Surprising Things Women in Politics Can Learn from Linda McMahon

This week three New Jersey teenage girls successfully campaigned to get—for the first time in history—an equal number of male and female journalists to conduct the upcoming presidential debates.

Also this week, women rule in Hawaii. Emily’s List congratulated U.S. Congresswoman Mazie Hirono (D-HI) on her U.S. Senate primary victory over former Rep. Ed Case and Congressional candidate Tulsi Gabbard‘s primary win over Mufi Hannemann for Hirono’s vacated seat. Hirono will face a tough general election race in November against Republican ex-governor Linda Lingle, while the Daily Kos is so sure Democrat Gabbard will be a shoe-in general election victory that they don’t even name her opponent.

And whereas Hillary Clinton was damned if she did and damned even more if she didn’t dress and act certain male-defined ways,  in the Political Animals  era, the time has come when women benefit from running as themselves rather than trying to show stereotypically male characteristics.

As reported in Politico, “Republican U.S. Senate candidate Linda McMahon is making a second run for office just two years after the World Wrestling Entertainment boss spent $50 million of her personal fortune and still lost to now-Sen. Richard Blumenthal.  McMahon is making major efforts to rehab her image as a softer, more personalized candidate. It’s a far cry from her tough-talking business woman stance she showed in 2010—an image that comes with considerable baggage. Besides claims from former wrestlers about the terrible business practices of WWE, there is a cache of embarrassing WWE performance videos, including one of McMahon slapping her daughter.”

Politico Arena asked whether McMahon is a more viable Senate candidate this time around.

Women of Linda McMahon’s age (and mine, just to assert that is not a pejorative) often believed they had to act like men to succeed in the business or political world. Remember severe navy suits and floppy bow ties of “dressing for success?” That must have been especially true in her testosterone-drenched world of wrestling. McMahon’s past management behavior and her extreme right-wing political views are classic co-opted woman characteristics.

Along the way of time and change, it turns out that the leadership qualities of women who are authentically themselves instead of pseudo-men are exactly the qualities that make for better governance (according to the World Bank) and better business success (according to Ernst and Young, McKinsey, etc.)

So it’s not surprising that after a bruising first political try, McMahon is now trying to burnish off those hard masculinized edges that worked for her early in her career. It’s not going to help her though. First, she’s too searingly branded as tough-mean-Linda into the voters’ minds. And second, despite her colorful 2012 wardrobe, her well- documented rough practices boggle the mind of anyone trying to imagine her as a newly hatched softer, more feminine butterfly.

But for women candidates in general, there are important lessons to be learned about the value of running authentically from McMahon’s too-late metamorphosis.

Politico Arena asked a question on this topic that spurred my writing of this article. An excerpt from this post was part of my response to the Politico Arena question.

 

GLORIA FELDT is the New York Times bestselling author of several books including No Excuses: 9 Ways Women Can Change How We Think About Power, a sought-after speaker and frequent contributor to major news outlets, and the Co-Founder and President of Take The LeadPeople has called her “the voice of experience,” and among the many honors she has been given, Vanity Fair called her one of America’s “Top 200 Women Legends, Leaders, and Trailblazers,” and Glamour chose her as a “Woman of the Year.”

As co-founder and president of Take The Lead, a leading women’s leadership nonprofit, her mission is to achieve gender parity by 2025 through innovative training programs, workshops, a groundbreaking 50 Women Can Change The World immersive, online courses, a free weekly newsletter, and events including a monthly Virtual Happy Hour program and a Take The Lead Day symposium that reached over 400,000 women globally in 2017.

Romney’s Ryan Pick: Evil Brilliance, Obama’s Opportunity

So I was wrong when I predicted Mitt Romney would pick Pawlenty or Portman.

Instead, House Budget Committee Chairman Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wis) will be his running mate, Romney announced the pick in Virginia this morning.

