The results of the mid-term elections were a firm indicator that more and more women are ready to go head to head with the polarizing, President 45. In the short timeline of his presidency, Trump has made a stirring impact on the political stage — nationally and internationally.
With more women and women of color galvanized to participate in the democratic system, Washington is unlike ever before.
Jan. 3, 2019 marked a poignant and historic day in U.S. history as the 116th Congress swore in the most inclusive class of representatives ever. The new Congress now boasts the largest number of women.
Democrats are eagerly looking forward to the 2020 presidential race, as discussions over potential candidates had already taken place in the immediate aftermath of President Trump’s shock election.
During the midterm elections, the democratic campaign trail drew some of the biggest and most influential names to mobilize people to organize and vote — a political move that is sure to continue for the 2020 campaign trail.
Eight candidates are already in the running for the Democratic Party’s presidential nomination and four women have officially thrown their hat in the ring.
The opponents have denounced the President as a sexist and have repeatedly drawn attention to the evidence of Russia’s collusion in the 2016 election, as well as the sexual assault allegations that litigated Trump’s presidential campaign.
The prospect of the first female president, perhaps, is feasible, more so than in 2016, given the divisive and volatile political climate, President Trump has manufactured. With many stating that “the soul of the country is on the line,” the current political landscape may provide fertile ground to have a woman take her seat at the Oval Office and reclaim her time.
Sen. Kamala Harris officially announced her historic 2020 presidential campaign on Martin Luther King Day.
The timing her announcement was a symbolic nod to the Civil Rights Movement, and at the same time, a gesture that carries the hope that Harris, as a black woman, can carry out the promise of racial justice and equity.
If Harris was to secure the Democratic nomination, she would be the first African-American woman and the first Asian-American woman to be a major-party nominee for president.
For a combined 12 years prior to being elected into the Senate, Harris has served as California’s attorney general and San Francisco’s district attorney.
In 2016, Harris became the second African-American woman to serve in the Senate. Having only been a senator since last January, Harris has garnered attention from within and outside of Washington.
She was a trending topic on social media when she put her prosecuting skills to work during the Senate Intelligence Committee hearing and the Senate Judiciary Committee confirmation hearing.
Harris and Attorney General Jeff Sessions had a contentious back and forth leading the prosecutor to be cut off by Republican senators.
The long-time prosecutor also engaged in a memorable exchange with Brett Kavanaugh in 2018, where she asked the now Justice of the Supreme Court if he knew of any laws “that the government has the power to make over the male body?” Proceeded by a long pause, Kavanaugh responded, “I’m not aware of any right now, Senator. ”
In terms of her campaign and platform, Harris is expected to leverage her time as a state attorney general and her work on criminal justice and immigration reform — initiatives that tie in with her campaign slogan, “FOR THE PEOPLE.”
The recent presidential candidate, however, has faced criticism over her criminal justice record. Some have cited that the instance in which the prosecutor defended the Department of Corrections and its efforts to prevent transgender inmates from getting gender reassignment surgery.
Others have argued that Harris has sought to appease state law enforcement and prosecutors as part of a larger agenda to run for higher office.
Nonetheless, according to Politico, her campaign raised $1.5 million in the first 24 hours after Harris’s announced that she will run for president.
Harris, 54, is set to launch her campaign during a rally in Oakland, California, on January 27.
On NYE, Sen. Elizabeth Warren became the first major Democrat to announce plans to seek the 2020 party presidential nomination.
Warren has been an outspoken critic of Trump during the President’s campaign trail in 2016. The back and forth between the two, however, has only served to further highlight how much of misogynist and racist Trump really is. The 45th President repeatedly refers to the Massachusetts senator as “Pocahontas”– due to her Native American heritage.
At the same time, it is important to discuss Senator Warren without the inclusion of Trump, because when you look at her economic policy, the lawmaker has been a staunch advocate for economic equality and has repeatedly denounced Wall Street’s involvement and collusion in Washington. She is against the deregulation of banks and affording major tax cuts to the most wealthy Americans.
Warren has underlined the correlation between her middle-class upbringing in Oklahoma with her political-economic views. She has been an advocate of raising the minimum wage, expanding Social Security benefits, providing cheaper loans for college students and reinstalling power to trade unions.
Warren is also a vocal critic of the right-wing media and claims that their hateful rhetoric stirs up anger and fear amongst voters.
She has been a prominent figure in discussing and recognizing the economic struggles of American families. Though she identifies as a capitalist, she insists in an interview with CNBC,
“The markets need to work for more than just the rich.”
Politico is under fire for comparing Warren to Hillary Clinton and her ‘unlikeable image’ and attributes. Warren, however, made rounds in the news cycle after releasing a DNA test to prove her proclaimed Native American ancestry.
While the test confirmed Warren’s Cherokee and Delaware heritage, her actions still drew criticism from the Native-American community for perpetrating “racial science” — a science that that is now widely argued in academia as a form of science that is bound up in imperialism and white supremacy.
Plus, Warren’s claim to her Native American heritage was perceived as favoring Trump and his bigotry, as opposed to appealing to the marginalized community.
