Roseanne Barr and Other Female Fringe Candidates for President

What Women Really Think
Oct. 10 2011 5:26 PM

Roseanne Barr's Not the First Female Fringe Candidate for President

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Roseanne Barr promotes her book 'Roseannearchy' at Borders Columbus Circle on January 6, 2011 in New York City.

Photo by Andrew H. Walker/Getty Images

Roseanne Barr announced via Twitter on Friday that she’s going to be on the presidential ballot as a third party candidate in 2012. She’s calling her party the Green Tea party and she calls her economic platform moral capitalism.  If elected, Barr says that she will legalize marijuana, make war illegal, and ensure that one in six of her party officials will be poor since one in six Americans lives in poverty.

Barr is not the first woman to make it onto the presidential ballot as part of a third party that’s pretty far outside the mainstream. Starting in 1872, former writer and healer Victoria Claflin Woodhull ran as the National Equal Rights Party candidate on a platform that mixed socialism and free love. In 1940, the actress Gracie Allen ran a joke campaign as the Surprise Party’s candidate—and garnered more than 40,000 votes. More recently, Dr. Lenora Fulani ran on the New Alliance Party ticket in 1988 and was the first black woman to get on the ballot in all 50 states. Running on a Marxist platform, Fulani got more than 200,000 votes in ’88—but was also accused of anti-Semitism and misuse of campaign funds.

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Herewith a brief slide show history of female fringe Presidential candidates.  Considering the dispiriting collection of GOP possibilities and America’s real disillusionment with Obama, maybe we’ll be witnessing the Barr White House next year—replete with a guillotine in the rose garden.

Slide Show: Women Who Ran for President.

Jessica Grose is a frequent Slate contributor and the author of the novel Sad Desk Salad. Follow her on Twitter.

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