I discovered this letter from Fayetteville writer DeLani Bartlette, while reading through the Summer issue of Ms. magazine this week. I suspect that many of us recall Shirley Chisholm, who ran for president in 1972, but I had no idea that so many women had run for president – some even before women were even allowed to vote in federal elections. I’m grateful to DeLani for giving me permission to reprint her letter here.

And yes, it was the Summer issue of Ms. Sometimes I get behind on my reading.

One of Many

I love your magazine, but I have to point out a couple of errors in the [Spring 2008] issue. First, in her letter “Flower Grandma’ Voter,” [Jenna] Lennon-Dorn erroneously states that Hillary Clinton is “our very first female candidate.” Second, in “Backtalk,” [Donna] Brazile makes the same erroneous assumption: “Let’s take all these steps now to make it easier for the second woman . . . to run as a serious candidate for president” (italics mine).


Ms. Clinton is most definitely not the first woman to run for president; that honor goes to Victoria Claflin Woodhull, who ran in 1872 and again in 1892, well before women could even vote in federal elections.  Depending on the standards used to determine candidacy, Ms. Clinton is anywhere from the 31st to the 66th to the 100th female candidate.  Every one of these female candidates was just as “serious” in her candidacy; Ms. Clinton is simply the first female candidate that both the media and one of the “official” parties have taken seriously.

DeLani Bartlette


Quote of the Day

The least interesting people were the ones who seemed to start with identifying themselves as “conservatives” and then tackled the issue with those blinders on. I’ve met plenty of uninteresting liberals who do the same thing. – John Moe, “Conservatize Me: How I tried to become a Righty with the help of Richard Nixon, Sean Hannity, Toby Keith, and Beef Jerky”