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Friday, October 26, 2007

Campaign Staffs Dominated By Dudes—Except Hillary’s

posted by on October 26 at 14:43 PM

Today’s Huffington Post has a comprehensive look at the gender breakdown of the leading Democratic and Republican contenders’ campaign staffs.

No big surprise here: The manliest man on the Republican side, Giuliani, strongly favors men, with just one female senior staffer, and only four women among his top 20 staffers. Just over 29 percent of Giuliani’s highest-paid staffers are female.

Two of the leading Democratic contenders, Edwards and Obama, have numbers that are almost as skewed. Just two of 15 senior Edwards staffers are women, with women filling 37 percent of the top-paid roles. Three of Obama’s 12 senior staffers are women, and women fill 45 percent of the highest-paying jobs. In fact, of all the leading candidates (the list also includes Huckabee, Richardson, Romney, and Thompson) the only candidate who did not favor male staffers was Clinton. On her campaign, eight of 14 senior staffers, 12 of the top-20 staffers, and 52 percent of the highest-paid staffers are women. Women are also much more likely to play important strategic roles in the Clinton campaign; in the other campaigns, women are more likely to work in finance and internal operations.

This may seem like petty stuff, but I think it foreshadows the gender breakdown of executive staff under a Clinton administration. As I’ve written before, gender matters. Women understand, and care about, women’s interests, which is one reason many women are supporting Clinton despite reservations about her politics.

On the other hand, Edwards is saying some pretty goddamned impressive things about restricting corporate power—and many of his ideas would benefit women (as well as all Americans). Just today, he proposed requiring employers to provide universal retirement accounts if they don’t offer pensions, stronger protections for workers seeking to unionize, a $1 million cap on tax-deferred compensation funds for top executives, tougher FDA regulations, and more.

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okaaaay ... I agree with you that those things benefit all Americans. But why NOT say anything about universal preschool or making daycare more affordable or increased family leave? Don't things like that *also* benefit all Americans? Why is Clinton the only one willing to directly talk about "women's" issues? Aren't they really all-American issues?

Posted by arduous | October 26, 2007 2:47 PM

Would women do better at administering the colonial occupation of Iraq?

Posted by wf | October 26, 2007 3:00 PM

Newsflash: Presidential candidates are more comfortable having staffers of their same gender. Film at 11.

Posted by sun rises in east | October 26, 2007 3:02 PM

if so, sun, that makes them even dumber than they appear to be

Posted by gnossos | October 26, 2007 3:05 PM

Sun, yeah, but why is the skew towards men, when it's there, so much more pronounced? Even Clinton is only just about over .500 in favouring women among her staffers (which is actually just about right).

Posted by Gloria | October 26, 2007 3:10 PM

To Erica's point that women pay more attention to issues of import to women (and families/children) - women, relatively new to politics and keenly aware of the biases, pay special attention to hiring and promoting women. Gregoire is a case in point, about 50% of her cabinet are women.

Posted by watcher | October 26, 2007 3:18 PM

Maybe most of the top Democratic women wanted to work for Clinton for the same reason that she has more support in general among women. It seems like the other candidates are smart enough to know they need to counter Hilary's appeal among women, but they couldn't pull much of the top talent away from Hilary.

Or maybe they just don't know much about politics and never thought anybody would care how many women they hire.

Posted by elenchos | October 26, 2007 3:19 PM
This may seem like petty stuff, but I think...

That seems to be the official motto of third-wave feminism.

Posted by Judah | October 26, 2007 3:20 PM

If you think Edwards can get elected in this country as a true populist, you are simply and definitively not a realist.

It's not a question of which Democratic candidate is saying "goddamned impressive things," unless you're talking about things that will reverberate with the kingmakers in our country. Populism? Always fun for awhile. Always gets beat by money and business interests.

Repeat after me: A Democrat must win in 2008. Support Clinton, who has the guts, the name recognition, the smarts and the infrastructure to actually make it happen.

Posted by Matthew | October 26, 2007 3:21 PM

So, yet more MSM stuff about how we have to vote for Clinton and continue the Bush-Clinton dynasty?

Yeah, right ...

Posted by Will in Seattle | October 26, 2007 3:21 PM

Matthew: When she has the guts to say she was wrong for supporting the war, I'll think about it.

Posted by guts | October 26, 2007 3:22 PM

Very interesting. This post provides a new angle on the campaign that I haven't really thought about before: It's not just that we could have a woman as president, but her cabinet and staff team would look different, too. Gender is an identifier that crosses all classes, races, professions, etc.

I initially liked Edwards, but he doesn't appear to be the likely nominee at this point. I have never been able to get on the Obama bandwagon--not enough experience and not enough substance. As a progressive man, you would think from what the media says that there is no way I would support Hillary. However, she seems to be gaining her stride as the campaign unfolds. Contrary to some of my fellow progressives, I'm just about at the point where I think she would be a good president.

Posted by Analyst | October 26, 2007 3:23 PM

Matthew @9

Repeat after me: A Democrat must blah blah blah

Whenever anybody talks to me like that it make me want to vote for Nader.

Repeat this: Nobody owes Hillary Clinton a fucking thing. You might want to remember that if you're trying to help her win.

Posted by elenchos | October 26, 2007 3:41 PM

The only competition I care about the numbers look close:
3/7 of Hillary's staff is opposite sex; 3/12 of Obama's.
48% of Hillary's high pay staffers are opposite sex; 45% of Obama's.

Why are the ratios so much worse for the Republican candidates? many women support the Reep agenda?

