From the political rumor mill to pop culture, all signs suggest that the United States is finally ready for a woman in the White House. But is the vision of an imminent Madam President truly in line with today's political reality? ""Rethinking Madam President"" offers a critical assessment of the inroads made by female candidates into the previously male bastion of electoral success - exploring whether they actually apply to the presidency. The authors tackle a range of provocative issues: the conflation of the presidency with masculinity, particularly when it comes to security and military concerns; media coverage focusing, even today, on the novelty of a female candidate; public support for women that often evaporates in the voting booth; and more. Although Madam President is not an impossibility, they conclude, it would be a mistake to ignore the very significant hurdles that women still face on the path to the Oval Office. This title reveals the harsh political realities still facing women on the road to the White House.
Lori Cox Han is professor of political science at Chapman University. Her publications include Women and American Politics and Governing from Center Stage. Caroline Heldman is assistant professor of political science at Occidental College.
Introduction: Is the US Really Ready for a Woman President? - L.C. Han. Cultural Barriers to a Female Presidency in the US - C. Heldman. The Significance of Social and Institutional Expectations - S. Thomas and J.R. Schroedel. Shaping Women's Chances: Stereotypes and the Media - G.S. Woodall and K.L. Fridkin. Masculinity on the Campaign Trail - G. Duerst-Lahti. Money and the Art and Science of Candidate Viability - V. Farrar-Myers. Political Parties: Advancing a Masculine Ideal - M. Conroy. Women as Executive Branch Leaders - K.M. Hult. Leadership Challenges in National Security - M. Bose. Conclusion: A Women in the White House? Never Say Never - A. Gordon.