Kamala Harris breaks glass ceiling after three women failed
New York: Three women tried unsuccessfully to break the glass ceiling to reach the top positions of the US, one as president and two as vice presidents, and finally Kamala Harris has managed to smash it.
Hillary Clinton ran for president in 2016 but was defeated by Donald Trump on the basis of the electoral college votes although she got more popular votes than him.
Geraldine Ferraro was the Democrat Party vice presidential candidate in 1984 running with Walter Mondale, the presidential candidate.
They ran against a very popular president, Ronald Reagan, and his Vice President George H.W. Bush, who defeated them in a landslide.
Ferraro, who started as a teacher and became lawyer before being elected to the House of Representatives, died in 2011.
She ran into controversies because the media and politicians could not at that time see a woman having a life independent of her husband. She had separated her finances from that of her husband John Zaccaro, a real estate developer, and filed separate taxes papers.
Ferraro was criticised for this and demands were made for his tax and business documents.
Republican Sara Palin, considered a political lightweight, ran for vice president in 2008 with the presidential candidate John McCain. They lost to Barack Obama and Joe Biden.
Palin was the governor of Alaska state with no experience in national politics or international affairs and her campaign was punctuated by gaffes.
There have been other women running for president and vice president but they were from smaller parties with no chance of election.
Harris was not the only vice president candidate of Indian origin in the 2020 election.
Sunil Freeman, whose mother is an immigrant from India, ran for vice president on the ticket of the Party for Socialism and Liberation with presidential candidate Gloria La Riva. They received 84,905 votes or 0.01 per cent.
(Arul Louis can be reached at [email protected] and followed on Twitter at @arulouis)