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Women in American Politics
Anne Kornblut (randomhouse.com)

Anne Kornblut (randomhouse.com)

In a poll just after the 2008 election campaign — the one that featured Hillary Clinton and Sarah Palin — 85 percent of Americans said they thought they would see a female president in their lifetime.

My guest today, Washington Post White House correspondent Anne Kornblut, is not so sure.

The year 2008 saw women high in the presidential campaign, but it also brought us talk of “Caribou Barbie,” “lipstick on a pig,” “likable enough,” and “testicular fortitude.” The glass ceiling, she says, is cracked, but thick.

This hour, On Point: Women in American politics.

You can join the conversation. Tell us what you think — here on this page, on Twitter, and on Facebook.

Guests:

Joining us from Washington is Anne Kornblut, White House correspondent for The Washington Post. She covered Hillary Clinton’s presidential bid and traveled with Sarah Palin following her vice presidential nomination. Her new book is “Notes from the Cracked Ceiling: Hillary Clinton, Sarah Palin, and What It Will Take for a Woman to Win the White House.” 

You can browse excerpts at randomhouse.com and see a special online report drawn from the book at washingtonpost.com.

Also from Washington we’re joined by Celinda Lake, Democratic strategist and president of Lake Research Associates. She’s co-author of “What Women Really Want: How American Women Are Quietly Erasing Political, Racial, Class, and Religious Lines to Change the Way We Live.”

And from New York we’re joined by Kellyanne Conway, Republican strategist and president of The Polling Company. She’s co-author, with Celinda Lake, of  “What Women Really Want.”

Please follow our community rules when engaging in comment discussion on this site.
  • http://friendsofthebrooklinelibrary.org Jon Allen

    I felt a terrible rent in our local political culture when Hillary was shredded in the political limelight over the past few years. At first, I thought that this was a result of various regional influences outside of the northeast, but even if true, the fact remains that if the Mormons are powerful enough to revoke gay marriage in California, which they proved to be, then the self righteous right are powerful enough to drum Hillary out of a presidential race, despite the support of tens of millions of Americans.

  • Timothea Frost

    Sarah Palin is NOT a stellar example of women in politics. I think she’s an insult to intelligent women in politics.

    Madeline Albright and Ann Richards are stellar examples of women in politics. Where are the recent versions of these intelligent, strong women?

  • Stephen

    I would never vote for Hillary Clinton for President, not because she is a woman, but because she is Hillary Clinton. President should not be an inherited position, or earned through any other means than the vote on Election Day (or primary day, for who look for a party nod). Argentina’s “co-presidency” is not something I want here.

  • steve harris

    Prediction: The first woman to be elected president will have a military background.

  • Lois Fine

    Hillary Clinton lost because she was the lesser candidate – NOT because she’s a woman. I am a staunch feminist and wouldn’t vote for Clinton.

  • BHA

    A woman in my lifetime (I’m 53)? Yes I think it is certainly possible. If Barack Obama had not run, I think Hillary Clinton would likely be president today despite some poor choices at times in how her campaign was run.

    Palin? Never, she is a twit. As much hype as she has received, the majority of voters in this country don’t want a president who winks at them and has no grasp of geo-political happenings. Nor do we want someone who takes things WAY out of context (think death panels as an example) and plays Rush Limbaugh screaming fear mongering rhetoric to who ever will listen.

  • Joyce L. Arnold

    During the primaries, and the general election campaign, the media rightly focused on race / racism. The media, in general, did not focus on gender / sexism, which was used routinely against Clinton and Palin. The role of media isn’t the only significant factor, but until this failing is honestly and consistently addressed, along with the roles of candidates and electorate, we will see women denigrated with little or not repercussion.

  • Lee

    I think Ms. Kornblut is putting too much emphasis on importance of the female candidate and less on the female voter. I also voted for Obama, I don’t consider that an anti-female choice, or not being “in touch” with earlier female pioneers. It’s bottom up feminism.

  • scott a.

