Garance Franke-Ruta

Garance Franke-Ruta is a former senior editor at the Prospect. Her work has also appeared in The Washington Post, The Washington Monthly, The New Republic, and The Wall Street Journal, among other publications. She was a 2006 recipient of a fellowship at the Joan Shorenstein Center on Press, Politics, and Public Policy at Harvard University.

Recent Articles

RE: THE GENDER CARD.

I've been busy elsewhere most of the day so will just outsource my first round of thoughts on this to Dan Balz , whose movement from straight political reporter to political analyst has been one of the most underheralded journalistic developments of the campaign cycle, and whose very fine piece you can read here , and Greg Sargent , who has a great summary of today's back-and-forth here . This conversation about Hillary Clinton and gender strikes me as just the latest of the campaign's " Deborah Tannen Moments," as I've come to think of them. Part of the reason it's getting so much attention is that part of the deal professional women often make in order to gain power is to not express their thoughts on the impact of gender on their lives in mixed company. It's considered both gauche and dangerous in professional circles to do so, and for good reason. There is real potential to create a male backlash by doing so, and I think if you look at what Clinton has herself said and what words...

WHY KEEP THE MOTHERHOOD PENALTY?

Via Andrew Sullivan , Joe Klein praises Barack Obama for giving Iowa voters bad news about what they can expect their government to do for them: A few days before the debate, I spent a day with Obama in Iowa, and the most striking thing to me about the Senator's performances was the scrupulous honesty of his answers, his insistence on delivering bad news when necessary. A woman asked if he believed that stay-at-home moms should be eligible for Social Security. There is a way most politicians answer such questions: a moving tribute to the virtues of child-rearing, then on to the next question without ever making the commitment. Obama did the moving tribute — with a joke about his ineptitude as a parent — but then he told the woman no. "We can't extend those benefits without huge financial implications," he said. This is not a particularly progressive approach, nor a bold one. It may not be possible to make the change the woman was asking for (and not having been there, I can't know her...

SPEAKING OF WOMEN IN TELEVISION.

A source inside the Hillary Clinton campaign says that they regularly watch ABC's The View (I hear it's one of those shows popular with the ladies). That being the case, Joy Behar must have made them very happy this afternoon. --Garance Franke-Ruta

MORE WOMEN MODERATORS, PLEASE.

I was IMing with a staffer for one of the non- Hillary Clinton campaigns who was annoyed by the way Clinton is talking about gender in the wake of Tuesday night's debate, which featured Clinton as the lone woman facing six male competitors and two male questioners, when it occurred to me that there would be a very easy way to change the dynamic so that there's not so much focus on Clinton's gender: There should be some women moderating these debates. It's problematic that of the six official Democratic National Committee-sanctioned debates, only the final one, on Dec. 10, will feature a female moderator, and then only as part of a team. This sets up a disquieting dynamic for female Democratic viewers, and also sets up a visual that benefits Clinton by showcasing her status as a pioneer in a man's world. Television is the most-gender integrated form of media we have, because women watch more television than men (though not perhaps more political debates), and because it just looks...

DEBATE WRAP-UP, II.

The Democratic Party has had some issues, to put it mildy, this year when it comes to keeping control over its own voting schedule. Last night's debate in Philadelphia showed that it's having some trouble keeping control over its debates as well. It actually does a disservice to Democratic voters when a moderator like Tim Russert becomes a debate participant and makes a show of only pressing one candidate severely. Part of the point of these debates is to show how the various candidates respond to pressure, and to learn about their thoughts on various issues. If only one candidate is being pressed about differences with other candidates, it is unfair to the voters who are also trying to evaluate the rest of the pack. For example, it would have been interesting and illuminating to have heard from John Edwards and Barack Obama on the Peru trade deal , given how hot a topic trade is in Iowa, and how they clearly disagree with each other on this issue -- and also since Hillary Clinton is...

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