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Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Why some Dems now support GOP women

New York (CNN) -- When Republican presidential candidate and tea party favorite Michele Bachmann was recently asked by Fox News' Chris Wallace if she was "a flake," the moment seemed like déjà vu all over again for some women active in politics.
Bachmann's response -- she was "insulted" -- was stern, but it pointed to a larger bias many women perceive in presidential politics.

"Nobody in the GOP establishment is going to hand anything to Bachmann or (Sarah) Palin -- just like (Democrats) did not for Hillary (Clinton)," said Amy Siskind, who supported Hillary Clinton's 2008 presidential bid. "And it takes a certain type of leader to go out there and have the courage and the guts to say 'I'm running (for president)' and I admire Bachmann for that."

After Clinton's failed Oval Office bid, Siskind and a small group of women who had supported Clinton decided the best way to break the glass ceiling in presidential politics was to put ideology and partisanship aside and support any woman seeking a top political office -- including Bachmann and Palin, two darlings of the tea party movement known for their conservative views on economic and social issues.

Siskind, who has voted Democrat in the past, helped found The New Agenda, a nonpartisan women's advocacy group that united many women who were disappointed after Clinton's defeat.

"We decided that in order to take women forward," said Siskind, "we would have to be a voice for all women -- so put political party and the issue of abortion aside because those were the two issues that were dividing women in half."

"So, for us it was a business model: How can you have a women's movement that excludes half the women?" added Siskind.  (Full article here)

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