    I’m constantly surprised, when talking about Hilary, how the elephant in the room being ignored, that elephant being Bill. Maggie Thatcher may have been married, but I can’t recall to whom. Everyone in the world knows Hilary’s husband, and whatever qualifications she may have been capable of building on her own, and however much she deserved iit for putting up with him, the fact is, Hilary’s political career was built on her husband’s coattails. I think H.C. put progress back 30 years, and we’re still waiting for a self-made woman to come forward and take charge.

  • cory

    I’ll have no problem voting for a female presidential candidate when a good on comes along. Allow me to explain:

    Hillary Clinton- A lawyer who became a politician’s wife and then parlayed that celebrity into a senate seat to a state she didn’t really live in or come from. Her candidacy bothered me just like George W Bush’s did. I have a presidential name, wealth, and celebrity, so please elect me president.

    Sarah Palin- the notion of her as president is absurd. She is an opportunist who is parlaying her celebrity into wealth. That is why she left Alaska in the lerch, to maximize her earning potential. She is a creation of our fear and selfishness.

    Put lipstick and a dress on Russ Feingold or Dennis Kucinich and they’ll get my vote!!! Otherwise we need some different female candidates.

  • John

    I voted for Obama over Clinton for several reasons: I thought he was more likely to win in the general election, he would be less triangulating, he would be less (Bill) Clintonian, I am against political dynasties, she screwed up health care reform, she ran a poorly managed campaign, she voted for Iraq war, and she was on the Walmart board. I’m disappointed in Obama as he is governing the way I had expected Clinton to if she had won.

  • jw

    It’s still about issues, not gender. I vote for whoever is on the same page as I am regarding issues.

  • Linda

    An Unspoken Premise

    This is a very sad conversation. The underlying assumption is that we vote not based on the qualities we believe a candidate has and will demonstrate as President (or other elected official), but on the basis of emotional and prejudice responses.

    I am almost 60 years old, and was a construction worker in the 70s. I consider myself a life long ultrafeminist, but I worked on Obama’s primary campaign in SLC and Elko, NV, where it mattered. When Hillary Clinton claimed, falsely, that she was shot at getting off an airplane in E. Europe I decided that I did not trust a person who was that deluded to make Presidential decisions for me. I believed that Obama was clearer minded and would be more objective and calm.

    When I worked construction a black co-worker and I had a conversation about prejudice against women and blacks. I claimed then, and still claim, that the ideal is that each person should be judged according to his/her abilities and accomplishments. It is so sad that you are so convinced that we will judge emotionally that that becomes an unspoken premise of your program.

    Linda

  • Howard Reiter

    As for men who said a woman candidate reminds him of his ex-wife, some women said the reverse about George H. W. Bush in 1988 — he reminded them of their ex-husband — and many people thought that was a clever dig.

  • Jane

    Sarah Palin shouldn’t be put in the same class as Hillary Clinton. Her name is only discussed becasue she was put in the spotlight by John McCain. She’s glib but unintelligent.

    Hillary Clinton is highly qualified and it’s too bad many people see Bill as the elephant in the room holding her back.

  • Adam

    Is the pipeline your guests are discussing being filled with women who could go on to be president? I have lived in Washington State, which is represented by two women senators, and the only two who ran in their races. In Massachusetts, the only female candidate who ran won the Democratic primary easily and will win the general election.

    If women win lesser political races – governors, senators – in part because they are women, are we going to get a pipeline of female politicans who can rise to be president?

  • Ginnie

    Great comments and I agree. I truly wanted to support Ms HRC, but white whining suburban women who expect entitlement are as unappealing as previous blacks were. There are women as Sotomeyer and others who are working their way up and will be so much better than most previous presidents. Yes, it took many women and blacks and those who supported them to change the political environment, but those who will actually occupy the general leadership positions will have to be from later generations who have transcended this mess of trivia.

  • JD

    What is it with American men (and women) and their aversion to electing a woman president? What about India, Israel, the UK and Germany, all of whom have had women leaders. Were they viewed as “strident” by the citizens of those countries? We are an odd breed.

  • Courtney

    I was struck by the polls that said that audiences didn’t like listening to women. There was a study done at Yale and presented to teaching assistants. It basically said that as a society, we been so trained to think that men have more answers than women, that even a female teaching assistant will -automatically- call on a male student when both male and female students are raising their hands. In order to call on a female, the teacher has to CONSCIOUSLY remember that they should call on females, as well. This is a deep-seated problem that is going to require conscious, deliberate action to reverse centuries of misogyny.