The choice of Ryan marks the final descent of Mitt Romney into Tea Party hell. Ensnared by his lust for power at all costs, Mr. Etch-a-Sketch has relinquished whatever shreds were left of his claim to an authentic mind of his own.

On its raw politics, picking Ryan is evil brilliance. On its utter disregard for America’s long term economic future and the American values of equal opportunity and justice, it’s just plain evil.

But Romney’s pick does sharpen the choice for voters. The question now is whether Obama will take the opportunity he has been given to define that choice clearly on his terms and to his advantage.

I liked Michael Tomasky’s take:

So he’ll get some good press, and he’ll generate great enthusiasm among conservative intellectuals. But the introduction of [Ryan] to the American people will inevitably involve some other things, too. It will involve explanations from the media that he is the GOP’s archconservative theoretician. It will involve explaining who Ayn Rand is. It will involve going into detail on his budget, and in particular his plans for Medicare. Learn that now, folks, if you don’t know it already. It will involve endless interpretations exactly like mine, about Romney sending a signal that he is running an ultraconservative campaign. The Ryan controversy will overtake the campaign. Romney will become in some senses the running mate—the ticket’s No. 2.

Romney’s Freudian slip calling Ryan “the next president of the United States” at the press conference seems to second that opinion.

Ryan assures an even larger gender gap in November. And most likely a new age gap. So here’s a new prediction: Young women afraid of losing their access to birth control and seniors fearing loss of Medicare may well form the biggest new voting bloc in history. Let the games begin.

 

 

 

GLORIA FELDT is the New York Times bestselling author of several books including No Excuses: 9 Ways Women Can Change How We Think About Power, a sought-after speaker and frequent contributor to major news outlets, and the Co-Founder and President of Take The LeadPeople has called her “the voice of experience,” and among the many honors she has been given, Vanity Fair called her one of America’s “Top 200 Women Legends, Leaders, and Trailblazers,” and Glamour chose her as a “Woman of the Year.”

As co-founder and president of Take The Lead, a leading women’s leadership nonprofit, her mission is to achieve gender parity by 2025 through innovative training programs, workshops, a groundbreaking 50 Women Can Change The World immersive, online courses, a free weekly newsletter, and events including a monthly Virtual Happy Hour program and a Take The Lead Day symposium that reached over 400,000 women globally in 2017.

Who should be Romney’s running mate?

As the Republican National Convention highlights women on its convention speaking schedule, the speculation about who Romney will choose as his running mate has crept back onto the media screen.

According to Politico, The Republican National Committee has announced that Condoleezza Rice, Mike Huckabee, South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley and New Mexico Gov. Susana Martinez are among those expected to address the Republican convention – all but knocking them off of the vice presidential contenders list if usual rules are followed.

Observes Politico’s Arena question today, “That leaves several expected contenders in the mix, including former Minnesota governor Tim Pawlenty, Sen. Rob Portman (Ohio), House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan (Wis.), Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal and New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie.

“While Christie is rumored to be the keynote speaker, nothing has been confirmed.  Despite the buzz, he has said in the past that he is not vice presidential material.”

Whoever the veep choice might be, I’ll bet Romney would love for us to be speculating on his vice presidential pick instead of where his tax returns are and whether he paid taxes during the years he refuses to disclose.

There’s no reason why someone who is speaking at the convention couldn’t be chosen, despite tradition, and if Romney wanted to do a stunner who might actually bring him new constituencies, he’d pick Martinez. But he’s too cookie-cutter for that. My money is on one of the “P’s,” Portman or Pawlenty, with a slim (oops) chance for the more bombastic Christie.

Who do you think Romney should choose for a running mate? Why? And what difference would it make to the race in your opinion?

An excerpt from this article ran in the Politico Arena. Here is a link to my response to the Arena question.

