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Yahoo's appointment of a pregnant woman as their new CEO shows that we continue to see more and more cracks in the glass ceiling here in the United States.  While women do not serve in elected office proportionate to their share of the US population, we have seen women, both Democrat and Republican,  reach the highest levels of both appointed and elected office.  With two glaring exceptions, that being Vice President and President.

Granted, we've seen Sarah Palin and Geraldine Ferraro on national tickets as VP candidates.  And it's safe to say that had Hillary Clinton won the Democratic nomination in 2008, she would have won the Presidency.  But the reality is that no woman has crossed that line yet.

Below the fold, I'll discuss the top contenders from each party, and surmise who among them is most likely to smash that final hole in the glass ceiling of American politics.

The best chance for a women to be elected President in 2016 will be for President Obama to be reelected in 2012.  This leaves open the possibility of a woman heading up both the Republican and Democrat tickets in 2016.  If Governor Romney wins, then the only shot a woman has is running as a Democrat, after she first bests a field of ambitious Democrat men in a primary field.

So who are the most likely women in 2016?  MSN Money recently ranked the five most powerful women in US politics..  Michelle Bachman, Jan Brewer, Hillary Clinton, Michelle Obama, and Nancy Pelosi  top that list.  Pelosi and Brewer will be too old to run, Bachman is not a credible player, and that leaves Michelle Obama and Hillary Clinton.  Michelle would have to follow Hillary's (and her husband Barak's) path and find a Senate seat in 2014, but that would be contingent on President Obama losing the upcoming election in November.  If Obama is re-elected, Michelle's earliest shot at the Presidency would be in 2020.

But their are certainly other women the Democrats could look to.  Here at DailyKos we've read more than a few diaries promoting Elizabeth Warren.  She would make an ideal candidate, but she won't be a realistic possibility unless she can win the Massachusetts Senate seat back for the Democrats in November.

Conventional wisdom points to the ranks of governors for likely Presidential candidates, and in that realm, the Republicans have a clear advantage over Democrats in terms of women currently holding the office.  On the Democrat side, we've got Christine Gregorie, of Washington,  and Bev Purdue, the North Carolina gov who is not seeking re-election.  Of those two, Christine makes the much better candidate.

On the Republican side, we've got Susana Martinez, Jan Brewer, Mary Fallin and Nikki Haley.   Of those, Susana Martinez would probably be the one to have the best chance in a general election.  If she did run and win the nomination, she would potentially make history twice as both the first female and first Hispanic to become President.  

Other Republican potentials would have to include New Hampshire Senator Kelly Ayotte (especially if she's chosen as Mitt Romney's running mate) and Alaska's Senator Lisa Murkowski.

Assuming that both Obama and Warren win their elections in November, I think we see the greatest chance of a women getting elected President in 2016.  On the Democrat side, we likely would see a tough fought contest between Hillary and Senator Warren, but I think Warren would prevail.  Of the Republican women mentioned above, I would have to say that Governor Martinez would be their nominee.

The historic implications (women, Hispanic, Native American) of a Martinez v Warren race would lend itself to many diaries and much debate.  Today, as I write, there still is need for more progress and more barriers to crashed for women in US society, but the fact the subject of a woman vs woman election battle is even remotely possible shows that women have come a long way in the past few decades.

Diarists note:  The DKOS group SLUTS, founded by Clytemnestra, was formed in order to take ownership of the pejorative and take the power of the word away from those who use it hatefully.  The slut tag for this diary is used in the spirit of taking ownership of the word away from those who use it to hate.

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Comment Preferences

  •  You forgot Kirsten Gillibrand. (10+ / 0-)

    "Nothing in all the world is more dangerous than sincere ignorance and conscientious stupidity." --M. L. King "You can't fix stupid" --Ron White -6.00, -5.18

    by zenbassoon on Sun Jul 22, 2012 at 12:30:18 PM PDT

  •  Only Clinton has a chance in 2016... (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    webranding, Bob Love

    But I could see Susana Martinez on the GOP ticket as the running mate in 2016 as well.  

    Romney would LOVE to have Susana Martinez as his VP pick this year.  

    •  Susana Martinez has reached her top already. (2+ / 0-)

      She will have a tough time being reelected as NM Guv, let alone being a national candidate.

      Read Joe Monahan's blog to keep up to date on Martinez.

      His blog is somewhat "old fashioned" , the link is from his archive by the week.

      Notice: This Comment © 2012 ROGNM

      by ROGNM on Sun Jul 22, 2012 at 12:48:52 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  I think Elizabeth Warren might. (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      HeyMikey, Maverick80229

      I've just begun reading about her recently, and she's impressed me terribly.  If she wins in Mass and continues her reign of awesome, she could potentially become a much bigger player during the next couple of years.

      With that said, if HRC ran, I'd vote for her in a heartbeat after her showing as Sec of State.

