tv Book TV After Words CSPAN July 6, 2013 10:00pm-11:01pm EDT
you cannot even make the argument they can take into account the political views of the taxpayer. and it is indefensible. so when something comes up is but in the other context it is part of life in america. >> ladies and gentlemen, on that note he has kindly agreed to sign his book. critics are giving incredible previous and it is a breathtaking book. i have read in a strongly encourage you to have your book signed. please remain seated for about 20 seconds. my last question is can you tell us a alan the negative
was very wonderful, by the way, and you don't say this explicitly, but what i took away the most is women in the senate use their gender when it behooves them and shy away from it when it doesn't. is that one of the points you were trying to make with this book, or what is it that you want people to take away? >> guest: well, i do think that that is partially true, but when women came into the senate, most people don't realize there were very few women in the senate up until 1990, up until 1990, only two women in the senate, so all the male senators don't know what to do with women coming into the senate, and you have women coming in at the same time as you have a very big shift in washington in terms of behavior in washington becoming more partisan and more polarized, so women come into the senate, you're in a much more partisan and polarized environment with a lot of effings, so in terms of utilizing their gender, they do emphasize if it helps them to
achieve their political goals, and they de-emphasize it when they are concerned it could hurt their political goals. if we take the very obvious example of hillary clinton -- >> host: right, i love that example. you talk about that a lot. >> guest: one of the reasons in the first place is because the armed services in a very longer time because she knew that she was going to be running for president, and that as a woman, she had to establish her credentials, and she spent time talking to military officials, establishing herself with flag officers, and talking to other people on the committee, cosponsoring bills, and she actually shied away from doing too many women's issues, women's oriented things because she knew that everybody knew that was her expertise and she had to establish expertise elsewhere. gender is emphasized when helpful, de-emphasized when you are concerned that people see it as showing you having weakness. >> host: yeah, that's
interesting. you look at the 107th and 108th congress, and i wonder if you could go through why that four-year span was really the time when you could most get the best information -- or was that the time you thought you could get the best information about how women were achieving their policy goals? >> guest: well, part was numbers. there were few women at all in the senate, and you timely had enough women to say something about the impact of women as a group were having on congress, and in policy-wise, it was a very interesting time because president george w. bush came in as a compassionate conservative. people forget that once he becomes the 9/11 president, but in the compassionate conservative, first issues he emphasized were what people consider to be traditional social welfare issues that people identified with. >> host: no child left behind.
>> guest: absolutely, that was important. they had a prescription drug benefit, the largest expansion of medicare since it was created. >> host: right. >> guest: you know, the biggest change in health care policy up until obama's health care reform. >> host: uh-huh. >> guest: two big social welfare issues there, and there's a lot of issues on social,s because for the first time there's republicans in control of the presidency in both houses of congress so the partial abortion act was passed at this time, and president bush had two nominees to the supreme court, and they really shift the balance of power in the court, particularly on issues of women's rights so when you replace sandra day o'connor that had a big change on women's rights issues. whereas the partial birth abortion ban was originally declared unconstitutional and o'connor was the swing vote there; then years later, similar legislation declared constitutional by the roberts'
court, and, of course, there's the ledbetter fair act going through that case going through the court at that time. >> host: right. seems to me that abortion was an under current for a lot of the issues that the senate, in general, deals with because of -- and not just in the four years you take a real, you know, deep dive at, but because it's the supreme court and because of court cases now, you know, expecting on sexual assault in the military and whatnot. i wonder if you think how that's impacted how women deal with -- with these other issues, in terms of how they deal with supreme court nominees, for example. >> >> guest: well, the research i did, i was looking particularly at the replacement of sandra day o'connor, and how senators dealt with looking at her replacement, and in general, when you're talking about a
supreme court nominee, if i'm of the president's party, i have to suthe president's nominee. that's pretty much a given. there were going to be cases where you had a moderate republican senator like snowe and collins, put in somewhat of an uncomfortable position because they ease spoused themselves as pro-choice senators, and they get votes, the support from democratic voters, but these were judges ruling on the cases, and it was fairly clear they would not be pro-choice judges. we're going to have to navigate and negotiate that in terms of the timing of their announcements of support and what questions they wanted to ask about. for the democrat, there was a range of issues under which they were going to object to the nominees, issues of executive power, issues of business labor relations, and while the women were much more likely to question about women's rights
