Jack Tame: We did it first, 20 years ago

Win or lose the Presidency, it's not a bad new bullet point to include on the CV. Photo / AP
Win or lose the Presidency, it's not a bad new bullet point to include on the CV. Photo / AP

Hillary Clinton strode out with just a bit of upper-middle-aged swag.

She did that politician thing, where you wave broadly and stare out at the people in the nosebleeds, then randomly pretend to recognise someone closer, point them out and mouth their name.

The microphone malfunctioned for a few seconds but you could write off her first sentences anyway for all the crowd's screams and, besides, she was probably saying something dumb like: "Is there anyone here from NEW YORK CIIIIIITY?"

In the Obama-era, it's easy to forget what Clinton's latest political achievement represents. Sure, she's far from universally loved. But whether you consider her inauthentic, conniving, duplicitous, or just plain awesome, she's still the first woman to top a major political party Presidential ticket in the US.

Win or lose the Presidency, it's not a bad new bullet point to include on the CV. But doesn't it seem a little antiquated that in 2016 we should still be marking off these achievements? At least, from a Kiwi perspective.

Though everyone hates the foreigner who rants on at dinner parties about why their home country is best, in America I can never resist the urge to gently brag of New Zealand's suffrage history.

A female President of the US would come 20 years after Jenny Shipley rolled Jim Bolger, and 18 years after Helen Clark was first elected Prime Minister.

That's not to say we shouldn't have been at this point much earlier. But perhaps the most interesting facet of Clinton's party victory is that younger voters don't care so much about the whole first-woman thing.

Until now, the majority haven't been supporting Clinton and haven't seen gender as a limiting factor in the campaign.

Regardless of politics, it's a splendid thought that by the start of next year we could have a woman effectively in charge of Europe, a female President of the US and a female Secretary-General of the United Nations. And an all-girl Ghostbusters film.

- Herald on Sunday

Jack Tame is on Newstalk ZB Saturdays, 9am-noon

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