PHILADELPHIA – As thousands of people cheered her on and waved signs bearing her name, Hillary Clinton accepted her historic presidential nomination Thursday night at the Democratic National Convention, becoming the first female nominee of a major political party in the United States.
For women who have spent years in the public eye, the moment was the biggest step yet on a path they too helped pave.
"We are firsts. We know that," PBS NewsHour anchor Gwen Ifill said at a Bloomberg Politics panel on Thursday prior to Clinton's speech. ''After a while that gets tiresome because you're just doing your job. The fact that I'm here, a little girl sitting at home thinks, 'I can do that.'"
Joining Ifill on the panel was Pennsylvania delegate and former U.S. Rep. Marjorie Margolies — who also happens to be Chelsea Clinton's mother-in law and a longtime family friend.
"It's lovely to realize that if Hillary wins, [her granddaughter Charlotte] will grow up thinking that a woman, even a grandmom, can be president," Margolies said.
Margolies said that when she was in office in the 1990s, it was harder to enter the political arena than it is now.
"The juggle was challenging," Margolies said. "It's changed considerably. Women are much more comfortable getting into it."
She attributes the change to a few female standard bearers, especially those from California.
Sens. Dianne Feinstein and Barbara Boxer started their terms just before Margolies and are now two of the most senior senators. Since Boxer is not running for re-election, California Attorney General Kamala Harris and Rep. Loretta Sánchez are currently campaigning for her seat.
Rep. Nancy Pelosi made history as the first female U.S. house speaker and is currently the house minority leader. There are 15 other female Democrats representing California in the House.
"When women succeed, America succeeds," Pelosi said at Monday's California delegation breakfast.
But for many young people, Clinton's historical moment is less significant than it is for their parents.
"Our daughters don't see things the way we do," Ifill said. "They don't feel obligated to embrace the history maker of Hillary Clinton."
Former New Jersey Gov. Christine Todd Whitman, who was also on the Bloomberg panel, reaffirmed Ifill's sentiments, saying the generations prioritize differently.
"They just kind of take it for granted," Whitman said.
Even with Clinton's glass-ceiling-shattering accomplishment, Margolies still thinks improvement can be made, noting that constituents hold women politicians to higher standards than their male counterparts.
"They expect more," she said. "I don't think the country's ready for two women on the [presidential] ticket."