and say in the statements they were opposing them, not just on abortion, but particularly, the democratic women went to other womens' issues beyond abortion. abortion is a litmus test to say i support women's rights, the focal point of debate between the two parties, but there's a lot of other issues of women's rights to look at, and it was the democratic women more likely to bring up things like their position on equal pay, family leave, you know, there were some cases that had been -- that alito ruled on in those areas and these kinds of issues. >> host: right. well, do you think, though, that the senate -- women in the senate changed the debate over time, or are they still operating under sort of -- and this is not specifically talking about abortion, but operating under constructs largely created by male policymakers in terms of having to respond to appointees made by male presidents and republican men as you point out are more likely to sponsor, quote-on-quote, antifeminist
bills and abortion bans and whatnot or do you feel there's room for them to be proactive in that realm? >> guest: i think it depends on the circumstance. the institution itself has to follow the norms of the institution. the democratic realms led not necessarily on abortion, but on contraception. i think when you look at what happened with president obama's health care bill and the contraception mandate, that was driven by female democratic senators, and what you see is female democratic women getting together with press conferences, writing editorials, go down to the floor to speak putting pressure on the administration. there was a point where the administration could have decided, okay, we'll carve out exceptions here for contraception coverage, especially for religious institutions, like georgetown university, places like that, to
not cover contraception, and they wanted this to be as broad as possible, and i think they helped the administration as well as sebelius, to stand the ground and have a strict rule to make coverage expansionive, and they expressed that beyond, you know, to make sure the mandate stays in place, and then, of course, they utilize it in politics. it was a selling point for president obama and in the reelection campaign in 2012. i think in that way they can sometimes lead if public opinion is where they are, and if they can be seen as moving public opinion, so in general with reproductive rights, the public is more supportive of contraception than partial birth abortion or something like that. >> host: right, exactly. well, i wanted to talk to you primarily about one chapter in the book you devote solely to defense, and how women, you know, and their policy
priorities on defense, which i thought was interesting because as you pointed out, no one looked at this before. a lot of people talked about how do women policymakers deal with women's policy or policy impacts directly women like education and abortion and social services and stuff like that, and, you know, one of the points you make i think is somewhat conventional wisdom, but i still think it's true is that women are seen as weaker on defense, and that they have to overcome -- oh, they have to prove themselves a little bit more than their male colleagues might, but, still, you say that gender doesn't have very much influence on how women really approached legislating on defense policies, that it was a pretty straightforward in terms of what you term "hard and soft defense issues," you know, the war and weapon systems versus, you know, social services for veterans and other sort of
personnel issues. you talk a little bit about, you know, what you found and anything that might have surprised you there? >> guest: sure. so there is an assumption that women are going to be weaker on defense policy, not be as interested or as strong on creating a strong military, and i found that there was no evidence of that. instead, senators really come at it from a very parochial point of view. so it's a lot about, do i have defense contractors in the state? do i have a military base in my state that needs protecting? that's how most senators actually approach the issues is they very much come with a constituency focus about the constituents they have to sterve and protect at the same time thinking about national defense. looking at the vote on the iraq war and who voted to support the iraq war, women were not more pass vies as most think, but everyone knows rankin, the first
woman in congress, was the first woman to serve to go into world war i, and the vote to go into world war ii, she voted against. barbara leefuls the only one to vote against supporting the revolution regarding 9/11, but in general, women were about ideology. if i was a liberal democrat, i didn't support going to war with iraq, but there was no gender effect. on those issues, there's no real gender effect. there is some effect of military service, though, and that if i am someone who had military service, i do get more deference. i'm brought to the floor to, you know, talk about what the position should be of the united states, and particularly, the position of the party, which is why we see john mccain on television a lot and jack reed, whose army, former west point on the democratic side to defend the policies, and women are much less likely to have served in the military. that's starting to change. of course, we now have a few
female veterans in congress, there's many others in the house, prior to that, and heather wilson. >> host: heather wilson, i think, was the only one, and, certainly, there's none in the senate. >> guest: none in the senate who served in the military. on that sort of hard defense issue side, i do not find that much gender defense, but on the soft issues, there's gender difference. >> host: yeah. >> guest: the women are more likely to care about the benefits, what's happening to the families, and they are more likely to support that, and you see that a lot right now with what's going on with sexual harassment in the military. >> host: right. >> guest: at the time i'm writing the book, the big issue at that time was whether or not to have women in combat, and there was something going through the house trying to basically enforce the policy on the book that you can't have women on the front lines, and the bush administration was not supporting it because it was difficult enough to recruit
