This week in feel-good feminism: a 103-year-old retired schoolteacher named Ruline Steininger has cast her ballot for Hillary Clinton. Born in 1913, Steininger can remember the time before a woman’s right to vote was protected by U.S. law; she was 7 years old when the 19th Amendment was ratified. Since that historic first, she’s seen many more: the first man to set foot on the moon, the first state to legalize same-sex marriage, and the first black man to be elected president, to name a few. But the possibility of seeing a woman elected President seemed remote to Steininger before Hillary’s nomination: “I couldn’t imagine a woman. I mean, it’s always been a man and I just assumed it might always be,” she told CNN in a recent interview.
Steininger hasn’t wasted any time in doing her part to get a woman to the White House. She headed to the polls for Iowa’s first day of in-person voting last Thursday to cast a ballot for Clinton. “I am 103…I am not taking any chances,” she told CBS News of the decision to vote early. Steininger has been adamant about voting Hillary since her DNC nom — when asked by CNN’s Gary Tuchman whether she’d vote Clinton or Trump this fall, Steiniger responded, “are you silly?”, adding, “I don’t know why everyone isn’t for her.” (We hear ya, Ruline.) The Clinton campaign has responded to Ruline’s support with enthusiasm — Hillary visited Iowa to watch the centenarian cast her ballot, she’s been the subject of a short video posted to the campaign’s social media accounts, and she got a shout-out from Hillary at a campaign convention in Des Moines Thursday.
Steininger’s used her time in the spotlight to make it known just how much seeing a woman elected President means to her: “I’ve got a big job ahead of me…I’ve got to live!” she said. “After that, OK, I can die if I want to, but I’m going to live until she’s elected.” Hopefully, America will grant her wish this fall.
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