Political Strategy

Another Year of the Woman? Really?

by Gloria Feldt on February 1st, 2012
in Election Watch, Feminism, Gender, General, Leadership, Political Strategy, Politics, Power, Women & Politics

There was a short piece in Monday’s USA Today saying that 2012 is shaping up to be another “Year of the Woman.” And they did have some very good news numbers to back that notion:

…a notable number of candidates are running in potentially competitive races in both the House of Representatives and Senate that could send a wave of female lawmakers to Washington in November. If so, it would reverse the 2010 election trend that saw the first dip in female representation in the House since 1978 and only sent one woman, New Hampshire Republican Kelly Ayotte, to the Senate.

In the 2012 Senate lineup, there are 10 female candidates — four Republicans and six Democrats — seeking office. Of the six states with female Democratic candidates — Connecticut, Hawaii, Massachusetts, Nevada, North Dakota and Wisconsin — none has ever elected a woman to the Senate.

Republican women are running in Connecticut, Hawaii, Missouri and New Mexico.

I want to believe, oh how I want to believe. These numbers, though inching up, still represent a mere fractional increase—even if all of them are elected—a probability somewhere around that of hell freezing over.

At the rate we have been going for the last 20 years and since the first “Year of the Woman” in 1992, it will take 70 years to reach gender parity in Congress.

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Should Romney Be Running Scared into FL Primary?

by Gloria Feldt on January 21st, 2012
in Activism, Election Watch, Political Strategy, Politico Arena, Politics, Power

Newt won it in SC after a dismal performance in NH. What do you think will be the next exciting episode in the Republican primary soap opera? And is Romney toast or has he just taken a temporary step back?

ARENA ASKED: Newt Gingrich has won the South Carolina primary, the Associated Press
projected Saturday night. Should Mitt Romney be running scared after his second-place finish? Or
will the Jan. 31 Florida primary prove a firewall?

Visit msnbc.com for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy

MY ANSWER: Groundhog Day came early in South Carolina. Newt Gingrich’s candidacy popped its head up from what seemed to be a deep hole into which he had dug himself with his philandering and arrogance.

Gingrich’s victory in the South Carolina primary shows that for all their anti-gay, anti-women’s rights, pro so-called

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Is Colbert a joke?

by Gloria Feldt on January 18th, 2012
in Election Watch, No Excuses, Political Strategy, Politico Arena, Politics, Pop Culture

What do you think about Colbert’s presidential run? I will tweet the funniest retort.

Stephen ColbertArena Asks: Comedian Stephen Colbert has taken credit for Republican candidate Jon Huntsman dropping out of the presidential race, declaring on “The Colbert Report” that his announcement last week to form an exploratory committee for president has “completely changed the complexion of this race.” Since the announcement, Colbert’s super PAC has already begun airing an anti-Mitt Romney ad, and on Monday night released another commercial urging Americans to “vote Herman Cain.”

Is Colbert’s work raising awareness about campaign finance and elections? Or is the entire thing a joke?

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The Grand Folly of Focusing on “Common Ground”

by Gloria Feldt on January 12th, 2012
in Activism, Election Watch, Feminism, Gender, Media, No Excuses, Political Strategy, Reproductive Health, Women's Rights

I believe in making common cause with people of all persuasions, but here’s what I learned about the quest for common ground on issues where people have diametrically opposing worldviews. Originally published at On The Issues Magazine.

©Elaine Soto

©Elaine SotoThe day before the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) was expected to rule, rumors circulated that the agency would approve Plan B One Step emergency contraception as a non-prescription item and allow it to be sold without age restrictions. Freelance writer Robin Marty predicted via e-mail, “Conservative reaction will be a total shitstorm.”

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Is Mitt Romney unstoppable?

by Gloria Feldt on January 10th, 2012
in Election Watch, No Excuses, Political Strategy, Politico Arena, Politics

Keep those gloves on, Mitt.

Mitt RomneyArena Asks:Mitt Romney has won the New Hampshire primary, the Associated Press projected as polls closed Tuesday night.

How much closer does this bring Romney to being the Republican nominee? Can any of his rivals realistically stop him in South Carolina, Florida or beyond? And which of them is the most likely to drop out?

My Answer: Romney won by barely the numbers he had to get to look like a real winner in his almost-home state. But he did what he needed to do and barring a self-immolating mistake will stay just enough ahead of the pack to become the Republican nominee…

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Will ‘man on dog’ bite Santorum?

by Gloria Feldt on January 6th, 2012
in Election Watch, General, Media, No Excuses, Political Strategy, Politico Arena, Politics, Women's Rights

For once I like title Arena gave to today’s question about whether Rick Santorum’s way out of the mainstream views about sex will get noticed after the media swarm in the wake of his IA caucus near-win. Please tell me you’ll help keep this buzz alive. Because in truth I don’t trust the press to keep shining a light on it–and there are devastating implications for women’s rights as well as gay rights if the public doesn’t know Santorum just how zealously would work to take them entirely away.