GLORIA FELDT is the New York Times bestselling author of several books including No Excuses: 9 Ways Women Can Change How We Think About Power, a sought-after speaker and frequent contributor to major news outlets, and the Co-Founder and President of Take The LeadPeople has called her “the voice of experience,” and among the many honors she has been given, Vanity Fair called her one of America’s “Top 200 Women Legends, Leaders, and Trailblazers,” and Glamour chose her as a “Woman of the Year.”

As co-founder and president of Take The Lead, a leading women’s leadership nonprofit, her mission is to achieve gender parity by 2025 through innovative training programs, workshops, a groundbreaking 50 Women Can Change The World immersive, online courses, a free weekly newsletter, and events including a monthly Virtual Happy Hour program and a Take The Lead Day symposium that reached over 400,000 women globally in 2017.

Should the U.S. press corps ‘shove it’?

Mitt Romney’s traveling press secretary lost his cool with reporters covering the candidate’s overseas trip. Aide Rick Gorka told reporters to “kiss my ass” and “shove it” after they shouted questions at Romney during his visit to Pilsudski Square, near the Polish Tomb of the Unknown Soldier.

“Kiss my ass; this is a holy site for the Polish people,” said Gorka to reporters. “Show some respect.” Gorka then told a reporter to “shove it.” The aide later called members of the press to apologize, calling his actions “inappropriate.” Romney has not held a media availability for his traveling press corps since taking three questions outside 10 Downing Street in London last Thursday.

The Politico Arena question for today was: Was this an instance of aggressive reporters overstepping their bounds? Or do presidential candidates need to be more accessible to media outlets?

My take is this:

It’s easy to say there is blame on both sides. And there is. No press aide can ever afford to be rude or obscene in his or her attempts, however frustrating, to get the media to focus on the candidate’s preferred issues. Getting any campaign’s messages out requires a constant dance with the press in a rapacious news cycle always pleading to be fed. When there is no substance, style inevitably becomes the focus of media attention. The right will squeal allegations that it’s all because of the “liberal media,” but really it has more to do with boredom on a slow news day coupled with an inaccessible candidate who becomes more media-shy the more these incidents happen.

All that said, I can’t help but feel sorry for Gorka. He has the impossible task of defining a deliberately indefinable candidate. No wonder Romney keeps stubbing his toe on public discourse. He has no idea who he is, so how can he authentically empathize with others when talking with them? His trifecta of gaffes this week, stretching from London to Jerusalem on a globe hopping trip concocted to show the world he is prepared to lead foreign policy, has made him look like a buffoon once again. If I were Gorka, I’d be uttering all kinds of choice words right now. Apparently he forgot the cardinal rule of keeping his frustration within the confines of the campaign while keeping his public face cheery at all times.

An excerpt from this article ran in the Politico Arena. Here is a link to my response to the Arena question.

GLORIA FELDT is the New York Times bestselling author of several books including No Excuses: 9 Ways Women Can Change How We Think About Power, a sought-after speaker and frequent contributor to major news outlets, and the Co-Founder and President of Take The LeadPeople has called her “the voice of experience,” and among the many honors she has been given, Vanity Fair called her one of America’s “Top 200 Women Legends, Leaders, and Trailblazers,” and Glamour chose her as a “Woman of the Year.”

As co-founder and president of Take The Lead, a leading women’s leadership nonprofit, her mission is to achieve gender parity by 2025 through innovative training programs, workshops, a groundbreaking 50 Women Can Change The World immersive, online courses, a free weekly newsletter, and events including a monthly Virtual Happy Hour program and a Take The Lead Day symposium that reached over 400,000 women globally in 2017.

Guns and Politics: Is Now the Time?

Politico Arena asked this question today about the role of politics and political leaders following the Colorado shooting tragedy Friday.  Gun control advocates are calling for a renewed examination of the nation’s firearms laws.

Sen. Dianne Feinstein  (D-Calif.) and New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg are among the most outspoken on the issue.  They wanted to know whether a push for stricter gun laws is appropriate in this time of grief and sorrow.

