Hillary Clinton proved with this election cycle that any woman can run for president of the United States and become heartbeats away from obtaining the presidency. Even though we didn’t elect the first woman president in this election, there’s no need to worry; there are two women who have a fighting chance of becoming president within the next eight years, should they choose to run.
The first woman who could win the presidency is the Republican South Carolina governor Nikki Haley. She was born to Sikh immigrants in 1972 on January 20th and was the youngest governor in the entire country for a time until this year when Missouri Governor Eric Greitens and New Hampshire Governor Chris Sununu both got sworn into office at the age of 42. She is the first Indian-American and the first woman to hold the title of governor in South Carolina. She is also the second Indian-American to become a governor in the US after Louisiana’s former governor Bobby Jindal.
Before becoming governor, she served in the South Carolina House of Representatives from 2005 to 2011. In the election that got her into the House, in the Republican primary, she beat the longest-serving member at the time, Larry Koon.
Haley rose to national attention after the devastating Charleston shooting in late June of 2015 when she called for the removal of the Confederate flag from the grounds of the State Capitol. At a news conference on the 22nd of June, she said “today we are here in a moment of unity in our state without ill will to say it is time to remove the flag from our Capitol grounds. This flag, while an integral part of our past, does not represent the future of our great state.”
Although she doesn’t have much foreign policy experience, President-elect Donald Trump chose her to be the ambassador to the United Nations, and before she was chosen, she was rumored to be on the short list for his pick for the secretary of state position until he eventually gave the green light to Exxon C.E.O. Rex Tillerson. Being the U.N. Ambassador, Haley will have an impressive feature to add to her resume and actual foreign policy experience. In eight years, Nikki Haley will be only 52 years of age.
The second woman who could become president within the next eight years is Hawaii’s Democratic representative of the 2nd District Tulsi Gabbard. When she first joined Congress in 2013, she was the youngest woman at the age of 31. Not only that but also she was the first Hindu elected to Congress along with being one of the first two female combat veterans.
She was elected in 2002 at 21 years of age to serve in the Hawaii State Legislature and became the youngest ever person to be elected to it. She was also the first person to step down from the legislature to serve in a war zone in 2004 when she deployed to serve in the Middle East. She was in Iraq with a field medical unit. Later on, in 2008 she decided to deploy again this time serving in Kuwait by training counterterrorism units.
She served for two tours and continues to serve as a Major in the Army National Guard to this day.
Although she’s a Democrat, she doesn’t always stick with her party on the issues and is not afraid to stray away from party positions. She isn’t afraid to criticize President Obama on foreign policy, and she has attracted many people across the aisle by doing so. Like Gov. Haley, she was considered for the secretary of state position under President-elect Donald Trump. In fact, she was one of the first Democrats to meet with him after he got elected.
She resigned from her post at the Democratic National Committee as Vice chairwoman in order to support Sen. Bernie Sanders in the primaries back in late February of 2016. While being Vice chairwoman, she butted heads with co-workers about the debate schedule during the Democratic primaries and wanted more of them. However, the Committee Chair at the time (Debbie Wasserman Schultz) released a statement about accepting Gabbard’s resignation saying she was “a role model who embodies the American ideal that anyone can dream big and make a difference” and said only positive things about her.
In early December of 2016, Gabbard took to the House floor to call on Obama to halt the production of the Dakota Access Pipeline mentioning the environmental impact the pipeline would have along with the violations of treaties that would take place should it be constructed.
After talking the talk, she walked the walk and joined the protesters of the pipeline; specifically, over 2,000 veterans who decided to protest on December 4th.
Considering how Donald Trump won the U.S. presidential election when all the odds were against him, anything could happen in 2020. If Gabbard were to run, she could possibly win. Gov. Haley however, would be far more likely to run in 2024 after Trump would presumably leave office.
In conclusion, both women are highly qualified, and have already broken records with their involvement in the political atmosphere, so why not break more? Our first woman president should be someone honorable, admirable, and qualified, and these two women hit the mark.