      •  Yep. She's Obama all over again. (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        arabian, cks175, Maverick80229

        Not a lot of political experience, but knows how to speak the truth simply and forcefully.

        "If the truth were self-evident, there would be no need for eloquence." (Cicero.)

        If she runs, she's my candidate. Period.

        "The true strength of our nation comes not from the might of our arms or the scale of our wealth, but from the enduring power of our ideals." - Barack Obama

        by HeyMikey on Sun Jul 22, 2012 at 03:11:52 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  I Will Just Note This About Marissa Mayer (3+ / 0-)

    which is if you read the high tech press it is believed she was passed over for larger roles within Google a number of times for a male.

    As a dude I can really say I would like to see a female president. If for no other reason it is about time.

    When opportunity calls pick up the phone and give it directions to your house.

    by webranding on Sun Jul 22, 2012 at 12:43:56 PM PDT

  •  I Don't See How You Stop Hillary (4+ / 0-)

    if she wants to run. Sure there is the "Bill" baggage, but that is kind of in the distant past. Hillary has just about done everything. Her approval ratings are close to 70% I think. Plus, she would been seeb as a "team" player with those in our party that runs things, and I'd have to say that counts a lot.

    When opportunity calls pick up the phone and give it directions to your house.

    by webranding on Sun Jul 22, 2012 at 12:53:15 PM PDT

  •  Elizabeth Warren in 2016 (4+ / 0-)

    She'll trash Brown in November and go into 2016 with as much DC experience (or more) than Obama.

    Warren 2016

    Daily Kos an oasis of truth. Truth that leads to action.

    by Shockwave on Sun Jul 22, 2012 at 12:55:25 PM PDT

  •  Cheri Bustos 2016! (0+ / 0-)

    We need to keep the Illinois Democratic Dynasty going.

    "We don't have government anymore, we have an auction." -Lori Compas

    by DownstateDemocrat on Sun Jul 22, 2012 at 12:58:16 PM PDT

  •  I don't see Michelle trying to primary Dick Durbin (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    ...if Durbin retires in 2014, there will be a wide-open primary on the Democratic side, but I doubt Michelle would run for U.S. Senate if Durbin retires, nor is Michelle going to turn around two years later and run for President.

    Also, I didn't even know Marissa Meyer was pregnant.

    "We don't have government anymore, we have an auction." -Lori Compas

    by DownstateDemocrat on Sun Jul 22, 2012 at 01:06:25 PM PDT

  •  She's not popular here but Claire McCaskill (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    if she wins will run. MO is getting more red and I don't think she could win a 3rd term. She has a good chance of being the VP if she doesn't run in 2016.

    I've also always been curious about Sen. Maria Cantwell?

    -1.63/ -1.49 "Speaking truth to power" (with snark of course)!

    by dopper0189 on Sun Jul 22, 2012 at 01:08:31 PM PDT

    •  If Clare Wins. I Live In IL But Just Outside (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      of St. Louis so I get their media. The PACs are destroying her. I bet there is a race that is worse, but not so sure. You'd think she killed babies with her bare hands on YouTube.

      When opportunity calls pick up the phone and give it directions to your house.

      by webranding on Sun Jul 22, 2012 at 01:12:32 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Missouri and Wisconsin seem to be states... (0+ / 0-)

        ...where right-wing SuperPACs are outright vicious in their attack ads. I haven't seen any attack ads for races here in Illinois, despite the fact that I live about 30 miles or so outside of IL-13 but in the Champaign-Springfield media market, and I haven't seen any ads for the Gill-Davis race yet.

        "We don't have government anymore, we have an auction." -Lori Compas

        by DownstateDemocrat on Sun Jul 22, 2012 at 01:28:53 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  Cantwell is smart, but she's ... (0+ / 0-)

      NOT MARRIED! (I hope you were sitting down for that).

      I remember, though, attending a rainy rally a few years ago where Governor Gregoire and Senators Murray and Cantwell held the stage.

      Washington is the first and only state to have women in all top three offices at the same time. Folks don't even notice it, it's gotten so routine. But it's still historic, and it still feels good.

      "I was a big supporter of waterboarding" - Dick Cheney 2/14/10

      by Bob Love on Sun Jul 22, 2012 at 06:57:32 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Kathleen Sebelius has potential. (3+ / 0-)

    Former governor of Kansas, HHS Secretary, and by 2016-2020 the full ACA—including subsidies—will have kicked in, potentially turning that into a huge plus.

    "When I give food to the poor, they call me a saint. When I ask why the poor have no food, they call me a communist." --Dom Helder Camara, archbishop of Recife

    by JamesGG on Sun Jul 22, 2012 at 01:17:12 PM PDT

  •  As a man I can say with certainty that a woman (0+ / 0-)

    would be a big improvement in the White House, but I don't think it will happen for a few more years.  President Obama is likely to be re-elected (barring a major mistake on his side, Romney doesn't appear to have a prayer in the Electoral College) this year and too many people are still in shock that we elected someone so "different" so in their minds a woman would be going with "different" again.

