BY ROBIN LALLY
SPECIAL TO NEWJERSEYNEWSROOM.COM
Twenty years ago no one thought it would be possible.
But after losing the 2008 Democratic primary, Hillary Rodham Clinton — the star of a Rutgers Byrne seminar, "A Woman for President?" — officially entered the 2016 race on Sunday. The former secretary of state, according to a number of national polls, has a good chance of winning the Democratic nomination this time around and becoming the first woman president.
"I've come to see this as her destiny," said Ruth Mandel, director of the Eagleton Institute of Politics who teaches the seminar. "But I've learned that in electoral politics nothing is inevitable."
The course, composed of a small group of first-year, mostly female students who were just 10 years old when Clinton lost, included a trip to the Clinton Global Initiative in New York where students met and posed for a photograph with the former first lady.
It focuses on the women who came before Clinton, such as Shirley Chisholm, the first African-American woman elected to Congress who ran for President in 1972, and Geraldine Ferraro, a member of the House of Representatives and the first female vice presidential candidate selected in 1984 to run with Democratic Sen. Walter Mondale. They discuss how Sarah Palin’s vice presidential nomination also intensified an interest in women’s political roles and how gender affects campaigns, media coverage, voting behavior and leadership.