Skip to main content

America is ready for Madam President

By Stephanie Schriock, Special to CNN
May 2, 2013 -- Updated 1410 GMT (2210 HKT)
Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, pictured in October 2012, has become one of the most powerful people in Washington. Here's a look at her life and career through the years. Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, pictured in October 2012, has become one of the most powerful people in Washington. Here's a look at her life and career through the years.
HIDE CAPTION
Hillary Clinton's career in the spotlight
Hillary Clinton's career in the spotlight
Hillary Clinton's career in the spotlight
Hillary Clinton's career in the spotlight
Hillary Clinton's career in the spotlight
Hillary Clinton's career in the spotlight
Hillary Clinton's career in the spotlight
Hillary Clinton's career in the spotlight
Hillary Clinton's career in the spotlight
Hillary Clinton's career in the spotlight
Hillary Clinton's career in the spotlight
Hillary Clinton's career in the spotlight
Hillary Clinton's career in the spotlight
Hillary Clinton's career in the spotlight
Hillary Clinton's career in the spotlight
Hillary Clinton's career in the spotlight
Hillary Clinton's career in the spotlight
Hillary Clinton's career in the spotlight
Hillary Clinton's career in the spotlight
Hillary Clinton's career in the spotlight
Hillary Clinton's career in the spotlight
Hillary Clinton's career in the spotlight
Hillary Clinton's career in the spotlight
Hillary Clinton's career in the spotlight
Hillary Clinton's career in the spotlight
Hillary Clinton's career in the spotlight
Hillary Clinton's career in the spotlight
Hillary Clinton's career in the spotlight
Hillary Clinton's career in the spotlight
Hillary Clinton's career in the spotlight
Hillary Clinton's career in the spotlight
Hillary Clinton's career in the spotlight
Hillary Clinton's career in the spotlight
Hillary Clinton's career in the spotlight
Hillary Clinton's career in the spotlight
Hillary Clinton's career in the spotlight
Hillary Clinton's career in the spotlight
Hillary Clinton's career in the spotlight
Hillary Clinton's career in the spotlight
Hillary Clinton's career in the spotlight
Hillary Clinton's career in the spotlight
Hillary Clinton's career in the spotlight
Hillary Clinton's career in the spotlight
Hillary Clinton's career in the spotlight
Hillary Clinton's career in the spotlight
Hillary Clinton's career in the spotlight
Hillary Clinton's career in the spotlight
Hillary Clinton's career in the spotlight
Hillary Clinton's career in the spotlight
Hillary Clinton's career in the spotlight
Hillary Clinton's career in the spotlight
Hillary Clinton's career in the spotlight
Hillary Clinton's career in the spotlight
Hillary Clinton's career in the spotlight
Hillary Clinton's career in the spotlight
Hillary Clinton's career in the spotlight
Hillary Clinton's career in the spotlight
Photos: Hillary Clinton's career in the spotlight
Photos: Hillary Clinton's career in the spotlight
Hillary Clinton's career in the spotlight
<<
<
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
11
12
13
14
15
16
17
18
19
20
21
22
23
24
25
26
27
28
29
30
31
32
33
34
35
36
37
38
39
40
41
42
43
44
45
46
47
48
49
50
51
52
53
54
55
56
57
58
59
60
>
>>
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • Stephanie Schriock: In 2012, voters elected more women to Congress than ever before
  • Schriock: Despite progress, there is still a "men only" sign on the door to the Oval Office
  • She says EMILY's List is launching a campaign to put a woman in the White House
  • Schriock: If Hillary Clinton decides not to run, we still many women leaders to choose from

Editor's note: Stephanie Schriock is the president of EMILY's List, an organization dedicated to electing pro-choice Democratic women to office.

(CNN) -- In 2012 the American people sent a message. They elected more women than ever to Congress, shattering glass ceilings across the nation and making it clear that this is a country that is ready for women's leadership.

