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Opinion: Ballots Full Of Women

The Buck Starts Here

Famously, Mitt Romney boasted at the second presidential debate about binders full of women. He was telling a story about how he asked for more female candidates for political jobs when he was elected Governor of Massachusetts in 2002.

It turns out that the story was also a lie. Resumes were prepared for either candidate to use by an outside group. Romney never asked to have the binders prepared.

It is not surprising, however, that Romney needed help because he rarely hired women or any one of color when he ran Bain.

Romney is no believer in diversity. Look at his policies and look at his campaign staff.

That is what makes Mitt Romney a perfect fit for the 2012 Republican party.

Look at who they are running and what their candidates are talking about.

Like rape. Endlessly talking about rape. How many times does rape come up in your casual conversations?

Maybe if they had more women candidates they would have more sense. But the current GOP seems to be a self-selected group of misogynists so they may be a lost cause.

But while Mitt Romney talks about binders full of women, Democrats have ballots full of women.

I am currently in New Hampshire where Democrats are running two extraordinary women for Congress and another for governor. There is not a single woman among the GOP trio they are opposing.

If the Democrats sweep the New Hampshire House races the state will have the first ever all female Congressional delegation. Senators Jeanne Shaheen, a Democrat, and Kelly Ayotte, one of just three Republican women in the Senate next year, would be the third and fourth member of that historic group.

Democrats are running strong candidates in battle ground states. Today, more than two Democratic women will be on the ballot for every GOP woman. And the number of victories will be a much greater ratio for Democrats.

In the Senate, Elizabeth Warren in Massachusetts and Tammy Baldwin in Wisconsin are among the rising stars in the party. It is possible that no Republican female Senate candidate wins this year; at most they are likely to add one woman to their Senate caucus.

It is an odd move by Senate Republicans, after their two most senior female senators, Kay Bailey Hutchison in Texas and Olympia Snowe in Maine, quit in frustration with their colleagues.

In the House, Democrats are running Tulsi Gabbard in Hawaii and Tammy Duckworth in Illinois. They would be the first female combat veterans to serve in the House. Kyrsten Sinema in the new 9th Congressional District is an LGBT candidate and Michelle Lujan Grisham in New Mexico and Val Demings in Florida are among the field of strong Hispanic and African American female candidates in the Democratic Party.

Carol Shea Porter in New Hampshire, Dena Titus in Nevada and Ann Kirkpatrick in Arizona all lost seats in 2010 but are all in a strong position to return to Congress. That will help increase the number of women in Congress.

2012 offers women the opportunity to make up ground lost in the 2010 Congressional elections. Two years ago, for the first time in years, women made up a smaller percentage of Congress than they had in the previous Congress.

It is a priority for Democrats to recruit candidates that represent all Americans. It is not a value that Republicans share.

It is also why Mitt Romney is a fitting standard bearer for the party that won't run female candidates and will lose the female vote badly in this election.

About Bill Buck

Bill Buck is a Democratic strategist, President of the Buck Communications Group, a media relations and new media strategies consulting business based in Washington, DC, and Managing Director of the online ad firm Influence DSP. He has over twenty years of international and national communications experience. The views and opinions expressed in this post are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of CBS Local.


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