  • Mark

    My problem with letting Hilary Clinton represent women candidates in general was crystalized early in the show when they talked about her campaign manager talking about what to learn from Margaret Thatcher about being perceived as “tough”. Can anyone imagine Thatcher having a comparable conversation? Is anyone surprised to hear the Clinton had it?

  • helen

    The fact that Sarah Palin is treated as anything other than a joke by the press demonstrates conservative media bias.
    Conservatives don’t like women.
    Women will never get a fair shake from the media.

  • Lee

    I agree, with the caller-first woman prez. is going to be Republican- that’s because of male voters, not anything to do with the candidate herself. I think it is a sexual thing for men -so she’ll look more like Palin not Thatcher.

    As a left-wing female voter, I did not like Clinton’s pandering with her hunting comments. Obama was right when he talked about gun-owning Americans being angry- he was right, he took a risk by saying it, and I rewarded him for telling the truth with my vote.

  • Mark

    “What is it with American men (and women) and their aversion to electing a woman president? What about India, Israel, the UK and Germany, all of whom have had women leaders”

    Each of those countries had a particular woman candidate to elect. But I’m not sure you’d look at any of their systems (I know the UK best, and I’d say this is true there at least) and say that women are equally represented among candidates for highest office in the near future.

  • Sharon

    I was initially a supporter of Hillary Clinton for President but not because she was a woman. As a woman of color, I do not necessarily identify with feminism and the “struggle.” Also, have not felt particularly supported by my own gender.

    I do, however, identify with being a racial minority, the stuggle of both men and women.

    I recoil in horror to a woman Republicn president 8 years from now because this particular combination invokes my worst fears of gender and racial inequality!

  • Miro

    Hillary Clinton would have made a fine president, but her primary campaign tactics were self-serving and deeply flawed. In the debates, all of the other Dem. candidates acknowledged Clinton’s competence to be president, but she instead denigrated their experience (fratricidal arguments that were echoed by the Republicans in the general election). She lost me completely at that point, and I ended up doing some canvassing for Obama instead. But I am glad there was a political reconciliation and she is serving as Secretary of State.

    She might have won if she had taken the high road instead of trying to diminish her Democratic opponents.

    Running as a woman is a double-edged sword — on one hand, it is exciting to catapult women into positions of power that they have been historically denied (we are about to elect Martha Coakley to US Senate here in MA), but on the other hand the essentialist-feminist tribal politics is an absolute anathema. Essentialist feminists are just as sexist as their male chauvinist counterparts.

  • Nancy

    I was offended by Emily’s List’s assumption that I would support Hillary. I also was more receptive to Obama’s attitude and message than Hillary’s. Make no mistake, if Hillary had won the nomination, I would have voted for her.

  • Lee

    As a culture, we need to call out sexism when another woman is being sexist against another woman. We tend to call it cattiness when it isn’t.
    African Americans seem to be able to articulate this phenomemon better in films and music, but women are not so good at it.

  • Jack

    Your topic misses the point. It is not should we elect a woman, but should we elect a person who represents the American people, impossible in the current system of campaign financing and mass media control by transnational corporations that don’t care about the American people or the nation, only profits at any cost to the public interest.

    Of course we should elect a woman, but no decent person need apply, because they will not be given media attention nor campaign funding by the ruling Forces of Greed

  • Gemli

    This issue goes way beyond gender. To hear Sarah Palin being discussed as a potentially legitimate candidate in 2012, or at any time before hell freezes over, turns my stomach.

    I think Hillary Clinton is one of the smartest women in American politics, and would have made an excellent president.

    Being a woman has nothing to do with it in my book. But being an aggressively unread race-baiting anti-scientific evangelical hate-monger would prevent me from pulling the lever. Unless, of course, the lever operated a trap door upon which she was standing.

  • Jack

    Gemli, get ready for a perpetually turned stomach because it seems more than likely that Sarah Palin WILL get the GOP nomination for Pres in ’12 (and she will very well win).

