Nine women who could be elected president

Nine women who could be elected president
© Greg Nash

Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham ClintonThe Memo: The center strikes back Democratic clamor grows for select committee on Jan. 6 attack White House denies pausing military aid package to Ukraine MORE’s surprise defeat dealt a blow to hopes that the United States would elect a woman as president.

Yet there are plenty of other women in both parties who could be future candidates.

Here’s a look at nine.

Sen. Elizabeth WarrenElizabeth WarrenThe Memo: The center strikes back Centrists gain foothold in infrastructure talks; cyber attacks at center of Biden-Putin meeting Democrats have turned solidly against gas tax MORE (D-Mass.)

It’s early, but Warren is seen by most political observers as the odds-on favorite to be the next Democratic presidential nominee, regardless of gender — if she runs.


“She’s clearly the frontrunner among women — and she might be the frontrunner, period,” said Democratic strategist Brad Bannon. “She could knock off Trump in 2020.”

Warren’s message of economic populism fires up the same voters who supported Sen. Bernie SandersBernie SandersThe Memo: The center strikes back Sanders against infrastructure deal with more gas taxes, electric vehicle fees Sunday shows - Voting rights, infrastructure in the spotlight MORE (I-Vt.) in this year’s primary.

But she is “less threatening” to establishment Democrats, who would “feel more comfortable with her than they were with Bernie,” Bannon said.

She also has less baggage than Clinton, he argued.

South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley

Haley might be the Republican woman with the best shot of becoming president, though her chances could hinge on how President-elect Donald TrumpDonald TrumpMaria Bartiromo defends reporting: 'Keep trashing me, I'll keep telling the truth' The Memo: The center strikes back Republicans eye Nashville crack-up to gain House seat MORE does in the White House.

Haley became the first female governor in South Carolina history in 2011. She was thrust into the national spotlight after a white supremacist shot and killed nine people at a historically African-American church last year in Charleston.

Haley ended up getting the Confederate flag removed from the state capitol grounds.

“Nikki Haley has done a very distinguished job in South Carolina,” said Jane Campbell, president of Women Impacting Public Policy. “The whole nation saw her leadership after that young man came into the church and shot people. She came right out and said we’re not going to have the Confederate flag. She took hold of the situation.”

Haley, who gave the GOP response to President Obama’s State of the Union address in January, has been nominated by Trump to be U.S. ambassador to the United Nations.

Sen. Joni Ernst (R-Iowa)

This rising Republican star is a Tea Party favorite who was floated as a possible running mate for Trump.

After 23 years in the military, Ernst retired from the Iowa Army National Guard in 2015.

The Iowa Senator was deployed in Kuwait during the Iraq War, making her the first female combat veteran to be elected to the upper chamber. Her military experience bodes well in Republican circles. 

“She’s a conservative firebrand who will appeal to the Republican base,” said Bannon, “and she’s from Iowa.”

Sen. Kirsten GillibrandKirsten GillibrandGillibrand: Military must make changes beyond sexual assault cases COVID-19 long-haulers press Congress for paid family leave Ocasio-Cortez, Gillibrand and Moulton call for more high-speed rail funding in infrastructure package MORE (D-N.Y.)

Clinton, a former New York senator, won the popular vote as the first female presidential nominee of a major party.  

Some think that could pave the way for fellow New York senator Gillibrand to run.

“Sen. Gillibrand is focused on her job in the U.S. Senate and plans on running for re-election in 2018,” spokesman Marc Brumer said in a statement to The Hill.

Sen-elect Kamala Harris (Calif.)

This rising Democratic star reminds many of a young President Obama. 

In the Golden State, Harris became the first woman, African American, and Asian American to serve as attorney general in 2011. Her favorability is peaking as she heads to Washington. 

Just as Gilibrand’s base in New York gives her access to big Democratic donors, Harris is well-connected to sources of campaign money on the West Coast. 

Sen. Amy KlobucharAmy KlobucharDemocrats scramble to unify before election bill brawl Hillicon Valley: Big Tech critic Lina Khan named chair of the FTC | Lawmakers urge Biden to be tough on cyber during summit with Putin | TSA working on additional security regulations following Colonial Pipeline hack Big Tech critic Lina Khan named chair of the FTC MORE (D-Minn.)

Klobuchar has long been seen as a possible Democratic candidate for president.

The first woman to be elected as a senator from Minnesota, Klobuchar’s biggest challenge might be the fact that she’s not a household name.

Klobuchar’s name was tossed around as a possible replacement for retiring Attorney General Eric HolderEric Himpton HolderNYC voters set to decide Vance's replacement amid Trump probe Obama planning first post-2020 fundraiser Democratic group launches seven-figure ad campaign on voting rights bill MORE, but ultimately President Obama selected Loretta Lynch in November 2014 to lead the Department of Justice.

New Mexico Gov. Susana Martinez (R)

Martinez is the first Hispanic female governor in the United States, and has garnered so much respect in GOP circles that she was elected the chairwoman of the Republican Governors Association.

“That executive leadership well prepares her for the presidency,” said Campbell.

Condoleezza Rice, former secretary of State

Rice was the first African American female to lead the State Department, a position she held during the George W. Bush administration.

A Republican, Rice called on Trump to drop his White House bid after the infamous video of the president-elect talking lewdly about women was leaked. “Enough! Donald Trump should not be president,” she posted on Facebook. “He should withdraw.”

Rice was also a member of the National Security Council under President George H. W. Bush.

First lady Michelle ObamaMichelle LeVaughn Robinson ObamaJill Biden remembers her father, celebrates President Biden on Father's Day Michelle Obama shares Father's Day tribute: 'Our daughters couldn't have asked for a better role model' Jill Biden, Kate Middleton to meet this week MORE 

The first lady has insisted on several occasions that she has no interest in a political career, even one that would involve a bid for the Oval Office.

That hasn’t completely stopped chatter about Obama, who is perhaps the most popular political figure in the country.

During an interview this week with Oprah Winfrey, the first lady reiterated that she had no secret ambition to one day run for president: “No, I don’t make stuff up,” she said. “I’m not coy. If I were interested in it, I would say it. I don’t believe in playing games. It’s not something I would do.”