Kirsten Gillibrand became the second senator to make her 2020 presidential run official. The New York lawmaker announced her 2020 run on Tuesday evening during an appearance on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert.
Gillibrand is known for her recent #MeToo advocacy, so much so, she has been dubbed the ‘#MeToo Senator.’ In 2013, she spearheaded a movement in Congress to change how sexual assault cases are handled in the military.
More notably, in 2017, she called on Sen. Al Franken to resign over allegations that he groped multiple women, a decision that pitted her against other established members of her party who were strong supporters of Franken.
In her campaign, she has elevated her ability to work across the aisle and foregrounded her belief in finding common ground with the GOP.
In her campaign, she is also emphasizing that the future of the Democratic Party is closely tied to the power of women. The issue of gender inequality is expected to be a key issue in her campaign.
Gillibrand will likely run on her proposal to provide Americans with paid family leave. She has repeatedly introduced a bill in Congress called the FAMILY Act, which would provide 12 weeks of paid family leave for new mothers and fathers.
According to Vox, this program would be covered by a payroll tax, a unique funding mechanism that differs from a Republican plan that would dip into people’s Social Security benefits.
Other key policies Gillibrand is known for include a measure that helped guarantee ongoing health care coverage for 9/11 first responders.
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Tonight I announced that I’m preparing to run for president of the United States, because I believe that we’re all called to do whatever we can to make a difference and help people. I believe in right versus wrong, and that wrong wins when we do nothing. Now is our time to raise our voices, fight for our beliefs and get off the sidelines. I believe that in the face of division and hate, this country needs a movement rooted in compassion and courage. We want to be an America defined by strength of character, not weakness of ego. We need to protect and expand all of our basic rights and fight for better health care, education and jobs. And I believe I’m the woman for the job. The campaign that we’re building will have one core mission: restoring power to the people. I won’t accept contributions from corporate PACs or federal lobbyists, and I’m not afraid to take on Trump, special interests or any powerful system – never have been. Our movement will be about lifting up voices that have been ignored for too long and taking institutional racism and injustice head-on – in our politics, health care, education and economy. Let’s show what we can build with determination and optimism, rather than hatred and fear. This a moment in history when none of us can stay silent; we have to rise up, reclaim our values and act with compassion. At such a time as this, we all have to ask ourselves: What will we do? I’ll fight, and I’ll fight with everything I have. It would mean so much if you joined me. (Scott Kowalchyk/CBS)
A post shared by Kirsten Gillibrand (@kirstengillibrand) on Jan 15, 2019 at 4:53pm PST
She was first elected to Congress in 2006 and defeated three-term Republican incumbent to represent her upstate New York district that, at the time, was heavily conservative.
During her early years in government, she was considered a moderate and centrist Democrat in the House, who took positions on policies and issues that would likely be unpopular amongst the new wave of progressives.
The New York senator has been critiqued on her earlier hard-line positions on immigration. She opposed amnesty for undocumented immigrants, voted to increase funding for ICE and supported withholding federal funds from sanctuary cities.
Her earlier stance on gun control earned her an “A” rating from the National Rifle Association. In 2010, however, the NRA downgraded her rating to an “F,” after the Senator pushed for several gun control measures.
Tulsi Gabbard, is one of the lesser-known of the candidates. An Army National Guard veteran who was deployed twice to the Middle East, she was first elected to the House in 2012. She was the first Hindu and the first American Samoan elected to Congress.
Gabbard, has earned a reputation for her opposition to American military intervention. Gabbard is also known for going astray from party lines. In 2016, she endorsed Senator Bernie Sanders and resigned as vice chairwoman of the D.N.C. to do so.
At age 37, her lack of experience will most likely be the fault-line many point out to discredit her presidential run. Gabbard has also come under fire for anti-LGBTQ comments she has made in the past. In responding to those comments on CNN, Gabbard insists that her views “have evolved.”
The main threat to her campaign will likely be owing to her interactions with the Syrian dictator president, Bashar al-Assad. Gabbard visited the Syrian dictator in January 2017. Yet, her decision to meet with a man who is widely known to have released chemical weapon attack on his own people, sparked outrage from others.
With the Supreme Court’s conservative majority and LGBTQ+ rights, protections for young undocumented immigrants, and women’s reproductive rights on the line, these four women seeking to challenge President Trump will have a direct influence on the 2020 election.
Additionally, this election cycle will require male Democratic candidates to come equipped with more concrete policies on women’s issues. In the light of the #MeToo movement, there will be increased scrutiny over their perception and attitudes towards gender equity and LGBTQ+ rights.
As Trump has discredited and mocked the #MeToo movement at his rallies — as part of his attempt to further fuel white male resentment, these four female Democratic candidates are mobilizing and campaigning to restore faith in the democratic process for female Democratic voters. CNN reported that the last few elections cycles have revealed that Democratic women in particular seem to be voting for women candidates.
To see this President lose to a woman, would be a symbolic end to his chaotic reign in the Oval Office.