A Woman’s Nation

Three cheers for Maria Shriver and John Podesta for launching “A Woman’s Nation,” a Center for American Progress project to explore American women’s current status and opportunities. Go to http://www.americanprogress.org for more information.

But how do we get there from here? Here’s my (first) take on what it will take. This take focuses on lessons women seeking public office need to bear-in-mind.

“Be careful what you wish for”: As Caroline Kennedy’s recent experience teaches us, choose carefully lest you get tripped-up by the belief that all public service is equal in steeling one for the rigors of public scrutiny.

“Make no small plans”: As the Presidential election made clear, think big, and then move early and quickly, for day-to-day voting, fundraising and media exposure tar all and tar quickly.

“All politics is local”: Louisiana U.S. Senator Mary Landrieu’s recent re-election, in her ever-so-conservative state, suggests that creating an organizing plan–and compelling messages–for every single precinct— whether that precinct is defined by geography, demography, issue-interests, or any other measure that induces a crowd of potential voters to gather, can put one over-the-top in what otherwise looks like a very difficult situation.

“We don’t want nobody nobody sent”: Minnesota’s senior(and still only) U.S. Senator, Amy Klobuchar, spent years building her public policy and electoral experience. Now, by almost any measure, beginning with one created by the New York Times, Senator Klobuchar is on the short list of women who might become President one day.

For the numbers, go to:

Celinda Lake’s recent article in Women’s E-News,
http://www.womensenews.org/article.cfm?aid=3938
, and to

Rutger’s Center for American Women and Poltics: http://www.cawp.org.

Rebecca Sive

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