people that they didn't want to have to take people, women who are fighting already and hold them back so the administration didn't support it, but the people who lobbied on the issue said that they go to people like hillary clinton, elizabeth dole, collins, snowe first because they're sympathetic to the position of women in combat saying these issues are called no dollar issues. >> host: right, i was going to ask you about this. >> guest: there's no money or defense contracts attached to this, like it's looking at the f-35 or something like that. >> host: not a big sort of special interest campaign built around putting women in combat. there's certainly women service members organizations, but they don't have the campaign contributions that boeing can, for example. >> guest: that's right. that means if i'm going to spend prerks time on this, -- precious time on this, i have to care. you have to find somebody who cares, and they even said that at the time, jowrn warner, republican from virginia, is the chair, he said, it's not that
he's unsupportive, but he doesn't want to have to deal with it. it's a nickel issue for them, doesn't want to be bothered with it. if he was from an older generation, he would prefer they were not, but he's not going to fight about it. you have to get the force from other quarters. you see the same thing going on right now. carl levin, a fairly liberal democrat, but he has a long history, chairman of the committee, ranking member of the comes, a long history and republic over at the penalty gone, and he's the primary resistance to gill ibrand's amendment to change the way that sexual assault is prosecuted in the military, and when i was talking to people in general about all these issues surrounding women in combat, the first thing they say is that, you know, it's going to hurt the chain of command, and any time that you're trying to mess with the chain of command, well, you know, people are automatically against you, and it's a hard road to lobby for this so you
have to spend a lot of time on it, and she has expanding a lot of time on it, and she's not going to confess at least in the short term. >> host: you know, just recently, as you point out, the carl levin moved to basically take out -- the subcommittee chairwoman put in, you know, this language that would take sexual assault cases out of the chain of command, and as chairman, he offers the amendment to strip it, and he wins, but what i thought was interesting about that vote was that you really had a split in the committee. i mean, there's seven women on the armed services now out of 26 total, i think, and you saw a split of the women even so it goes to your point you made before this, but that, you know, the more conservative ideology seemed to be, you know, the predictor, and the republican women, for example, voted with levin and most of the other republicans, but you did see the split in the democratic party where the more liberal senators
on armed services like gillibrand and shaheen voted with gillibrand against levin, but, still, he won. basically on the backs of republicans, but, still, i wonder, you know, were you watching that? do you have any sort of thoughts about where that debate is going in the future, and how in the split between women on that? >> guest: well, i think that all of these things take a long time, so very recently, we had this lifting of rules regarding women in combat, and that took a long time to get there and a shifting of culture and of opinion. i think that the more of these stories that come out where you have somebody in charge of, you know, sexual harassment policy and discover they were engaged in sexual harassment -- >> host: i shouldn't laugh, but it's one of those things where you're like, really? >> guest: those stories very bad publicity for the military,
and the more that comes out, then these amendments will end up getting more support and making potential changes, already just the fact that you had this hearing; right? it's the first hearing with all the leaders of the branches of the services coming in to testify on this issue. that would be unheard of years ago; right? >> host: right. >> guest: this was not a problem. it was meant for private discussion in the past. things are changing, but slow to change policy. i think the more attention drawn to it, the more they'll be changes, and the fact that you do have seven women on the arms services committee is 5 larger pool to pay attention so while you say that they were not all in agreement on what policies to support, but each of them had a policy that they were supporting. >> host: right. >> guest: that's partially because they felt they had to have a policy because people pay attention to them as women, but there's a ground swell within the committee of lobbying, of discussion among senators to
make something an important issue and to pull people along. one of the bigger stories coming from the vote was that ted cruz voted with gillibrand and said that he was persuaded by her arguments that what she was proposing was being done by the british and the israeli military, and so he fell -- felt that was a reason to support. you don't see that a lot. >> host: you don't, david vitter from louisiana, a conservative republican, voted with senator gillibrand on this issue, and, actually, i wonder if, you know, if you look at what carl levin actually proposed -- excuse me -- if you look at what he proposed, it has more teeth than what he was saying even say a month or two ago, you know? i wonder if that's because gillibrand and some of the other proponents of taking sexual assault cases out of the chain of command that he felt he had to give his proposal more teeth, and even gillibrand said there's some things i think are not too bad in levin's proposal.
