A fearless deep dive into the 2020 election from former MSNBC “Road Warrior” and now NBC Capitol Hill correspondent Ali Vitali, who covered the campaign trail every step of the way—investigating the gendered double standards placed on women presidential candidates of that cycle and those who came before, and what it will take for a woman to finally break the glass ceiling and win the White House.
Opening with the moment when Joe Biden and Kamala Harris were finally declared the winners of the 2020 race—the long, drawn-out journey towards who would next inhabit the White House, and the resulting and disputed defeat of Donald Trump, Electable is a sweeping look at a lingering question from that Presidential race. Why, when we saw more women run for President of the United States than ever before in our history, did we still not cross that final hurdle?
Following the 2020 race minute by minute as the reporter embedded with Elizabeth Warren, Ali Vitali witnessed up-close the way that our most recent election was unique—not simply for the way in which the incumbent conducted himself, but for the ways in which the field, rich with Democrats from all kinds of backgrounds, was both modern but also more of the same. With more female candidates than ever before, this was a history-making race, and yet these women—most of them incredibly qualified with decades of public service on their resumes—dealt once again with a different level of scrutiny than their male counterparts. Woven throughout is close examination of the treatment of Hillary Clinton, Geraldine Ferraro, Shirley Chisholm, and those on the right as well. Grappling with ideas around the “likeability” and “electability” issues, as well as fundraising hurdles many female candidates face, Vitali asks the same questions she and so many have been grappling with for decades, but especially since Hillary Clinton’s devastating defeat in 2016: Why is it so hard for a woman to be taken seriously as a presidential contender? What will it take for men and women to be held to the same standard? What happens next?
Electable tackles these questions, with specific, behind-the-scenes, play-by-play detail.
Gabbard, Harris, Williamson, Gillibrand, Warren, Klobuchar…and then there were none.