Madam Secretary

Book explains how Clinton ‘won’ in 2008

A new book has just come out: Almost Madam President: Why Hillary Clinton “Won” in 2008, by Nichola D. Gutgold, a professor at Penn State University, Lehigh Valley, who researches the communication skills that women need in order to achieve success in fields dominated by men. According to a PSU news release, Gutgold argues that ...

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Hillary Clinton, June 1, 2008 | Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

Thumbnail image from Penn State Live, Aug. 12, 2009 A new book has just come out: Almost Madam President: Why Hillary Clinton “Won” in 2008, by Nichola D. Gutgold, a professor at Penn State University, Lehigh Valley, who researches the communication skills that women need in order to achieve success in fields dominated by men.

According to a PSU news release, Gutgold argues that “Hillary Clinton gained more than she lost in her bid for the presidency.” The book examines Clinton’s communication skills and the media coverage she received during the 2008 primaries, including stump speeches, debates, and memorable media moments. Gutgold says in the news release:

“All around the world women are presidents and prime ministers, yet in America, we have yet to elect the first woman president. … Hillary Clinton won almost 18 million votes, and was the first front-runner woman candidate. I wanted this book to be a rhetorical journey through the 2008 primary and analyze the role communication played in how close Clinton came to being the Democratic nominee.”

Journalist Helen Thomas says of the book:

This book offers a marvelous thesis, that Hillary Clinton’s loss of the presidency is still a win for all women daring to go where they haven’t been before.”

I haven’t read the book, but it sounds like a positive angle on a campaign defeat that left many Clinton supporters deflated.

Photos, top to bottom: Justin Sullivan/Getty Images, thumbnail image from Penn State Live

Preeti Aroon was copy chief at Foreign Policy from 2009 to 2016 and was an FP assistant editor from 2007 to 2009. @pjaroonFP

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