i don't agree with it all, i want to take it out of the chain of command, but there's good stuff in here. i thought that was interesting, and i wonder if you think it's because of people like gillibrand pushing for this, you know, that otherwise it might not have happened, women bringing attention to the issue of sexual assault in the military. >> guest: i do think so because i think also women were trying to bring attention to it before it becomes a news story. you have people caring about it, working on it, and once it becomes a news story, everybody has to take a position, and so if you have a level of expertise, and you've already been working on policy, you already have a plan to bring to the table that can get support, and if you have something that's more, i'm sure levin went to the defense secretary hagel and the military commanders saying, well, you have to support this because look at what she has or something that's beginning to be credible.
>> host: ght. in politics, this happens all the time where you see someone who has maybe -- and i don't want to say her proposal is extreme in the negative sense, but it is the more extreme change; right? which forces some real change, even though it might not be as extreme as that person wanted, and that, i think, shows, also, the saliency of the issue in the media and whatnot, you know? but i -- beyond sexual assault, how important do you think it is that there are now three of six subcommittee chair women in the senate arm services committee? one of whom is emerging threats? is that a big deal? my read of it is so you know where i'm coming from is those subcommittees have more power than other subcommittees on other committees in the senate, but the defense subcommittees mark up their own piece of the defense authorization bill. is it a big deal for women to basically be in charge of half of the defense authorization bill? >> guest: i think it is
important because when you're the subcommittee chair, you set that agenda, so for gillibrand, that personnel, right, she's setting the agenda related to the sexual assault, and in the other subcommittees, emerging threats, you know, they get to decide, what are the issues i want to talk about? you know, what are the policies i want to promote, and so they decide who are the witnesses going to be in the hearing, and they can really have an effect on what the policy's going to be coming out of that committee, and the armed services committee is also unusual in the defense -- the defense authorization bill, they pride themselves on that bill hitting the floor every year and being negotiated on the floor, and that they have not given up that piece of the pie to the appropriations committee and to the leadership fully because a lot, you know, of what goes on in congress these days gets fully decided at the highest levels of leadership, and the committee compares lose power to
leadership and to appropriations, but armed services, while they are losing power like all committees, not to the extent that the other committees are, and the fact they try to religiously put the defense authorization bill on the floor every year means they are going to have a say. >> host: december 21st. >> guest: that's right. they usually want may, but it keeps getting pushed out, so they will get a bill to the floor. they will debate policy on the floor, and they have have more influence of what the time policy will be than other authorizing committees. you know, look at foreign relations, nobody remembers the last time there was a state authorization bill. >> host: right, and since i think the vietnam war, the foreign relations committee has not been as influential in general, you know? i'm guessing a variety of reasons, and i guess, well, you can argue that lugar had influence in the 80s, but -- >> guest: people said there thee
were two kinds, there was the aspiring presidents like biden and obama, and the fresh mep who could not get a super a and wanted a new assignment. >> host: it's funny too, not so much about women, but that, yes, there's people who go on to foreign relations just because they can't get on thinking else, just waiting for appropriations, armed services, or finance, but also in terms of the health, education, and labor committee, obviously, a lot of women's issues, tons of democratic women who want to be on that committee, and no republicans drg forget gender, republicans don't want on it at all because they think the programs should not have been created in the first place, and so it's one of the committees, both the committees, i feel like probably suffer a lack of influence because you don't have both parties, you know, engaged in a real way on those issues, but, you know, that's just my opinion.
