Salena Zito

Sherri Welden, 54, voted for Obama in 2008; a Democrat who works two jobs (as does her husband), she is less than pleased with the president’s performance.

“I am disappointed in the health-care bill, the handling of the economy and the high cost of heating fuel,” the Harrisburg resident said. “And that is just for starters.”

She said she will vote in November but is not sure for whom. “I am a Democrat …,” she said, struggling where to take the thought before leaving it at that.

Neither she nor Beideman, the motelier, consider themselves to be part of a female voting bloc; they’re individuals.

“To label the diverse ways that females participate politically as the ‘women’s vote’ is inherently confining,” said Catherine Wilson, a Villanova University political scientist who specializes in gender’s electoral impact. “But this labeling continues due to the low numbers of female representation on all sides of the political equation.”

Despite the recent polls, Wilson says women voters are up for grabs this fall and both parties should court them more vigorously, less superficially.

The “Judy” of Judy’s Motel hasn’t run that business for years; now a spritely 100, she lives in a nearby nursing home.

When she ran the motel, Bedford was part of a new frontier – the American road-trip. Her business was located right off the new cross-country Lincoln Highway, bustling with travelers; she also was part of the first generation of women that was allowed to vote.

The pioneer of the women’s suffrage movement, Susan B. Anthony, often declared: “Think for yourself.”

Delores, Sherri and plenty of women today are doing just that, not swayed by political gimmicks.


Salena Zito

Salena Zito is a political analyst, reporter and columnist.