Hillary Clinton has now become the first woman to be nominated by a major party for the office of President of the United States. Exactly 100 years ago, the first woman was elected to Congress (Montana allowed women to vote before 1920 suffrage amendment).
Jeannette Rankin, elected to the House of Representatives as a pacifist from Montana in 1916, was the first woman to ever sit in Congress even though women outside of Montana were not allowed to vote until 1920. She is remembered as a profile in courage because as a pacifist she voted against both WWI and WWII.
Over the many years since suffrage was finally approved in the United States, there have been many women from all parties in the House and Senate, some appointed to replace husbands or sons, others who have faced the voting public in their own right. All of them have brought a viewpoint and strength that Congress did not have before their arrival.
This is the day that Ophelia Wyatt Caraway became the first woman to be elected to the U.S. Senate. Caraway, born near Bakerville, Tennessee, had been appointed to the Senate two months earlier to fill the vacancy in Arkansas left by her late husband, Thaddeus Horatio Caraway. With the support of Huey Long, a powerful senator from Louisiana, Caraway was elected to the seat. In 1938, she was reelected. After failing to win renomination in 1944, she was appointed to the Federal Employees Compensation Commission by President Franklin Roosevelt.
Although she was the first freely elected female senator, Caraway was preceded in the Senate by Rebecca Latimer Felton, who was appointed in 1922 to fill a vacancy but never ran for election in her own right.
After more than forty years of public service in one form or another since her, 1969 commencement speech for graduation from Wellesley, Hillary Clinton stands on the brink of gaining the highest office in the land. Throughout all of those years she has done what she does best: Kept going. No matter what life threw at her she simply gathered herself up, held to her ideals and stayed committed to doing the best job possible, and kept going.
Of all the possible candidates for the office, Hillary Clinton brings to this campaign the lessons of a lifetime of preparation and dedication. President Obama laid out this quality, which more than any other has prepared her to take his place when she is sworn in on January 20, 2017.
“There is no candidate in modern history who has been more prepared than her to be president. You know, we don’t go vacationing together. I think that I’ve got a pretty clear-eyed sense of both her strengths and her weaknesses,” Obama told CBS’ John Dickerson in a wide-ranging interview for “Face the Nation” on Friday. “And what I would say would be that this is somebody who knows as much about domestic and foreign policy as anybody, is tough as nails, is motivated by what’s best for America and ordinary people, understands that in this Democracy that we have things don’t always happen as fast as we’d like. And it requires compromise and grinding it out. She’s not always flashy. And there are better speech makers. But she knows her stuff. And more than anything, that is what is ultimately required to do a good job in this office.”
Wilson Casey in his book, 101 Reasons To Vote For Hillary, said: “The late British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher may have been called the “Iron Lady” but Hillary Clinton is the “new Iron Lady”. In our era of politics, in which spin seems to take precedence over substance, Hillary Clinton is an icon for what politics should be about – courage, spirit, and the determination to change things for the better.”
The Democratic Convention begins today. The lady has five days to make her case to both admirers and skeptics. One thing is absolutely certain: No one in more than 200 years of men has come to the race more dedicated or more prepared for the job at hand.
The mad art director was at it again today –
White paint balloons plop splat on
Turn on the wind machine to streak the sky
Hit with a pink from sun positioned
In track-light circuit
So much for scenery
It’s beautiful, but is it art,
And is reality in this year?