so i wanted to -- let's move on, i guess, to the institution of the senate? general, and how that impacts the way how women navigate policymaking. is there truisms you make that we can say about what you learned from studying and talking to so many staffers and whatnot about what you said, in some ways, the senate neutralizes gender because of the senators in regime regardless of who you are or what your sex is. >> guest: there's a certain amount of deference. the senate definitely considering itself an important institution, particularly compared to the house; right? the republican party and the democratic party, but there's also the house and the senate, and the house is upset, and the senate looks down on how they
are doing, and senate -- you get more respect than even if you were a house member which is one of 435. each senate office is its own business in a way, running a large staff, and they want a finger in every pot. they are trying to serve a statewide constituency, and state has interests in a lot of issues, so each of them are trying to get a piece of the pie. the other piece of the puzzle is there's no rules; right? unlike in the house where the rules committee says we debate for ten minutes, could have five people speak for 30 seconds, in the senate, they talk all day long, say whatever they want, offer nongermane amendments, unless there's an agreement that
there's this many amendments, talking this long, pass this, 60 votes instead of a simple majority, those kinds of things. that allowed them to really try and reach policy areas even if they are not on the policy committee. they are offer amendments that way. there's a lot of opportunities to try to influence policies. that gives them freedom. you know, even hold. i can put a hold on things. just recently, there was the ruling regarding plan b, and president obama decided they will not contest it allowing plan b available to women of all ages. well, back when i was writing the book, patty murray and hillary clinton had holds on president bush's no , ma'am sees to the fda, and they could do that because as senators, they can put holds on nominees
for any reasons, and they didn't specifically object to the nominee, but wanted the bush administration and the fda to make a decision, not even the decision they favored, but make a decision, push forward on plan b, and i was told how else is a junior senator going to get the attention of the administration to do anything but to put a hold, and claire mccaskill right now has a hold on promotions for a female military office who decided to dismiss a sexual assault case or not go forward on it, i don't remember the details, but they utilize so many levers to try to get something done that they want done. >> host: sometimes it's behind the scenes or it doesn't get the press, but they are able to force the bush administration to go forward and rule, they expected what is a favorable
ruling in terms of what they wanted, which is to have plan b available over the counter, and, of course, now the obama administration has also fallen to pressure and allowed, you know, women of all ages, as you say, to by this over the counter. i mean, it does seem to me that they are able to leverage power, but i feel, like what i said at the outset, gender seems to be a little neutralized because as what -- because of what you say about big policies. >> guest: yes, in some ways, that's true. as a senator, i represent the entire state. i have a lot of responsibilities so where gender comes into play is there is a wide variety of issues that i can choose from, and i think that women might be more likely to prioritize some issues that people call women's issues or women's rights or
social welfare issues among a very large set of priorities based on their own experiences as women. lisa talked about how he came in and from alaska. he was the only person on the committee who had a child in a title one school in alaska, and she talks about that and the pta, and so everyone brings their perspective and life experience, and so i think when you get more diversity at the table, you get different life experiences where people think of issues and think of things that other people wouldn't opposed, you wouldn't have thought of, and they bring it to the table and people say, oh, interesting and good idea. >> reporter: great. we'll take a quick break, and then we'll be back.
>> host: all right, we're back. i wanted to talk a little bit -- even though we talked about how they have to be policy generalists in the senate, that gender is knew railized, but you point out a number of case, and we talked about contraception, for example, a good example, of when male policymakers who may be taking a stance, but seen as antiwomen or being, they're being beat up by women's groups for taking a position, trot out a member of their own party, this especially happens, i think, amongst republicans, but had happens with democrats as well. they trot out a woman senator saying, well, she agrees with us
yowrks know? i wondered, do you think, that, you know, the male dominated leadership in either party or both parties uses women as pawns or ornaments in any way? >> guest: well, women's rights has increasingly become partisan and polarized so women's rights, women's group, these are democratic groups, democratic issues, very much in the minds of policy leaders and increasingly in the public. you saw that in 2012 with the war on women theme as part of the 2012 election campaign, so that gives democratic women a certain amount of increased power because they are in the party that is open to the issues, these are their own policy priorities, and they can pursue their own policy priorities, and score political points against republicans and raise money for democrats and it's a win-win for them whenever these things come up. >> host: more democratic women
elected in both houses of the congress. >> guest: absolutely, and there are the gap that is much bigger than the gap is in the voting public so the average gender gap in the voting public, we're talking seven points. if i look at women in the senate, there's 16 democratic women, there's four republican women. it's a much larger gap. the democratic women will -- they call barbara mcculls ky the dean of the women, and he asks her to do something that draws attention to women, or the women get the idea, go to reid, and when they try to pass an act, what we should do is go to the floor dressed in red, make the speeches, and she's always talking about squaring the shoulders and putting on the lipstick and going out and fighting the fight, so for democrats, women's rights issues bring them power.
