Hi Friends —
We traditionally celebrate Presidents’ Day by remembering the seminal accomplishments of George Washington and Abraham Lincoln. One man shaped a new nation; the other restored it. Both were brilliant and deserve to be honored, yet both were flawed and deserve serious scrutiny. And both were, of course, men. As have been every single one of our 46 commanders in chief. And that’s a shameful reflection of our country’s inability to fully recognize and respect more than half its population. So today I want to celebrate not just past presidents, but Potential Presidents, specifically females: those who could’ve and should’ve been president, like Hillary Clinton and Shirley Chisholm, and those who could be.
Let’s start with Kamala Harris, a true cause for celebration. Finally, after a mere 244 years, we have a ground-breaking Black, female, South Asian American vice president who could very well shatter that ultimate ceiling and symbol of oppression. Let’s talk about, Stacey Abrams, Val Demings, Karen Bass, Elizabeth Warren, Michelle Lujan Grisham, Deb Haaland — and how about Stacey Plaskett?
But we really don’t have to look any further than our great state of Michigan. In spite of a defiantly chauvinistic, backwards Republican legislature, we have the country’s most amazing powerhouse of Democratic women, all of whom could be Potential Presidents: Gretchen Whitmer, Dana Nessel, Jocelyn Benson, Debbie Stabenow, Brenda Lawrence, Elissa Slotkin, Haley Stevens, Lavora Barnes, Stephanie Chang. We are the state whose women are already advancing Michigan’s standing, cleaning up the men’s messes, rebuilding effective social, economic and physical infrastructure — and changing our nation.
Michelle Obama, another contender, of course, gets the last word: “No country can ever truly flourish if it stifles the potential of its women.” Today let’s celebrate what will be.
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