Signs and Slogans: How Female Candidates Made Noise


There were a record number of women who entered the 2020 presidential race this year, but you may not know about their predecessors who embodied the struggle of women to be seen and heard when politics were even more dominated by men. Learn more below!

Shirley Chisholm

Famously known for her slogan “Unbought and Unbossed,” Chisholm was the first Black major-party candidate to run for President of the United States in 1972 (in the same year, Patsy Mink also ran for congress as the first Asian American candidate). With a long history of public service, Chisholm often spoke about the opportunities she and other marginalized people weren’t able to access in the US. You can find some of her quotes here.

Elizabeth Hanford Dole   

Formerly the president of the American Red Cross, Elizabeth Dole left her position to run for the Republican nomination in 2000. Dole pulled out of the race after nine months, but later went on to serve as Secretary of Transportation (the first woman to do so) and Secretary of Labor.

Carol Moseley Braun

Carol Moseley Braun ran for the Democratic Party’s presidential nomination in 2003, billing herself as “Ms. President”. Although she left the race in early 2004, she had already made history as the first African-American woman to be elected to US Senate, the first woman senator from Illinois, and the first woman to serve on the Senate Finance Committee in 1992.

Michele Bachmann

The first Republican Congresswoman from Minnesota, Bachmann was a Republican candidate during the 2012 presidential cycle. During her candidacy, she became the first woman to win the Iowa Straw Poll. Prior to running for president, she was part of the Tea Party movement, and was a founder of the House Tea Party Caucus in 2010.

Hillary Rodham Clinton

Hillary Clinton ran for president in both 2008 and 2016, becoming the first woman to be a major party’s nominee for president in 2016. Clinton’s campaign slogan “I’m With Her” went viral, highlighting the fact that she was the only woman in the race.

Carly Fiorina

Before running for President, Fiorina was formerly the CEO of Hewlett-Packard and was appointed chair of the American Conservative Union Foundation. After Fiorina exited the 2016 presidential race during the Republican primaries, Ted Cruz announced that he would choose Fiorina as his vice presidential running mate if selected as the Republican nominee.

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