for republicans, only abortion is probably the only women's issue that the republican party really focuses on, and otherwise it's not core republican issues. it's not national security, lower taxes, and these things. for republican women, they need to make an argument as to how they can frame republican issues to appeal to women, and you saw callet thy mcmorris-rogers, the chair partially on that argument. in the senate, republican women don't have core power in the caucus because there's just four of them. they can't band together as a group, and they have desperate ideologies, the four there, so collins and mccowski, and there's an unknown in terms of some of the issues as they come up. i'll be, actually, watching deb fisher from nebraska because she was not the most conservative candidate in the race, and she kind of won because of the fight
between the two most conservative guys, winning the primary because of the fight of the two conservative guys. there's no doubt she's conservative. >> host: i don't want to earn a reputation on c-span. >> guest: got the engorsements in the conservative circle. the republican women, they are in the position where the issues are not the core issues. they may not want to focus on them. look at kelly ayote, shements foreign policy and military issues, and she gets drawn in on other things having a hard time on gun control, wishes that would go away, and the discussion of that vote. >> host: oh, for sure. >> guest: with republicans, what i saw happening was they made choices about how to navigate. do they want to deal with the issue or not? if they deal with the issue, the party would very much like them to be the spokesperson, but if they do that, they are drawing attention to themselves on the issue they might not want to, and the press might portray them as women acting against women, and they don't want that.
you see actually over and over kind of the same type of story playing out, so with the fair pay act, the story that played out in the press was, wow, look, all republican women voted for the bill, and, you know, the republican men, other than spector, did not, and what's really more complicated behind the scenes. >> host: much more complicated. >> guest: republicans knew that the health committee ranking member could not be the one to offer the legislation, and they needed a woman to offer the republican alternative. they thought about one, but there was a tough reelection fight not to get involved. they thought about coal lips -- >> host: kicked out of leadership. she's not willing to help them as she used to be. >> guest: that's right. this is even before all of that. then they want to have the loyal soldier, and this wouldn't hurt with her trying to run for governor of texas, but the republican women said, okay,
we're going to support this, but when this goes down, we're going to vote for the democratic bill because we don't want to be seen as women not supporting women. other than snowe who only voted for the democratic bill, the rest voted for the amendment, cosponsored the amendment that was republican alternative, and then went the other way. the same thing just happened on the vines against women act. >> host: that's right. >> guest: you had the same dynamic going on. deb fisher voted against it, but the rest of the republican women voted for it, and they were not, you know, they were not supporting the republican alternative. >> host: do you think that's because -- do they end up supporting the democratic version in some cases because they are worried about their own election or because they actually tend to agree with the democratic position on some of these narrow women's issues? >> guest: i think it's too hard to say. you have to talk to them individuals. there's some aspects of the political, how do i want this to
look politically. some aspects of the political coalition, and if i think like collins, i get support from women who support social issues and vote for me although i'm republican and they are independent or democrat. some of that is going on. maybe some of their own caring more about these issues, but then you have the cases where you will have a republican woman who comes out and says, you know, i'm defending the party, so with the contraception, it was interesting that shaheen on the democratic side, a democratic senator from new hampshire, was at the forefront for pushing for contraception covered, and kelly ayote was one the three main cosponsors with blueprint of the republican alternative amendment that wants freedom of conscious exception, and they had her out there talking about -- >> host: at every press conference. >> guest: yes, i'm a republican woman, this is not a women's issue, but about freedom of conscious and religion, so, you know, that was their defense, and i certainly do want
women to defend. when i was doing my interviewing, a lot of people don't know that on the judiciary committee there's never been a republican woman on the judiciary committee, so after what happens with clarence thomas and the hearings with sexual harassment, they want women to come on the committee because they never want to pan an all-male panel, and so democrats immediately put diane finestein and a senator from illinois, a one-term senator, had barack obama's seat on there because they have to do something about that. republicans tried to get a woman on there, unable, even when you have people like ayote, who are attorneys, and, you know, could fit fine in judiciary. they don't want to go on. i heard several reasons for that. >> host: i wondered if you heard why that is? >> guest: judiciary is not ad
