Hillary Rodham Clinton's acceptance of the Liberty Medal on Tuesday evening spurred more talk of her chances to become the first woman president.
The country is certainly ready for a female commander in chief, with 95 percent of voters in both parties accepting the idea, according to a 2012 Gallup poll.
In 2008, Clinton came closer than any other woman has. As senator from New York, she ran neck and neck in the Democratic primaries to the man who eventually won the White House, Barack Obama, then served as his secretary of state.
But nothing is certain in politics, not even her being the Democratic nominee in 2016. Primary voters might even choose a different woman.
Republicans could also turn to a candidate who happens to be a woman. After all, Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin was the party's 2008 vice-presidential nominee; Condoleeza Rice, former secretary of state, was rumored in the running for vice presidential spots, and Minn. Rep. Michele Bachmann had a brief run in the 2012 presidential primaries.
Many other names have also been put forward by pundits for 2016, including Republican Governors Nikki Haley of South Carolina and Mary Fallin of Oklahoma, Democratic Governors Maggie Hassan of New Hampshire and Susana Martinez of New Mexico, Democratic Senators Kirsten Gillibrand of New York and Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts, Republican Senator Kelly Ayotte of New Hampshire, Washington Republican Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers, Secretary of Health and Human Services Kathleen Sebelius, once Democratic governor of Kansas, and University of California president Janet Napolitano, former secretary of Homaland Security.
First lady Michele Obama and TV powerhouse Oprah Winfrey also get name-dropped in conversations about the White House, because of their high visibility and popularity.
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