Giving The Mama Grizzlies A Manicure

Jillian Bandes
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Posted: Oct 01, 2010 8:23 AM
Everyone knows about Sarah Palin's mama grizzlies. But no one really knows the best way for them to growl.

Should conservative women flaunt their femininity, or ignore it all together? Is the goal to break into the backroom — smoking cigars and drinking bourbon with the boys — or to hold shopping mall meetups, scanning the sale racks with their political savants?

During a recent survey of some of this year's toughest conservative women, the answer to those questions unfortunately played into a very female stereotype: they simply couldn't make up their mind.

"A female just brings a different perspective," said Judy Biggert, a Representative from Illinois. "Whether you are that mama grizzly, or whatever you are... there is a quality in a lady that brings value to the table."

Sandy Adams, a candidate for Florida's 24th district, didn't quite agree. Adams is running a campaign against another woman, Suzanne Kosmas, where the sex of either candidate essentially hasn't been mentioned. Adams, along with Jackie Walorski, a candidate from Indiana's second district, said that issues were paramount — not how they were packaged.

"We kicked in hard last week at the phone bank," Walorski said. An army of volunteers called every single absentee voter to make sure they were turning in their form. "We have 30 days of active voting."

In other words: no knitting circles.

At the same time, Walorski thinks women are key to her vote.

"I've never seen the support before from women," she said Walorski. "They understand that there is $43,000 of debt on the head of every child."

Does the pressures of campaigning deter women, because of their busier family / career balance?

"It discourages men just as much," said Biggert.

What's the biggest issue facing female Republicans between now and November 2nd, according to Congresswoman Cathy McMorris Rogers, who heads up GOP female recruitment and campaigning?

"I'm concerned about something happening between now and election day that will prevent [voters] from going to the polls," she said.

It seems as though one of the top conservative women in the House is more concerned about earthquakes than she is about an old boys club. This is despite the fact that only twenty-one of the ninety Congressional seats currently held by women belong to Republicans.

Maybe it's just not that big a deal.