good committee for raising money, but for controversial issues. you have to be very safe in your seat to want to be on it, and you're not able to raise money from it. when you have a small number of republican women, they don't go there because it's going to be problematic for them, and i would much rather be on cheers, you know, and be able to raise money from commerce. that said, women have all the traditional pasts, a few are attorneys, but that is changing because klobuchar is the attorney, and ayote is an attorney, and grassley is the ranking member, and he's not an attorney, but there are a lot of people with -- who like to talk about the prosecution experience, and leahy talks about when he was a prosecutor, and that was awhile ago because he's been in the senate for a long time, and lindsey graham talks about it. >> host: and cruz, lee, and some of the guys who have clerked for supreme court
justices and been, you know, lawyers and former state's attorneys general, love to be on that committee too, but i wonder, though, and this is my spitey sense about these things. if i was a republican woman senator, there's no way that i would want to be on the judiciary committee. why throw myself in the middle of human cloning, stem cell research, abortion, forget it. >> guest: exactly right. >> host: i'll vote on it -- if you look at what you laid out in the book, too, is how they vote their conscious or vote the way they think they need to vote on a lot of the womens issues, but they often don't take a leading role, but if you're on the judiciary committee, another thing you point out in the book that people on the committee tend to be active on the issues on their committee, but if you're of the judiciary committee, you have to, you know? >> guest: exactly what happens, and, in fact, the republicans were trying to get
elizabeth dole on the committee when she came in because she was a lawyer, and she refused, and the knock on dole was when she lost her reelection was sheafs -- she was not about north carolina, had not been there, but she chose the committees towards north carolina. she wanted banking and armed services because of the committees, and she refused to go on jew -- judiciary, and felt she was getting support from moderate women in north carolina she didn't want to upset, and john edwards was the opposite, he gave up his banking seat to go on -- or his commerce seat giving it to cantwell to go on the judiciary committee because he thought there was going to be a supreme court nominee, and he wanted to be the campon for, you know, liberal democratic groups to be able to get the presidential nomination. >> host: rights. well, and it seems to me, going
back to ayote, for example, wanting to be on defense, for example, and foreign relations and focusing on that more than -- and you can just see how uncomfortable she was, i mean, that was my read of it at least, in the contraception thing, she didn't want to be thrust in the middle. she was being a good soldier. that's not to say she was not taking a principled stand, and she may have very well been taking a stand, but didn't want to be thrust into the middle of it, but it seems to me she's looking -- she has an eye towards the vice presidential nomination at this point or maybe in the future, a presidential run, but, i mean, that's something you also point out is that women tend to gravitate towards things, if they have presidential ambitions like men, to the committees they think help them in that, you know, hillary clinton, michele bachmann was constantly talking about her experience on the intelligence committee running for president last year, and, i mean, what's your say? >> guest: absolutely. they all feel that they -- the commander in chief is what
>> since we have been talking about the differences between republicans and democratic women, one of the things you drill down on is with sponsorship of the women's issue bills. and usage of a credit women are more likely than republicans in general to sponsor women's issues. and it times the idea that democratic women have a greater sense that the voters are women. so just as politicians being politicians are women senators period during to the women? >> guest: i don't think they would consider a pandering but there is less
conflict. many have policy priorities that relate to social welfare but it is an important part of what they do. they automatically have electoral support in women's organizations as they become more central booking at the way campaign finance has going and trying to rely on individual donors they donate for ideological reasons. i donate to the person that is on the committee that has influence over what i do if i looked at max baucus top donors it is not hard to imagine with those banking organizations. so i am delegating to people