  • Lee Riggan

    I believe Tom can look to his own coverage of the campaign and especially to his side kick Jack to see bias against Hillary. Jack drooled his love of Obama in one of Tom’s shows – how brilliant Obama was. Yet there was not detail about his brilliances. Ever since that show I have questioned any comments Jack makes. I ended up voting for Obama but I am so disappointed about how Hillary was treated. I know Republican women hated Hillary. Thanks for doing this topic on your show. The history of women fighting for the vote in the US when the choice was pushing for Black (men) or women to get the vote women had to first support the vote for Black (men). How much longer after that did women get the vote? This election of Obama seems to be a repeat of that history.

  • Eric

    Why should we push for a token candidate? Why does the gender of a president matter more than their qualifications?

  • mr.independent

    Gemli, get ready for a perpetually turned stomach because it seems more than likely that Sarah Palin WILL get the GOP nomination for Pres in ‘12 (and she will very well win).

    Really? I doubt that Palin could beat Obama. Of course the economic conditions could be a factor, but she just does not have the brains or the political savvy to pull that off. Not to mention there are not enough of the the type of people who would support her to win such an election.

    I’m one of the independents who would rather not vote for Obama, but if the Republicans put Palin up I’ll do everything in my power to keep her from office.

  • Mary Jean Herzog

    Was the problem ‘women’ or was it Hillary? Some people say that Hillary was treated unfairly by the media. I agree, she probably was – it was a common belief that she had ‘high negatives.’ But anyone can be a victim of ‘the media’ – unfortunately infused these days with rampant yellow journalism – once cable digs its claws in. Look at the traction of the tea baggers and birthers, two absurd groups whose views should never have made front page news. I agree, the yellow media is to blame for a lot of the problems we have today. And the mainstream, more professional media, lets itself get sucked into their hysteria . The media all too often acts as a perseverating, echo chamber rather than a finder of news, facts and information.

    But back to Hillary. Why didn’t she win the nomination? Why did she have such high negatives? Remember Jesse Jackson? Al Sharpton? Hillary was their analogy. They personified the angry Black male, running as Black male to overcome the historic injuries of slavery, segregation, and discrimination.

    Hillary shares their baggage – the 1960s, 70s, 80s, and 90s history – with Jesse and Al. She’s contaminated by her marriage to Bill, her treatment of his affair with Monica, her cool, professional exterior perceived as cold and calculating: “She stayed with Bill because of her political ambitions.” She’s contaminated by the politics of the Newt Gingrich 90s who skewered her with every opportunity, starting with her failed attempt at health care reform.

    Hillary also suffers from the standard sexism of our generation. She is of the generation of women who are characterized as obnoxious bitches if they are smart and outspoken. “Castrating bitch” is not an uncommon term for a 50+ woman who has been a smart, successful professional.

    Hillary’s contaminated by the same old politics. She is the old generation – my generation – and our baggage needs to be dumped in the dumpster.

    Obama comes along, and he’s not angry Black male nor angry woman: he’s a transformative, elegant, part Black male who at first is not considered Black enough. He’s a new generation without the baby boomer baggage. He’s refreshing.

    Sadly, the politicians, reactionaries and yellow media are doing their best to make him fail. They would have done the same to Hillary.

  • I got yer twitter

    Hillary a fine president? Give me a break. She can’t utter a cohesive sentence. She makes Dubya look Shakespearean.

  • Susan Israel, MD

    The woman who made the comments today about the Republicans using fear tactics in the health care debate sounds like she is just reciting the Admisitration’s talking poits and does not really know of or understand the legislation. It is already law (ARRA,H.R.1,HIT,Title XXX) that all citizens are required to send their electonic medical record to the government by 2014 for their use in providing “appropriate information to help guide medical decisions at the time and place of care.” If “appropriate” is defined as what treatment the government will pay for, the government, de facto, controls health care and your life. The current bills before Congress give the Secretary of HHS the power to decide what the insurance companies must cover, what treatments will be paid for and under what circumstances, and how much will be paid. CMS and IMAB will also have power over the purse in Medicare. There won’t be any official death panels, people just won’t receive the care in the first place, as it may be too expensive or not considered cost effective.

