If Clinton, a vetted former First Lady, former Secretary of State and former Senator from New York had won the U.S. presidential election in 2016, would we currently be paying witness to a pink tidal wave in the midterm elections?
Women voted for Donald J. Trump in droves. This was a con man who, some might say, “stole his way” into the Oval Office. Still, they voted. And they voted for him.
When Clinton lost what was arguably rightfully hers, the women who saw themselves in her were agitated. They were disappointed and knew what was at stake: a Supreme Court seat or two, Roe v. Wade, women’s rights, LGBTQ rights, immigration rights, less access to health care, and other issues potentially on the chopping block in a Trump administration.
They became angry. Some became displaced. Others… motivated.
These women had a taste of power seeing the first-ever female shatter the glass ceiling to receive the presidential nomination of her party – only to have it taken away by an accused sexual abuser with a loose toupee.
And they knew it was time for a change.
Some of these women started running for office. Many of them found a power they never even knew existed. Moreover, some of these women started running campaigns.
In fact, EMILY’s List president Stephanie Schriock said in November 2017, “This is a surge of grassroots energy unlike anything we’ve ever seen. We’ve spent more than 30 years preparing for this kind of moment, and we’re ready to channel this energy into wins for women up and down the ballot, not just in 2018 but for the years and generations to come.”
“It takes time to pull the team together,” said Patti Solis-Doyle. Doyle was the Democratic strategist who managed Hillary Clinton’s campaign in 2008.
“It takes time to really figure out whether you have the potential resources to run a national campaign, whether that’s national political support or the ability to raise money on a national level,” Solis-Doyle told Politico.
The following is a top three rundown of the female campaign managers making all their own rules in the 2018 midterms.
Tamia Booker was hired by New Jersey Sen. Cory Booker (no relation) for the 2018 midterms. The female Booker was Clinton’s national outreach director to the African-American population during the general election. Clinton employed Booker after her time in the Barack Obama administration and, before that, as Obama’s deputy chief of staff during the 2016 Democratic convention.
Booker is well-versed on the subject of diversity and carries work and life lessons with her whether at the office or at home.
“This is something we [Cory Booker] talk about all the time,” she said. “It’s a couple of things. One, it’s paying attention to your networks and expanding them. [For example] working with organizations that either work a lot with women of color…or just working with diverse groups…I think it’s really about expanding and being strategic in figuring out ways to meet new people.”
Ayshia Connors has been dubbed a “rising star” and an “all-star policy developer” in the Republican party. Born and raised in Utah, Connor’s interest in government began while attending the University of Arizona, where she pursued a triple major in business communications, public policy and public service, and global politics.
In 2016, Connors served as the director of African-American engagement and media for the Republican National Committee. She also served on the 58th Presidential Inaugural Committee as deputy director of strategic media, assisting the media with their messaging and coverage of the inauguration.
While serving communities across the United States from the halls of Congress, Ayshia selflessly commits time to several boards and committees including the New Solutions Advisory Board and 20/20 Leaders of America. She also serves as the president of the Black Republican Congressional Staff Association for both the House and Senate.
Connors hopes to leave something behind for the next generation. She is laying the track now.
“There aren’t enough of me on the Hill,” said Connors. “One thing that I’ve done personally is try to mentor a few other young black women who are passionate about policy.”
Mandy Grunwald serves on the core team of Sen. Elizabeth Warren and has worked behind-the-scenes as a high-level aide to Clinton in 2008 and 2016. She even worked on Clinton’s 2000 Senate victory in New York and was considered the “architect” of that campaign.
The professional political consultant and media advisor for the Democratic Party is Harvard educated and has one rule “never look backwards.”
The stressors of high-level media was ingrained in Grunwald from the time she was a child. That’s because Grunwald is the daughter of TIME editor Henry Grunwald, a Republican. In fact, he would ultimately become an ambassador to Austria. Mike Wallace and Barbara Walters were frequent dinner guests at her home on the Upper East Side and Martha’s Vineyard.
If there’s one consistent message in the 2018 midterms, it’s this: