tv Key Capitol Hill Hearings CSPAN December 27, 2013 10:00am-12:01pm EST
shutdown. we will look back at the actions leading up to the failure to resolve the budget, and the 16 day government shutdown. it a clock on c-span. >> we now have secular norms instead of theological norms that govern our acceptance or rejection of the ways in which a god or gods or goddess can speak to people and what impact that has. the branch davidians. david koresh said he had a special insight into the bible and that these insights helped the other members of the community understand the bible better and allows them to understand that they are living in the end times in a way that most americans do not accept. that by itself does not seem to be a problem. but when it leads to other
elements that trigger law enforcement concern as well as the popular press' concern, then suddenly this idea of somebody listening to god and having his followers do things that seem to be aberrant to national norms, that's dangerous, and that needs to be policed and controlled. >> wesleyan university religion professor peter gottschalk argues that religious persecution in america has been prevalent since the mid-1800's, even committed by the very government that is supposed to protect us from persecution. sunday night at 9:00, part of book tv this weekend on c-span2. >> next discussion with peter they, who cover presidential campaigns. this year he conducted a study on the impact of twitter on media coverage.
from the new hampshire institute of politics in manchester, this is 45 minutes. >> hello, i am james pindell from wmur-tv, and peter will talk about the point of the paper and what he is trying to study and where it came from, and then we will ask some questions. the heart of this is your questions. this is new hampshire. it is a tradition. we are going to drill this guy, so, peter, welcome back to new hampshire. i will not ask if you are testing the waters. that is very good. this is absolutely excellent. did twitter kill the boys on the bus? talk a little bit about the origin of why you had this
topic. and what you learned. >> kind of two reasons. one, after the campaign, i was jealous, and you may have been jealous about this also. campaign operatives take some time off. they were forced to take time off. you go on vacation and you are reflecting and meditating. i am not jealous of their unemployment, but i am jealous of their space, so after the campaign of 2012, i had an opportunity of fellowship at the kennedy school of government, and i had to write a paper on some aspect of the media and the political media, and i started to think about the difference between 2008 and 2012, which were the two presidential campaigns that i covered, and i on the plane in the bubble, as they say, with hillary clinton and mitt romney and john mccain and sarah palin, and i have lots of stories about that, but the
candidates were there. their advisers were there. they were on the plane. they were talking to you. and i cannot stress enough if you have read a lot of history, much of the primary storytelling, the primary journalism about presidential campaigns always emerged from the bus, from the plane. you were out there on the road. in the general election cents. -- sense. when i was out covering mitt romney, i went in the bubble a few times, and i never wanted to go back in there again. it turned out that i was not alone in that. there were a number of other journalists who said the same thing, and it was not because we did not like mitt romney. the staff was not there, and the candidate was not there. he was not talking, and i started to think about my lifespan in washington and the state of political media.
i moved to gcs started working for cnn in 2005, before youtube, before twitter, and between then and 2013, the state of the media had just changed so much, and it had really had a strong impact on the relationship between reporters and the press and campaign operatives and candidates, and candidates are now often afraid of reporters because we have twitter. we have a iphones. everything is immediately projected onto the internet, or be.ndy -- or it can there is no filter. whereas when the boys on the bus were doing a documentary about the way they cover campaigns in 1972, you could go out with a candidate after a long day and have a beer and cracked jokes, and they did not find their way onto twitter, and twitter has really changed the way and pains --campaigns are run, and i did about 70 interviews with
reporters and people who worked in the romney campaign about, you know, these movements in the media, and i sat down to write a 15 page paper, and it turned into a 95 page paper, so it was kind of a cathartic exercise in that respect. >> there is a recent pew research study that shows something like three percent of americans are actually on twitter. given that it has been a medium largely of the elite, why does that matter? >> you go so far as to say, and i do not disagree with you, and i do not disagree with pretty much anything you write, that twitter is now the number 1 -- this is where the conversation takes place. >> the conventional wisdom used to be formed in washington or in manchester, any state capital by an amalgam of tv talk shows.
radio shows, newspapers, talk at the bar, a hodgepodge of things that eventually radiated out towards the public, and public opinion changed depending on what the media was saying. i think people should care. yes, the pew study showed that 13% of americans were on twitter, and only three percent of americans were tweeting. and twitter is a collection of sort of niche communities. if you like sports, fashion, hip hop, whatever, politics, you follow people who are interested in that, and after a while, according to the operatives i --you start to talk to each other. you start talking to each other. you're talking about scott around, and other people are talking about scott round, and everyone is tweeting about it. the reason it matters is we sort of form our consensus on
twitter, and that is what makes it into the new york times. that is what makes it into politico. that is what makes it onto the evening news, and that is what gets projected out there in the bigger universe, so twitter is really the gathering universe right now, and, again, i think it is really changing the way conventional wisdom is formed. conversationthis as a boy on the bus. >> lots of reporters on the campaign. >> there are. >> who is in this bubble now, and why? explained that world. >> in 1972 when tim wrote "the boys on the bus," the big guys were on the road, bob novak, david broder, gentry monde -- jack germand.
again, they were out there with the candidate, riding the big narratives that would land in the paper and drive television coverage. today, fast forward to 2012, it is a very young group of reporters, and it is a mixture of television producers. i was an embed, and basically what that means is you are embedded with the candidates, and you are on body watch he and any time he tweaked his stump speech, anytime he makes a gaffe, any he eats some silly food, you are documenting it with the video camera and writing a blog post, it that your, and then you also have a lot of younger reporters, and then you have all of the others, politico, huffington post, and it consumes your life. if you have a family, if you are older, you cannot live on the road for what is essentially a two year campaign.
the faulty corporate card. if you're liken a 25-year-old kid, going out there and doing it. the downside, according to many members of the romney campaign i talked to is that the press corps likes gravitons, experience, context. i interviewed stuart stevens, who was romney's sort of all-purpose media strategist at length, and he said he talked to reporters who did not know how to read a poll, who could not recognize pretty famous political figures, like ralph reed and pat robertson, and they saw this as a problem, and, again, these are the folks that work setting the narrative on twitter, really on the web, every day, and they thought that to be a major problem. >> absolutely. you also go a little bit about how obama and romney had a
different strategy with the press and a different strategy about twitter itself. compare and contrast those. >> well, i think -- look. the obama campaign and i lay out early on in the paper, using the romney campaign as a study of how this is changing and the internet is tough, because romney is sort of a cautious guy, a way to build a campaign apparatus, and the romney campaign had to play catch-up. the obama campaign had a bigger staff. they had hundreds and hundreds of people in chicago monitoring every tweet or whatever. and, again, this is not me speaking alone. any number of reporters i interviewed for this said they thought the obama campaign adapted better to twitter. there are no rules about twitter in newsrooms.
this all sort of happened. like washington, the political class discovered twitter in 2009 in 2010, and that was the midterms, and then all of a sudden, we are all tweeting, and we are not thinking about it, how it is affecting the campaign strategy, so a lot of people were learning this on the fly. the romney campaign really kind of shut down a little bit as it related to the press. if they saw a tweet that they thought was offensive, they would get mad about it. i think the obama campaign did a better job of reaching out and massaging things. i talked to david axelrod about this, and he said they learned their biggest lesson at the first debate in denver. >> talk about that. let's separate that out, because i am -- this was not well-known. --this was not going well.
you can see it, but, boy, follow the twitter feed, this was a disaster. >> yes. it was game over. >> and you talk about this moment from ben smith. >> yes, we are in the press file for the first debate, and traditionally at a presidential debate or any debate, the consensus of what happened is sort of rendered, in the spin room afterwards, reporters talk, and this is what happened, and you trust your judgment. if you were watching twitter during the first debate, everyone, and it was not just the political class, it was that romney looks good, presidential, and ben smith, the editor of buzz feed, a smart political guy, he said why do we have to wait to say that romney won the debate? we already know. look at twitter. everybody says mitt romney had won.
he was right. you could see it in the spin room after the debate. you were there. the romney campaign charged in, and they were high-fiving. and i believe there was stephanie and david from the obama campaign, and they could not get out of there fast enough. there was an advantage with the plaintiff the primary season. they saw how consensus was formed on twitter during the debates. debates andatch the see what reporters were tweeting about, so they would know what to talk about after the debates, and the obama campaign, according to david axelrod, was not really prepared for that. they were caught off guard, fill in the second debate, they were able to go with reporters throughout the debate, doing rapid response, doing fact checks out there to different people during the debate in a way they did not do in denver,
which was a total disaster for these guys. >> romney, you go on to say, twitter help to reinforce a lot of this negative feeling they had towards the press, because they were tweeting some stupid stuff. >> yes. that is absolutely the case. >> this is the thing. it is hard to blame the romney campaign for getting frustrated. >> right, exactly. >> it was a tough, tough, endless cycle. again, because the candidates today are so terrified, frankly, of the press tweeting every single little thing, campaigns are keeping the candidates away from reporters. what is a reporter left to do? if you're traveling around the country on an airplane, and nobody is talking to you -- >> spending a lot of money. >> spending a lot of money, they
would spend upwards of $60,000 per week on these planes traveling with people, and it is a ton of money, and someone with the romney campaign called it the news hole, and these young reporters would sit on the plane, and they would sometimes be drinking beer, and they would be tweeting and being snarky, so and i was guilty of that. so the romney campaign would say, why would i want to have these people here who are making fun of our campaign every day? if they are making fun of his jeans or his hair or something. his campaign manager reference something called the orchestra pit theory, which is pretty interesting. roger ailes used to work for richard nixon. that is where he became famous. he has a theory about the political media call the
orchestra pit theory, and that is you have two candidates standing on the stage. one guy says he has got a solution for the middle east peace process, and the other guy falls into the orchestra pit. what is the media going to cover? they will cover the guy who fell into the orchestra pit. the back of the plane for us was a bunch of reporters waiting for mitt romney to fall into the orchestra pit. he would do a speech about an important issue, and then he would say something goofy about rihanna or chris brown, and that is the story. that is our incentive today. >> you also mentioned tupak. >> rubio is good with talking about rap. it is a tough cycle. talking to campaign operatives, no one sees a solution to this. i had lunch with a fairly
prominent governor a few weeks ago out in arizona, and this person said, how can the media get better? how can we work with them better? i did not have an answer for them. they are scared. editors at newspapers are terrified for lots of reasons. the web is disrupting them. campaigns are scared of the media, too. >> a couple of questions, and i want to open this up to you, what is retweet journalism? >> this is interesting. retweet journalism was coined by , who does not like reporters very much, but he understands how quickly twitter can shape things. he calls it when a reporter just
blindly retweets something without making a phone call to see if it is true. tim used is at story about haley barbour, that he haley barbour was about to be indicted by the feds for tax fraud. nobody really knew who this blogger was, and yet that, for whatever reason that day, that tweet, linking to that story on some blog that no one read was retweeted by major national reporters, so they are lifting this story up and putting it into the national bloodstream without bothering to check out whether it is correct or not. >> having two sources. >> right, two sources. and that is the problem with
twitter at wmur or the washington post or the new york times. you have to go through your editorial process. to have a story, you need two sources, and your editor should through that with you before. those stories hit twitter with an equal velocity is a sketchy blog post, and they are all in that mix together. in some ways this is good. twitter has been good for journalists in a lot of ways because it is a meritocracy. it has allowed young, hungry reporters. it is actually a good time -- to be a journalist. the pay may not be great, but you can punch through a ceiling that was not there five years ago if you are good, hungry, smart, funny, you have a take, you can rise up based on twitter. people will follow you. it is also a good self corrector. bad journalism gets corrected
pretty quickly now in a way that it did not use too. >> so let's bring it back little bit, and that i want to open it up for questions after this one. you know, in the end, you talk about what the press can do better next time. you talk about what campaigns can do better next time. if i am just a voter, what am i supposed to do? am i supposed to block all of this out? >> somebody asked me this question recently also. i have no answer for you. >> garbage. a lot of twitter is irrelevant garbage that is not going to help me make a decision about who is the best. >> look, if you're a regular person in texas or sacramento or toledo, wherever, you do not care that scott brown is in londonderry. we care deeply. so chances are if they do not care, they are not following you on twitter in the first place.
i think i just wanted to write this paper to illuminate for people sort of the sausage making. why what they are seeing on the evening news or the today show or reading in their local paper, how that story kind of came to be in today's sort of media ecosystem, because i am not sure that everyone -- we all take twitter for granted. i mean, how many of you guys look at twitter? and how many of you guys get news on your phone? how many of you guys watched the evening news this week at least once? >> that is a lot. >> that is more than i thought. >> he did not say at 6:30. >> dvr. >> that is right. >> but i was actually surprised that a lot of people did know that this was the case, that twitter really was the central watering hole, the gathering
place for so many people in the press corps in washington and new york, and a big complaint, again, for a lot of reporters covering romney. you want to be funny stories and digging up stuff. home wereditors back watching twitter all day. so ashley with the new york times will get a call from her editor that says, did you see this thing on twitter that says this about romney, can you confirm this, can you confirm this? that was the opposite of what it used to be. areare on the plane and you determining what the news is. now the agenda is being sent on twitter and people on the plane are increasingly relevant, because they are not setting news every day, and the
candidates are not talking about the news either. >> let's open it up for questions. we have microphones over there. so go ahead and ask away if you have a question. >> great. >> so first off, you are talking about how politicians do not really like the whole twitter agenda. to you think that is a situation where the politicians need to evolve to deal with the new communication climate, or is it that journalists should devolve and stop using twitter as this medium? >> it is a combination. i think from the journalist's perspective -- again, the last section of this paper, which you can read online for free, on the harvard website, it talks about recommendations for 2016. i do think a lot of reporters
that i talked to felt a little guilty about the way they behaved on twitter, and a lot of political operatives, they think reporters need to either be trained in how to use twitter or have an editor for their tweets. i do think even since the election, we have seen -- i do not know if you guys in the romney campaign would agree with me, but i think people are dialing it back a little bit. people are not as over-the-top and snarky and mean and chasing everything as they were during the campaign. i think we are evolving in a way of how we use twitter, which is good. but i think editors making assignments for 2016 will have to say like, hey, just think that.ce before sending i sent a tweet once about some outfit obama was wearing, and the obama press secretary fired away, and she was right. i have not done a snarky tweet
since then, to be honest, but from a campaign perspective, i was talking to and about this on abouts talking to ann this on the way over here. dan balz asked john mccain this question, do you think the straight talk express could exist today, and mccain said no, there is no way. the reporters are too young. there is no filter. every little gaffe will make it out there. i talked to chuck todd about this, who said there might be somebody to crack the twitter code. reporters who are evolving will maybe be a little more forgiving if a candidate says something off-color, and we realize that was just a little bit of a slip up. do not worry about that. we are not going to tweet that. the other is to just shut the media out completely. to completely barraged them, and we will not be able to keep up,
and that maybe another way. one other point i make in this paper, which i think is important for 2016, looking at the people who might run, jeb bush, hillary clinton. i mean, jeb bush's last statewide campaign was 2006? no, 2002. hillary clinton? look. a lot of reporters covering politics now were not even in elementary school when the clintons were in the white house, so they do not necessarily hold the clintons in the same esteem the way a lot of our older colleagues that are older in the press do. also, from hillary's perspective, she is not fluent in twitter. in 2008 when she was running, nobody was using twitter. especially the press. look at somebody like chris christie or marco rubio, who have come of age politically in the youtube/twitter era.
they are kind of at ease. >> it is an asset for them. >> chris christie. totally. shooting from the cuff. they know it is going to get on twitter. they are used to this political environment in a way that other candidates, like john mccain, do be, even though john mccain has a ton of followers. >> in a campaign, the last reporter with a blackberry, and i do not know how this is going to work for him. it will be fascinating. >> i do not see that as tenable. >> anymore questions? >> hi. great talk. very interesting. welcome to the new hampshire institute of politics. >> thank you. >> so if i am understanding this
correctly, you are saying twitter is really influencing what people are putting on the news, and it is starting with twitter, and if that is the case, because i believe it is, because i use twitter, cnn breaking news, it notifies me, and i do not even have to turn on the news. mandela passed away. i wish i had the time, but not during finals, but if that is the case, do you think, especially with our generation -- i mean, we have a lot of different types of students here who do watch the news, but i know that there are many in their early 20's who are using their phones and twitter and facebook may be as a means of getting news. do you think that twitter is going to take the lead and surpass nightly news as our generation grows up? is that going to out date nightly news? is twitter going to change that? >> not anytime soon, but the importance of tv is absolutely
waning, no question about that. pew did a ton of research about how people are processing the media. if you are under the age of 30 in 2012, you were not watching tv news. only about one third of people under 30 watched tv news in the last week or something like that, and mobile -- so tv, newspapers, this way. tv, this way. >> interesting, tv news was was always number one, and then cable. >> even cable viewership. yes. desktop, laptop computers, pretty steady. mobile is going like that. even at cnn, we have made a huge investment in digital. my paycheck now comes from digital, because i am sort of
native to that. we get all of our news on our phones, and that is ok. nightly news gets, what, 8 million viewers per night? twitter, influencing only a tiny segment of the population, but its growth potential is huge. something like 16% of the country is now on twitter, or as 90% of the country is on facebook, so facebook has kind of plateaued. twitter has got a lot of potential. but where is it will not take over the evening news, i do think that digital as a whole will surpass tv. i mean, the only reason i have cable is to watch sports and hbo. like, that is it. and c-span. obviously. otherwise -- and i am not alone in that. i am 32 years old, and plenty of
my friends wish they can drop their cable subscription, but they cannot because they want news and sports, but they do not need all of those channels, and they want to watch on their own time. i have not watched a commercial in a least a week. >> except for cnn. you watch them all. >> except for cnn. ok? and sorry, one more point about this. in the ranks of campaign politics, there is just as big generational churn going on where people use the web all the time, and people are starting -- in the campaign ranks, people are starting web forums as opposed to tv forms, and they just realize the growth potential is there for the web, whereas -- and the obama campaign was working this out too with their tv ads. they were not just buying local news. they were buying sort of niche,
targeted ads. >> go ahead. while he is asking that question, i want to ask you a question. a longer answer, i know, so i apologize. what does this mean for the new hampshire primary? a system that has always been extremely transparent, town hall meeting after town hall meeting, not just reporters. everybody has got a phone. everyone can broadcast, and the idea of retail politics, it is different. it is what you saw with mitt romney. it is different for someone to kind of think it through. >> yes, i know him way more about new hampshire. but you are totally right. if you are a republican candidate running in the primary, and we saw this in 2012, you can go on fox news and reach really directly a ton of
primary voters in five minutes, and even the romney campaign admitted that fox news is a safe environment for republicans, so you are not going to get asked a lot of hard questions there. you know, i do not -- i really have a hard time. maybe i am just whimsical. i hope this doesn't change. how many primary voters are there in new hampshire? >> for the primaries? about 100 to 150, depending. >> ok, so if it is like a smaller -- i think this is counterintuitive, but if it is like a smaller primary, i do think you have to go out there and shake hands, whereas in south carolina -- >> there are some risks involved. >> in south carolina, it is like half a million primary voters, so you cannot hit everyone, so you have to go tv, radio, but, yes, the way campaigns can
control their own messages, you do not have to do local media anymore necessarily. you still do, but you can create an info graph on facebook and share that, and there are no annoying reporters asking you questions when you are making a tweet or creating a web ad. primary voters are pretty wired. they are plugged in. i see their facebook traffic. that is the way a lot of activists communicate, is on social media now, so why go on local news? they will ask you a tough --stion on wmur >> i am just saying they are weighing these things now. >> my name is scott, and since i
was a fresh and, last year i was in high school, and throughout the whole 2012 election, i noticed a lot of juniors, sophomores, and freshman had these twitter accounts, and it seemed that the more twitter accounts there were for a younger group, so all of these twitter accounts will become voting age eligible. which will most likely expand the potential, as you touched upon, so i was wondering what you think, as more twitter users become voting age people, how you think either party could grasp onto the demographic of the twitter users that are becoming voting eligible? >> yes, that cuts to sort of what we were just talking about. young voters are tough to find and contact, and they are tough to motivate, frankly. they do not necessarily show up.
so the web just as an access point to reach young voters. on twitter, social media. so, you know, i think -- again, this is why sort of the old media is dying and digital is rising. we all use the media in a different way than our older friends do, and you are going to get your news from twitter. in 10 years, maybe you will still be getting news from twitter, that it is just a key the web.int, >> ok. anymore questions? this is jim merrill, who led mitt romney's campaign here. >> peter, it is great having you here. i just want to say this was a fantastic piece of work you put
together with this, and i really enjoyed it, so thanks for being here. two questions. the first one, you talked about, and we all know how quickly this evolved and the lack of policies and procedures to govern how this unfolded with reporters and everything else, and i remember, i think i signed up for twitter in 2008, so i remember the first time it struck me the power of the medium, and there were the results coming in that i cannot get anywhere else. can you talk about whether there were any policies with news organizations that govern how the embedded reporters treated, and any change over the campaign, some issues over time, and if there were, i would be curious to know how that works, and do you expect that in 2016. that is one, and two, talking about how it evolves, is the
twitter feed the future of our candidates and elected officials? i am curious. >> i will answer the first one. first.second one i actually unfollowed cory booker. he would say, it was great to see you at this event, and then, love you too, bro, kind of childish, kind of unbecoming, frankly, for a u.s. senator, but who am i to say the way things -- where things are going? as to guidelines, look, i know from the cnn perspective, and i am certain other news organizations do, we have social media guidelines. a lot of it revolves around not tweeting out other unconfirmed information, so-called retweet journalism. we saw this with mandela, who died. there was some twitter buzz about it, and cnn has pretty
strict editorial policies and we have really good journalists, frankly, and they sent around a reminder, let's just wait until we can confirm this, so we played it safe. i do not think -- i did not really see a lot of editorial changes across the board or have heard of any sort of crackdowns. >> it did not seem like there was. >> it did not seem like it, but ben smith said, he did not want his guys tweeting in name crap crap on twitter, and he said, only tweet smart stuff, and we can go back and look at those tweets and see if he was right or not. i just do not think so. i think we were all figuring out as it happened on that as you mentioned, and twitter just kind
of exploded at some point in 2009, and we kind of never looked back and took a pause and said, are we doing this right? but, again, i do think, i do think -- i do not know if you agree, but the snark has died -- dialed back of little bit. my friend scott works for real clear politics, and he is a great reporter, and sometimes he will e-mail me, did you see this thing on twitter? it is so dumb. dude, just close twitter. back away. you'd be surprised. the number of reporters who said i think more clearly, i write more clearly when i am not on twitter all day. it kind of scrambles your brain if that is what you look at first thing in the morning and the last thing you see before bed. it affects your thoughts, and also, twitter is a negative place. ew, but pew on p
measured the negativity of different platforms during the 2012 campaign, the tone of people talking about president obama and mitt romney, and twitter was the bottom of the barrel, below facebook. it is just a negative, snarky place, just generally, so that kind of feeds -- you absorb some of that when you're on twitter all day, so i think people are being more judicious. again, a number of editors that i talked to said they are going to think more about heading into 2016 about do tweet this, do not tweet that. >> going back to those feeds during the debates, getting to a similar level of snark. i would be frightened to go back and look at myself. >> we are supposed to be objective. i guess. >> anymore questions? i want to talk a little about what you were saying before.
you had a chance to deeply think about this, so how are you going to approach your job differently, or how have you already begun to view your job -- to approach your job differently? >> well, one thing, as i just said, there are days when i just do not go on twitter. i think that is valuable. one thing that twitter did during the 2012 cycle was it made small things seem big. staff hires, endorsements, smalltime endorsements, campaign infighting. what was called process stories, things that will influence voters, but they are about politics, because everybody in the media was on twitter saying -- reading the same things, and if politico had a story about some focus group thing, all of
the other news organizations were inclined to chase it and confirm it, and all of a sudden, we are talking about the same small stuff. a lot of conversations with reporters revealed that amidst all of that, there was the stuff that was really richly reported, the magazine pieces, the long form stuff, where people took a couple of weeks to dig into mitt romney's time as a leader in the mormon church in beaumont, or some issues. those things landed with a pretty big impact, because amid all of this sort of surface level snowflake journalism that sort of evaporated son contact, contact, thes on media stuff -- the meatier stuff really stood out. one of the things my colleagues and i do, i do not have to write a story every day.
why do i not wait one day or, god forbid, four days, to write something, and then it is richer and more valuable, and i am detect a mat from some people, and that is something i hope to do more of in 2016, maybe stay away from the bubble, the bus and the plane and camp out. >> an issue for buses also. the newsroom. if it is how many pages you are going to get, you can do 12 posts, 5000 page views, or you can do one post and get 10,000. >> yes. editors have to figure out a balance. there will probably still be a horde of twenty-somethings who can crank out copy so they can get those links, but balance that out with reporters they can maybe step back and do bigger sort of pieces. >> one last thing here, and if there is any other questions, go
ahead to the mic, but you kind of addressed this a little bit. where is this all going? are we on the cusp of something new and the way it is going to be, or are we in a transition phase, and we are figuring out how to use this better? rapid response is very simple now. hit back at the reporter publicly, not just e-mail or the phone, because the narrative is being set on twitter. people can see this interaction. is that where this is heading? >> again, i do not know. i think that -- first of all, we don't know what kind of platforms will be out there. they are using instagram throughout the campaign. not in a real negative way. it was kind of cool. we just do not know. i talked to casey hunt, who works for the ap now. she mentioned google glass, the
glasses that can stream video. wearing one on the plane and it was strange. she said to me, can you imagine a candidate who walks to the back of the plane and sees 15 reporter sitting there with google glasses, and everything is live stream. that is not improbable at all, and she and i were both wondering, is that going to impact things. i do not see it getting better. campaigns are going to shut down more. there are still reporters that campaigns are still talk to. it is still valuable to talk to candidates, i think. get in their head, figure out what is in their head, what makes them tick, but, man, it campaigns can deliver the messages on social media with web videos on their own terms,
increasingly, they are going to do it. at the end of the day, the mission is to win. you do not want to get thrown off message, and i think if they can control the message, they are going to drive. >> thank you for coming, and this is great. if you have not read it, you should google it. really well done. "did twitter kill the boys on the bus." thank you for coming. [applause] >> we happen bring you on court recitations of q&a in prime time. we wrap up the week tonight with richard baker. he's the co-author of a narrative titled "the american senate." here's a brief look at our interview. >> today the u.s. senate continues as the most powerful upper house of any legislative body in the world. what does that mean?
have --most bodies >> give us an example. >> france. >> great britain with this house of lords. >> the lower house passes the substantive legislation and he goes on to the upper house. the upper house reviews it and maybe they didn't like it. we respect your pain but we are going to pass it again and it becomes the law of the land. the italian said and the united states senate have absolute veto over the work of the lower body. >> what is the history of why that was felt to be the way it should operate? >> a fundamental issue in philadelphia in 1787. ager concerned. you have to have the house elected by the same people who were eligible to vote for legislative elections. and those people can be a little
impetuous in their decisions. we need a cooling body to review and to stop and slow down and to ask as one senator said in the 19th century, the senate is the place of sober second thought. that is what the framers of the constitution had in mind. >> watch our entire conversation with richard baker tonight at 7:00 eastern here on c-span. after that look back at the events in washington that led to the 60 day government shutdown. highlights from house to bait and briefings as well as inside from lisa mosquera, who cover the story. that is tonight at 8:00 eastern. examininglady series the life and legacy of jacqueline kennedy from her childhood to the images of a young family entering the white house and the tragedy of a grieving widow.
that is at 9:00 eastern here on c-span. >> lincoln did not decide later on. he probably met with the pennsylvania governor on november 14. that is when he realized he had to decide and he did decide to go. he then probably on the night of november 17, he told james b -- james speed, lincoln told james speed that he found time to write about half the speech. then he wrote the rest at gettysburg. we can talk more about that. there is good evidence that lincoln was not invited early and that he wrote the speech late. that does not mean it was not important to him. he invited a lot of people to go. just because he did not write it for three weeks does not mean it was not important to him. >> events surrounding the
gettysburg address and the president's plan and approach for the speech. sunday, this weekend on c-span3. next a look at the role of conservative women in politics. conservative how women leaders negotiate the tension between traditional gender roles and a desire to engage vertically. she looks at the 2008 vice president candidate sarah pal and and michele bachmann. it is hosted by the university of california berkeley and is an hour and 15 minutes. [captioning performed by national captioning institute] [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2013]
>> there we go. ok. thank you so much for coming. i want to thank the berkeley center for right-wing studies and the cosponsors, the graduate school of journalism. i also want to thank john mccain. why would i want to thank john mccain? as most of you know, in 2008, john mccain surprised the united states by nominating alaska governor sarah palin to be his running mate in the presidential election. and i remember that moment. i was at a political science conference and my first book had just come out on conservative women. it was academic press. i'm sure a few people thought it might be interesting. then i saw sarah palin on the screen on national television and i thought john mccain is promoting my research agenda. so i always feel it's important to thank john mccain when i do talk about my research. getting back to sarah palin --
speaking of research and i want to follow up on something that larry said. what i am presenting today is scholarly work and really intended to create understanding of conservative women. i am a women of politics scholar and i saw a lack of attention to ideological diversity among women in the scholarship that was being published. so i became very interested myself in exploring questions about conservative women and also wanting to highlight their important contribution to politics. no matter where you stand politically, i think it is really important for us to understand the role that they play in politics. now back to palin -- references to her general maternal status influence the campaign when she was running for president. my water bottle disappeared. -- influenced the campaign and discussions over whether mothers of young children should seek elected office. of course, she played into these debates by bringing her children on stage for events and referring to herself as a hockey
mom. discussions of mothers in politics made their reappearance in 2010 when palin herself was advocating for and campaigning for mostly tea party candidates, women who were running for office and calling them her mama grizzlies. june 5, 2011, and other mother of five, conservative, congresswoman michele bachmann announced her intention to run for president of the united states. as with palin, bachmann's bid generated a lot of debate over gender roles and women in politics from all sides. given that both women were running in high-profile races, these cases provide an excellent lens through which public deliberations about conservative women, motherhood and politics can be examined. so i was very eager after the first book that i wrote, which was about two conservative women's organizations and i wanted to stop and felt
compelled to keep going. i was eager to resources question about how you have conservative ideology, which promotes traditional gender roles, stereotypes, which i will get into, yet these organizations are promoting these mothers of five running for national office. so the research i am presenting today builds on my work in writing feminism. when i was presenting research and talking about the book afterwards, i got a lot of questions from people basically saying aren't those women hypocritical? they say women should stay home and be with their kids and yet there they are running for office. those of you who remember that -- the anti-year a debate that , was a question often posed to schlafly, she has children and she is out there politically engaged and so on.
so it was a frequent question. i thought that was far too simplistic. it ignores a lot of research on the topic of political women. that you loset at , out on a lot of information and understanding what role they actually play in politics. what i want to argue today is that -- i'm sorry there are valid reasons to say that potentially these women can be considered hypocrites, but there are also tensions tensions and contradictions and it is not as clear-cut. so let me explain. so some of the tensions, that conservatives are actually presented with. because they do promote gender role conservativism among but they are also promoting mothers in politics. so let's start with the tensions
and the questions and the ideas about why is it that we would think it would be wrong for conservative women to promote people like palin and bachmann running for office. about the need for male leadership in heterosexual families and about the gender values, but the primacy of women as caretakers, social conservatives have long argued that women should prioritize their roles as stay-at-home mothers. that is the first point that i sense that you should think it is odd to promote palin and bachmann. they have been promoting these ideas themselves for decades. i'm going to give you two comments from women that run organizations or are active in conservative women's groups. they point to why we think conservative groups might actually be hypocritical and promoting palin and bachmann. the first is from a woman who works for concerned women of america. wise woman recognize that they
cannot have it all at once. they have to acknowledge that it is important to give the needs of the children top carney -- top priority. another quote from phyllis schlafly. she has said in print encouraging wives and mothers to do their own thing has left children to bear burdens of loneliness, depression and d&d -- and the empty house. latchkey children are crying out for the love of mom who subordinate to their own career ambitions and desire for material things to the well-being of their children. so these do show there is some validity in positing that there another tension for conservatives is that come in terms of promoting mothers in elected office, republicans -- if you are looking at studies, they are less likely than democrats in promoting mothers of young children for running for office. in states where there is a higher number of social conservatives, the lower number of women are in the state houses
in so there is an inverse correlation and political life. conservative women's organizations have chastised feminists for promoting the notion that women can have it all. that is that they can be super moms. you may remember the bring home the bacon and fried up in a pan. they alleged that feminist earth mothers that participate in the workforce generate feelings of guilt and so on. promoting palin a mother of five or bachmann, and other mother of five a month and standing behind tea party mothers running for office, indeed, the promotion of these women appear to violate ideological and religious norms. ok. on the other hand, there are
some reasons to think that this makes perfect sense that conservative women are doing this. despite the prevailing gender norms, women have had a long history of lyrical participation in conservative movement politics. we know phyllis from stock e.r.a. she ran for congress and worked on barry goldwater's campaign and so on. conservative women's activism has included, for example, organizing against the women's suffrage amendment. they have been actively involved in challenging laws having to do with federally funded day care or family leave. they have been actively involved in the opposition for legal abortion, same-sex marriage. so despite the conservative gender roles, they are actively involved in politics. secondly, when they do actively get involved, they prefer to vote for women with children.
there are a number of republican women elected to office. the numbers are still pretty low. about 18% in congress, but only a quarter of them are republican women. but they are wanting to increase their numbers. in addition, conservative women's groups themselves to do this have founded a political action committees and organizations to raise money and train women to run for office. they are working to meet the goal of getting more republican women elected. finally, republicans are well aware there is a gender gap that favors -- generally, women favors democrats in presidential elections. they know they need to target women voters and promote more women in politics. historically, conservatives have
grappled between ideology, the role of mothers and women, and political reality when it comes to trying to promote women in the public sphere, including in the realm of professional politics. given these tensions, i ask the following questions. how do conservative women advocates -- and i actually looked at conservative women's organizations themselves in the first part. how do they negotiate ideological beliefs about conservatism and general roles with an interest in electing republican women, and in particularly wanting to promote palin and bachmann when they were running for office? actually having these organizations talk about palin and bachmann during their campaigns. second, how do conservative woman leaders -- i interviewed a number of them. not only did i look at organizational document, but i interviewed women leaders, some of whom overlap here.
and i asked them how they negotiate tensions personally themselves. they are all paid representatives of organizations. how did their organizations talk about these tensions? and how might that affect hobbled discourse and policy outcomes? finally, i look at what this tells us about gender and politics more broadly, especially in light of the fact that there are an increasing number of women who want to run for office, or are running for office and want to get elected. when conservative women are talking about gender roles and paternalism, it has implications broadly for how we understand motherhood, politics, in a broad sense. i want to make it clear that we need to think broadly and not just try to think someone is hypocritical, but what it actually means when people think this in the public sphere.
i will not go into much detail about the legal theories or representation and so on. i'm happy to talk about it in the q and a. i look at social and economic conservatives, and i'm happy to to find out later on. the organizations i study our national and represent a range of conservative women's organizations and women political actors. i specifically look at how they talk about palin and bachmann when they were running for office. and i try to tease out how it is they -- what language they used to account for the tension. and i find that basically what they do is they have transformed the meaning of conservatism a little bit to basically take account for the fact that they are promoting mothers in office even though sometimes they say mothers should stay home. i look at their language. and i call that "framing."
when i use the term framing, i'm really talking about language and ideas used to communicate values, organizational goals, and perspective. then i go on and i do interviews with the men who represent national organizations. i have also interviewed feminist woman. but for the talk today, i'm only talking about conservative interviews. and here, arguing about personal narratives and how they reflect the political actors understand mothers interest and provide insight into basically, how they themselves have negotiated these tensions. but also how other renovations are talking about them. and how these things should public discourse about motherhood, conservatism, and gender in politics. it's a mouthful, but hopefully i'm making the argument in the long run. i will present the research into parts. first, the organizations on palin and bachmann. second, i will give you highlights of the interviews i did and talk about how they work together and how there are contradictions between the two.
here are the organizations i've studied. the concerned women for america. the oldest organization is eagle forum. that was founded in 1972. all of these groups are not only national in scope, but i consider them to be women's organizations. what i mean is they are exclusively led by women and they make arguments that a are representing women. i think that is very important. you have now saying they represent women's interest and conservative groups saying they represent women's interest. these are the organizations i've studied. we network of in-line women is a college women's group. smart girl politics is more of a web-based organization, but there is a range. these are the groups that i talked to as far as how they talk about palin and bachmann. the interviews are here. i will go back to the slide when i go over the interviews.
but as you can see, there is a range here. this is the universe of conservative women. there are elite women, leaders of or representative of these organizations. and then i take these to the national coordinator for the tea party patriots, kelly grantor. let me go back to the organizations rhetoric about palin and bachmann. basically, i found that they use two different frames. the first is called feminine toughness. those are indeed, barbie for president. i have them in my office and they are good conversation starters. i wanted to get a suit that matched, but it was nowhere to be found. the first frame that organizations use is what i'm told is feminine toughness. basically, let's focus on the feminine first. not feminist, but feminine.
from this perspective, palin is deemed to be full of grace and someone who exudes femininity. these are the things the organizations have said about her. she has been said to integrate political leadership with family response ability. the president of the claire luce booth policy institute tells us that palin holds her baby on stage because she wants to publicly embrace in a woman on stage in all the facets. she is coupled with her policy goals and proves to the independent women's forum that you don't have to hold the cultural prejudices of the left to be a woman. in an interview with the washington post, the president of the independent women's forum also summed it up this way. she said this about palin. "she is feminine and she is fashionable, and that is ok
now." which i'm happy to hear. in these ways, femininity is how she looks. that is ripe with the barbie appear, because obviously it is partly about what you wear and your makeup. but it also is that she emphasizes the centrality of her husband and children and so on. bachmann is the feminine reaction from conservative women. a cnn reporter was told, i actually think it is great. i think you can embrace your femininity in a way that you will look and still be a smart and intelligent woman. in addition to their style and persona, palin and bachmann are also consistently praise not just for being feminine, but also for running for office for the right reasons. and that is, not to gain power or authority, but to help people.
here, conservative women are also now offering what i say is a feminized account of the quest for national office. that is consistent with the traditional notions of mothering and gender roles. as an aside, feminists also have some version of this when they talk about the need for more women in office and the difference in what they bring to political office. but this is a very particular interpretation of the feminized account of leadership. karen agnes, who founded the network of in-line women, which i noted is a conservative network for college women, praised palin's life choices and goals. she says, palin chose to marry her high school sweetheart. in an acceptance speech, she said, we met in high school and two decades later, he still my guy. she focused on raising her children and pursuing public office not to climb the political ladder, but to make your community better for children. bachmann is also touted as a role model in general for this, but also as a role model for
younger women, due to her feminine leadership roles. bachmann "stand up for her beliefs." it's not about power or title. able call her crazy for speaking up, but younger conservative woman in really look up to her. here you have an accountability in leadership goal. there is also discourse that celebrates him in and bachmann's toughness. on palin, it was argued that she is not the kind of person to give in to bullies. she is the kind of mother who protects her children to my something that those who hate her don't seem to understand. if you recall, payment herself -- palin herself invoked this. if you have never seen her mama grizzly act, go onto youtube and google mama grizzly. it is a fascinating advertisement.
it is really well done. palin herself used the mama grizzly image to precisely capture the reconciliation of femininity and toughness. she offers this sentiment. you thought pickles were tough, but you don't want to mess with mama grizzly. they have invoked a toughness themselves. as for bachmann, harry christophe said about her and also her conservative counterparts, you have to have a very strong backbone and be a conservative woman running for office. bachmann is also described by another organization is having the strength and tenacity to do what is necessary to lead this nation. here you have interesting coupling of traditional conceptualizations of femininity with masculinity am a suggesting that palin and bachmann can also be ladies, but also counted on to run the country. i want to say here that these
complex descriptions are necessary for most women who run for office, whether conservative or feminist. and if you do studies and surveys, people prefer women to be communal and warm and kind, and they expect men to be agenda, aggressive, and self-directed. but these latter characteristics are also what people expect of their leaders. what you have is eight it of a double bind for what women running for office. you can watch all kinds of lives about hillary clinton when she ran for president about that being the case. it is summed up nicely this way. trying to satisfy complex set of expectations is impossible. women are criticized for deviating from the norm and for appearing to be masculine.
i think this feminine toughness is an interesting way for these organizations, conservative women's groups particularly, to navigate between cultural demands as well as keeping perceptions of these women in line with the view about gender roles. the femininity part reinforces the conservative view about the way women are supposed to behave mama their values, and so on. the feminine toughness not only makes the candidate's more appealing to conservative men and women, but it also paves the way for palin and bachmann to be distinguished. they are distinguished from feminists. given that many more liberals shy away from supporting them because they are seen to conservatively, it is a way for them to position themselves to get support. let me give you examples. palin exudes a can-do optimism because it is tough to be a woman leader.
and there has been similar antifeminist language -- in my favorite quote of the entire book that i'm working on. it is a little long, but bear with me. he gets good at the end. sarah palin's feminine appearance, charm, and leadership suggest the leadership of metal law madeleine albright or janet reno. with her down-home extensions, she makes harsh feminist diatribes m.d., meaning that come out of touch, and out of date. her savvy complex demeanor reflects herself as a wife, mother, and a compost career woman. get it all in there. ike margaret thatcher, her soft exterior is a contrast to her tough inner strength. palin simply light up the room when she walks in.
here is a way to talk about these organizations -- [laughter] i'm just reading the quote. it is really important for these organizations to do this. part of the mission is to represent women. a sickly, there is this battle with feminist organizations to say, no, basically, there is this battle with feminist organizations to say, no, would represent women. it fosters one of their goals. conservative women also argue that palin and bachmann's bid for office represents what feminists have long for, which is women's entrance into higher-level office. but it argues that it feminists had really cared about women in office, they would have supported palin and bachmann. it is an interesting challenge for feminists, actually. i did some research on it.
feminist basically had to say, we did not mean just women, but feminists. we had to say, no, we are not going to endorse sarah palin. and conservatives picked right up on this. these debates helped further the goals. invoking the feminine toughness frame to describe these woman captures the desire of conservative women's groups to both reinscribe traditional gender roles, while also supporting these liberated women for disrupting them. it also serves to make feminist look out of touch. and reasserts that feminists are not feminine. and these women are seen as super moms, which helps to promote traditional gender role values and also wanting more woman to be professional and politically active.
i have termed this conservative supermom. as noted in the past, conservative women have chastised feminists for allegedly promoting the notion that women can have it all i seamlessly balancing child-rearing, holding a job in the paid workforce, and enjoying intimate relations with their partner. it is not really accurate that feminists have promoted that, but nonetheless, that is the rhetoric that comes from conservative women's groups. despite the critiques of supermom, which i alluded to earlier, conservative groups actually apply to palin and bachmann for finding ways to fit it all in and for framing what i'm calling the conservative supermom. they were praised for providing a model for how some women can manage motherhood and a professional career and appealing to women who want to have it all, including happily
married to the love of their youth and bearing his children. and for a woman who believes that it is possible for a woman to hold down a full-time ceo job overseeing a multibillion-dollar budget -- here you see an embracing of the supermom. you have that, but what you also see is that they praise the alleged supermom talent that palin and bachmann have, but supermom has some caveats. they also have to abide by personal political beliefs that are essential to economic and social conservatism, which is why i call them conservative supermom's. i will talk a little bit about that. first, these organizations say that palin and bachmann yield to their families, especially their husbands. it has been said about palin that she doesn't need feminist approval for her lifestyle. her double career is her
husband, and he seems very happy with her. this doesn't mean, by the way, that women have no say or that couples don't negotiate with each other. but scholars have shown that conservative evangelicals, who are in important base for the republican party, adhere to the idea of male superiority in the family union. they talk here about the adherence to biblical submission, which also helps to solidify her social credentials. the meaning of this has been debated even among women who say they adhere to it. but it essentially comes from a biblical passage that says, wives, submit yourselves unto your husband as unto the lord.
bachmann's acknowledgment that she believes in submission generated a lot of public debate and scrutiny. it even got played out in the press pretty significantly. and it forced conservative women's groups to explain how it is bachmann could biblically submit and also be president. it is important to note that biblical submission is about harmony and well-being within the home and the relationship between a husband and wife. it has nothing to do with leadership responsibilities, except that no one, even the president of the united states, should treat others with disrespect, or accept a subservient spirit from anyone or demand the total submission of another person's will. a woman who submits your husband does not have a similar relationship with men at work.
a christian woman or man and leadership must meet and fulfill the response goodies for which they are accountable to god and for which they are serving in leadership capacity. basically, bachmann can fulfill gender theological roles, but this does not translate into her political cell. that is how it is exciting by the concerned women for america. it is explained by the concerned women for america. it is central to the agenda of most social conservative groups. there was concern that mccain was not aggressive enough in antiabortion policies, so palin picked up on that when she was running as his running mate. given that republican voters think republican women are more liberal, they are promoting their pro-life perspective and that helped physicians show that
women can be very conservative when they run for office. palin talked about her decision to air a child with down syndrome as a way to appeal to social conservatives. finally, they hinted that their values fall in line with republican voters. after decades of being targeted sexist, conservatives in the gop base are understandably proud to have women making their case in support of limited government and free market. these woman obviously do appeal to their fellow audience, particularly conservative women. these organizations employ what i call a conservative supermom frame. the language also speaks to conservatives by highlighting their beliefs about women and the family, but it appeals to a broader base and range of people.
let me give you the organizational interviews for a second. i'm only going to highlight some of the findings from here. some of this is still in the works. i want to connect a few of the comments i made earlier. basically, i interviewed these these women and how they talked about these values when representing these organizations. i can talk more about who these women actually are. let me go over the interview highlights. in the interest of time, i will do some of the preliminary findings. the first is, the woman that i interviewed indicated that the new conservative woman is not constrained by traditional gender roles. when asked if it was contradictory for her and other conservative mothers to be workplace, one conservative founder rejected the idea.
