Karen Floyd

If you choose to spend time as a “mom”, and not in the traditional work force, you have “no skills or business understanding”.

If you choose a career you have neglected your family.

If you are assertive or strong you are called a b----. If you manage people (as women often do, by encouraging all input while yielding to one’s own conclusions) you are called a flake.

The list, though exhaustive, follows a distinct pattern, shaming the candidate and breaking her interest and desire to offer up or to continue in public service. “Why would anyone in their right mind subject themselves to politics?” is often the reply encountered when recruiting conservative women. For women just entering or interested in politics, an iron will and thick skin is unnecessarily imperative.

The only way to encourage women into public office is to break the pattern of silence and to call by name those who offend women callously and without regard to impact. Just last week at the Democratic National Convention, South Carolina Democratic Party Chairman, Dick Harpootlian alluded to Governor Haley as Eva Braun, a reference to Hitler's mistress. When Harpootlian was asked to apologize, he replied that "This is fake. Nikki Haley is feigning this." Even going as far as to add "So she has some hurt feelings? I didn’t know she had feelings."

Contrast these untoward comments toward Governor Haley with a comment by John Burton, the California Democratic Party Chairman who suggested Republican Vice Presidential candidate, Paul Ryan, was Joseph Goebbels, the infamous propaganda minister. The Obama camp was quick to denounce the Goebbels comment, after which he issued an apology. It’s important to note two state party chairmen making similar comments yielded such different reactions.

There is no place for this behavior in politics, particularly with our country’s down-turned economy. Today we read that 368,000 workers have dropped out of the labor force in August; the last time the labor force participation was this low (63.5%) was in 1981. The economy should be our focus not ridiculing women. Until enough people challenge disrespectful and demeaning comments toward conservative women, we will not see change. Challenge Republican women on our thoughts, ideology and plans, but stop the personal attacks.

As of 2012, woman make up 16.8% of Congress (and cumulatively have served less than 2% of all US House and Senate seats) while they comprise 52 percent of the voting electorate. Must one ask why?


Karen Floyd

Karen Kanes Floyd, the first woman elected chair of the South Carolina Republican Party, is CEO of The Palladian Group – a global marketing, communications, and technology company she founded – well into its second decade of operations. She also is the Publisher of Palladian View, a digital magazine for conservative Republican women.

Following her two-year tenure leading the South Carolina GOP, during which the party enjoyed unprecedented success in the 2010 midterm elections, she has been recognized as a rising national conservative voice. In the past decade, she has raised more than $30 million for political candidates and causes. A sought-after speaker, Floyd is also highly experienced as a national radio and TV interview source.

Floyd is a recipient of The Order of the Palmetto, the highest civilian honor awarded by the governor of South Carolina, recognizing people who make contributions of statewide significance. She currently serves as Treasurer of the South Carolina Ports Authority board and is former chair of the Spartanburg County Council. Floyd previously was vice president of Flagstar Corporation, the parent company of Denny’s. She served as chief magistrate of Spartanburg County, the first woman to hold such a position in South Carolina, and enjoyed a successful career as a prosecutor of rape and child abuse cases.

Floyd earned a juris doctorate from the University of South Carolina School of Law, where she was elected president of the Student Bar Association.

Floyd and her husband Gordon have twin sixteen-year-old sons and reside in South Carolina.