“I’m not going to mislead anybody. Politics is really hard. And it is harder for women. There’s a double standard, and you can’t complain about it. You just have to accept it, and be smart enough to navigate it. And you have to have a pretty tough skin. To paraphrase a favorite quote from Eleanor Roosevelt: If a woman wants to be in politics, she has to have the skin of a rhinoceros. Most men who go into politics just think they’re great. They believe they can do anything. Most young women, not only in politics but in most areas, are more cautious and more likely to say, ‘Could I really do this? Am I good enough?’ I was talking to a friend and very successful businessman the other day, and he said, ‘The thing that still annoys me more than anything is that I see all these young women who are so much more capable than they allow themselves to believe. And I see so many young men who are so much less capable but who believe they are God’s gift to the world.’ I would just say to women: Try it! Put your foot in the pond and see if you want to swim.”
—Secretary of State Hillary Clinton took a Glamour reporter along while traveling in Africa and trying to empower women through the African Women’s Entrepreneurship Program. I admire Clinton for what she’s accomplished and for her realistic outlook on how women should get ahead. Here, she is echoing Facebook’s Sheryl Sandberg, who implored young women to think they’re as awesome as young men do. You’re God’s gift to the world, too, ladies! [Glamour] Keep reading »
Last night, something unexpected happened as the House of Representatives voted on the debt-ceiling compromise. (If you haven’t been following, here is the very short story: Democrats and Republicans have been in a deadlock for months over how to handle our debt load, and the government’s ability to borrow money expires at midnight tonight.) With two minutes left to go in the House’s vote, a side door of the chamber opened and a woman walked in. It was Gabrielle Giffords of Arizona, who has been missing from the proceedings since January, when she was shot in the head at point-blank range. While Giffords was a touch unsteady on her feet and didn’t speak much, she had a big smile on her face as she waved to the members of the House. She was greeted with a standing ovation and a flurry of hugs. Her presence appeared to have a palpable effect. While the vote in favor of the compromise bill had been stalled at 200, after Giffords entered her ‘yes’ vote, it shot up to 216 in favor. In the end, the bill passed with 269 votes—sending it to the Senate this morning.
“The Capitol looks beautiful tonight and I am honored to be at work,” Giffords Tweeted. Keep reading »
“What I really want right now is to get a debt-ceiling deal for my birthday … I feel real good about 5-0. I’ve got a little greyer since I took this job, but otherwise, I feel pretty good. Michelle still thinks I’m cute. And I guess that’s, that’s all that matters, isn’t?”
—Barack Obama talks to NPR about his 50th birthday, which is coming up on Thursday. We’re with Michelle on this one—we think the grey just makes you look more distinguished, Barack. And we guess it’s up to Congress whether he’ll get the birthday present of his choice. [Telegraph UK] Keep reading »
Guys, we are obviously in the midst of a liberal conspiracy. A Nevada man named James Linlor is suing his state’s Department of Motor Vehicles because they refused to issue him a vanity plate for his car that reads “GOPALIN.” As in, Sarah Palin. Apparently, the Nevada DMV dictates that when it comes to vanity plates, “No combination of letters, numbers or spaces is allowed if it … (e)xpresses contempt, ridicule or superiority of … political affiliation.” Linlor and his lawyer claim that the DMV unconstitutionally applied this stipulation. They gave as proof the fact that the DMV had issued plates that read “DMOCRAT” and “AL GORE.” Linlor also put in an application for the plate “GOOBAMA,” and said that was approved, no problem.
It almost sounds like this guy has a point … except that, after being initially denied, he was issued a “GOPALIN” plate. More than six months ago. Keep reading »
“I believe too many women are sitting on the sidelines and aren’t engaged in the issues that affect them. I’m particularly concerned about younger women — women 40 and under who are not engaged at all. Some of it has to do with the fact that women are busy; they’re focused on their careers; they’re focused on raising children. But a lot of women also believe that their voice doesn’t matter, that their views are not important, and that their vote doesn’t make a difference. And that’s really what I want to challenge with American women.
Right now, less than one percent of women in Congress are under 40. I want to really work over the next few years to bring more women off the sidelines and get them engaged. To care about the policies and decisions that are being made because I don’t want them waking up a year from now, two years from now, 10 years from now, and realizing that they don’t agree with the laws that are being written and the agenda of this country because they didn’t participate.”
—Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY) is my number one favorite politician right now, precisely because she utters quotes like this. Instead of being preachy about why we need more women in politics “just because” (which is how we could end up with President Michele Bachmann), Sen. Gillibrand is simply and succinctly pointing out that legislation is passed by those who care enough to make it work. Horrified that your state doesn’t recognize gay marriage or de-funded Planned Parenthood? Do something about it — run for office. If you don’t, someone else will! [Marie Claire] Keep reading »