Women In National Politics Making Great Strides


I’m old enough to remember when women in politics were somewhat of a rarity. Next year, more than 100 women will serve in Congress for the first time in history.

Yet in our recent election, of the 15 women running for the U.S. Senate, only four were winners. There will be 20 female senators, perhaps 21 if Louisiana’s incumbent, Mary Landrieu, wins an upcoming runoff election. In the House of Representatives, there are 79 women. That figure will run between 81 and 85 when all of the counting is completed.

Female governors stand at five… but with Jan Brewer of Arizona retiring, the total will remain constant through the triumph of Gina Raimondo, who recently captured the Rhode Island state house. Obviously, the totals for the distaff politicos are not overwhelming.

Senator Olympia Snowe, the former Republican lawmaker from Maine, put it in proper perspective. “We are making some strides, but obviously not great ones.”

But personally, the new woman in the Senate I want to hear about is Iowa’s Joni Ernst. She galloped to an election victory with her biography as a pig-castrating farm girl. It should certainly be interesting to hear her first Senate speech!