An eight-year-old girl lost her election for class president to a boy by one vote. Hillary Clinton then wrote her a letter lamenting her loss and claiming, “As I know too well, it’s not easy when you stand up and put yourself in contention for a role that’s only been sought by boys.”
Clinton is not the only woman who has sought the presidency. In 2016, former Hewlett-Packard CEO Carly Fiorina sought the presidency through the Republican Party, but lost to now-President Donald Trump. In that same election, Jill Stein won the Green Party nomination, and was on the ballot in 47 states. She was to Democrats what Libertarian Gary Johnson was to Republicans.
In fact, five other women sought the presidency along with Clinton, Green, and Fiorina in 2016, though they had little to no ballot access and represented mostly communist and socialist parties.
Stein also sought the presidency in 2012, as did actress Roseanne Barr. Former Republican Rep. Michele Bachmann also ran that year but lost in the primary. Yet another woman ran for a socialist party.
This trend continues for every presidential election back to 1968 — women have either sought major party endorsements or ran as third party candidates (again, mostly socialist and communist parties). The first woman to ever to run for president was Victoria Woodhull — in 1872. She ran as a member of the Equal Rights Party. Her running mate was none other than Frederick Douglass.
Clinton was nowhere near the first woman who “sought” the presidency, but she is the first to get a major-party nomination.
The young girl, Martha Kennedy Morales, did not reach out to Clinton after her election loss. Her father posted about the third-grade election and someone who knows Clinton reached out to the former presidential candidate about the loss, and Clinton wrote a personal letter.
“While I know you may have been disappointed that you did not win President, I am so proud of you for deciding to run in the first place,” Clinton wrote in the letter, first reported by The Washington Post. “As I know too well, it’s not easy when you stand up and put yourself in contention for a role that’s only been sought by boys.”
Morales lost her election bid to a popular fourth-grade boy, according to the Post. The election worked a little differently than it does for the U.S. president, since as runner-up Morales will be vice president. So, she actually accomplished more than Clinton.
Still, Clinton’s advice was welcomed by Morales, who told CNN: “It was really touching to know that Hillary Clinton herself sent me a letter.”
Clinton also told Morales to continue to stand up for what she believes in.
“The most important thing is that you fought for what you believed in, and that is always worth it. As you continue to learn and grow in the years ahead, never stop standing up for what is right and seeking opportunities to be a leader, and know that I am cheering you on for a future of great success,” Clinton wrote.