Adele M. Stan

Adele M. Stan is a columnist for The American Prospect. She is research director of People for the American Way, and a winner of the Hillman Prize for Opinion & Analysis Journalism. Opinions expressed here are her own.

Recent Articles

Can Black Women Save the Liberal Coalition?

Black women are the Democrats' most loyal voters. In a primary where race runs head-on with gender, can they save liberals from themselves?

In a primary contest that is increasingly defined by race and gender -- thanks to the "firsts" represented by the presidential candidacies of Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama -- Black women are in a unique position, poised to celebrate the nomination of either candidate as one of their own, yet highly tuned into any sex- or race-based cardplay exercised by the campaigns or the media. Within the black voting population, the majority of votes -- as much as 60 percent of black votes -- will be cast by women. Nowhere is that more apparent than in South Carolina, where more than half of of Democratic voters are Black, the majority of them women . By at least one estimate , black women could make up as much as 30 percent of the South Carolina Democratic primary vote. If the nomination contest is as close at the national level as suggested by the most recent Reuters/Zogby poll , which found Obama and Clinton virtually tied, at 38 and 39 percent respectively, Black women could determine the...


At the Women's Media Center Web site, Suzanne Braun Levine and Mary Thom examine the presidential candidacy of Hillary Rodham Clinton against the backdrop of the passionately lived career of Bella Abzug , the late congresswoman and world-renowned women's rights leader. (Levine and Thom recently published a delightful oral history of Abzug's life as a public figure.) They posit that somewhere within the psyche of the highly scripted and carefully calculating presidential candidate may still lurk the firebrand who delivered a famously controversial speech to her graduating class at Wellesley, who championed children's rights, who took a huge risk with her plan for a national healthcare system. In the end, they leave open their question of whether or not Hillary possesses an "Inner Bella," with an implied hope that she does. Among the interesting tidbits in their commentary is the role that Abzug played in advising the then-first lady in her preparation to address the U.N.'s 4th World...


Here in the loud cluster of audio equipment and colorful characters known as radio row at the Manchester (N.H.) Radisson, this morning was marked by a veritable swarm of Clinton surrogates, including (but not limited to) longtime advisor Ann Lewis , Women's Outreach Director Dana Singiser , moneyman Terry McAuliffe , Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa and my Jersey homeboy, Rep. Bill Pascrell . Congressman Pascrell predicted the margins would narrow considerably between Clinton and Obama before it was all over in New Hampshire. Other campaigns have been around all day -- including some of the candidates themselves ( Mitt Romney being the biggest deal to grace the microphones) -- but nothing has equaled the Clinton airtime drop-by. The presence of Terry McAuliffe nearly drove Laura Ingraham into convulsions. A lot of shouting commenced from her corner. --Adele M. Stan


Working out of the Talk Radio News Service row here in Manchester, New Hampshire, I ran across Pat Buchanan , who, 12 years ago, delivered quite a surprise to G.O.P. leaders when he won the 1996 New Hampshire primary. Yesterday afternoon, when he finished up a long interview with a Boston radio station, I tailed after him and his lovely wife, Shelley , as they made a break for the parking garage. Buchanan told me that his sympathies were with Mike Huckabee , saying that "the Republican Party establishment" found itself a bit "shaken up" by former Arkansas governor's win in Iowa. "As they were by your New Hampshire win," I said. Buchanan smiled. "I know what's in store for him," he said, laughing. Sen. John McCain , who is expected to win today's New Hampshire primary, is not exactly a favorite of the establishment, either, Buchanan reminded me. McCain is not loved by conservatives, Buchanan said, "and Sen. McCain doesn't have a lot of friends in the Senate." Mitt Romney , expected to...

Benazir Bhutto: An Imperfect Feminist

However disappointing Bhutto was in her actions on behalf of Pakistan's women, she was a potent symbol of their potential empowerment. And symbols matter.

Female supporters of Pakistan's slain opposition leader Benazir Bhutto take part in a candle light ceremony in Lahore, Pakistan. (AP Photo/K M Chaudary)
From the moment she appeared on the international scene, she was destined to be an icon. To the West, Benazir Bhutto, the first democratically-elected woman to lead a Muslim nation, looked like a Disney drawing of a beautiful fairytale princess from an animated fable set somewhere in the mysterious Orient. Deftly wielding her Ivy League education, she had plenty of intelligence to accompany her beauty and charm, as well as an uncanny ability to synthesize the aspirations of her South Asian nation with the longings of its Western patrons. To the West at large, she spoke the language of secular democracy. To American women, Bhutto spoke the language of feminism , filling a void left by the absence of a female American counterpart to mirror her ascent to power in Pakistan. Even after she was put out of office on corruption charges during her second stint as prime minister (1993 to 1996), she remained a romantic figure in the annals of popular feminism. In Beijing, at the 1999 United...