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Anticipating Madam President

Robert P. Watson and Ann Gordon, editors
Anticipating Madam President
ISBN: 978-1-58826-137-3
ISBN: 978-1-58826-113-7
2003/271 pages/LC: 2002073942

"An interesting, and important book that documents both the progress and the continuing obstacles women face in the struggle to achieve political equality and to capture the highest political office in the land.... This book will encourage scholars of American political institutions to ask new questions about the interaction between the officeholders and the office and between social expectations and political institutions."—Elizabeth Bennion, Congress and the Presidency

"As former US Representative Pat Schroeder, ... states in the introduction, 'The White House is America's ultimate tree house with a 'No Girls Allowed' sign posted on it.' Perhaps this book will help Americans begin to figure out how to tear that sign down. Highly recommended."—Choice

"A readable and imaginative book that combines history, theory, analysis, and women's real-life experience in political careers.... The essays that make up Anticipating Madam President give a fascinating picture of cultural attitudes about women in American political life. I recommend it to anyone who is interested in women in contemporary politics at any level."—Judith Nies, Women's Review of Books

"A fascinating and thought provoking discourse of the future of American presidential politics."—Midwest Book Review

"Recommended for women's studies and political science collections in academic and public libraries."—Library Journal

"A fascinating read that conveys the complexity and challenges surrounding the pursuit of the White House and thoroughly speculates about the conditions the first female president will encounter both on the campaign trail and in office: it would be an excellent choice for a women and politics or the presidency."—Julie Dolan "A very valuable resource not only for scholars and teachers, but also for women candidates and those who work to get them elected.... It is a stimulating contribution to the lively debate on one of the ‘hot’ issues in contemporary US politics.” —Cristina Flesher Fominaya, International Feminist Journal of Politics


Madam President? The question is not if, but rather when the United States will elect a female president—but that may be the only certainty involved in shattering this most visible glass ceiling in U.S. society.

Who will be included in the field of candidates for Madam President, and why? How will she have to position herself for a viable run at the Oval Office? Once in office, will she encounter gender-based biases in her handling of military and foreign affairs? Will Madam President blend seamlessly with the long line of Mr. Presidents—or will the very nature of the presidency be irrevocably changed?

Anticipating Madam President's insightful blend of analysis and personal profiles illustrates the realities of women in the upper echelons of public life, as well as the challenges likely to face a woman in one of the world's most powerful political positions.


Robert Watson is associate professor and director of American studies at Lynn University, Florida. He is author of numerous books on gender and the presidency, including The Presidents' Wives: Reassessing the Office of First Lady and First Ladies of the United States: A Biographical Dictionary. Ann Gordon is associate professor of political science at Chapman University. She is coauthor of When Stereotypes Collide: Race, Gender, and Congressional Campaigns.


  • Foreword—Pat Schroeder.
  • The White House as Ultimate Prize—R.P. Watson.
  • Breaking the Final Glass Ceiling: When (Not if) a Woman Becomes President—M.J. Skidmore.
  • Paving the Way: The Work of the Women's Movement—A.N. Costain.
  • Changing the Climate of Expectations—E. Falk and K. Hall Jamieson.
  • Profile: Shirley Chisholm, Blazing Trails—the Editors.
  • Can Women Enter the "Big Tents?" National Party Structures and Presidential Nominations—M. Haussman.
  • A War Chest Full of Susan B. Anthony Dollars: Fundraising Issues for Female Presidential Candidates—V.A. Farrar-Myers.
  • On the Way to the White House: Communication Strategies for Women Candidates—D. Bystrom.
  • Public Discourse and Female Presidential Candidates—C.L. Bower.
  • Profile: Pat Schroeder and the Campaign That Wasn't—the Editors.
  • The Lipstick Watch: Media Coverage, Gender, and Presidential Campaigns—D.J. Heith.
  • Is the America Ready for a Woman President? Is the Pope Protestant?—C. Kennedy.
  • Gender, Race, and the Oval Office—A. Gordon and J. Miller.
  • Profile: Geraldine Ferraro, Media Coverage of History in the Making—the Editors.
  • GOVERNING. Presidential Leadership: Governance from a Woman's Perspective—L. Cox Han.
  • A Female Leader for the Free World: The First Woman President and U.S Foreign Policy—T. Lansford.
  • Confronting the Myths: The First Woman President and National Security—J. Davis.
  • Profile: Elizabeth Dole, Executive Leadership—the Editors.
  • Madam President: Sooner or Later?—K. O'Connor.