she said to me, i think the press is wrong to start with. i don't think conservative women are pro-stay-at-home moms. we run the gamut, just as liberals do. there are plenty woman who want to have a family and a career as well. there is a misconception that we are stay-at-home moms and that is all we want to do. most of my friends within the organization feel the way i do. i found this very interesting and i asked her why she got people believe this. why is it that there is this kind of public discourse, perhaps mid-from her perspective, that this is true. she said that liberals perpetuated it. there is this myth out there, but some of the conservative
women are saying it is not accurate. there is a complaint and the leaders that conservatism has been transformed and more excepting of the mother's professional goals. conservative ideology and politics has to be understood in this new light of wanting to transform the understanding of women's roles. this has to do with the organizations and the interviewees themselves and the promotion of palin and bachmann. in reference to their professional goals, conservative women counter the responses in the language of choice. it is a personal choice between you and your family and nobody else should be telling you that one makes you a stronger woman than another one. and when i pushed on the policy solutions that might deal with the tensions of mothers in the workplace, mothers and national
politics, interviewees responded that solutions should be privatized and not come from government social programs. most conservative women opposed federally funded daycare. one woman said, i am philosophically opposed to child care. i said, why is that? and she said to me, honestly, babies are delicious. they are cute and sweet and soft. i think that babies need their mamas and babies need their daddies. that is what i was raised with and that is what i believe in. i don't think i can stand to drop off my kid to the lowest bidder, even if it means saving the world. she had a very visual account of this. most of the conservative women, if you look at activism and is groups that i study and so on, they are all opposed to federally funded childcare. they are all engaged in that activism, like against the family leave act and so on. but in contrast to the supermom
image of palin and bachmann, the interviewees -- and i actually push them on it personally as opposed to reading organizational stuff -- they actually used more complex and nuanced language. to talk about how women manage conflicting goals, to sum it up, tea party leader don wildman said to me, whoever thought you could have it all, it's crap. another leader like and these tensions to playing the harp. she said to me, someone gave me a great analogy. it's kind of like playing a harp to make it work. other times you have to shift to another place and you have to play these courts. a common complaint from conservatives was, you can have it all, but not at the same time. i would like to add that all of the feminists have said the same thing to me. there was one feminist who said
to me that is actually true of men as well. that is something we may want to talk about later as well. but there is a more nuanced account of the supermom. organizational rhetoric has to produce one thing. if you push people on it personally, you'll get something slightly different and more nuanced. finally, in explaining why working mothers may experience difficulties, many of these leaders referenced gender differences. that is, they argued that it is within women's nature to multitask and to juggle. the first thing you've got to realize is that god knows what he's doing in sending babies to young woman and you're making a terrible mistake to think you can establish a career and then in your 40s decide to have a has-been and kids. life doesn't work that way. you have a biological clock, even though feminists have often denied it. and the trouble with feminist studies and what feminist professors are teaching is that women should plot her career
without any thought for husband or children. the main question posed here is how conservative woman in negotiate tensions between traditional gender norms and the desire for mothers in politics. i would argue it is too simplistic to say conservative when art reinforcing and promoting recently articulated notions of gender roles. but it is also too simplistic to say they are not. as palin and bachmann, for example, reflect on their careers, they are reflecting the ideological norms, but also transforming them. and they want to increase the number of women in the workforce and running for office. what can we make of this? from the perspective of conservative women, mothers can be supermoms if their identities is tantamount to professional goals. running for office when you're
the mother of five is acceptable, but best accomplish with your husband's blessing. and i want to note that in terms of constructing gender roles and maternal identities, the assertion that palin and bob and also need to be feminine and attentive to their families confront something feminists have lamented for some time. which is that for women who want to work outside the home, they have to be presented as exemplary mothers. the second point is that women must work things out personally with privatized solutions. the language of choice dismisses the role of power, institutions, resources, and so on. and within this articulation of choice, there is very little challenge to the role of state and economic policies, or structural factors. and of course, the language of choice and personal
decision-making matches well with conservative ideology. it was no surprise for them to articulate this. but i want to argue that the important thing about it is that it translates into public policy goals about how women and mothers, and parents -- but you know, i talk to them mostly about motherhood. how they advocate for public policy. as said earlier, they oppose the family leave act, among other things. there is no support for government sponsored social programs that address work and family balance. except for tax breaks for businesses that offer flextime and so on. there's also very little discussion of lung -- about class differences among men and women and equal parenting. conservative women have recognized and they did say to me there is a change in family dynamics and ultimately, gender role ideology. conservative women themselves are actually expanding ideas
about what legitimate gender roles are for conservatives, not in ways that are identical to what feminist do. conservative women's groups -- conservative mothers are embraced if they fit within a particular idea of femininity. this presents a new idea about motherhood that i think we need to pay attention to and it suggest that conservative actors are actually adapting to a changing environment. in the upcoming elections, we may see a sudden -- a subtle shift. and it might help to soften the image of the republican party. it has been shown to be much more masculinized, less friendly to women's interest, and so on. the way they talk about mothers in politics might affect the republican party in that way. conservative politics cannot be fully understood without paying
attention to the women active in it. this seems like a no-brainer, but if you look at the amount of research on conservative women, there is not a lot. with palin running for office, etc. to bloom a little bit. but there has not been a lot of scholarship on that. and there is cultural significance. through an analysis of their activism, we gain a much fuller and nuanced understanding of the conservative movement politics. finally, i want to argue, maybe in a pollyanna should -- in a pollyannish way, there is an important message sent about the need to pay attention to women's rights and recognition of women's wide-ranging abilities. and of course, i also want to add that conservative women do not suggest it is a feminist idea. but nonetheless, feminists have
clearly affected conservative goals about promoting women in politics. and these conservative woman so heartily promoting a woman's bid for vice president have validated the claim of feminists for a long time, that women belong in the public sphere. thank you. [applause] >> thank you very much. what we will do now is our respondent, deirdre english, will have a response and a bit of a conversation with ronnie schreiber. and for the last 15 minutes we will open up to the floor for questions. christine trust will have a microphone and will be able to
ask questions of the panel. >> thank you very much. i'm deirdre english. i cannot claim to the same level of neutrality and objectivity that professor schrieber brought to this work. i have debated in the past, and not entirely successfully. she was very good. and i have written critically about conservative women in the past. but i have also gone as a journalist with great interest to alaska, to sarah palin's hometown, with something in the spirit that you brought to your work, to try to understand her religion, her neighbors, and her background. and i really appreciate your scholarship, and i appreciate the effort made to try to understand, to see to understand
and then to be understood. i think it is a good principle. i appreciate the respect you brought for your subjects and your own open-mindedness and you're pointing out their importance for social science as well as politics. i think you have established, if there was any doubt, that they are far from being mere mouthpieces for men. these are women who are speaking for themselves. they are passionately defending their believes, which are important to them. you remained an objective scholar in describing their thinking, and the changes in their thinking that you observed. and that may, indeed, lead to greater sympathy and understanding between the two tribes. but in commenting, i will, however fire at you some of the contradictions that are, perhaps better meant for your subjects
than for you, as you are not in the position to question their facts. today, you focus on a great irony that of all things, in retrospect, sarah palin and michele bachmann have become iconic figures of women who can do it all. in sarah palin's case, having five children, choosing to have a down's syndrome baby while she was governor of alaska, and becoming with her husband and her own parents, active grandparents, sheltering her pregnant unwed daughter, bristol, while running for vice president. palin can actually kill a moose, and she has an amazing ongoing presence as a media star. she may well in all fairness be in the running for superwoman of the past decade.
but wait. it's the conservative women's movement, as you pointed out, that has classically blamed feminism for promulgating the idea that women can do it all. who is selling the idea now? what could phyllis schlafly have to say to sarah palin, since schlafly blames women's studies professors for failing to teach mothers to prioritize staying home over working? let me comment on this notion right away. and let's not just let it escape as a sign of progress. it is a mistaken stereotype of what feminism stands for, or ever has. from the very beginning, feminists saw that women were being swept into the modern workplace by the demands of a modern capitalist economy. but first, women were restricted
to the pink collar saleswomen, secretaries, nurses. and it was feminists who insisted that women can do professional work and hold authority. they broke open the law schools, the employment ads, the medical schools, and not to ignore the journalism schools, and many other institutions. they clearly saw from the beginning that women would not be able to do it all, and they asked society to provide for child care, family leave, flex time, and all services that other a dance capitalist countries do offer. for another thing, they asked men to become more active in raising their children. today, studies show that when men are better fathers, families are much happier. and working families have smaller families today and are putting in more time nurturing
and educating each tile than ever before in history, even compared to full-time housewives of only a few decades ago. so the conservative women who say that it is feminists who have tried to get women to do it all without support have got their facts wrong. feminist asked for social support. they asked for men's support. they did not get everything that they asked for, and that is the status quo today. a second irony, perhaps from a feminist point of view, is that had sarah palin and michele bachmann actually succeeded in achieving positions of power, they would have furthered legislation that dan would have denied women the resources to be able to do it all themselves. conservatives are not being terribly logical when they criticize feminists for trying
to achieve higher office. it is an easy charge to dismiss. why would we support women who would further policies that would demand that women who could not do it all themselves would not be given support, women who would oppose government or workplace accommodations for women who are not in such privileged positions with regard to their family resources? when you talk about this -- and i think you did raise this point, professor schreiber -- there is a need for historical and economic perspective. this debate has been with us throughout american history. it is not new. in the case of women's rights,
there were liberal women who agitated for the vote at the time of the american revolution, just as there have been conservatives who oppose the women's vote even into the 20th century. this is a very old debate that we have been conducting. and it has held us stymied in so many ways. i want to talk about this more when we get into the question-and-answer time frame, this gridlock of how long we have to remain in this quarell without making a lot of progress. how long have we been divided? the premodern era was governed by systems that were patriarchal. it wasn't feminism, but capitalism that overthrew patriarchy, disrupting father
dominated productive households and sweeping man and later women into paid labor. we are still in a transition away from patriarchy and into a world of rapid change that conservatives cannot halt any more than liberals can. the political question is, how can we find ways of modern life that offer the most benefit to all americans of all classes and races? and in all parts of the country. this is where i'm often puzzled by conservative rhetoric on the concept of privacy and choice. the state does not force the woman to divorce, to use contraception, to be a lesbian, or to have an abortion, but leaves this to her individual conscience where the laws allow. why then do conservatives believe that the state should have a right to force her not to marry a woman, not to use contraception, not to have a legal regulated abortion?
