Women Power

November 8, 2012

Much of the post-election analysis of why President Obama won and why Mitt Romney lost has centered on the Hispanic vote, in short the inability and unwillingness of the Republican Party to court Latinos. There is abundant evidence that in states like Nevada, Colorado and New Mexico the Hispanic vote was critical to the Obama victory.

But the Obama campaign strategy to get out the Hispanic vote is only one source of the President’s victory. The Republicans have a really big problem with women and lost a huge chunk of the female vote in this election.

Exit polls show that Obama got 55% of the female vote to Romney’s 44%. Women also made up 54% of those voting, which translates into an 18% gender gap for Obama. In 2008 the gender gap was 12%. Certainly Romney got the guy vote, especially the white guy vote, but his defeat was secured by women deciding that Obama better represented their interests.

It is not too difficult to see why the President got the women’s vote, thanks to the Neanderthal Tea Party nitwits in Missouri and Indiana who have no conception of what women go through who are raped, Romney’s promise to de-fund Planned Parenthood, and the attack on Obamacare’s support for free contraception led by the antediluvian leadership in the Catholic Church.

The Republicans may have a Latino problem but they also don’t know how to talk to women and understand their health and welfare needs. On numerous occasions Senator Scott Brown here in Massachusetts would talk to Democratic challenger Elizabeth Warren in condescending terms to the point where the word ” bully” could be used to describe his behavior. Women flocked to Warren and she crushed the Senator in the vote count.

Then there is New Hampshire which now has the entire political establishment on the distaff side – both senators, the governor and the two US representatives. The guys are out of the picture. Add these examples to the fact that there are now 20 US Senators who are women and I think you get the picture about women power.

This trend of women power is really only beginning, while the angry white guys are in retreat or more importantly increasingly irrelevant. We live in a world that requires caution, collaboration, consensus formation and compromise, which are talents and skills that many women possess, while the guys just hang on to strength, stubbornness, self-deception and superiority. A country and a government cannot function or thrive on the guy approach.

It is a certainty that the Republican Party will develop a new Hispanic strategy for 2014 and 2016, but they also need to look at how they talk to and treat and think about women. It is not an exaggeration to state that women now hold the key to who runs the government of the United States.

 

 

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Senator Brown and the Reagan Democrats

April 19, 2012

Senator Scott Brown has been spending a good deal of time in South Boston, arguably the epicenter in Massachusetts of the so-called Reagan Democrats- working men and women who have been drawn away from their traditional Democratic Party roots because they no longer feel comforable in the party of their father or grandfather.

Brown, who ran a brilliant campaign three years ago against a candidate who didn’t seem to understand that you have to ask people for their vote, has been very effective in presenting himself again this year as a moderate kind of guy, an independent on the issues and a soulmate of the Reagan Democrats.

Brown’s opponent, Elizabeth Warren, suffers from the dreaded Cambridge/Harvard connection, meaning that she is an easy target for the claim that there is little similarity between her and the working stiffs of South Boston. Warren hasn’t helped herself by too often taking on the persona of a law professor as she lectures endlessly to her audiences and doesn’t seem to be able to shed the image of a Cambridge/Harvard elitist.

The only problem with Brown’s courting of the Reagan Democrats is that there are too many votes taken in Congress that show the junior senator from Massachusetts as a member of the Reepublican establishment. Whether it’s supporting oil company subsidies, lower taxes for millionaires and a firm commitment to do away with Obamacare, Brown is hardly a man of the people, working class people.

But give Brown and his handlers credit, they know how to spin a tale of political allegience to the Reagan Democrats. Brown and his people know that image is just about everything in politics, so a guy who drives a truck, openly talks about his abuse as a child, and comes from the street of hard knocks has a leg up against a Cambridge resident and Harvard professor.  It doesn’t matter that the Cambridge resident and Harvard professor has a working class story of her own and also comes from the street of hard knocks. All that matters to the Reagan Democrats of South Boston is that she’s not one of them.

It may be tough for Elizabeth Warren to break through the Brown image, even if the Republican senator is no champion of the working class. What the Reagan Democrats see is the central  problem of the Democratic Party here in Massachusetts – political leaders who can’t seem to connect to the people and a Republican Party that is more adept at convincing voters that they have the answers to our economic challenges.

 


The New Savior of Massachusetts Democratic Politics

September 19, 2011

Elizabeth Warren, President Obama’s consumer finance and protection guru, has entered the race for the US Senate seat currently held by Republican Scott Brown. Within days of her announcement, Warren was at the top of the polls and the darling of the press and liberal Democrats.

Warren, a Harvard Law professor, not only adds a capable and intelligent woman to the field of Democratic candidates, but also adds Washington experience fighting the fight against Republican intransigence and their over the top support for big banks and credit card companies.

Although there are other candidates in the field, it is Elizabeth Warren who has the star power and the media interest. Already the national media has anointed her as the only Democrat capable of beating Scott Brown. Brown is the solid favorite to win a full six year term, but the Democrats are counting on Warren to make the case that the guy who drove a pick-up truck to victory is no champion of the middle class, but instead is a crony of the rich and powerful.

Warren, however, is untested as a candidate. She has already made a few minor miscues in her talks with pundits and her ability to get through the hard slog of a campaign is yet to be determined. Some say that Warren does not have the ability to appeal to male voters, especially the union guys in the state who went for Brown, against their self-interests.

Just because Warren is the darling of the media does not mean she is the darling of the voters. The other guys in the race for the Democratic nomination will not be pushovers and will quickly point out that Warren is an elitist academic who really cannot connect with everyday people.

There is no doubt that the Democrats in this state and around the country see this race against Scott Brown as winnable and critical. Taking back the Kennedy seat is a must if the Democrats are going to show the nation that they still have the ability to appeal to the voters on liberal issues. Watch Elizabeth Warren and watch this Senate race. The Democrats will pull out all the stops.