Continuing the conversation from last year’s program, we look back at the many influential and important women in the history of America’s highest elected office and discuss the impact women are having on the 2012 election. Although America has yet to elect a woman to the presidency, many women have played important parts in shaping previous presidential administrations and in changing the roles and the perceptions of women in politics.
James Madison was one of the most influential and integral figures in American history: he collaborated on the Federalist Papers and the Bill of Rights, assembled one of the nation’s first political parties and took to the battlefield during the War of 1812, becoming the last president to lead troops in combat. Richard Brookhiser presents a vivid portrait of the “Father of the Constitution,” an accomplished yet humble statesman who nourished Americans’ fledgling liberty.
When Barack Obama was elected President, people across the globe anticipated the coming of a new age of American liberalism and bipartisanship. Yet two years after his inauguration, the nation is experiencing a conservative resurgence of dramatic proportions. With Republicans consistently opposing the president’s main platforms and Democrats accusing the president of being too conceding, political disharmony is crippling the legislative process.