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Has a Defeated Hillary Broken the Glass Ceiling?

While some women lament the end of Hillary Clinton's candidacy, her spirited run has forever changed American politics. Today she said: "Although we weren't able to shatter that highest, hardest glass ceiling this time, thanks to you, it has about 18 million cracks in it and the light is shining through like never before." Hillary has arguably taken the female gender off the list of disqualifying qualities for president of the United States.

According to polls cited by the BBC, in December 2006 only 55 percent of registered voters said America was ready to elect a woman president. Now, the latest poll shows 70 percent say America is ready for a woman leader. The Boston Globe reports this morning that 69 percent think Hillary's run has made it easier for women to run in the future — though 39 percent also saw her judged more harshly for being a woman. The President of EMILY's list agreed Hillary's had influence, "she really proved that women can run for president, which boosted the credibility for all women who run for office."

Of course some are not ready to count out sexism as a debilitating factor in Hillary's run. The president of the New York-based Center for the Advancement of Women said, "one of the aspects of the campaign that has been really shocking to me is how outrageous the sexism was toward her in the media." Ardent supporters disappointed by this are gearing up to wear "NObama" t-shirts this summer.

But if Hillary Clinton lost this race because of policies or poor campaign management, and not because she was a woman, will her legacy still be that she cleared the way for other female presidents?

Even though Hillary will not be president, has she nonetheless broken the ultimate glass ceiling?


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