Rick Santorum (AP Photo/Bradley C Bower)Arena Asks: In a recent CNN interview, Republican presidential candidate Rick Santorum tried to put space between comments he made that appeared to equate homosexuality to pedophilia and bestiality, Political Wire reports.

“In every society, the definition of marriage has not ever to my knowledge included homosexuality. That’s not to pick on homosexuality. It’s not, you know, man on child, man on dog, or whatever the case may be. It is one thing,” Santorum told the Associated Press during a 2003 interview. Santorum recently told CNN: “I didn’t connect them. I excluded them.”

Will these comments haunt Santorum on the campaign trail? Or will they be lost in the hubbub of the election cycle?

My Answer: Right now Rick Santorum is the Flavor of the Minute with the press. That’s the best thing that could possibly happen IF reporters keep on finding (which they will if they look) statements like his “man on dog” comparison to homosexuality. Santorum made that comparison, from which he is now trying to distance himself, in a slippery slope litany of what he speculates might happen if social definitions of marriage were to include the possibility of homosexual unions.

But he can’t distance himself from his repeated disdain for gays and lesbians let alone same sex marriage, IF the media keeps on doing its job…

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Would Santorum’s Surge Part Iowa Waters but Sink Him in General Election?

by Gloria Feldt on January 2nd, 2012
in Election Watch, Media, No Excuses, Political Strategy, Politico Arena, Politics

Hooray, just one more day till the Iowa Caucuses will be over. Then we can immediately start obsessing about New Hampshire. Meanwhile, what do you think about Rick Santorum’s chances for a strong finish tomorrow night?

2012 VoteArena Asks: On the last full day of campaigning before Iowa’s GOP caucuses, Mitt Romney is working to hold on to his narrow advantage as he faces a surging Rick Santorum. A Des Moines Register poll released Saturday showed Romney and Ron Paul locked in a close race, with Santorum rising swiftly to challenge them.

Will Santorum’s surge last? How much of a threat does the former Pennsylvania senator pose to Romney’s lead?

My Answer: Elections are like rivers–never the same twice. Every election is a unique moment in time. And Iowa’s political waters are parting for Rick Santorum at the crucial moment, just before the caucus votes, leading some to anoint him the next Moses they hope can lead the party to victory next November…

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Do Ron Paul’s newsletter explanations hold up?

by Gloria Feldt on December 27th, 2011
in Election Watch, Media, Newsletters, No Excuses, Political Strategy, Politico Arena, Politics

And the Republican primary gong show goes on…

gongArena Asks: As Rep. Ron Paul rises in the Iowa polls he’s facing more scrutiny for newsletters once published under his name. Parts of the 1990s-era publications are suffused with paranoia, racial bigotry and support for the period’s violent militia movements. Paul denies authorship of the offending passages, though in his 1996 congressional run he admitted to writing some of them. Assuming others did write the material, the newsletters still went out under Ron Paul’s name. What does this say about the company he keeps? And if Paul didn’t have full control over content, does it raise doubts about his managerial/executive abilities?

My Answer:If Paul disavows the bigoted words, ripping off his inquisitor’s microphone isn’t going to help him prove it…

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Leadership Lapses on Payroll Taxes

by Gloria Feldt on December 19th, 2011
in Election Watch, Leadership, Media, Political Strategy, Politico Arena, Politics, The Economy

A political consultant who taught me lots about the workings of the lawmaking process when I was new to retail politics told me that politics is in the end all theater. Rarely has his analysis seemed as accurate as watching the House Republicans today try to justify holding American citizens in a state of suspended animation, wondering what’s going to happen to their paychecks next year or whether their unemployment check will continue to come. One aim of the Republicans is to get voters to hate government, and that seems to be the one thing they are succeeding at. So I found Politico’s question today a little facile, but I answered it anyway. I’d love to know what you think , please.

RejectedArena Asks: House Speaker John Boehner has predicted that the House will reject the Senate-passed payroll tax holiday bill during a vote today. The two-month package would extend rates on the payroll taxes that fund Social Security, unemployment benefits and Medicare by increasing certain home-mortgage fees.

If paychecks go down in January 2012, who will they blame: House Republicans, Senate Democrats, Congress in general or President Obama?

It’s clear that the Republicans orchestrated all of this. Why is there even a question?

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