THE 'WOMEN'S VOTE.'

THE 'WOMEN'S VOTE.' Linda Hirshman's column in the Post yesterday was yet another commentary that focuses on Clinton-as-the-first-female-presidential-candidate angle. Hirshman concludes what seems obvious to me: women will never overwhelmingly support one candidate just because they are women. She says historically, women have never made a decisive difference in an election, with perhaps the exception of 1996.

Hirshman even conducts a self-admitted unscientific survey of women in Washington, vis-a-vis her December 2005 article (adapted into a book) for TAP. The conclusion is overwhelmingly that these educated stay-at-home moms just don't follow the news or policy issues that closely. They rely on their husbands to keep them informed on events. I found this disturbing to say the least. Why should women rely on the men in their lives to make decisions about candidates? This makes going after the female vote a "popularity contest" and less about issues.
It seems like Senator Clinton runs the risk of doing this since she's pinned by party leaders to win the female vote.

It's hard to say if the women Hirshman surveyed are a representative sample, but it makes me wish that they could become more entrenched in reading about good policies instead of Good Housekeeping.

--Kay Steiger

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