My heart is so heavy with sorrow for the victims of the Colorado theater shooting that I am almost unable to respond to that question. But respond we must, as individuals and as a nation. And from my own experience with violence toward reproductive health providers, I can tell you that it is of the utmost importance for leaders to respond with solutions, not mere platitudes.

For after we care for our dead and wounded and after we grieve with their families and after all the fine words but no call to action from President Obama and Mitt Romney who wants to be President, then what?

Without question it’s time for stricter gun laws such as this one introduced by Sen. Frank Lautenberg (D-NJ), to ban the sale of magazines that can hold more than ten rounds at a time.

As Senator Dianne Feinstein rightly says “Weapons of war don’t belong on the streets.”

No gun control law can prevent a rampage by a deranged person, or by any person intent on causing harm. But sensible restrictions on access to guns can make such events less likely and less lethal.

It’s shameful to let the NRA browbeat political leaders and the American public into believing we shouldn’t discuss politics at a moment like this. Refusing to tackle the gun control issue—deliberately made controversial by the organization that brooks no restrictions on weapons of mass destruction in civilized society—is pure political cowardice.

I’d love to know how you would have answered the question. Not to argue the merits of gun laws, but rather to address the responsibility of leaders in such a time.

An excerpt from this article ran in the Politico Arena. Here is a link to my response to the Arena question.

GLORIA FELDT is the New York Times bestselling author of several books including No Excuses: 9 Ways Women Can Change How We Think About Power, a sought-after speaker and frequent contributor to major news outlets, and the Co-Founder and President of Take The LeadPeople has called her “the voice of experience,” and among the many honors she has been given, Vanity Fair called her one of America’s “Top 200 Women Legends, Leaders, and Trailblazers,” and Glamour chose her as a “Woman of the Year.”

As co-founder and president of Take The Lead, a leading women’s leadership nonprofit, her mission is to achieve gender parity by 2025 through innovative training programs, workshops, a groundbreaking 50 Women Can Change The World immersive, online courses, a free weekly newsletter, and events including a monthly Virtual Happy Hour program and a Take The Lead Day symposium that reached over 400,000 women globally in 2017.

Michele Bachmann’s McCarthyism?

Geez, poor Huma Abedin. She has to bear the burden of being married to Anthony Weiner  — and now this. Anyone who has ever worked with Abedin (as I have) knows she is an extraordinarily loyal, honest, and capable public servant.

But Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-MN) keeps drinking the Kool-aid of conspiracy theorists. And now she alleges that Abedin, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton‘s devoted aide for many years, has ties to the Muslim Brotherhood and therefore Bachmann says Abedin’s loyalty is in question.

It’s pathetic. Perhaps Bachmann really believes this stuff. More likely she misses the limelight she had when she was running for president. Like Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio who keeps whipping up the birther issue in the absence of anything else to call a press conference for, Bachmann is struggling for relevance in a political world where she has very little left. And this latest salvo calls her credibility into question once again, as she did when caught mangling the facts on health care and taxes when talking with Piers Morgan [link] recently.

It takes a lot to tip John McCain over the edge to speak on behalf of a Democrat. Members of his party would be well-served to listen to him. Bachmann’s unsubstantiated allegations are McCarthyism at its gutter level worst.

An excerpt from this article ran in the Politico Arena. Here is a link to my response to the Arena question.

GLORIA FELDT is the New York Times bestselling author of several books including No Excuses: 9 Ways Women Can Change How We Think About Power, a sought-after speaker and frequent contributor to major news outlets, and the Co-Founder and President of Take The LeadPeople has called her “the voice of experience,” and among the many honors she has been given, Vanity Fair called her one of America’s “Top 200 Women Legends, Leaders, and Trailblazers,” and Glamour chose her as a “Woman of the Year.”

