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What does the election mean for women in politics?

November 10, 2016 at 6:25 PM EST
On Tuesday’s election, 54 percent of women voters cast their ballots for Hillary Clinton while 42 percent voted for president-elect Donald Trump. Judy Woodruff speaks with Goldie Taylor of The Daily Beast and Missy Shorey of Maggie's List.
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JUDY WOODRUFF: More than half the U.S. population and more than half of the voters in this election were women. Among them, 42 percent voted for Donald Trump, 54 percent went for Hillary Clinton, essentially the reverse of how men voted.

We explore how American women view the prospect of a Trump presidency now with Missy Shorey. She is executive director of Maggie’s List. It’s a political action group that works to elect conservative women to Congress. And Goldie Taylor, she is editor at large for The Daily Beast.

And we welcome both of you back to the program.

Missy Shorey, you were supporting Donald Trump. He was your candidate. How are you feeling about it?

MISSY SHOREY, Maggie’s List: Well, first of all, thank you, Judy.

And, Goldie, thank you for your service. And happy birthday to the Marine Corps.

Elated would be one word, but it’s very important to say, as a Trump supporter, I’m incredibly happy, but it’s very important that we don’t gloat, but, rather, we’re grateful.

JUDY WOODRUFF: And, Goldie Taylor, you didn’t support Mr. Trump. How are you feeling?

GOLDIE TAYLOR, The Daily Beast: You know, I certainly have to agree that this is a time of unity for the country, that it isn’t a time for gloating. It is a time to roll up our sleeves and really get to work. And that’s going to come really, I think, from all of us.

JUDY WOODRUFF: Missy Shorey, what do you say to the women? We have seen pictures of women crying, women upset about the election of Donald Trump. What would you say to them?

MISSY SHOREY: I understand that people can be upset. Certainly, I was upset, as well as many other people, when we saw reelections of people who are much more liberal.

The past last two administrations were very hard for a lot of people. But the important thing is to remember that, every time people protest, every time they yell, every time they have a cry-in, if you will, whether it be men or women or students across America, they’re delaying the healing process.

This is a democracy. And it’s so important for us to respect that. I was proud that the American electorate selected President Obama, to have our first African-American president. I was proud of that.

And I’m proud now that so many voices of people who haven’t voted for decades are now voting.

JUDY WOODRUFF: Goldie Taylor, you want to respond to that? And, in particular, what is it that you think women — about women’s reactions, some of them, to Donald Trump’s election, what is that saying?

GOLDIE TAYLOR: Well, I think we all have something really to be proud of here. And I think it’s really the peaceful transition of power.

And whether there are protests or tears, that too is protected by our Constitution. I think that it’s something that we all really should embrace and that, as this administration comes to growth, that there will be a torrent of support for his agenda, and there will also be a torrent of opposition for that agenda.

If we do that in a peaceful manner, if we engage in meaningful discourse, if we really grapple with the issues before us, I think that we all win. And I think that, once we sort of get through the emotional upheaval of this — and, yes, there was a tremendous emotional upheaval with the last two elections of President Obama — once we get over that, then we really have to get about the work of really governing.

And I think that’s going to be so awesomely important. And so, to ask for the reaction, I think that there were a fair number of women and men who were wholly vested in the notion that we were going to break that ultimate glass ceiling.

For me, it was less about symbolism than about the policies that we think may or may not come from this administration.

JUDY WOODRUFF: Well, speaking of the message, I want you both to again look at a little bit of what Hillary Clinton had to say yesterday in her concession speech directed at young women.

HILLARY CLINTON (D), Presidential Nominee: And to all the little girls who are watching this, never doubt that you are valuable and powerful and deserving of every chance and opportunity in the world to pursue and achieve your own dreams.

JUDY WOODRUFF: Missy Shorey, how should young women who are — children, young girls who are old enough to understand what’s going on, how should they see this? The first woman who gets close to the presidency is rejected.

MISSY SHOREY: I would argue that they should know that they can achieve anything, especially if they work hard for it on their own merit.

And that’s something that necessarily didn’t happen here. So, looking at Maggie’s List, for example, we have outstanding women. We had a 66 percent win rate in the general election this year. We’re very proud of that. And looking to women like Martha McSally and Mia Love and Elise Stefanik as young, very dynamic leaders in the U.S. House, they can see that path.

Now, granted, let’s get clear. That’s not the White House. And, indeed, Hillary Clinton has gotten the closest anyone else has. But our founder, Margaret Chase Smith, was also placed in nomination by a formal party, the Republican Party, in 1964.

So, from that standpoint, it is attainable. And I really appreciate Hillary Clinton reminding every woman of that, because it is a uniting message. I thought she was very gracious in that moment. And it’s very important that we all keep carrying that forward.

And I certainly hear and agree with what Goldie is saying and that same thing. Are we upset that this conversation literally downgraded the way it did on both sides? You bet. But, more importantly, it’s now about the business of putting America back on track and literally making it great again.

JUDY WOODRUFF: And we should say the women Missy was mentioning — Missy Shorey was mentioning are members of Congress, Republican members of Congress.

Goldie Taylor, what about the — Hillary Clinton’s message to young women and what young women in particular should be thinking right now?

GOLDIE TAYLOR: You know, I do think that it was a message certainly of grace.

But if we look across the country and what also happened on Tuesday night is that there were other women elected to the United States Senate, you know, Kamala Harris from California, Tammy Duckworth from Illinois. Harry Reid’s seat, there will be a woman in his seat come this next term.

Those are brand-new things for this U.S. Senate. And I think that they will bring their own cultural lens to this job. But having women elected to high office, while we certainly aspire to those things, they are really an outcome, you know, rather than sort of, you know, the causal issue.

When we see women attaining high office, we know that something else is happening in America. And that means gender equality is growing. And that’s really the important part of this. Whether or not man or a woman is sitting in the office is less relevant to me than how they choose to govern, how they choose to represent their constituencies.

JUDY WOODRUFF: Well, let me just, though, come back to the gender question, finally, quickly to both of you.

Missy Shorey, what does this election say about the willingness of the American people to accept a woman as president, do you think?

MISSY SHOREY: Well, the fact that you had someone who was a major nominee and also another woman who was running on the ticket and made her way to the top-tier debates, Carly Fiorina, shows we’re more than ready. It just needs to be the right woman.

JUDY WOODRUFF: And, Goldie Taylor, are you worried that it may be — that the message sent may be that they’re not ready yet, we’re not ready yet for a woman president?

GOLDIE TAYLOR: I think the country is more than ready, as judged by the popular vote from Tuesday night, that Hillary Clinton really certainly did our country proud.

And we, as women, I think, there is something to look to and to point to. But, again, Hillary Clinton, while she was a great national party candidate, isn’t the only woman that’s ever going to run for president again. And so I think this country is more than ready.

And I think, one of these days, one woman is going to crack that ultimate glass — is going to burst through that ultimate glass ceiling.

JUDY WOODRUFF: On that note, I will thank both of you.

Goldie Taylor and Missy Shorey, we appreciate it.

MISSY SHOREY: Thank you.

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