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Posts Tagged ‘michele bachmann

Sharron Angle Goes to Iowa: A Coy 2012 Candidate? Maybe (and Don’t Laugh)

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Are appearances at makeup and skin-care events proper platforms for a presidential candidate?

Probably not, but these days one can’t take anything for granted.

Take Sharron Angle, for example. After making a credible attempt to unseat Democratic Sen. Harry Reid in Nevada last fall, the tea party favorite could be gearing up for a White House run. She was in Iowa recently, attending the premiere of “The Genesis Code,” a film featuring former presidential candidate Fred Thompson.

And prior to that? On Jan. 21, she appeared at a makeup and skin-care event with Joni Rogers-Kante, founder and CEO of SeneGence International in Las Vegas. At that “girlfriend” gathering, Angle shared “her beauty and makeup challenges during the campaign and how she overcame them.” The flyer said that Angle “had confidence that she would look great with 14-16 hour days & numerous appearances daily . . . so can you!”

The juxtaposition might not have raised eyebrows except that she told a reporter from the Des Moines Register, who asked about her plans, “I’ll just say I have lots of options for the future, and I’m investigating all my options.”

She then added, perhaps slyly, “Please, just invite me back.”

At that Vegas skin-care event, did Angle whisper what color of lipstick she’d prefer to wear in the Hawkeye State – or the Granite State and beyond? More to the point, is she even serious about such a bid? In all likelihood, no. But she’s guaranteed media coverage when she ventures into Iowa, where any appearance by a political figure has potential portent.

Angle gained national prominence by taking on Reid. Her momentum grew thanks to the Internet and social media. Before becoming a tea party favorite, she served in the Nevada state legislature from 1998 to 2005 and in 2006 narrowly lost a congressional GOP primary.

Pundits and others — especially comedians — have scoffed at the notion of an Angle presidential campaign. On Comedy Central’s website, one post joked, “Is there room for one more clown in the clown car? Come on, clowns! You can make room! Go on, scoot over. Scoot over!”

But before everyone laughs, maybe they should pause.

Angle may not run — her chances of success are virtually nonexistent — but she might influence the primaries with money and rhetoric if the tea party movement holds strong. During her race against Reid, she raised more than $21 million (though, admittedly, conservatives viewed her as their best chance to boot a despised incumbent). And she recently announced her “Patriot Caucus PAC,” which is aimed at creating “a ground game across most battleground states for the 2012 election cycle.”

The PAC also launched a corresponding website and Facebook page, which only has about 6,000 followers so far — a small number in the online political world. The PAC’s advisory committee includes tea party organizers in New Hampshire, Florida and Iowa, where the Patriot Caucus plans to open offices. The website features “action groups,” one of which currently profiles Herman Cain, the former chief executive of Godfather’s Pizza, conservative host of a popular talk radio show in Georgia, and himself weighing a 2012 presidential bid.

But the website cautions: “Action groups on the Patriot Caucus do not suggest an endorsement of any kind. All GOP candidates will be given an action group once an official campaign is announced.”

According to Federal Elections Commission reports, the PAC has yet to raise any money.

Angle also doesn’t work social media sites the way a future presidential candidate might. She updated her Twitter account last week after visiting Iowa, but prior to that, the last time she updated it was at Thanksgiving. Her only active Facebook account that is public is tied to her PAC, which was last updated Jan. 20.

Her trip to Iowa barely got a mention on The Iowa Republican blog. In contrast, former Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty’s visit and book signing on Sunday was a featured story.

Nonetheless, Lara Brown, an associate political science professor at Villanova University, says women such as Angle, Sarah Palin and Michele Bachmann cannot be dismissed for one reason — they bring other women into the political process (even if MSNBC host Chris Matthews calls them “balloon heads” — a term he used for Bachmann — Brown says).

“While some of these women’s presidential efforts will be little more than quixotic escapades, there is little doubt that they are changing the complexion of the Republican Party by demanding a place at the table and by energizing conservative women to engage in partisan politics,” Brown says.

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Written by suziparker1313

March 10, 2011 at 3:28 am

Miss America Teresa Scanlan Envisions a Political Future

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Could we be looking at a future Sarah Palin in the new Miss America?

Miss Nebraska, Teresa Scanlan, was crowned Miss America 2011 on Saturday night in Las Vegas. The first Nebraskan ever crowned as the pageant’s winner, Scanlan, 17, said in an interview with The Associated Press that she wanted to be not a doctor, school teacher or even television news anchor when she graduated from college.

She wants to be a politician — after she finishes law school.