As co-founder and president of Take The Lead, a leading women’s leadership nonprofit, her mission is to achieve gender parity by 2025 through innovative training programs, workshops, a groundbreaking 50 Women Can Change The World immersive, online courses, a free weekly newsletter, and events including a monthly Virtual Happy Hour program and a Take The Lead Day symposium that reached over 400,000 women globally in 2017.

Would Condi Rice for VP Nominee Balance Romney?

Seems like the the Republicans always want to bring in a woman when there’s a mess to clean up, and Romney certainly has a mess on his hands with his multiple stories — some call them “lies” — about his time at Bain. No wonder Condoleeza Rice’s name is being floated again as a vice presidential candidate.

True, as Sarah Palin almost acknowledged, in the experience realm, Rice brings vastly more substance than the former Alaska governor had when she was chosen as John McCain’s running mate. And in both optics and general election appeal to independents, a female African-American with Rice’s foreign policy chops and moderate leanings could boost the ticket.

Palin’s comments were in response to speculation Rice would be Romney’s vice-presidential pick, driven by conservative commentators Matt Drudge and Rush Limbaugh, both now touting Rice for the post.

But in the end, despite Palin’s willingness (along with Drudge and Limbaugh apparently) to cut Rice some slack on her pro-choice stance, the fact is that the person at the top of the ticket sets the agenda.

Rice’s gender would not help “balance” a man who has flip-flopped on women’s reproductive rights, now supports laws making women non-persons, and won’t even commit to support equal pay. Nor would her race peel off African-American voters from Barack Obama, especially in the wake of the enormous egg Romney laid when he spoke to the NAACP earlier this week.

The Republicans might have been better served to choose Rice as their standard bearer for president in the first place based on her qualifications. But that could never have happened. The right-wing Tea Partiers to whom Romney pledged fealty to in order to secure his primary wins, hold the Republican party in an ideological vise grip. He’s stuck there and will have to remain so, along with whomever he chooses as his running mate.

Besides, in the end, if Romney were to choose Rice, and if she were to accept despite her more mainstream convictions, that would call her integrity into question and show her to be as much of a flip-flopper as Romney. No net gain for anyone.

An excerpt from this article ran in the Politico Arena. Here is a link to my response to the Arena question.

GLORIA FELDT is the New York Times bestselling author of several books including No Excuses: 9 Ways Women Can Change How We Think About Power, a sought-after speaker and frequent contributor to major news outlets, and the Co-Founder and President of Take The LeadPeople has called her “the voice of experience,” and among the many honors she has been given, Vanity Fair called her one of America’s “Top 200 Women Legends, Leaders, and Trailblazers,” and Glamour chose her as a “Woman of the Year.”

As co-founder and president of Take The Lead, a leading women’s leadership nonprofit, her mission is to achieve gender parity by 2025 through innovative training programs, workshops, a groundbreaking 50 Women Can Change The World immersive, online courses, a free weekly newsletter, and events including a monthly Virtual Happy Hour program and a Take The Lead Day symposium that reached over 400,000 women globally in 2017.

Politics and Court Picks: Who Should Be Most Concerned?

Conservative pundit Marc A. Thiessen writes in the Washington Post that Chief Justice John Roberts’ health care ruling is just the latest surprise from Supreme Court justices nominated by Republican presidents. Thiessen, a former George W. Bush speechwriter, cites various “liberal” rulings by Roberts, Justice Anthony Kennedy and former Justices David Souter and Sandra Day O’Connor: “Democrats have been virtually flawless in appointing reliable liberals to the court. Yet Republicans, more often than not, appoint justices who vote with the other side on critical decisions.”

Excuse me. Can he spell S-c-a-l-i-a?

Thiessen is saying exactly what one would expect a conservative columnist to say about the judiciary, especially when a decision has gone against them. The right wing has long been on a mission to discredit and destroy the role of the courts as the check and balance the Constitution intends them to be.

