Tag Archives: Hillary Clinton

The Partisan Gap Amongst Female Politicians is Likely to Get Worse

If I’m being honest, when I first read the title of this journal article “A partisan gap in the supply of female potential candidates in the United States,” I didn’t think twice. Pew often publishes surveys/research that seemed to indicate that the gap between the Democratic Party and the Republican Party, with regard to women candidates, was very unequal. As a result, I didn’t expect to be surprised when reading the journal article. However, there was one section that I think is especially important [Emphasis Added]:

Previous studies demonstrating single digit gender gaps in US party identification have not been able to explain the much larger gap when it comes to US elected officials. But representatives do not emerge from the public at large: they are disproportionately individuals with high education, high occupational prestige, and clear partisan preferences.

The researchers are implying that the people who run for office aren’t usually representative of the population at large (something we already knew). The important part here, though, is that they used this assumption to extrapolate to future Congress’s [Emphasis Added]:

By estimating the gender composition of this select group by partisanship, we find that the partisan gender gap is much larger among the kinds of citizens who tend to become representatives and that the emergence of this gap was contemporaneous with the historical emergence of a partisan gender gap in the US House.

Meaning, amongst those people who are more likely to seek political office, there is a larger gender gap than there is amongst the general population. Taking this one step further [Emphasis Added]:

Given the current associations between gender, partisanship, and other attributes among the public, the data suggest that future generational replacement may exacerbate the already significant gap in women’s descriptive representation between the parties, potentially reshaping the behavior of each party’s elected officials, the quality of representation available to diverse members of the public, and opinions of the public toward the Republican and Democratic parties.

Translation: if things continue as they are, the gender gap between Democrats and Republicans is likely to get worse — much worse — and it’s already pretty bad.

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Given how things can shift from year-to-year (or session-to-session), it’s hard to too confident in categorically saying that the Democrats will continue to have more women in their ranks than the Republicans. However, the data certainly seem to point to things not getting better.

While my views tend to lean to the liberal side of the spectrum, I’d still like to see more women represented in the Republican party. They are one of the two dominant (only? viable?) parties in the US and if there’s only one party that’s represented by women, that won’t necessarily lead to the best decisions for women or for Americans (and by extension, citizens of the world in general).

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Assuming that Hillary Clinton is able to become the first woman POTUS, I’d be really curious to see the result of a longitudinal study on women in politics. Theoretically, by having a Madam President, there’d be a role model for young women to aspire to. So, I’d want to test the attitudes of young women (pre-teens and teens) every year for the next 20+ years to see if there is an increase in the number of young women who aspire to be Congresswomen, Senators, and maybe even President of the United States! My hypothesis is that there’d be an increase in the desire amongst the people tested, but as the research earlier in this post alluded to, in order for there to be an increase in the number of women in politics, there needs to be an increase in the number of women who are more likely to run for President from that group of people.

ResearchBlogging.orgCrowder-Meyer, M., & Lauderdale, B. (2014). A partisan gap in the supply of female potential candidates in the United States Research & Politics, 1 (1) DOI: 10.1177/2053168014537230

When Will the United States Next Have a Transformational President on Domestic Policy?

I was catching up on some of the journal articles I’ve accumulated to read over the last year and I one caught my eye: “Transformational and transactional presidents,” by Joseph Nye, Jr. In the article, Nye makes the case that presidents didn’t matter (as much) to the US developing into a great power as we may have previously thought. Furthermore, Nye makes the case that our definitions of the two types of leadership aren’t clear and that the preference for transformational leaders is misplaced.

One of the parts that I enjoyed about this brief article was how Nye identified that presidents can be transformational and transactional at the same time. How? Because there are many different facets to a presidency and so while a president may be transformational in domestic policy, they might not be in foreign policy. Similarly, they can not be transformational in foreign policy early on in their term, but become transformational in response to external events.

Upon finishing the article, I was left wondering if (when?) the United States will again have a transformational president, with regard to domestic policy. Nye didn’t make this case in the article (but maybe he did in his book?), but based on his definition of transformational leaders, with regard to objectives [seeking major change], President Obama was certainly a transformational president. Obamacare is a sweeping change to the way that the US administers healthcare to its people. At the time, President Obama also enjoyed majorities in both the Senate and the House, so this kind of change was more possible (especially more possible than it is now. Can you imagine Pres. Obama trying to pass anything close to Obamacare with the GOP-controlled House and Senate?)

Given Hillary Clinton’s speech this past weekend, I’m inclined to think that she has ideas about domestic policy that would make her a transformational president. However, based on what’s been written about the likelihood of the GOP to continue to hold the majority in the House (redistricting, etc.), it doesn’t seem like there’s likely to be a Democratic-controlled House for the next few election cycles. It’s possible that the Senate flips back to the Democrats in 2016, but they’d need the House to also make a “big change.” So, it seems that, if there’s going to be a transformational president (on domestic policy), it’d have to come from the GOP.

I haven’t been following too closely the candidates from the GOP side, especially with regard to their domestic policy ideas, but is there a transformational president amongst them? There could be, but I suppose we’ll have to wait and see. If neither party is able to sweep the polls in 2016, we might be waiting for a transformational president on domestic policy in the US until at least the next decade.

ResearchBlogging.orgNye, J. (2013). Transformational and transactional presidents Leadership, 10 (1), 118-124 DOI: 10.1177/1742715013512049

What Will the Obamas Do in 2017?

Today’s been a bit hectic. I rode the bus from downtown Ottawa to get to the airport. The “hectic-ness” stems from the fact that it was quite snowy outside. The visibility was quite poor and I was sure my flight would be delayed (it wasn’t). Right now, I’m sitting in the Toronto Island Airport (not the much more known Toronto Airport, which is actually almost in Mississauga) and waiting for my next flight.