“At this point, attorneys and politicians are looked down on and have terrible reputations for being greedy and power hungry and I really think it’s important for people who have their heart and mind in the right place get into those powerful positions,” she said in the interview.

And she’s can’t even vote yet. Scanlan, 17, is the youngest winner of the Miss America pageant since its first competition in 1921. The winner that year, Margaret Gorman, Miss Washington, D.C., was 15. Rules now mandate that a winner must be at least 17.

Whenever she decides to run for whatever office, her opponent will already have footage that could be used against the young beauty queen. Or in the glass half-full scenario, Scanlan could use the pageant footage in her own political ad.

On Saturday night, Scanlan addressed the issue of national security and WikiLeaks although her official pageant platform is eating disorders. In the question and answer segment of the pageant asked by American citizens, SFC Chad Momerak of Bismarck, North Dakota, asked Scanlan how do “we balance people’s right to know with the need for government security.” Dressed in a vivid blue evening dress, she addressed bad boy Julian Assange’s brainchild. (Note to Mr. Assange: Don’t try asking her out on a date.)

“You know when it came to that situation it was actually based on espionage, and when it comes to the security of our nation, we have to focus on security first and then people’s right to know,” Scanlan said. “It’s important that everybody who’s in our borders is safe and so we can’t let things like that happen, and they must be handled properly.”

These are the days of candid pageant winners.

Last year, Miss America, Caressa Cameron of Virginia, told reporters in Washington that it would be fine if a lesbian became Miss America.

Politics Daily reporter Annie Groer reported Cameron’s comments: “I don’t think someone’s ethnicity, someone’s religious background, even their sexual orientation has anything to do with their ability to do the job, so I would say yes. It has no bearing on whether they can go to a children’s hospital and visit kids.”

Pageants are a perfect breeding ground for future politicians. Just ask Palin, who was Miss Wasilla and came in third in the Miss Alaska pageant in 1984. The competitions are certainly as cutthroat as politics and at times, as dirty.

A Southerner, my exposure to this world came at the age of 5 when I entered a pageant dressed in a white hooped dress and ringlets that would have made Shirley Temple shudder. My dad, ever the keen one, felt something amiss from the minute the hotel doors opened for the pageant. Sure enough, he saw a mother of a contestant pay a judge in cash.

Needless to say, I didn’t win, and I never entered another pageant at my parents’ insistence. “Those things are as corrupt as politics,” my dad always said.

Maybe not all of them are. But the intensity to win mirrors politics flawlessly.

Washington is often an intersection of politics and pageants. Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska) and Rep. Shelley Moore Capito (R-W.Va.) are both alumnae of the Cherry Blossom Princess program. Former Sen. Elizabeth Dole of North Carolina was Duke University’s May Queen. Former Gov. Jennifer Granholm of Michigan was California’s Miss San Carlos. And current conservative darling, Rep. Michele Bachmann of Minnesota was in the top 10 of the Miss Anoka Pageant and was crowned Miss Congeniality.

Internationally, Miss Universe 2009 runner-up Ada Aimee de la Cruz was elected last May as deputy mayor of Santo Domingo Norte, the Dominican Republic’s fourth largest municipality.

Sure, Scanlan has a long path to walk on her political track — like casting her first vote. She has said that she plans to register to vote as soon as she turns 18 in February. She plans to attend Patrick Henry College, a Christian-based college in Purcellville, Virginia, founded specifically for home-schooled students.

The college, once dubbed “the Bible college that leads to the White House,” may be just the springboard Scanlan needs to launch her political career. In spring of 2004, seven of the 100 student White House interns in the Bush administration were from Patrick Henry College. Janet Ashcroft, wife of former Attorney General John Ashcroft, once served on its board of trustees.

Get ready, America. One day, the president could be a beauty pageant alumna.

Sarah Palin vs. EMILY’s List and Bear Costumes: Fur Flies

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Get a grip, ladies.

On the 90th anniversary of suffrage, the gauntlet has been thrown between Republican and Democratic women, featuring volleys of nasty words and more wildlife imagery than an issue of Field and Stream.

Susan B. Anthony would not be proud.

This week, EMILY’s List, a national political group dedicated to electing pro-choice progressive women, launched a campaign — “Sarah Doesn’t Speak For Me” — against Sarah Palin to counter the former vice-presidential nominee and her Mama Grizzly candidates. The group encouraged women “to reject Palin’s reactionary candidates and backward-looking agenda.” But the issue that most deeply divides Palin and EMILY’s List is abortion. Palin’s camp is pro-life, and EMILY’s List is pro-choice.