At the same time, they often hypocritically propose that the solution is to make the courts even more political by electing judges rather than appointing them.

Sen. Jeff Sessions summed up this point of view, “This ‘Washington-knows-best’ mentality is evident in all branches of government, but is especially troublesome in the judiciary, where unelected judges have twisted the words of our Constitution to advance their own political, economic, and social agendas.”

That conservative drumbeat has convinced many voters that the Court has become increasingly political. Recent polls show that 2/3 of Americans think politics played too great a role in the Supreme Court’s health care ruling.

And indeed politics probably did play a role, as they always have. The Court didn’t expand civil rights to African Americans until it was clear that the American people were becoming more open to it. And at the time (1954) the Court decided Brown v Board of Education declaring that school segregation unconstitutional, conservatives made the same case against the judiciary–saying it was too “political.” They even tried to impeach Chief Justice Earl Warren.

The fact is those “liberal” justices are actually the most “conservative” in the sense of applying the Constitution’s basic premise that liberty and justice applies to everyone, regardless of where we live, or what color or gender we might be.

And Theissen and his conservative buddies ought to be rejoicing that they held four votes against the Affordable Care Act while their usual fifth, Chief Justice Roberts, laid the groundwork to roll back the Constitution’s Commerce Clause and further lean toward states rights in their jurisprudence.

So which side should be more concerned about the Court’s direction after all?

An excerpt of this article ran in the Politico Arena. Here is a link to my response to the Arena question.

GLORIA FELDT is the New York Times bestselling author of several books including No Excuses: 9 Ways Women Can Change How We Think About Power, a sought-after speaker and frequent contributor to major news outlets, and the Co-Founder and President of Take The LeadPeople has called her “the voice of experience,” and among the many honors she has been given, Vanity Fair called her one of America’s “Top 200 Women Legends, Leaders, and Trailblazers,” and Glamour chose her as a “Woman of the Year.”

As co-founder and president of Take The Lead, a leading women’s leadership nonprofit, her mission is to achieve gender parity by 2025 through innovative training programs, workshops, a groundbreaking 50 Women Can Change The World immersive, online courses, a free weekly newsletter, and events including a monthly Virtual Happy Hour program and a Take The Lead Day symposium that reached over 400,000 women globally in 2017.

Is Political Media Coverage Biased Against Women?

When I saw the Politico question “Is political coverage biased against women?” I had one of those “Is the Pope Catholic?” responses.  Remember how Hillary was treated, with all sorts of sexist comments about her cackle, cankles, clothing, and age? Got more examples?

Politico Arena Asks:

A new study of political campaign coverage finds that the media uses considerably more men than women as sources on women’s issues, the Washington Post reports.

Major TV and print news outlets turn to mainly male sources for their take on abortion, Planned Parenthood and other political women’s issues, according to a study by 4th Estate, a group that tracks campaign coverage. On topics including abortion, men were four to seven times more likely than women to be cited as sources, the study shows.

Is this information a sign that the media’s campaign coverage is losing credibility? Or should men be considered equally knowledgeable on such issues?

My Response:

The media forms us as it informs us. When the preponderance of commentators on women’s bodies, rights, lives, health, and pay parity are male, what message does that send to the female 51% of the population?  What message does that send to your daughter? That women are incapable of speaking for themselves? That their voices are less important than men’s even though commentators are pontificating about and lawmakers are passing measures that affect their lives?

The result is that “women’s issues” get framed as less important than the “really important issues” like the economy (hello—contraceptive coverage IS a huge economic issue for women, as I argued with former RNC chair Michael Steele on “Now with Alex Wagner”—and certainly so are economic policies like the Paycheck Fairness Act since women are now half the workplace and often the family’s primary breadwinners).

Check out the Name It Change It website sponsored by the Women’s Media Center, Women’s Campaign Forum She Should Run campaign, and Political Parity to see innumerable examples of sexism in political coverage of women. For the most part this is not deliberate; it stems from the fact that men see the world through their privileged lens, and hardly recognize the sexism they are parroting.

