie line, and had “a plan” for everything.
Warren’s announcement brought not just dismay from many women but, deflation from all the previous high points. “What Happened?” was the most repeated headline—along with the tears, exasperation, and even anger—that followed.
Women constitute 65% of registered Democratic voters. Their clout exploded onto the front pages after the 2018 elections, and the Southern states’ votes that delivered Biden his current front-runner status.
Which bring us to the once early favorite for Vice President—Stacey Abrams of Georgia.
The biggest dreamer and the hardest fighter—the former candidate for Governor of Georgia—is close to Obama, of African-American descent, and possesses oratory skills reminiscent of former Rep. Barbara Jordan.
She continues to fight voter suppression and champion field-organizing for new voter registration.
Watch the ballet in progress for the vice presidential nod. And cheer this during Women’s History Month.
And then support all those sisters abroad—as in Mexico—fighting even harder while they “hold up their half of the sky” for basic safety in their homes and on their streets.
The battle for women’s empowerment is still going strong in the United States and around the world.
Colleen O’Connor is a native San Diegan and a retired college professor.
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