Some pundits have even called the 1996 election the year of women in politics. "They've defined the political year, [from] the relationship between Bob Dole and his wife and Bill Clinton and his wife," John says. "And the keynote speaker of the Republican convention was a woman."
To honor this sea change, the September 1996 issue of George profiles 20 of the most fascinating women in politics, including Hillary Clinton, Terry McMillan and Barbra Streisand.
While she's not as well known as these big names, California state legislator Sheila Kuehl is as fascinating as they come. Not only did Sheila portray the brainy Zelda on the 1960s sitcom The Many Loves of Dobie Gillis, she is also the first openly gay assemblywoman in California history.
In the statehouse in Sacramento, Sheila works on issues like child support and help for battered women. She says the feature in George has changed her career. "Last week, I spoke at the Democratic Convention on domestic violence, and that is an enormous honor," she says. "People start to pay attention to you when George pays attention to you."