Women are not seeking to keep men from commenting on any issues. Men have opinions; they are impacted by the issues too and no one says they should be shut out of the conversation. But right now, they hold most of the top clout positions in major media companies (97% according to the Annenberg Center at UCLA). Thus it is men who are keeping women out of the story explicitly or implicitly by the hiring and story-line decisions they make.

  •  According to the Center for the Study of Women in Television and Film at San Diego State University, women accounted for 25% of all creators, executive producers, producers, directors, writers, editors, and directors of photography working on situation comedies, dramas, and reality programs airing on the broadcast networks in the 2010-11 prime-time television season.  Among writers, just 15% were women; of directors, just 11% were women; and of directors of photography, just 4% were women.
  • The same study also found that in 2011, women comprised 18% of all directors, executive producers, producers, writers, cinematographers, and editors working on the top 250 domestic grossing films.  Women comprised just 5% of directors, 15% of writers, and 4% of cinematographers.

Download the Women’s Media Center full report, The Status of Women in the U.S. Media 2012.

The current status of men as the predominant commentators about women is neither fair nor right and it’s time to change it.

GLORIA FELDT is the New York Times bestselling author of several books including No Excuses: 9 Ways Women Can Change How We Think About Power, a sought-after speaker and frequent contributor to major news outlets, and the Co-Founder and President of Take The LeadPeople has called her “the voice of experience,” and among the many honors she has been given, Vanity Fair called her one of America’s “Top 200 Women Legends, Leaders, and Trailblazers,” and Glamour chose her as a “Woman of the Year.”

As co-founder and president of Take The Lead, a leading women’s leadership nonprofit, her mission is to achieve gender parity by 2025 through innovative training programs, workshops, a groundbreaking 50 Women Can Change The World immersive, online courses, a free weekly newsletter, and events including a monthly Virtual Happy Hour program and a Take The Lead Day symposium that reached over 400,000 women globally in 2017.

A constitutional amendment to reverse Citizens United?

Wish I’d had more time to write about all the ways Citizens United is not about free speech. Maybe you can help me out here with your comments?

Politico Arena asks:

Rep. Adam Schiff (D-Calif.) has introduced a constitutional amendment aimed at overturning the Supreme Court’s 2010 Citizens United decision on campaign finance. The amendment would also overturn a Supreme Court decision that struck down an Arizona law that allowed public financing of a candidate if their opponent exceeded certain spending limits.

Is this a good idea? Or would it be the first constitutional amendment since the 18th, allowing for prohibition of alcohol, which would restrict freedoms and liberties rather than enhance them – in this case free speech?

My Response:

Money certainly does talk. Citizens United may be promoted as free speech by folks like the Koch brothers and corporations masquerading as people, but in truth the decision silences most Americans. It should be overturned. That can only happen through federal legislation or a Constitutional amendment.

Schiff’s proposed amendment gets the public debate started at the highest level of democratic discourse, and that’s where it should be.

GLORIA FELDT is the New York Times bestselling author of several books including No Excuses: 9 Ways Women Can Change How We Think About Power, a sought-after speaker and frequent contributor to major news outlets, and the Co-Founder and President of Take The LeadPeople has called her “the voice of experience,” and among the many honors she has been given, Vanity Fair called her one of America’s “Top 200 Women Legends, Leaders, and Trailblazers,” and Glamour chose her as a “Woman of the Year.”

As co-founder and president of Take The Lead, a leading women’s leadership nonprofit, her mission is to achieve gender parity by 2025 through innovative training programs, workshops, a groundbreaking 50 Women Can Change The World immersive, online courses, a free weekly newsletter, and events including a monthly Virtual Happy Hour program and a Take The Lead Day symposium that reached over 400,000 women globally in 2017.