A companion video to the campaign shows women discussing pertinent issues such as health care and abortion, but they are dressed like bears. Yes, essentially Mama Grizzlies fighting Palin. A stream of women wearing fur headgear and black plastic noses growl and snarl at the camera, talking about their baby cubs having the right to choose.

One Mama Grizzly says Palin’s agenda “gets under my skin, and my fur and my nails, my beautiful manicured cub claw nails.”

Palin responded to EMILY’s List via her Twitter account Wednesday: “Who hijacked term:”feminist”?A cackle of rads who want 2 crucify other women w/whom they disagree on a singular issue; it’s ironic (& passé).”

In July, Palin released a video — ” Mama Grizzlies” — promoting female GOP candidates. She added another animal to the political circus when she said in the video, “Look out Washington, because there’s a whole stampede of pink elephants crossing and the e.t.a. for them stampeding through is November 2, 2010.”

After Palin’s tweet Wednesday afternoon, the catfight between political sisters deepened.

In a Facebook post titled “Proud to Support More Women Leaders on the 90th Anniversary of Women’s Suffrage,” Palin wrote that Americans should honor the “brave feminist foremothers who struggled and sacrificed . . . to grant future generations of American women a voice.”

The former Alaskan governor also chose to endorse several women in the Facebook note, including congressional candidates in Alabama, North Carolina, Indiana and Missouri, two candidates for attorney general in Florida and Iowa and a secretary of state candidate in Alabama.

Palin then extended her claws in the direction of EMILY’s List, although she didn’t mention the group by name. She offered advice “to our sisters who like to throw stones at those of us who respectfully disagree with them on this issue (and they sometimes refuse to even countenance the fact that some of us can call ourselves feminists and disagree with those who claim the mantle of “real feminists”).

She informed EMILY’s List that it was hard to take “a critic seriously when they lecture you wearing a bear suit.”

Borrowing an image from popular culture, she wrote, “But, really, lying about a sister while wearing an Ewok outfit is no way to honor our foremothers on the eve of the 90th anniversary of their victory.”

Palin confessed she wants to know where EMILY’s List bought the bear “get-ups.”

“Halloween is just around the corner, and Piper and Trig would look adorable as little grizzly bears,” Palin wrote.

EMILY’s List President Stephanie Schriock responded with her own tweet: “you might’ve watched the video, but you & your allies aren’t listening to women about #HCR, #FinReg, & our families.”

But while Palin and Schriock engaged in online warfare, another battle brewed in Minnesota.

Randy Brown, a Minnesota Republican webmaster, unleashed a video titled “Republican Women vs. Democrat (sic) Women,” insinuating GOP women were sexy babes and Democratic women were disgusting dogs. Brown posted the mash-up video on a Republican website for Minnesota State Senate District 56.

To the crooning of Tom Jones’ “She’s a Lady,” the video, which has been flagged by YouTube as inappropriate, highlighted a bevy of Republican women including Palin, Minnesota Rep. Michele Bachmann, Ann Coulter and even Bo Dereck, an ardent GOP supporter, in a gleaming gold bikini from her perfect “10” days. Some of the women struck sexy poses, wore fishnets or showed cleavage.

In the middle of the video, the song melds into Baha Men’s “Who Let the Dogs Out” and shows Democratic women and supporters – Hillary Rodham Clinton, Janet Reno, Rosie O’Donnell and Nancy Pelosi – in unflattering and at times, grotesque, poses.

The video was removed from the website Wednesday at the request of statehouse candidate Andrea Kieffer, who called the video “juvenile.”

Another Republican candidate for the district, Kathy Lohmer, has asked for the resignation of the webmaster. State Sen. Kathy Saltzman said the video was a distraction.

The Women’s Media Center in New York demanded an apology for the video.

“This incident is symptomatic of a larger illness: the widespread sexism and objectification of women in politics,” the group said in a press release. “Though the video clearly prefers Republican women over Democratic women, it does a disservice to women across the political spectrum by evaluating them solely based on their appearances rather than on their merits or platforms.”

EMILY’s List also hit back against the video, asking Bachmann and Palin to denounce the video. Could the video be the catalyst for uniting sisters from both parties to a common cause?

So far, neither Bachmann nor Palin have done so.

In her Facebook post, Palin wrote, “So, ladies, let’s lead. In the words of that great American woman, Abigail Adams, ‘We have too many high sounding words, and too few actions that correspond with them.’ Let’s get things done.”

She’s right. Hopefully on Thursday, she’ll denounce the Minnesota video that shows her wearing skimpy shorts.

Written by suziparker1313

March 7, 2011 at 5:39 pm