Why Aren't the Democrats Nominating a Woman?

Jun 2014
Cleveland, Ohio
Four Senate women running for the Democratic nomination for president have confronted some of the same biases that Hillary Clinton faced — plus the “electability” canard that posits a female nominee would be riskier than a man. Hillary lost; she’s a woman. So this syllogism makes no sense, but still it persists.

They’ve also gotten their share of blatantly sexist coverage. Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) isn’t likable, the media tut-tutted. Well, she’s in third in most polls and closing in on Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), so maybe the story should have been that Sanders is too grouchy, and all these white men, current and former congressmen, aren’t credentialed enough.

Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.), we were told over and over again, was a tough and even mean boss. Beto O’Rourke, who had to apologize to his staff at the end of his campaign for being an ass****, hasn’t been asked, to my knowledge, a single question on air about his cruddy management skills. (Time management? Driving yourself gets an F. )

As the excuses for not nominating a woman pile up, it’s not hard to see that the four female senators are running circles around most of their male competitors when it comes to serious and detailed policy proposals. Warren (I’ve got a plan for that), Sen. Kamala D. Harris (D-Calif.) (e.g., plans for teacher pay, tax credits, housing allowances, abortion rights), Klobuchar (e.g., plans for infrastructure, mental health, social media transparency — honest ads) and Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.) (e.g., plans for abortion rights, a Family Bill of Rights, marijuana legalization) arguably are running the most substantive races we’ve seen in years.

To boot, unlike a number of the male candidates, all four of the Senate women have years and years in public life (Harris and Klobuchar have both executive and legislative branch experience). No woman entered the race with the attitude she was “born to do it.”


I say all of this not to make the case that Democrats should choose their nominee among these four (although they’d do far better choosing one of their four names out of a hat than doing the same for male candidates ranging from socialist Sanders to a man despised by the city he runs, New York Mayor Bill de Blasio). Rather, I raise this to suggest that someone or some group take on the “electability” issue head on. With this group of uber-prepared and capable women, now is the time to take the weight off all their backs: the assumption about electability that may prevent any woman from winning this cycle or in the near future.

In fact, women aren’t just electable, they were elected in droves in 2018 — in state legislative, House, Senate and governor races. Now that message needs to be spread, either through an existing organization or a new one. Someone must collect the data, make the case to donors and insiders, run ads and inform Democrats the “safe” choice in winning in urban and suburban areas is very often the female candidate. It is time to bat down the surreptitious and insidious “not electable” meme once and for all.

Your thoughts?
Likes: Friday13
Jan 2016
Here's MY thought, Madeline: I think Amy Klobuchar is the Democrats' BEST bet to beat Donald Trump, and not just beat him, but STOMP him, in the Electoral College, and I certainly hope that Democratic primary voters start taking a closer look at her.

Donald Trump dubbed her 'Snow-Woman', as he likes to give all his enemies nicknames, as you well know, and she should adopt that nickname with pride, because I think she would utterly SNOW him in the Electoral College. Especially if she picked the right running mate, maybe someone a little more progressive than she is------she's definitely in the 'moderate' wing of the party-----and maybe from a different geographic region of the country------and she could sweep the Midwestern states, the old Rust Belt states that Trump took from Hillary, and of course she would win the coastal states that are going to vote Democratic anyway. And poor Trump would be limited to the Bible Belt states of the Old Confederacy, plus the Great Plains states from Oklahoma north through the Dakotas, plus a few of the very conservative Rocky Mountain states (Idaho, Montana, Wyoming). Amy might even be able to win Texas; she might even be able to win a state like Nebraska or South Dakota, because she's from nearby Minnesota, and they're familiar with her. She might win Indiana if she picked Pete Buttigieg as her running mate.

She looks like Betty Crocker, and Trump would have a DEVIL of a time trying to convince America that Amy Klobuchar/Betty Crocker is some kind of wild-eyed socialist out to turn America into Venezuela. That would get guffaws from Nome, Alaska, to Key West, Florida.

Those are my thoughts.