The Year of the GOP Women
6/10/2010 12:01:00 AM - Hugh Hewitt
Three of these women are seeking the top jobs in their state --Whitman, Martinez and Haley-- while the other three --Fiorina, Angle and Ayotte-- want to join the U.S. Senate.
All six mark a sharp break with Republican Party politics of the past.
There have always been high profile Republican women, dating back to 1938, when Gladys Pyle won a special election in South Dakota to become the first GOP woman to be elected to the U.S. (Margaret Chase Smith, whom many wrongly believe was the first elected woman GOPer, won a general election in 1948. Democrat Hattie Wyatt Caraway was the first woman elected to the Senate, in 1932.)
Sarah Palin is of course the highest profile Republican woman of the moment, though if Meg Whitman succeeds in her quest to become the governor of California, she will quickly become as significant in the life of the GOP as Palin.
Palin's endorsement helped Fiorina and Haley breakout from the packs in their races, and Palin's "mama grizzlies" movement is a powerful fund-raising tool among the conservative grass roots. The GOP's 2008 vice presidential nominee's example of good natured give-and-get-without-flinching on the stump and the trail has set an inspiring example for scores of female conservatives across the country.
There is no sign yet, however, that MSM wants to draw attention to this unique year of the GOP woman. In 1992, when four Democratic women won their high profile races, the lefties in the nation's newsrooms couldn't stop proclaiming the sea change under way in the Democratic Party. Now that the GOP is having its banner year of gender breakthroughs, the story is getting nearly as much play.
Part of the reason --the obvious part-- is that MSM remains overwhelmingly populated by liberal boosters of the Democrats, and they are never in a hurry to write a script that helps Republicans.
But less obvious is the media's indifference to the story as a consequence of the enormous hostility found among the media elite to Sarah Palin, who is to them a sort of continuing nightmare in newsrooms across the land. The Manhattan-Beltway media and political elites have never figured out Palin, and they are even more confounded that she continues to draw enormous crowds and sway important races. That Palin is playing an important role in the careers of other women politicians is upsetting to these elites. They have yet to grasp the fact that Governor Palin is immensely popular because of her beliefs, ideals and accomplishments. That popularity isn't going to decline no matter how often she is insulted on MSNBC or by late night comics.
Palin, unlike many of the analysts and insiders who dismiss her, is a growing force on the American political stage, part of a vast restructuring of American politics occurring before our eyes.
There is a rolling earthquake shaking and remaking American politics. It began as a rejection of Barack Obama's enormous lurch to the left, but it has gone far beyond that. One consequence is this new cohort of new women, and among November's biggest headlines will be their collective success.