Holly Yeager

Holly Yeager is the former U.S. politics correspondent for the Financial Times and covered the 2008 primaries for the The Washington Independent.

Recent Articles

A New Era for EMILY's List

The appointment of Stephanie Schriock as president of the PAC known for promoting female candidates has the potential to push the former fundraising powerhouse into the Internet era.

(EMILY's List)
When Ellen Malcolm, the founder of EMILY's List, announced Wednesday that she is stepping down as the group's president, she made clear that it was time for a new generation to take the reins of her Democratic fundraising powerhouse. "I came of age in the 1960s and got involved in politics through the feminist movement," Malcolm, 62, told supporters in a note posted on the group's Web site. "My outlook and dedication to fighting for political parity for women was shaped by the fact that women were excluded, and by the unshakable belief that if we join together, women have the power to reshape our country." With EMILY's List -- the name is an acronym for Early Money Is Like Yeast (it makes the dough rise) -- Malcolm did just that, building a network of donors and identifying candidates for them to support. Since its founding in 1985, when a Democratic woman had yet to be elected to the Senate in her own right, the group has helped elect 80 pro-choice Democratic women to the U.S. House...

Races to Watch:<br/> Ohio 15

Mary Jo Kilroy is running again for the House -- but this time the incumbent is gone, and the largely suburban district, like many across the country, is starting to trend Democratic.

Other Races to Watch : Alabama 3 Pennsylvania 11 Minnesota 3 Senate and Gubernatorial Races Back in 2006, it wasn't until Dec. 11 -- and two recounts -- that Deborah Pryce, a Republican first elected to Congress from Columbus, Ohio, in 1992, was finally declared a winner in her re-election bid, fighting off a tough challenge from Democrat Mary Jo Kilroy. Pryce won by just 1,055 votes. Pryce isn't running this year. But Kilroy is back on the ballot, giving Democrats hope that they can finally grab the seat. "She picked up from where she left off in the last race," Chris Van Hollen, chairman of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, said optimistically. Van Hollen quickly added that her Republican opponent, Steve Stivers, was a lobbyist who represented banks and corporate chiefs before his election to the state Senate -- a big negative, he said, in a state where thousands of families are dealing with mortgage foreclosures. Kilroy leads Stivers by 5 points according to a late...

Does EMILY's List Still Matter?

EMILY's List is one of the largest PACs in the nation and funds only pro-choice, female candidates. But is it still as effective as it once was?

Ellen Malcolm was still recovering from Hillary Clinton's loss in the Democratic primary when she spoke to about 800 EMILY's List supporters at the group's annual luncheon in mid-June in a Washington hotel ballroom. "I've been meandering my way through the various stages of grief: sadness, bargaining, anger, and my personal favorite, dessert," said Malcolm, the group's founder and one of Clinton's most steadfast supporters. She then asked the mostly female crowd -- for the sake of the country, and her waistline -- to join her in working to elect Barack Obama in November. The decision to back Clinton marked the first presidential endorsement for EMILY's List and, for many of the women who lunched on chicken salad with pineapple slices, a female chief executive remains the elusive big prize. But others inside and outside EMILY's List saw it as a distraction from the group's core mission, and Malcolm tried to navigate that tricky terrain. She said that winning the White House "is only...

Why the Pennsylvania Primary Will Register in November

The prolonged battle for the Democratic nomination has swelled voter registration rolls in states that don't usually get a say in the primary process.

It's easy to measure how the tough fight leading up to Tuesday's Pennsylvania primary has taken its toll on the candidates: In the past month, both Sen. Hillary Clinton and Sen. Barack Obama have seen their negatives rise. There is good news in the prolonged battle for the nomination, too. Democratic registration rolls have swelled and voters in states that normally don't get a say in the primary process are welcoming the attention. But there is another, often overlooked, benefit of the long march to the 2008 nomination. As the contest moves from state to state, and canvassers knock on doors and make telephone calls, the campaigns are collecting valuable information about likely voters and laying essential groundwork for November. "When the Clinton and Obama campaigns are making calls, they are not just asking, 'Are you going to support our candidates?'" said Michael McDonald, a professor at George Mason University who studies voter files and turnout patterns. "You're also asking...

A Midwest Progressive Hero

Howard Metzenbaum, who died Wednesday at age 90, was a relentless, in-your-face senator who stood up for workers' rights and paved the way for the candidates who came after him.

Young liberals looking for role models with the guts to stand up to conservative intimidation usually think of Russ Feingold or the late Paul Wellstone. But, back before Feingold and Wellstone, there was Howard Metzenbaum, who died Wednesday at age 90. Metzenbaum was a relentless, in-your-face progressive, as I learned when I covered him in the early 1990s, near the end of the 19 years he spent representing Ohio in the U.S. Senate. Metzenbaum was an advocate of a single-payer health-care system and a staunch defender of workers' rights, leading the fight for legislation that requires employers to give workers at least 60 days' notice before their plant closes. By turns a cantankerous colleague -- Ted Stevens once called him "a pain in the ass" -- and a doting grandfather, Metzenbaum was a smiling, self-made millionaire, happy playing tennis or driving his convertible around Capitol Hill. But in his politics, he was unwavering in his commitment to consumers and working Americans. As...