Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

Primary Feminism: The Politics of Endorsing Hillary Clinton in the 2008 Democratic Presidential Primary
by Calkin, Kayla, M.A., The George Washington University, 2011, 163; 1498499
Abstract (Summary)

This thesis examines five feminist organizations involved in the 2008 Democratic Presidential Primary including the National Organization for Women (NOW), the National Women’s Political Caucus (NWPC), Women’s Campaign Forum (WCF), Emily’s List, and NARAL. Did these feminist organizations endorse in the primary elections? Whom did they endorse and why? What were their goals and how did they come to their decisions? What was the reaction from the press? Public? Their members? Did they succeed in the aims of their endorsement?

This thesis includes first a look at the theories surrounding women’s voting patterns. It then reviews the literature surrounding the 2008 Presidential primary and then follows the history of the formation of these organizations. Next we look at the history of women who have already run for President, how feminist organizations interacted with them, and whether or not they decided to endorse. Finally, this paper discusses the ten interviews of the heads of these feminist organizations. Each of them, excepting NARAL, endorsed Hillary Clinton in the Democratic Presidential primary of 2008. NARAL made the controversial decision to make a general endorsement of Barack Obama with the primary still ongoing. This essay shows how each organization made its decision to endorse, and the results for the future of these organizations, future female Presidential candidates, and feminism.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Harrison, Cynthia E.
School: The George Washington University
Department: Women's Studies
School Location: United States -- District of Columbia
Source: MAI 50/02M, Masters Abstracts International
Subjects: American history, Womens studies, Political science
Keywords: Barack Obama, Democratic primaries, Feminism, Hillary Clinton, NARAL, Political endorsements
Publication Number: 1498499
ISBN: 978-1-124-86184-5
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