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One need only look at the Oval Office to see that when it comes to politics, we've got a bit of a gender discrepancy. In this weekly roundup, we focus on powerful political women in the news who are helping to break the proverbial glass ceiling of policy-making around the world. Politicos, move aside. We bring you . . . politicas. For more on female politicians to watch, click here.
Last Sunday, Croatia welcomed Grabar-Kitarovic as its first-ever female president. (United States, are you paying attention?)
The moderate conservative holds a masters degree in political science and has previously served as foreign minister, ambassador, and NATO assistant secretary general. Moreover, as she likes to joke, she's one of the only diplomats who knows how to milk a cow. (*Likely true.)
The staunch Catholic has supported some notably progressive positions, including marijuana legalization and a woman's right to choose, and charmingly calls her husband a "professional dad."
Reminder here that Grabar-Kitarovic's rise to power as a woman could not have come easy. A local outlet covering the news, for instance, made sure to mention that she's been criticized for her "rather tight outfits" and false lashes, while pointing out that she's a "radiant blonde."
Make that a radiant blonde who now runs a country.
After President Obama gives his State of the Union speech next Tuesday, he'll be followed up with—as is tradition—a GOP response. As is decidedly not tradition, the person delivering that response will be a woman.
The Republican party has tapped Joni Ernst to deliver the coveted counterpoint speech broadcast to millions. Of course, many are claiming that the decision is a shrewd attempt by the GOP to boslter its dwindling support among female voters. As Newsweek put it:
"It’s the second time in a row the Republicans have tapped a female politician to deliver the response. And with good reason. The party needs to attract women voters. Its record on abortion rights and access to contraception has left some women feeling lukewarm toward the GOP. And for the party to have a future on the national stage, it needs more interested (and interesting) women. In 2012, 55 percent of women voters cast their ballots for Obama, while only 43 percent voted for former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney."
While it's true this likely played a role in the choice, and even a key one, it's worth pointing it that Ernst is a solid pick regardless of any gender-courting motives. The first-term Senator from the swing state of Iowa (also not an accident on the GOP's part) is the first female veteran to ever serve in the U.S. Senate. A former lieutenant colonel in the logistics branch, she currently commands the largest batallion in the Iowa Army National Guard. Notably, last year she announced that she had been sexually harassed in the military, an experience that led her to break with the party line and back the removal of sex-assault cases from the military chain of command.
For political junkies, both the State of the Union and its follow-up will be must-watch TV.
Meanwhile, in Hillary-World, this week affirmed what we've suspected (and/or knew) all along: Republicans hate her. On Thursday, Reince Priebus, chair of the Republican National Committee, sneered:
"I think she's just not very good at politics. She stumbles all the time. I'm just not impressed with her political acumen . . . It's just surprising how many mistakes she makes for someone that's supposed to be as good as she is."
In a stranger case of Hillary-bashing, a Super PAC co-founded by former Mitt Romney advisers responded to a Hillary Clinton coloring book released last year by providing "missing pages." The illustrations depict Hills in less-than-flattering situations, from lamenting the difficulty of paying off double mortgages on her mansions to talking about (what else?) Benghazi.
Oh, and also Marco Rubio thinks her presidency would be nothing less than a "death blow" to the American people.
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