Why you should care
Because politics should not be a man’s game only.
We may have come a long way, baby, but women are still underrepresented in national politics. We’ve not yet seen a woman president or even vice president, and of the roughly 2,000 people who’ve been U.S. senators, only 44 have been women, according to the Center for American Women and Politics. Twenty of them are in the Senate now. So maybe things are getting more gender-balanced, if slowly. And how are these political ladies faring? Not badly, when you consider these four Democrats — a senator, an SEC official and two gubernatorial candidates.
Move over Warren, there’s a new financial sheriff in town, OZY’s Emily Cadei reports. Just over a year after her appointment as an SEC commissioner, Kara Stein, 50, has emerged as one of Washington’s most powerful voices calling to rein in Wall Street. She’s pushing for tougher punishments of banking’s bad actors and for aggressive implementation of the 2010 financial reform law known as Dodd-Frank. That’s put her at odds with others on the commission, even a fellow Democrat, Chairwoman Mary Jo White. But she’s won raves from liberals dismayed by the Obama administration’s — and White’s — tepid response to Wall Street’s excesses. Read the story here.
Stakes are high in Wisconsin’s tight gubernatorial race, where political newbie Mary Burke is challenging incumbent Scott Walker, reports OZY’s Pooja Bhatia. The former exec’s politics are moderate — some might say bland — but voters might show up at the polls just because she is not Scott Walker, the polarizing governor who faced down the unions in 2011. Or eviscerated them, depending on where you stand. And the stakes go well beyond Wisconsin: If Walker loses, his Republican presidential dreams might, too. Read the story here.
Sen. Amy Klobuchar is an outright superstar in Minnesota, where her approval ratings approach 70 percent. Her mentor, former Vice President Walter Mondale, considers her “the most popular and respected leader in Minnesota’s history,” writes OZY’s Pooja Bhatia. Some see a direct lineage from former Vice President Hubert Humphrey to Mondale to Klobuchar. By all accounts, she’s hard-working, smart, conscientiously bipartisan and immensely likable. And she almost definitely aspires to higher office — like the Oval one. But does she have the charisma and ideological daring to make it? Read the story here.
When a politician has an idea for how to better manage Rhode Island’s money, the first question most locals ask is: “Will it be your cousin or your lover getting the cushy new post in the statehouse?” Well, that was before State Treasurer Gina Raimondo, whose message of fiscal responsibility and pension reform hit an unlikely chord. Now she’s running for governor. According to OZY’s Sean Braswell, “While cynics insist that spoils and corruption will always play starring roles in the state’s political theater, the fact remains that its biggest show has never been directed by a woman. At least not yet.” Read the story here.