  • Jack

    mr. independent, well, at least you concede or agree with me that there’s a good likelihood that Sarah Palin WILL at least get the GOP nomination — which was my main point.

    Once she get’s the nomination, we’ll just see whether the GOP wins the Presidency. I say yes (especially with Palin).

  • http://none Karen Husemeyer

    Hillary Clinton lost it in Peosta, Iowa, at the beginning of the campaign, when she sent
    Terry McAuliffe in her place. Obama had a llama there with a sign “llama for Obama.” Then Terry talked about voting for a Democrat for President. Obama was the last speaker, came walking through the crowd which had swelled to being the largest there that day and walked up to the podium with a backdrop of a ten foot by four feet US flag and Iowa State flag hanging from the ceiling. From that moment on he was the winner. I also attended Senator Tom Harkin’s bash for the candidates. Senator Clinton was there, but the die was already cast!

  • Dave lee

    Just as Obama is good because of his talents and record as well as his swift and perhaps less compromising rise to national politics, I think the first female President should also be exceptional and relatively unknown. The key issue for me is that each election cycle produces a very short lists of potential candidates. Sure you have to be smart and educated and connected to run, but I bet there are more men and women who could succeed in that office than we hear about. Getting the money out of politics would open up the field. We need to hear about who is out there and what it takes to be president, not sidetracks and marketing ideas. The important thing about who is president is who is good at doing what the president does. Clinton is no way the best woman. AUMF? Forget about it. That’s not leadership. I’d rather have Madeline Albright or Doris Kearns Goodwin or Elizabeth Warren. Awesome, brilliant, unpretentious women, not sketchy Clintons and Palins. Once elected, I think good ideas would win the day, even if it took some insulation against what must be a very aggressive Washington environment. Maybe it’s naive, but how much help has Rahm Emanuel been in rallying even a democratic majority? A competent person doesn’t have to be male, female, insider or anything -they just need the spotlight.

  • Brett

    Jack,
    your argument about Palin being nominated by the GOP, then getting elected as president, seems to be in the realm of two drunk guys sitting in a bar arguing over whether Superman or Batman would win in a fist fight…

  • Brett

    Sarah Palin to the GOP is a bit like Eddie Murphy’s character was to Don Ameci in “Trading Places.” …The GOP likes that Palin stirs up her base and has charisma, but they will never let her win the nomination, let alone run the country!

  • Jack

    Brett:–

    Are you saying that you don’t think there is a very high possibility that Palin will be the 2012 GOP POTUS nominee??

  • millard-fillmore

    “I felt a terrible rent in our local political culture when Hillary was shredded in the political limelight over the past few years. At first, I thought that this was a result of various regional influences outside of the northeast, but even if true, the fact remains that if the Mormons are powerful enough to revoke gay marriage in California, which they proved to be, then the self righteous right are powerful enough to drum Hillary out of a presidential race, despite the support of tens of millions of Americans.”

    Whoa. Hold on buddy. First of all, Hillary Clinton voted for the Iraq war. How the feminists who also profess to be anti-war, reconciled that fact with voting for Hillary (or rather, ignored it), is beyond me. What’s the point of taking positions and showing moral outrage, if, when it comes to voting, you don’t vote for a candidate who supports that very same position? You compromise on your positions, then you have no right to hold your elected officials accountable when they compromise on their positions – can’t get any simpler than that.

    Hillary Clinton and her husband’s conduct in throwing some mud on Obama (releasing pictures of him in African garb, being coy regarding his religion) during the primaries was pretty despicable. It took a Republican – Colin Powell – to set the record straight with some straight-talk regarding all the rumors regarding Obama’s religion.

    Second, the gay marriage issue in CA succeeded because many of the African-Americans – who also voted for Obama – voted against gay marriage. Let’s not sacrifice facts on the altar of some misguided and stupid political correctness here, shall we?

    And, Obama’s disappointing one year so far should be proof enough that identity politics does not necessarily result in a good candidate. (So much for Hope and Change!) Then again, identity politics is the bread-and-butter of the left, so reality and facts are not going to make much of a difference in how the faithful view politics and act.

