Electing Madam Vice President presents the presidential bids of the six women who ran for the Democratic nomination for President of the United States in 2020 and the historic, groundbreaking vice-presidential candidacy of Kamala Harris. When Vice President Kamala Harris and her family moved into Number One Observatory Circle, the official Vice Presidential residence of the United States, she claimed a title no other women in the United States ever had: Vice President. She is closer to the United States presidency than any woman in history. Yet, she has repeated often that she is standing on the shoulders of women who have come before her to try to break down barriers, including the United States Presidency. Often left off the history pages, and out of many Americans’ minds, are the bids of women who run for president. The 2020 Democratic primary included the most women ever to run in one election. This book demonstrates the progress women candidates have made as they have moved from symbolic to viable candidates and shines a light on the diminishing obstacles that face women candidates while taking readers on a journey through the victorious progress of a woman United States Vice President.
Nichola D. Gutgold is professor of communication arts and sciences at Penn State Lehigh Valley.
Table of Contents
A Foreword In Verse by Loretta T. Avent
Introduction: Changing The Rhetoric of Women and Presidential Politics
Chapter One: Tulsi Gabbard: Leading with Aloha
Chapter Two: Kirsten Gillibrand: The “#Me Too Senator,” An Advocate for Women’s Rights from a Family of Trailblazing Women
Chapter Three: Kamala Harris: An Action-Oriented Advocate For the People
Chapter Four: Amy Klobuchar: A Pragmatic Approach to Presidential Leadership
Chapter Five: Elizabeth Warren: A Professor Turns A Country Into Her Classroom
Chapter Six: Marianne Williamson: Running with the People To Create Deep Change
Conclusion: From Novelty to Normal: Did Six Women Running for President 2020 Change the Rhetoric of Women and Presidential Politics?
Afterword by Congresswoman Susan Wild
Gutgold has produced a concise volume detailing the journeys of the six women who sought the 2020 Democratic presidential nomination. Following the introduction, Gutgold offers a highly structured exploration of the background, campaign, and rhetorical style of each candidate. She then contemplates Kamala Harris’s selection as the vice presidential nominee and her election to office. The conclusion considers how the experiences of the women who ran in 2020 will impact the paths of future contenders. The strength of the book lies in its descriptive detail. Readers are reminded that candidate gender was an important theme of the 2020 election before media attention turned to the COVID-19 pandemic and attempts to prevent the certification of the results…. Recommended. General readers and lower-division undergraduates.
This book packs a lot of punch into 145 pages. The eleven 2019/20 Presidential debates allowed more women than ever before to stand up and be heard. In her final chapter Gutgold asks “Did Six Women Running for President 2020 Change the Rhetoric of Women and Presidential Politics?” To find out her answer, you’ll have to read the book.
This timely and engaging empirical study of the six women who ran for president in 2020 deftly examines a historic election year in American politics. Focusing on communication style and campaign rhetoric, the book explains how the candidates broke through political barriers and why they ultimately ended their presidential bids. It also discusses how Kamala Harris ultimately prevailed to win election as the first woman vice president of the United States. The lucid writing and lively details will be of high interest for students, scholars, and anyone keen to understand how 2020 cemented women’s participation in the race for the White House.
Nichola D. Gutgold, a leading expert on the rhetoric of female candidates for president, has penned a highly insightful book on female candidates to the office in 2020. Addressing, among other issues, how a critical mass of female candidates for the Democratic nomination not only emerged but changed the dynamics of women running for the highest office in the nation, she identifies the ways in which they ran as a response to the presidency of Donald Trump as well as the #MeToo movement. While no woman won the presidential nomination or the office, women won key endorsements, became leading voices for their wings of the party, and now-Vice President Kamala Harris broke ground and may be providing a glimpse of the future of the presidency. Dr. Gutgold's book identifies how the ground has been shifting for women candidates because of the ways in which they ran, and whom we may expect to see on the path ahead.