In amongst my travels today, I had the chance to see Pres. Obama’s speech at Nelson Mandela’s memorial. I knew that it was today, but I also knew I wouldn’t have much time to watch it today. As I was getting ready to board the bus in Ottawa, I saw some folks on Twitter talking about this being one of Obama’s best speeches yet. He’s certainly delivered some doozies in his time, so I wondered if the rhetoric was hyperbole. As it turns out — it’s not. I buffered the speech and watched it at 30,000 feet. It was… awesome. And I don’t mean awesome in the way that the word has been co-opted to mean as a form of slang. The speech was awesome.

There were so many great portions of the speech that I’d be hear all day if I were excerpting. One part in particular I wanted to highlight:

The struggles that follow the victory of formal equality and universal franchise may not be as filled with drama and moral clarity as those that came before, but they are no less important.

Essentially, we’re not finished, yet. We’ve still got work to do. (If you want to watch video of the speech, this is all I could find with airport WiFi.)

Update: as expected, there’s a YouTube video of the speech.

Pres. Obama is the 44th President of the United States, so he belongs to a unique club of people. No doubt, history will remember him. However, he’s also one of the youngest presidents in a time in history where people are living longer than ever. As a result, I’m infinitely curious as to what the Obamas will do post-White House. For instance, look at Bill and Hillary Clinton. Hillary Clinton went on to be a United States Senator and then the Secretary of the State (and maybe one day, President). Bill (along with Hillary) created a foundation and have been effecting change the world over.

There are probably an infinite number of things that the Obamas could get into, but I wonder which issue excites them the most. That is, where do they want to leave their mark on history. Given the way that Pres. Obama speaks about equality, social justice, and social rights, it seems like a natural fit for him.

Of course, the Obamas probably aren’t thinking about that right now, but that time is not too far away for them. We’re almost finished with 2013 and the 2014 midterm elections aren’t even a year away. After that, it’s essentially “open season” on candidates announcing their intentions to run for President.

Massive Miscalculation by GOP Chairman Reince Priebus: No Debates with CNN or NBC

Earlier today, I saw a series of tweets from the GOP Chairman, Reince Priebus:

At first blush, it seems like nothing more than some kind of a stunt to draw attention to the matter. It’s also a great way for the Chairman to do some interviews and bad-mouth CNN/NBC. As I thought about it a bit more, it seems like this can’t end well for the Chairman:

It wouldn’t surprise anyone that there are more Democrats who watch MSNBC and more Republicans who watch Fox News, but what about the people who watch CNN? Well, as it happens, this is home to the political Independents of the electorate. According to TiVo data (actually quite sophisticated):

CNN, which has branded itself as the cable news network without a partisan skew, has apparently made the sale among independent voters. The network’s biggest skew was among independents, 17 percent above the national average with that group.

So, the majority of Independents that watch TV get their news from CNN. Let’s play out this scenario for the GOP. Assume that CNN/NBC decide not to pull their “Hillary Programming,” then the GOP has two options:

1. They’re forced into reneging on their initial stance of no primary debates for CNN/NBC.

2. Or, Like they said, having no debates with those networks. I suppose there might be some unforeseen third option, but at this point, this is what it looks like.

If they pull they’re debates with CNN/NBC, they’ll be losing out on the largest concentration of Independents. For a party that’s currently not in power that wants to be in power, in what will be an “up for grabs” election with President Barack Obama joining the list of Presidents who’ve served two terms, it seems ludicrous that they’d want to remove “free media” of their candidates to Independents.

So, this would force them into reneging on their stance of not having any debates with CNN/NBC, right? Except that this may make them look weak with their base of voters, which usually wouldn’t matter. However, “Republicans like elected officials who stick to their positions.” From my vantage point, this ultimatum has backed the GOP into a corner for which there is no escape.

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Revisiting that third option… it may just be that no one cares about any of this when the 2014 midterms roll around or the 2016 general election.

Misrepresenting the News: Infer-mation Overload

In a previous post, I talked about how the . This post is about a blatant misrepresentation of fact.

In the first line of , the author writes:

Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said on Wednesday that Al Jazeera is gaining more prominence in the U.S. because it offers “real news” — something she said American media were falling far short of doing.

If you watch the video that accompanies said article, or read the article on the , you see that Secretary of State Hillary Clinton is actually saying:

“In fact viewership of al Jazeera is going up in the United States because it’s real news. You may not agree with it, but you feel like you’re getting real news around the clock instead of a million commercials and, you know, arguments between talking heads and the kind of stuff that we do on our news which, you know, is not particularly informative to us, let alone foreigners.”

Clinton does not explicitly say that the U.S. media does not offer real news. Instead, she says that American news is not particularly informative. One can see how this can be inferred from what she said, but it is not what she said. This is something that irks me about news agencies in general, but I can understand how it is necessary in our entertainment-driven society.

Why can’t we just have news that reports on the facts rather than one that tries to ‘‘ the news in one direction. This has gone so far that after debates between political candidates, representatives from either side are meant to spin what their respective candidate said in what is called the “.” We actually call the place where this happens the spin room. Isn’t that a little far? Shouldn’t we just be talking about what the candidate said?

Maybe my line of thinking is too utopian. Maybe my ideals are a little lofty in that there needn’t be a place for — intentionally or unintentionally. I’d really just like to have someone tell me the facts of the day and what that could potentially mean, from a systematic point of view.

In today’s world where there are proponents from both side jockeying for mine (and your) attention at 6pm to get the daily dose of the facts, it almost seems safer to watch both of the news to get a more accurate perspective on what’s been happening. However, some sources like one, and one, explain that watching the news can actually make you less informed about what’s going on. With the advance of social networking, maybe it’s almost safer just to follow the to see what’s happening in the world.