Hillary Clinton, the first woman who had a real shot at the presidency, has finally set off a national awakening among women. The only catch? She did it by losing.
In the year since a stoic Mrs. Clinton watched as Donald J. Trump was sworn in as the 45th president, a fervor has swept the country, prompting women’s marches, a record number of female candidates running for office and an outcry about sexual assault at all levels of society. …
Mrs. Clinton enters a select club of losing presidential candidates whose defeats lead to larger cultural movements. In 1964, Barry Goldwater was defeated by Lyndon B. Johnson in a landslide, but the bruising finish motivated conservatives to organize, establish think tanks, publish right-leaning magazines and encourage other conservatives to run.
“It took a while, but eventually the movement surfaced with Ronald Reagan,” said Doris Kearns Goodwin, the historian. “That was the success that came out of the huge failure of 1964.” Ms. Goodwin sees parallels to what Mrs. Clinton’s loss to Mr. Trump (and in her case, winning of the popular vote) could lead to among women. “It’s hard to see when you’re in the middle of it,” she said. “But it feels like something’s happening, a fervor, an excitement, an optimism.” CONT.
Amy Chozick, New York Times