The 2016 presidential cycle is an unprecedented moment in presidential history—the first time there is a woman vying for the nomination of each major party. While we’ve never seen such a race play out on the national stage, we have seen women running against each other for governor. These executive-level races provide the best available cues about gender dynamics in a woman vs. woman contest.
Gender Expectations and the Presidential Partnership
Yesterday, Jeb Bush announced his candidacy for president of the United States. But it isn’t only Jeb who will be under the electoral microscope for the next 18 months. Profiles of his wife have already surfaced, with the latest coming in this month’s Atlantic, where Hannah Rosin describes Columba Bush’s aversion to the spotlight and calls her the “anti-Clare Underwood” as a far less extroverted and involved political spouse. Columba Bush is not the only political spouse earning attention in the 2016 race. Kelley Paul has earned much attention already, The Washington Post profiled Frank Fiorina in May, and Bill Clinton’s role and influence have been repeatedly debated in print and on TV.