    In spite of having voted for Obama in the primary (it didn't matter as Clinton won in my state by a resounding margin), even then I knew that Clinton would be a better president than Obama.  I chose to vote for Obama because I thought he had a slightly better chance than Clinton at beating a white Republican and the hatred that the GOP have for Clinton would have all come out unabated (sadly Obama's election has driven the GOP to hate/demonize Obama about as badly, if not worse, than they did BOTH Clintons.

    I hope we will see a greater majority of women in Congress and a woman President in the next 10 years.  That would surely improve our government (in spite of clear exceptions like Michele Bachman).

    Then they came for me - and by that time there was nobody left to speak up.

    by DefendOurConstitution on Sun Jul 22, 2012 at 02:08:40 PM PDT

    •  You're scenario puts it out until 2024 or later. (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      I read your premise that since the Democrats nominated a black man in 2008, then re-elect him in 2012, we would want to play it safe and nominate a male in 2016?

      If that male Democrat wins in 2016, then it means we wouldn't see a woman leading the Democrat ticket until 2024 at the earliest.  It's not a stretch to say that if we don't nominate a woman in 2016, the first woman President  will very likely be a Republican.  Imagine a Susana Martinez running against a Martin O'Malley.  Call me a pessimist, but I can see a lot of people voting for Martinez despite the fact that she's a Republican.  

      Not being critical of your post, I actually do appreciate it.  Reminds us how important it is for us to continue to push for more women at all levels of the political spectrum.

      Dont Mourn, Organize !#konisurrender

      by cks175 on Sun Jul 22, 2012 at 03:04:15 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  I used to think women would be better... (4+ / 0-)

        ...but Angela Merkel is proving a woman can stick her head up her own ass just as far as any man.

        I think the political process screens out most of the sane people of both sexes.

        "The true strength of our nation comes not from the might of our arms or the scale of our wealth, but from the enduring power of our ideals." - Barack Obama

        by HeyMikey on Sun Jul 22, 2012 at 03:24:19 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  Sorry, but I don't mean that Dems should not nomi- (0+ / 0-)

        nate a woman at all.  I am actually saying that a lot of the voting public (ad sadly that includes many Dems) are going to react negatively to a woman since we already tried "different" so recently.

        I hope I am wrong and I hope to have a great progressive woman nominated sooner than later.

        Then they came for me - and by that time there was nobody left to speak up.

        by DefendOurConstitution on Sun Jul 22, 2012 at 03:45:31 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  No need to apologize. But remember that (2+ / 0-)

          Obama was "different" in 2008.  Not 2012.  8 years later (2016), will that matter?

          And, assuming Obama wins, I don't see a line of thought developing that is based on "we just won two Presidential elections in a row, lets go back  to what we were doing when we lost two elections in a row."

          It's not a matter of being different, it's a matter of we've waited long enough already.  At least I hope so.

          Dont Mourn, Organize !#konisurrender

          by cks175 on Sun Jul 22, 2012 at 03:54:59 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

  •  Seriously, no more dynasties (0+ / 0-)

    Hillary has served her country well, and we thank her.

    Michelle can do alot of good, maybe forming a group similar to "The Clinton Foundation" . Problems to attack include nutrition and obesity.

    I'd rather have a pro woman president than a female president.

    Oh, look.....I get a tagline. I better not waste it. I'd rather have a bottle in front of me than a frontal lobotomy.

    by sd4david on Sun Jul 22, 2012 at 05:02:24 PM PDT

  •  I've long hoped (0+ / 0-)

    to see the day when half of Congress is female -- you know ... like the population as a whole!

  •  I don't see Hillary losing if she runs. (0+ / 0-)

    She'd steamroll.

  •  Christine Gregoire isn't charismatic enough. (0+ / 0-)

    She only won he last election by a handful of votes - in a blue state.

    I think she's fairly wonderful, but she hasn't shown any indication that she seeks anything beyond maybe a cabinet post.

    "I was a big supporter of waterboarding" - Dick Cheney 2/14/10

    by Bob Love on Sun Jul 22, 2012 at 06:47:53 PM PDT

  •  Trenz Pruca (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    Interesting post.

    In several previous Diaries I opined that perhaps it was time that women take over. More recently I wrote (here) that this election could represent the last hurrah for white males. A victory by Obama would most likely prompt the financial leadership of the Republican Party to abandon their White Male base and we will see both parties nominate women for one of the top two positions in the 2016 election. Alas, I commented at one time long ago we would not elect a black person until the country is bankrupt. We probably would not elect a woman president unless it is to clean up the mess we males made of it.  

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