  • millard-fillmore

    “Why should we push for a token candidate? Why does the gender of a president matter more than their qualifications?”

    Right on!!! Well said, Eric. Something very fundamental which the faithful forget in their blind adherence to various -isms.

  • John

    I’m inclined to agree with Brett. The decision on who to vote for is a real, not a hypothethetical choice. I vote for the candidate who I think will do the most good (or the least harm) for the people they are supposed to represent. As for the last election, I’m a white, blue collar worker who’s also a gun owner. The thought Sarah Palin being a heartbeat away from the Presidency chilled me to the bone. I actually agreed with Hilary Clinton on many issues. My problem with her was: George Bush I was President, then Bill Clinton, then George Bush II. If Hilary Clinton became President, would the 2016 election be between Chelsea Clinton and whichever Bush daughter felt like running? This country is supposed to be a republic, not an feudal aristocracy.

  • Arjuna

    Hillary inherited her political roots. Palin worked her way up by being the Mayor of a city of 5,000 people, then resigned as Governor. Hmm, where is the merit, where is the body of work, where are the credentials? I voted for Obama, not because he was an African-American, but because he had more of these qualities than these women. Women, will win the White House, but like all previous 44, they will have to earn it.

  • Brett

    Jack,
    Palin may run; she may be part of the initial fray. If she does, she’ll drop out early. She certainly won’t be nominated by the GOP (they want to win!) because party leaders know she can’t garner support outside of her base. She has revealed who she is too much to fool moderate Republicans. Fundamentalist, neo-con numbers alone are not strong enough to push Palin over the top. Sorry, Jack…sorry to ruin your fantasies.

  • Brett

    “‘…the gay marriage issue in CA succeeded because many of the African-Americans – who also voted for Obama – voted against gay marriage. Let’s not sacrifice facts on the altar of some misguided and stupid political correctness here, shall we?’” millard-fillmore

    Yes, the African-American vote and the Hispanic vote helped pass Prop. 8. But it was the deep pockets from the Mormon church that threw all kinds of big money at a media blitz campaign that swayed the masses, as it were. There were so many different types of ads that perpetuated out and out lies about what would happen if the amendment didn’t pass.

    I didn’t see the comment about the Mormons as a form of stupid political correctness any more than I see your comments as stupid racism.

  • millard-fillmore

    Brett, stating facts is not the same as racism. Nice try, but such bullying tactics, used by the blind adherents of the left and the right, to shut people up when uncomfortable facts poke holes in their hallowed dogma, don’t work on me. :)

  • millard-fillmore

    There were so many different types of ads that perpetuated out and out lies about what would happen if the amendment didn’t pass.

    Brett, are you saying that only those smart people, who are able to see through such ads, should be allowed to vote? How about all those who bought the “Hope and Change” rhetoric?

  • Brett

    millard-fillmore (from 11:54am),
    You totally missed what I was saying: that neither the comment about the Mormons was political correctness nor your comment about African-American voters was racist…Jeesh!! …The “facts” as you would like to see them seem to pertain to only those facts you wish to bring to light. I suppose your brain can’t keep two disparate facts juxtaposed at the same time, e.g., African-American voters in CA voted for Prop. 8 AND the Mormon church spent big bucks influencing public opinion in that regard! I was not using bullying tactics (although, you seemed to be shooting from the hip at Jon Allen, the commenter who referenced the Mormon church as influencing the voting on Prop. 8). You also seem to think your comment about African-American voters in CA was an “‘uncomfortable fact’” that “‘poke [ed] holes…in hallowed dogma..’” and that others are blind…perhaps unless or until you shone a light on their dogma?…You have some grandiose notions of yourself, I’d say!

    As far as your second comment (11:59am)…I didn’t say anything about whom should and shouldn’t vote, but I was saying something about how groups with agendas and deep pockets can and do influence voters. Do you not believe voters can ever be swayed by disinformation? Even voters who know the truth about what an amendment will and will not promote can have doubts after being bombarded with negative ads. Is this some kind of weird idea to you?

  • David Wright

    I would remind you that nobody knows who the next male star candidate is either. Mark Sanford? John Ensign? Scott Brown? Tom Brady? (Extra credit to anyone who can identify all four.)

