Presidents Day. Not just a day for skipping work and hitting the mall, but a national holiday to honor our presidents, past and present. Will we ever see a female commander-in-chief in our lifetime? Hopefully, yes. A recent Gallop poll found that 95 percent of people would vote for a woman president — up from 33 percent in 1937. Here's what 10 authors, execs, poets, and politicians have to say about what it will take to finally get us a woman in the Oval Office.Monday marks
She'll need to be tough: “One of the best pieces of advice that I have ever heard from anyone is from Eleanor Roosevelt in the 1920s, who said that women in politics or in public roles should grow skin like a rhinoceros." — Hillary Clinton, former United States Secretary of State, United States Senator, and first lady of the United States, speaking at an event for the No Ceilings Project, 2014
Because she’ll face more challenges than a man: "She will have to overcome a natural, inborn cultural prejudice that the man is the leader of the family and therefore should be the leader of the nation. I hope for her sake that she is healthy, both spiritually and physically, and that she has a husband who is very understanding and supportive." — Lady Bird Johnson, former first lady of the United States, Texas Monthly interview, 1994
We have to groom her for success: "It starts young. Girls are discouraged from leading at an early age. The word 'bossy' is largely applied to girls, not boys. I think we need to expect and encourage our girls and women to lead and contribute ... It's the classic chicken-and-egg problem. We need more women leaders to show more women they can lead ... and we need to show more women they can lead to get more women leaders. I think the first thing we need to do is decide that the status quo is not okay." — Sheryl Sandberg, COO of Facebook and author of "Lean In: Women, Work, and the Will to Lead," in "What Will It Take to Make a Woman President?" (2013)
She's making progress: "Although we weren’t able to shatter that highest, hardest glass ceiling this time, thanks to you, it’s got about 18 million cracks in it…You can be so proud that, from now on, it will be unremarkable for a woman to win primary state victories, unremarkable to have a woman in a close race to be our nominee, unremarkable to think that a woman can be the President of the United States. And that is truly remarkable." — Hillary Clinton, in her 2008 presidential concession speech
But hesitating will set her back: "When it comes to politics, women have an internal glass ceiling. We stand as good a chance as a man to win a political race, but women don't want to run at the same rate as men do ... What stops us is fear." — Marianne Williamson, New York Times best-selling author and candidate for United States House of Representatives, in "What Will It Take to Make a Woman President?"
We’re willing to wait for her: “Politically, a woman president? I don’t know when we’ll get there. I’d like to think we’ll get there in my lifetime. I don’t mind living a long time to make sure that happens." — Anita Hill, attorney and academic, Feministing.com interview, 2011
But we’re ready now: "I think we are more ready for [a woman president] than we think we are. . . .We are growing up out of the idiocies — racism and sexism and ageism and all those ignorances." — Maya Angelou, author and poet, in "What Will It Take to Make a Woman President?"
She could be elected in five years: “But as I look around the world and as I find that India has a woman Prime Minister, Ceylon has a woman Prime Minister, Israel has a woman Prime Minister, certainly in the next 50 years we shall see a woman President — maybe sooner than you think." – Richard Nixon, 37th president of the United States, remarks at a League of Women's Voter reception, 1969
Our president believes in her: "We have some amazing female [public] servants all across the country and there is no doubt that sometime very soon, we're going to have a female president." — Barack Obama, President of the United States, ABC interview, 2013
More importantly, so does our first lady: "As long as we stay engaged, and we keep empowering women, I have no doubt we will see a woman in the Oval Office very soon." — Michelle Obama, First Lady of the United States, in a campaign video, 2012