Women have made great progress in electoral politics both in the United States and around the world, and at all levels of public office. However, although a number of women have led their countries in the modern era and a growing number of women are winning gubernatorial, senatorial, and congressional races, the United States has yet to elect a female president, nor has anyone come close. This paper considers the prospects for electing a woman president in 2008 and the challenges facing Hillary Clinton and Condoleezza Rice—potential frontrunners from both major parties&nmash;given the historical experiences of women who pursued the nation’s highest office.

Author Biography

Robert P. Watson, Associate professor of Political Science and a faculty affiliate of the Women’s Studies Center at Florida Atlantic University. He has written or edited 25 books and published over 100 scholarly articles, essays, and chapters on the presidency, women in politics, and a number of other topics in American politics. A frequent media commentator, he has been interviewed many hundreds of times by local and national media outlets, appeared on C-SPAN’s Book TV program, co-convened six national conferences on the American presidency, and has served on the boards of several scholarly journals, presidential foundations, and academic associations.