i ask conservatives, why not keep government out of our private lives and leave it to a woman's religion, moral beliefs, and conscience? conservatives seek to restrict the choices of nonconservative women, which is a style that reaches back to patriarchal attitudes rather than to current ideals of personal freedom and self responsibility. this is one place where i perceive a much bigger contradiction in conservative thinking than whether or not a woman should wear lipstick. one might ask -- is this merely a squabble? this american history long argument, is this merely a squabble among women that men can ignore? i don't think so. we are actually talking about
how to organize our civilization. who has children and how many, the way the sexes relate, whether or not heterosexuality should be the only norm, who will get an education, who will be a leader, whether talented people can rise in a meritocracy without being disqualified by gender, who will care for the sick and the elderly, who will be financially supported -- when and how? these are such fundamental issues that we are talking about, that they get to the core of the lace we live as americans and what the american dream really is. they are not really women's issues, but matters that touch on all of our lives. and men can and do care about these issues. in fact, i would venture to say that this is really not a split between conservative women versus feminist woman, but rather between conservatives than liberals generally. after all, today more than ever, most liberal men agree with
liberal women on these issues, and conservative men and women agree with each other. i think it is interesting to note that in the early feminist movement, many feminists did construct this battle as one of women against men, women generally being oppressed by men generally. but perhaps, feminists have changed, much as you think that conservative women have changed in a way that we have not always noticed. because today, you will find much more that feminists see this not as a battle among women, or as between women and men, but really a battle between liberals, liberal men and women together, versus conservatives, men and women together. and in some sense, it is really a battle about holding onto the past, as conservatives will also
put it themselves, versus a new way in the future, which is how liberals will often say they are doing. i think you have raised the important question of common ground. and you have shown that though defending conservative ideas, the women you have studied have also been actively expanding roles for women. this is a huge paradox. and you have argued that it leads them to some common ground with liberals. indeed, i think we can propose a superwoman of our own to enter that common ground. i cannot think of a better one than nancy pelosi.
she is a liberal feminist superwoman, who was a devout catholic, a long-term marriage, has raised a large family. she, like sarah palin, also enjoys showing off her children and grandkids on the public stage, as if to say woman can have it all, perhaps in different stages. yet ideologically, nancy pelosi does not expect a single working class woman to provide for all of her own needs. she supports a variety of life options for all women and trust them to make individual decisions without big daddy government telling them what they can and cannot do. government in her hands is conceived of as a resource and a support four women and children, not a disciplinarian. if we expect women who do not have money or perfectly enabling
families to be in the workforce, we must do this, provide this for them, or we are sacrificing the welfare of their children. nancy pelosi is, perhaps from the liberal side, an example of what you have described, feminine toughness. she is feminine. and sure, she is tough. you have to be to be in politics. but not ideologically conservative in her consumption of government. conservatives do not have a lock on those trades. one thing nancy pelosi would never do in contrast to those women you promote it is attacked janet reno, and others. she would never criticize a woman in public office for her looks. if that is what conservatives propose, i will have to say, no thank you. so let's continue, as you have
pioneered, to learn about the principles that conservative women stand for and how they are evolving. let's perhaps look more at how liberal or feminist ideas have also evolved and changed. and perhaps, we are letting some of that slip out of view. and let's expand the arena of conversation, by all means. only if we talk to each other can we correct stereotypes and incorrect ideas we have about each other. misunderstandings only make matters worse. let's continue to eliminate them, and let's try to get to what the real issues are. thank you. [applause] >> now i'm sure people have many questions. i would like to open the floor
to those questions. let me begin by asking you a little bit about how conservative women felt -- you said that they felt they were stereotyped by feminist women. what did they feel were the worst stereotypes that feminists had about them? >> essentially, that they only focused on being a stay-at-home mothers and that they had no other goals or desires to be actively involved in politics. whereas feminists, basically, i think, ignore their contributions to politics. that was the biggest concern they had with feminists, in terms of how feminist perceive them. they had a lot of concerns about feminists, sort of broadly speaking. as i noted, they articulate that feminists have promoted ideologies that are kind of premised on man hating and are anti-feminine, and so on so
forth. but mostly that feminists have undervalued their contributions to politics. >> would you be able to comment at all about what you felt their stereotypes of feminists were? >> sure. this is where i thought it was wonderful to do this as a researcher. it is also very frustrating to do this as a researcher. he cut the stereotypes they come out -- i'm just recording and saying yes and so on, but i really want to engage in a dialogue. and say, well, i have to say that -- i want to push them on it and say, i'm a feminist and i know women who are feminists and they don't fit that stereotype. let's talk about why we have the stereotypes and so on. i will give an example. when i interviewed phyllis schlafly, she said to me, feminists are opposed to marriage and children. i am a married feminist with children. i have heard her say this
before. she has written this. i wanted to push her on this. i said, what would you say to a woman who is married, like in gandy, who runs the national organization for women who i also interviewed for my book. she has children. what would you say to her? what she said was, what i meant to say was that feminist promote policies that are anti-family. but basically, that feminists are anti-children, anti-marriage, and so on. >> the institute for study is for liberal feminist women? >> i did a lot of research. i came to this project because -- actually, my original spark for this idea was in college. i was in pennsylvania. it was one of the state that was going down.
there was a big debate about it. for a women's studies class, i interviewed a woman from stop e.r.a.. and i was fascinated with the men who would oppose equal rights amendment. then when i was in graduate school, i had a major field of study about women in politics. and it really was about feminists and feminism in politics, generally speaking. there were some exceptions. there was a lot of attention to diversity among women, but not a lot of attention to ideological diversity among women. there is a lot of scholarship on them liberal feminism, but not on conservative women. >> what about conservative women in terms of class. did you look at that? >> i did not for this so far. there are surveys. i will eventually incorporate that into my research. but for now, certainly, the
woman that i interviewed and the organizations that i'm studying our women from upper income or higher class. i don't like that term. upper income families, generally speaking. there is not a lot of discussion about last diversity among these women. the lack of support for things like federally funded childcare speak to that as well. >> which might be to them equated with paying more taxes. >> absolutely. they believe that it is not like we should ignore the problems. but they do believe that the best approach is to have flex time in the workplace, maybe provide tax incentives to businesses to offer these kinds of things. but it should never be government mandated. >> you offered to say a little bit more about the two different strains of conservativism and his two different organizations. -- and the two different organizations. the independent women's forum represents one strain of conservativism and the
conservative women of america is quite different. would you say a little bit more about the differences between conservative women? >> yes, absolutely. the independent women's forum was founded by a woman who originally founded a group called the woman for judge thomas. after they were successful, they decided to found an organization. they do not take a position on abortion or same-sex marriage. they really focus on what they consider to be economic policies, government regulation of businesses, and so on. they talk about how those policies either affect women or women's perspective on them. concerned women for america is what i would call a socially conservative group. they mostly deal with issues having to do with abortion and issues of "morality." same-sex marriage, pornography, and so on. there has been some great work on this by sarah dunn and others, about the way the
conservative politics have managed to fuse the two. they do not always work together, but some of these groups managed to put out coherent messages, even though the independent women's forum does not deal with issues like abortion. >> what happens to a conservative woman who really believes an individual right and perhaps once very limited government, but also really believes in keeping -- it does believe in abortion rights? there are conservatives and republican woman who believe that. >> i interviewed several of them. >> are they without an organization? >> i think, without power, perhaps. you hear this now from some of the more moderate republican woman in office. >> i raise that question is a contradiction that i see. there is a contradiction between wanting less government, yet more government restrictions on personal decisions.
and on private life. that does seem like a big contradiction. a conservative woman who would make that decision to resolve it is easy for me to imagine a conservative woman who would resolve decision to that contradiction in favor of freedom, individual rights, and privacy. >> i think that is true, and i think they feel like for now the republican party is welcoming enough, in terms of economic policies and so on. and on the abortion part, they are holding their nose. and there are pro-choice republican women in office. those are the women who are growing more frustrated with the emphasis on republican party antiabortion policy. but i think it is not clean. i agree that there are certain contradictions, but they don't believe the democratic party represents the things they are most concerned with.