It's happening because voters know female leaders have the right priorities. They've fought for policies like the Violence Against Women Act and equal pay for equal work. Female leaders are the reason we have laws that ended gender discrimination in education.

But even though we know women's leadership has helped create so much progress, there is still a "men only" sign on the door to the Oval Office.

Stephanie Schriock
Stephanie Schriock

Across the country, Americans know it's time to change that. It's time to capitalize on the demand for women's leadership, harness the energy and ignite a movement that will put a woman in the White House.

2016 poll: If Clinton doesn't run, then who?

Today, EMILY's List is launching a campaign to make that a reality. Our community of 2 million women and men across the country has worked to elect women to offices up and down the ballot.

In my personal journey, I know how difficult it is to put women in leadership roles. The first campaign I managed was my own. I ran many times and lost many times when I ran for class president in my high school. In my junior year, I decided that I should run for student body president, because it wasn't just my class voting but the entire school. I put together a campaign plan that targeted only the freshmen and sophomore votes. I even got the younger sister of my opponent to join my campaign. I won.

In the process, I learned my first campaign lesson: Never underestimate the power of women. There's a sister, and there's sisterhood.

Now, I get to see that sisterhood at work every day. In the past 28 years EMILY's List has become the nation's largest resource for women in politics, and in that time we've done extensive research on women's leadership and women's priorities.

Our most recent polling, conducted on likely 2016 voters in battleground states, proves without a doubt that the American people are ready for a female chief executive.

Panel: Hillary is the inevitable nominee
Hillary Clinton back in the public eye
Hillary Clinton returns to spotlight

Ninety percent of the people we polled say they would vote for a woman for president and 75% say a female president would be a good thing for the country. Of those surveyed, more thought a female president than a male president would be likely to put families ahead of politics and end partisan bickering. That's something we've known about women since we started helping them run for office in the 1980s.

Kissinger gives a bit of a wink to idea of Clinton in 2016

These female leaders have fought -- and fought hard -- to take a place at the table and make laws that improve the lives of American women and families. The results are undeniable. Because of this we know, our community knows, and countless Americans across the country know, that now is the time for a woman to be at the head of the table.

So who will it be? There's one name on all our minds: Hillary Clinton. Voters across the country are excited about her possible run. But if she decides not to run, we still have a deep bench of incredible female leaders to choose from.

From Cabinet secretaries and senators to the many female governors we'll have after 2014; there are numerous women who are ready to take on the challenge of leading our nation.

Long after we've elected the first female president, we're going to keep electing even more American women, building a pipeline of state legislators and members of Congress, mayors and governors and senators, who will work their way up the ranks and be the second and 10th female presidents.

We are standing on the edge of history. We are standing on the shoulders of the senators and suffragettes, civil rights activists and founding mothers, who have been the backbone of this great country. It's time for us to take the next step and make electing a female president part of our national story.

When a woman runs for president, she will hear this one thing loud and clear from millions of women and men: We stand with you -- and we believe you can win.

America is ready to elect its first Madam President.

Follow us on Twitter @CNNOpinion.

Join us on Facebook/CNNOpinion.

The opinions expressed in this commentary are solely those of Stephanie Schriock.