  • Jesse Lev

    So its not only OK, but a matter of justice, for women to vote for a candidate only because she’s a woman…
    But it is sexist for a man to not vote for a woman because hes a man?

    This makes absolutely no sense. I think its pretty obvious why many Americans aren’t taken seriously by the rest of the world…we seem to think our culture wars are the only aspect worth voting for. Apparently, some feminists think that having a woman in office is the only important issue this country, and this world, faces.

    Wake up. You are not the center of the world. When a woman is elected, it will be because she is qualified, not because she is a woman. Anything else is sexism.

  • millard-fillmore

    Ha ha ha, Brett. I did shoot that one pretty fast, didn’t I? :D

    Thanks for thinking of my brain – I appreciate it.

    ====

    “As far as your second comment (11:59am)…I didn’t say anything about whom should and shouldn’t vote, but I was saying something about how groups with agendas and deep pockets can and do influence voters. Do you not believe voters can ever be swayed by disinformation? Even voters who know the truth about what an amendment will and will not promote can have doubts after being bombarded with negative ads. Is this some kind of weird idea to you?”

    Is there a group that doesn’t have an agenda, or doesn’t lie in ads? Again, the responsibility of sifting facts from untruths lies with the voter. That is the bug in democracy, unfortunately, since different people have different capabilities, so putting decision-making powers in the hands of people who are easily influenced by negative ads and vote accordingly, is fraught with this danger. *shrug*

    It is what it is, since we cannot have a system where only “smart” people vote, so complaining about it is fruitless.

  • millard-fillmore

    “I suppose your brain can’t keep two disparate facts juxtaposed at the same time, e.g., African-American voters in CA voted for Prop. 8 AND the Mormon church spent big bucks influencing public opinion in that regard!

    We’re on the same page then.

  • Brett

    “‘Is there a group that doesn’t have an agenda, or doesn’t lie in ads? Again, the responsibility of sifting facts from untruths lies with the voter. That is the bug in democracy, unfortunately, since different people have different capabilities, so putting decision-making powers in the hands of people who are easily influenced by negative ads and vote accordingly, is fraught with this danger.’”

    Ah! Therein lies the rub! :-)

    Of course, there are lies, and, then, there are LIES!

  • Janet

    If a woman is a conservative she will get trashed by the media.

  • Jeffrey Douglass

    You write for the Washington Post which is and has been the liberal rag for at least 60 years. You are a women and are fickle one way or another depending on the day. As almost every unmarried women you want someone to take care of you to secure you in your home. But like most modern women since the feminists movement you don’t want to live with authority. Government is the best security for the new women. But now women are acting authoritarian, and showing testicular fortitude ah la Hilary Clinton and the news about hers.
    If I remember correctly it was balls your gender wished to remove from men back in the 90′s. Fickle women, I would not vote for one who didn’t clear that up first.

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Sex, power and Beyoncé’s feminism. The message to young women.

 
Aug 29, 2014
Ukrainian forces guard a checkpoint in the town of Mariupol, eastern Ukraine, Thursday, Aug. 28, 2014. Ukraine's president Petro Poroshenko called an emergency meeting of the nation's security council and canceled a foreign trip Thursday, declaring that "Russian forces have entered Ukraine," as concerns grew about the opening of a new front in the conflict.  (AP)

War moves over Syria, Ukraine. Burger King moves to Canada. Nine-year-olds and Uzis. Our weekly news roundtable goes behind the headlines.

On Point Blog
On Point Blog
Our Week In The Web: August 29, 2014
Friday, Aug 29, 2014

On hypothetical questions, Beyoncé and the unending flow of social media.

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Drew Bledsoe Is Scoring Touchdowns (In The Vineyards)
Thursday, Aug 28, 2014

Football great — and vineyard owner — Drew Bledsoe talks wine, onions and the weird way they intersect sometimes in Walla Walla, Washington.

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Poutine Whoppers? Why Burger King Is Bailing Out For Canada
Tuesday, Aug 26, 2014

Why is Burger King buying a Canadian coffee and doughnut chain? (We’ll give you a hint: tax rates).

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