Did Hillary Shatter Glass Ceiling? ‘Top Line’ Book Corner: Gail Collins’ ‘When Everything Changed’

Oct 19, 2009 3:41pm

ABC News’ Rick Klein reports: Yes, the first serious female contender for the presidency fell short in the memorable 2008 campaign. But that doesn’t mean the ultimate glass ceiling hasn’t been shattered, Gail Collins contends. “In fact, I think Hillary Clinton did the most important thing of all,” Collins said today on ABCNews.com’s “Top Line.” “She made people used to the idea that there could be a woman commander–in-chief, that there would be a woman president. The next woman that runs, it’s not going to be a big deal.” Even if that next presidential candidate is Sarah Palin? “Well, that’ll be a big deal for reasons other than the woman [thing],” Collins said. Collins, an op-ed columnist for The New York Times, is the author of a new book: “When Everything Changed: The Amazing Journey of American Women from 1960 to the Present.” (You can read an excerpt from the book, and see Collins’ appearance on “Good Morning America” today, HERE.) Another example of the change in how women are treated in politics came last week, Collins said, with all the attention on Sen. Olympia Snowe, R-Maine. “The deal with Olympia Snow is, ‘only moderate Republican left in the history of the world right now.’ But it’s not about her being a woman at all,” Collins said. And the support President Obama — and the general disillusionment among some of his supporters about the pace he’s been able to bring the change he promised — doesn’t break down along gender lines, Collins said. “It was very disappointing for a lot of people when Hillary Clinton didn’t get the nomination, but people came around, it stopped being an issue. The gender gap to my mind has to do with concern with things like the social safety net. Women are just way more concerned about making sure people are taken care of than guys are, and that seems to me at least to be the basis of it.” Watch our full discussion with Gail Collins, on her book and on President Obama’s governing challenges, HERE.  

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