Posted by sun rises in east | October 26, 2007 3:45 PM

However, she seems to be gaining her stride as the campaign unfolds. Contrary to some of my fellow progressives, I'm just about at the point where I think she would be a good president.
Why? Because you prefer her black homophobe pastors to Obama's black homophobe pastors?Or has she said or done anything that has made the newspapers? Has she come out in support of gay marriage? Has she sponsored a bill to repeal DOMA? HRC hasn't done jackshit to help the gays.

Perhaps slightly more important to most Americans: How is she going to get us out of Iraq? How is she going to keep us from war with Iran? Is she really any different from W.?

Posted by sun rises in east | October 26, 2007 3:50 PM

and white women pay attention to issues that affect white in point how many women have you heard talk about this about this you don't. american indian and alaska native women are the most marginalized group in this country. often violence against them is perpetrated by men from outside their listening dan savage? still think artwork by non natives showing naked women is fine?

Posted by Jiberish | October 26, 2007 4:14 PM

I hear Mitt Romney has lots of women working for his campaign.

Just not in leadership positions - like all good Mormons, they reserve those for the men.

Posted by Will in Seattle | October 26, 2007 4:18 PM

Of course she's different from W, #15. She voted against legalizing wiretapping, against the Military Commissions Act that looks the other way at torture, and against the nomination of Alberto Gonzalez. She said that she wants to withdraw US forces from Iraq, though she couldn't bring herself to promise they'd all be home by 2013 (nor could Edwards or Obama). She supports gay rights other than marriage. She has a universal health plan, even if it pales compared to the Edwards plan. She supports reproductive freedom and would appoint liberal judges to federal courts.

That's just a small selection of issues on which Hillary Clinton beats the crap out of W.

She *would* be a good president on most issues, though she'd fall short of what I ideally want. My ideal candidate is not running.

That said, her vote on Kyl-Lieberman was a travesty. She, like Bill Clinton, is way too accommodating of imperial and militaristic foreign policies. That she would give Bush an ounce more power to get his way on any issue is a sign of poor judgment and/or misplaced priorities.

Criticize Hillary all you want, but don't start with that "no difference" bullshit, and don't claim that she wouldn't be effective as president on many issues.

Posted by Cascadian | October 26, 2007 4:23 PM

Who are Hillary's advisor-equivalents to Cheney, Rummy, and Condie? Is Hillary going to be able to master the armed forces, or will she defer to whatever bullshit they tell her?

Posted by I was at my husband's side for eight years and I set back national health care 20 years. | October 26, 2007 4:29 PM


Foreign policy advisers are likely potential cabinet or White House employees. From

Madeleine Albright
Sandy Berger
Wesley Clark
Richard Holbrooke
Strobe Talbott
Joe Wilson

...among others.

I'd say that while many of those people are more conservative on foreign policy than I'd prefer, they're light years away from Bush's team. Even Madeleine "killing half a million Iraqi children is worth it" Albright is a humanitarian compared to anyone on the Bush team.

Posted by Cascadian | October 26, 2007 4:45 PM

Of course, one could then follow this up with the post about "Campaign Staffs Dominated By White People", and go off on how black candidates would somehow be inherently superior on racial issues, and so on.

And a blanket statement like this ...

Women understand, and care about, womenís interests

... is problematic for many reasons. One could start with Phyllis Schlafly.

Posted by tsm | October 26, 2007 4:50 PM

Cascadianóthereís one issue. Itís the war. Until thatís dealt with, the rest is BS happy talk. When you opt for guns, you donít get the butter.

Just ask Lyndon Johnson.

At least with Wesley Clark in there, sheís unlikely to be advised to attack Iran.

Posted by BB | October 26, 2007 4:53 PM

@22 - but since Cheney will launch the attack on Iran before Clinton takes office, how does that matter?

Cleanup doesn't count.

Posted by Will in Seattle | October 26, 2007 5:30 PM

(1) Cascadian is my hero, and (2) the anti-Hills chorus is going to get more and more strident about "her war vote! dynasties! doma/dadt!" as she consolidates her mandate. (Though I can see how a gay person would feel sold out by Bill on gay issues.) So things will be a little less fun for a while. But then when she wins the general election, it will alllllll have been worth it.

All you Hillary haters: come back to the fold after the convention. Cascadian is right. There's a HUGE difference between a centrist Democrat and any modern Republican.

Posted by Big Sven | October 26, 2007 5:32 PM

Erica - I'm with you. I loves me some Johnny. Of course I'll support Hillary if she's the nominee, but Edwards is a successful trial lawyer which means that he's part bulldog. I believe in what he says (99.5%) and I believe he'll fight - really fight - for what he believes.

One occasionally hears from this and that source he's really a two-faced ass wipe. If this is true, I'll be heartbroken. Politics can be so much smoke and mirrors. I won't believe it until I hear it from a source I respect.

Posted by Bauhaus | October 26, 2007 5:39 PM

Hey Erica-- Give some, er, props to Prop 1... The person in charge is Kelly Evans and field director is Carol Hudson. The consultant team is, well, teaming with strong accomplished women. I guess women get transportation.

Yes on Prop 1, folks. Let's get something done around here.

Posted by clarity | October 26, 2007 10:37 PM

Sigh. Will "progressives" ever realize that you do not help people by limiting the contracts that they can enter into?

You don't help renters by requiring 90-day notice provisions; you just shut people who can't afford the added cost of that contract provision out of the rental market. You don't help insurance buyers by requiring that insurance companies cover mental health treatments; you just tell people you can't afford that level of coverage that you don't care whether they can get coverage that suits their needs and budget. And you don't help employees by requiring employers to provide a certain level of retirement benefits; you just tell people who don't have the skills to command that level of compensation that you don't give a damn if their jobs move overseas.

Posted by David Wright | October 27, 2007 7:10 PM

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