19th Amendment still on the books

Public Affairs Consultant specializing in Issue Advocacy and Strategic Communications

Like a college freshman needing to learn some smooth lines to connect with co-eds, the GOP needs to better learn how to connect with women voters.

The latest example of the GOP missing the boat on attracting women voters is from a Santa Ana city councilman’s comment after the Orange County Board of Supervisors yesterday selected Sandra Hutchens as the new sheriff:

As reported in the Los Angeles Times’ lead paragraph on the story, "I kept telling the chief," he said, referring to Santa Ana Police Chief Paul Walters, who narrowly lost the sheriff’s job, " ‘Maybe we should get you some implants. Or a water bra.’ "

First, the “joke” is too predictable to be funny. Second, the Councilman showed no political skill by making such a crack in public where reporters could overhear him. [He denied making the comment]. Third, Ms. Hutchens (at least on paper) is highly qualified for this job. And the support she received from her former colleagues and police chiefs throughout Orange County demonstrates that she is highly regarded in her field, which is dominated by men especially at senior levels.

The critical comments against the Orange County Supervisors’ decision strengthen the perception of voters who think Republicans remind them of their uncaring boss or the grouchy neighbor who shouts at kids to get off his lawn.

Of the 140 state legislators, Republicans only account for 47. And only six of those 47 are women, who are the largest voting block in California. Of the 73 Democratic legislators, 27 are women including the new Assembly Speaker.

This does not say anything about substance or talent, but it does send a message to voters about inclusion.

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