ADVERTISEMENT
Part of complete coverage on
August 18, 2014 -- Updated 1242 GMT (2042 HKT)
The former U.K. prime minister and current U.N. envoy says there are 500 days left to fulfill the Millennium Goals' promise to children.
August 18, 2014 -- Updated 1310 GMT (2110 HKT)
Julian Zelizer says the left mistrusts Clinton but there are ways she can win support from liberals in 2016
August 19, 2014 -- Updated 1149 GMT (1949 HKT)
Peter Bergen says the terror group is a huge threat in Iraq but only a potential one in the U.S.
August 16, 2014 -- Updated 1734 GMT (0134 HKT)
Mark O'Mara says the way cops, media, politicians and protesters have behaved since Michael Brown's shooting shows not all the right people have learned the right lessons
August 17, 2014 -- Updated 1523 GMT (2323 HKT)
Retired Lt. Gen. Mark Hertling says the American military advisers in Iraq are sizing up what needs to be done and recommending accordingly
August 15, 2014 -- Updated 1941 GMT (0341 HKT)
Marc Lamont Hill says the President's comments on the Michael Brown shooting ignored its racial implications
August 15, 2014 -- Updated 2146 GMT (0546 HKT)
Joe Stork says the catastrophe in northern Iraq continues, even though many religious minorities have fled to safety: ISIS forces -- intent on purging them -- still control the area where they lived
August 14, 2014 -- Updated 2226 GMT (0626 HKT)
Tim Lynch says Pentagon's policy of doling out military weapons to police forces is misguided and dangerous.
August 15, 2014 -- Updated 1315 GMT (2115 HKT)
S.E. Cupp says millennials want big ideas and rapid change; she talks to one of their number who serves in Congress
August 14, 2014 -- Updated 2357 GMT (0757 HKT)
Dorothy Brown says the power structure is dominated by whites in a town that is 68% black. Elected officials who sat by silently as chaos erupted after Michael Brown shooting should be voted out of office
August 14, 2014 -- Updated 1149 GMT (1949 HKT)
Bill Schmitz says the media and other adults should never explain suicide as a means of escaping pain. Robin Williams' tragic death offers a chance to educate about prevention
August 15, 2014 -- Updated 1505 GMT (2305 HKT)
Nafees Syed says President Obama should renew the quest to eliminate bias in the criminal justice system
August 14, 2014 -- Updated 2024 GMT (0424 HKT)
Eric Liu says what's unfolded in the Missouri town is a shocking violation of American constitutional rights and should be a wake-up call to all
August 13, 2014 -- Updated 1922 GMT (0322 HKT)
Neal Gabler says Lauren Bacall, a talent in her own right, will be defined by her marriage with the great actor Humphrey Bogart
August 15, 2014 -- Updated 1056 GMT (1856 HKT)
Bob Butler says the arrest of two journalists covering the Ferguson story is alarming
August 13, 2014 -- Updated 2035 GMT (0435 HKT)
Mark O'Mara says we all need to work together to make sure the tension between police and African-Americans doesn't result in more tragedies
August 18, 2014 -- Updated 2006 GMT (0406 HKT)
Pepper Schwartz asks why young women are so entranced with Kardashian, who's putting together a 352-page book of selfies
August 13, 2014 -- Updated 2308 GMT (0708 HKT)
Michael Friedman says depression does not discriminate, cannot be bargained with and shows no mercy.
August 12, 2014 -- Updated 1251 GMT (2051 HKT)
Mary Allen says because of new research and her own therapy, she no longer carries around the fear of her mother, which had turned into a generalized fear of everything
August 12, 2014 -- Updated 1959 GMT (0359 HKT)
Gilbert Gottfried says the comedian was most at home on the comedy club stage, where he was generous to his fellow stand-up performers
August 12, 2014 -- Updated 2054 GMT (0454 HKT)
Iris Baez, whose son was killed by an illegal police chokehold, says there must be zero tolerance for police who fatally shoot or otherwise kill unarmed people such as Michael Brown
August 12, 2014 -- Updated 1246 GMT (2046 HKT)
Maria Cardona says as he seeks a path to the presidency, the Kentucky Senator is running from his past stated positions. But voters are not stupid--and they know how to use the internet
August 13, 2014 -- Updated 0219 GMT (1019 HKT)
Gene Seymour says the shock at the actor and comedian's death comes from its utter implausibility. For many of us over the last 40 years or so, Robin Williams was an irresistible force of nature that nothing could stop.
August 12, 2014 -- Updated 1951 GMT (0351 HKT)
Soledad O'Brien says the story of two veterans told in a documentary airing on CNN shows the challenges resulting from post-traumatic stress
August 12, 2014 -- Updated 1525 GMT (2325 HKT)
LZ Granderson says we must not surrender to apathy about the injustice faced by African Americans
ADVERTISEMENT