who will make the decisions but as an individual person ideologically do they have issues that support my issue position? to go further to that model of campaign finance democratic women benefit from the ideological donors who cares about women's rights. there is no conflict but the conflict those policy priorities and still get the electoral support. but even the democratic women will worry. so i talked to several who said if he does this in this but she is trying to get communication and trying to booker on the sunday shows for something other than abortion because they want
to establish her to have other expertise to and other interest as democratic women band together, they don't want to be stereotyped as women who do with women issues. feinstein talks about that. >> i talked to dianne feinstein and other senators about this when i was a lonely reporter and the road a couple of stories about women in navigating the senate and in general i think the feinstein point was the men don't even realize they're doing it sometimes when they make it harder for us. i think that feinstein doesn't want to embrace those issues even though she is a champion to fight for abortion rights but she
wants to be more active on other issues. and i would argue she is not very well liked by now as she defense the nsa in the intelligence community for what americans think is the interest of program. then you have barbara boxer who seems to embrace being the champion for abortion rights. it seems there individuals like someone else or anybody else. >> host: so although feinstein prides herself on potential bipartisan cooperation, reaching across the aisle to get legislation dan, and others are the champion of issues or causes sows to drive this fall for
the democratic party who was not looking bipartisan cooperating but the issues before her, but there is not a lot of legislation that is bipartisan to try to describe where across the aisle they want more of that with the reputation and influence for the legislative job but all of these women are in lock step the way that they vote and they tend to be the strongest reporters even with the democratic women it is not on their side there
was a lot of negotiation that the southern democratic position is much stronger with mental and physical health and things like this and some lost funding after they took the vote and was trying to you support and they lost they're funding to save you don't get me, you get john bozeman and blanche lincoln the use of them voting for the feinstein the
amendments with i legislation. >> guest: women senators are just as impacted whether they are up for reelection. that is where you put into your predictive models when you figure out who would sponsor this or vote this way. it seems so there has always been a criticism of harry reid and other majority leader's you're not letting us vote in the minority says you don't let us vote on anything because i know what my members to have to vote on those. [laughter] >> guest: is very hard. what will they do with the immigration bill on the
floor right now with a different amendments regarding that and said to me manchin bill i am not sure that is a welcome amendment and that will come back and then the gift that keeps on giving to support obamacare. >> and ben nelson just retired from nebraska he said he did not think it was because he would lose that that is what people believe he would not win because of that vote but mary leandro is a fascinating example and we only have six minutes left. so i want to ask you before we wrap it up is who you think among the women that you have researched now or earlier in the past decade
who is doing the most interesting thing or pursuing a policy for the most fearful perhaps? who shall we be watching? >> guest: with power and influence within the senate i think patty murray is very close to the democratic leadership and harry reid and name guessing some are retiring soon to have the era of leadership with the policy agenda that the democrats are going forward.
is interesting you point out mary the reason they're into her harry reid for the super committee is because she is a work force. the other thing i know about her is she has tremendously good relationships with the entire caucus. i feel there is talk about the dick durbin fight and schumer when height -- terry reid decides to step down but i think she could beat take them on and possibly win so i don't think either one will be the other with. [laughter] so that would be amazing for a woman to rise to that level. >> guest: you have nancy pelosi and underneath her they're not out of wind in there at that level.
the with that current positions but on the republican side i think kelly a yacht is the one to watch. mcconnell dresser she is in the caucus in the nicotine gramm to take the place of joe lieberman sexual is get a lot of media attention and publicity that way so assumes that she rises up but she is going places. but then with the rest of the caucus.
>> host: vichy has also lost her friend with lieberman. for quite a long time. with the department for crying out loud. >> guest: there is a lot of influence but then together they were on the floor. >> host: we talk a lot about each delivery and. i know i never rumors she had presidential ambitions and a complete -- completely convinced that gillibrand she could beat the women are the men said --. >> guest: she knows how to pick the right issues to get attention. this issue with gays in the military was a big issue i think she does have presidential ambitions she will have to do more