Race and gender have never been more visible on the national political stage than during the 2008 U.S. presidential election, particularly during the months when Democratic Party rivals Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama battled in the party's state nomination caucuses and primaries. Clinton stood in for gender, representing all women, while Obama took his place in the category of race, standing in for all people of color. The success of these candidates and the addition of Sarah Palin as vice presidential nominee on the Republican ticket was a source of pride for many women and minority Americans. The “default” category for presidential candidates—the white male—had finally been displaced from the top of the ticket on the Democratic side and from the second in command for the Republicans.
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