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Last week I talked to a very intelligent woman from California who has moved to Little Rock because she thinks it will help her to get a woman elected president in 2008, a desire she has had for 18 years. Since she thinks the winner will be Sen. Hillary Clinton, she believes she can be the most help for her by coming to where Senator Clinton lived for 17 years. Also, she wanted to go to law school so she is a student at the William H. Bowen School of Law in Little Rock.
Her name is Mosemarie Boyd, and she is 36 years old. Her first name was created by her mother and father from names in the Bible, but most people call her “Mosie.”
She’s been all over Europe and taught English in China. She’s a graduate of Drake University in Iowa and earned a master’s degree from teachers like former United Nations Ambassador Jeane Kirkpatrick and former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright at Georgetown. It was during her job with Gov. Gray Davis of California in 1988 when she decided that women didn’t rate as much as men when it came to politics. She found out that a young man was doing the same work as she did but being paid much more and also being primed to run for an office. She complained to her boss, and in a week she was fired.
She got a job helping Dianne Feinstein campaign for the Senate, and when she won, Boyd went to Washington with her. One of the several things she did for the senator was to occasionally drive her around in a car, but in Washington she couldn’t do that because the senator was told that every member of the Senate in Washington had to have a male driver.
So with the help of friends, Boyd created “American Women Presidents,” an organization to put a woman in the White House. She looked into history and read that her campaign really started in 1870 when Victoria Claflin Woodhull pronounced herself a candidate for president even though American women couldn’t even vote until 1920.
Belva Ann Lockwood, the first woman lawyer to argue a case before the U. S. Supreme Court, ran for president in 1884 and 1888 and actually received 4,149 votes. What Boyd calls “the first serious female campaign” came in 1964 when Sen. Margaret Chase Smith of Maine, a Republican, ran in five of the 17 primaries and won 224,970 votes.
Boyd has put this history and much more on a website called American Women Presidents. It may be found on the Internet — www.americanwomenpresidents.org. She wants people who feel as she does to join American Women Presidents by writing to the website. However, she hesitates to say how many have signed up.
On her website, in addition to Senator Clinton, she presents nine other women, Republicans as well as Democrats, whom she thinks are qualified to be our next president. But Boyd is convinced that the candidate of the Democrats will be Hillary Clinton and she will be elected. She showed me a Gallup poll that said last May: “An amazing 70 percent of respondents indicated that they would be likely to vote for an unspecified woman for president in 2008.” But a Gallup poll a week ago said that 51 percent of registered voters said they “would definitely not vote for Hillary Clinton.”
But that doesn’t upset Boyd. “I guarantee you she will be sworn in Jan. 20, 2009, as our next president,” she said with a smile. I asked if she found many people in Little Rock who believe that. “Absolutely,” she said. “They watch ‘Commander in Chief’ every Tuesday night on TV and are excited about Hillary running for the job. They say they are going to vote for her and support her.”
So far, Boyd has made a speech to an adult Sunday school class at the First United Methodist Church of Little Rock and to a crowd of 60 of her fellow law school students. Some women who heard her called me very impressed, which is what caused me to interview her. However, like me, some of the people thought that maybe the Clintons had put her to work, so I asked her about that.
“I’ve only met Hillary once in a greet line at a Democratic National Convention, and I shook hands once with Bill when he was campaigning for president outside a hotel in Washington, D.C., in 1992,” she said. “No matter how much I wish someone were, neither the Clintons nor anyone else is paying me to run these organizations. If you have any suggestions about who might be willing to help pay me, please feel welcome to help towards that end.”