HILLARY Clinton, former first lady and former secretary of state of the United States, reached a milestone in American history last Wednesday when she clinched the nomination for presidential candidate of the Democratic Party.
With the delegates she won in the primaries in New Jersey, New Mexico, and South Dakota, she exceeded the 2,383 delegates needed to win the nomination at the coming Democratic Party convention.
It was a historic victory for Clinton. It will be the very first time that a woman is the presidential candidate of a major party in the US. And should she win the election in November, she would be the first woman to be elected president.
American television programs noted that many other countries in the world have already elected woman leaders, among them Ellen John Sirleaf of Liberia, Golda Meir of Israel, Angela Merkel of Germany, and Park Geun-hye of South Korea. The Philippines has already had two woman presidents – Corazon C. Aquino and Gloria Macapagal Arroyo.
But no woman has ever been elected American president. Much has been written about the “glass ceiling” that keeps women from reaching the topmost levels in American corporations. The toughest glass ceiling of all in the US – that in the White House – is now within reach of Hillary Clinton.
Standing in her way is the presumptive presidential candidate of the Republican Party, the Grand Old Party (GOP) – Donald Trump, who clinched the GOP nomination on Tuesday, a day earlier than Clinton. Trump is himself a maverick in his party, criticized and opposed by many of its traditional leaders because of his quick tongue and his perceived bias against minorities, immigrants, and Muslims.
The Philippines has just held its national election this May 9 and we are now preparing for a new administration led by our own kind of maverick who promised change. We are now following the elections in the US, from whom we adopted our own political system and where so many of our countrymen live today.
We have solid relations with the US and these are expected to continue whoever wins the election in November. In the meantime, we share in the America people’s savoring the experience of a possible woman president. We have had two, no less, and they have made enduring contributions to our history and development as a nation.