The group EMILY’s List, which works to elect progressive women to office, launched a new campaign Thursday with the goal of putting a woman in the White House.
“[The year] 2012 was a mandate for women’s leadership,” said Jess McIntosh, spokeswoman for EMILY’s List, on Jansing & Co. Thursday. “We elected a historic number of Democratic women to Congress. There is a lot of enthusiasm out there and what we want to do is harness it and build a base that is committed to putting a woman in the White House.”
In a new Quinnipiac University poll released Thursday, 65% of respondents said they would back former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton if the Democratic primary were held today. Her closest competitor, Vice President Joe Biden, was at a distant second with 13%.
Clinton sought the 2008 Democratic nomination for president in a close battle with then-Illinois Sen.Barack Obama. After Obama’s election win, Clinton served as his secretary of state before stepping down earlier this year to focus on writing a new memoir and going on a paid speaking tour.
The topic of Clinton running was hinted at Wednesday night as Clinton received an award for distinguished leadership from the Atlantic Council in Washington, D.C. Former Secretary of State Henry Kissinger introduced Clinton saying, “At least four secretaries of state became president…I want to tell Hillary when she misses the office, she looks at the histories of secretaries of state, there might be hope for a fulfilling life afterwards.”
“When I became secretary of state, I spent a lot of time thinking about my illustrious predecessors, not primarily the ones who went on to become president,” Clinton responded during her acceptance speech for the award.
EMILY’s List has not yet endorsed any candidate for the next presidential race, but the organization’s president says America is ready for a Madam President.
“From Cabinet secretaries and senators to the many female governors we’ll have after 2014; there are numerous women who are ready to take on the challenge of leading our nation,” wrote Stephanie Schriock, president of EMILY’s List, in a message announcing the group’s new campaign.
New polling released Thursday by EMILY’s List shows 91% of respondents would vote for a woman president. The poll also found 75% believe a female president would be a good thing for the country. Of those surveyed, more thought a female president would be likely to put families ahead of politics and end partisan bickering than a male president.
“We don’t know if Hillary will run,” McIntosh told msnbc’s Chris Jansing. “We are certainly hopeful that she will. And if she doesn’t, we have a deep bench of very strong, very qualified, very talented women candidates who are ready. They have answered to titles like secretary and governor and senator and they are ready to answer to a new title. So whether or not Hillary does [run], we want to make sure that we are building a bench of women who are running to be on the Democratic ticket in 2016, in 2020, in 2024.”