Wineke: Hillary broke the glass ceiling

After he left the presidency, Clinton had a lower-profile role than his wife. Hillary Clinton was elected to the U.S. Senate in 2000, then ran for president herself in 2008. She lost the Democratic nomination to then-Sen. Barack Obama, but he ultimately tapped her to be his secretary of state.

MADISON, Wis. — The headlines and the cable television shows this week are all lamenting the exodus of Sen. Elizabeth Warren from the presidential race.

The fact that Warren couldn’t gather the votes and money needed to remain in the race even though she was the “most qualified” proves that sexist forces in America won’t allow a woman to rise to the top proves there is still a “glass ceiling” limiting the aspirations of women, they proclaim.

Really?

Have we so soon forgotten that four years ago the Democratic Party nominated a woman, Hillary Clinton, as its candidate for president and that she went on to garner some three million more votes than did Donald Trump?

The fact that Clinton is not now president is not due to sexist voters or to some glass ceiling. It is due to a provision of the United States Constitution that gives to the Electoral College the duty to elect a president.

And even with the Electoral College weighted in favor of rural states had Clinton garnered another 70,000 votes in three states – one of them being Wisconsin – she would now be president.

Hillary Clinton is, at last I heard, a woman. I voted for her. If I had the opportunity this year I would have voted for Sen. Amy Klobuchar.

That’s because I think Amy would have been a great candidate and a great president. I had similar feelings about Adlai Stevenson, Hubert Humphrey, George McGovern and Al Gore. They didn’t win, either.

Are there people who don’t think a woman should be president? Sure. Are there people who don’t think a black person or an Hispanic person or a Muslim or a Democrat should be president? Sure.

But a majority of American voters have already demonstrated that a woman can win votes in a presidential race.

Nor do I accept as a given that Warren was the best qualified candidate. Who decided that?

Joe Biden served eight years as vice president. He was a United States Senator for 30 years and was chairman of both the Senate Armed Services Committee and the Senate Judiciary Committee. Why is he less “qualified”

Is it because he is old?

Amy Klobuchar has been a United States Senator since 2006 and has passed more legislation than any other senator. Since it doesn’t really do much to have plans and programs if you can’t get them enacted into law, why is Klobuchar less “qualified” than Warren?

Michael Bloomberg was elected mayor of America’s largest and most diverse city and he left New York in far better condition than he found it. Why is he less “qualified” than Warren?

To be sure, Warren has a more liberal program than either Biden or Klobuchar. To people who want to see major change in our government, that is a good reason to support her.

She wants to tax the rich to pay for myriad social programs and, if you agree, that’s a good reason to support her.

There are many good reasons to lament Warren’s disappointing loss of the Democratic nomination. But a glass ceiling isn’t one of them.

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