January 25th, 2011
04:10 PM ET

Women politicians more effective than men?

FROM CNN's Jack Cafferty:

Turns out you can add politics to the list of things that women do better than men. It's a long list.
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The Daily Beast reports on a new study that shows female politicians are among the most productive and persuasive ones in the country.

This research in the American Journal of Political Science is the first to compare the performance of male and female politicians. It shows women do a better job at securing pork for their home districts and shaping policy.

From 1984 to 2004, women politicians won about $50 million more a year for their districts than men did.

As for policy, women sponsored more bills and attracted more co-sponsors than their male counterparts. The female politicians' bills also made it further through the legislative process and got more media attention.

The authors say this is because women do a better job at "logrolling, agenda-setting, coalition building and other deal-making activities."

They suggest women make better politicians because they have to. Consider that women hold less than one in five of all national seats, so the ones who make it to Washington better be pretty good.

The study concludes that in order to overcome any bias against women in leadership roles, these female politicians have to work even harder to be seen as equals.

Sound familiar?

They call their study "The Jackie (and Jill) Robinson Effect," a reference to the first African-American player in Major League Baseball. He was also one of the greatest of all time.

The comparison here is that because of racism during Robinson's era, black baseball players had to be better than whites to make it to the big leagues.

Here’s my question to you: Why are women politicians more effective than men?

Interested to know which ones made it on air?


November 18th, 2010
03:57 PM ET

Will Pelosi as minority leader help or hurt Dems in 2012?

FROM CNN's Jack Cafferty:

She's a big part of the reason the Democrats got crushed in the midterm elections.
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Nancy Pelosi was seen as arrogant in her determination to help shove health care reform down the country's throat. Remember: "Vote for it so you can find out what's in it?"

She controlled a huge majority in the House of Representatives - that did virtually nothing about creating jobs as the country labored under the weight of a horrible recession and almost 10 percent unemployment.

Now in the wake of the midterm shellacking, Ms. Pelosi - who was targeted by Republicans in races all over the country as the face of the enemy - is insisting on remaining as minority leader in the House.

Some members of her own party wanted her to step aside, but Pelosi seldom has time for consideration of much of anything except Ms. Pelosi.

With some behind-the-scenes arm twisting, she has managed to get herself elected as minority leader in the house. Republicans must be giddy. Maybe they will throw a party for her like the one she threw for herself to celebrate her "accomplishments."

If Pelosi accomplishes as much for her party in the next 2 years as she did in the last 2, the Republicans may have all the seats in the house and senate come January of 2013.

Here’s my question to you: Will Nancy Pelosi remaining as House minority leader help or hurt the Democrats in 2012?

Interested to know which ones made it on air?


Filed under: Nancy Pelosi • Senate
November 8th, 2010
04:01 PM ET

Time for Nancy Pelosi to go away?

FROM CNN's Jack Cafferty:

Some people just don't know when to call it quits - and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi is looking like one of them.

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Despite her party being crushed in last week's midterm elections - despite her party losing control of the House of Representatives - Pelosi wants to stay on as the Democrats' minority leader in the House.

But a growing number of Democrats are having none of it.

Fox News is reporting a group of defeated Democrats has written a letter urging Pelosi to step aside.

The draft letter suggests that with Pelosi in charge, "the hangover of 2010 stands no chance of subsiding."

Other Democratic House members have said they will vote against Pelosi if she insists on running for minority leader.

The Republicans couldn't be happier. They're positively giddy at the prospect of Democrats keeping Pelosi as their leader in the House. It's generally agreed that Pelosi and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid drove the Democrats off the cliff.

An analysis of TV ads shows more money was spent and more commercials were run against Nancy Pelosi in the midterms than against any other congressional leader since Newt Gingrich. More than $65 million was spent on more than 161,000 ads targeting Pelosi.

Is she oblivious to this?

A poll taken right before the midterms showed Pelosi with an anemic 26 favorable rating and a 53 percent unfavorable rating.

Here’s my question to you: Isn't it time for Nancy Pelosi to just go away?

Interested to know which ones made it on air?


October 14th, 2010
05:00 PM ET

Pelosi hurt the Democrats in midterms?

FROM CNN's Jack Cafferty:

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi may wind up doing in her own party in the midterm elections.
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Jonathan Allen writes for Politico on how Pelosi, even more so than President Obama, could be the heaviest drag on the Democrats' hopes of holding onto the House in November.

All around the country, Republicans are using Pelosi's image on billboards, in mailers and in video clips to encourage voters not to support the Democratic candidate.

In Florida, billboards show one Democrat as a marionette with Pelosi as the puppeteer; and the National Republican Congressional committee is airing anti-Pelosi ads in dozens of districts that show how often a Democratic lawmaker has voted with Pelosi.

Midterm elections are usually seen as a referendum on the president, but Allen writes that if the Democrats lose the House, it's as likely to be a rejection of Pelosi, one of the most unpopular figures in U.S. politics today.

One expert says the strategy of demonizing Pelosi didn't work for the Republicans in the past two elections, but this time around it just might. He says the "vitriol" against Pelosi is similar to what Democrats showed against Newt Gingrich.

And Democrats are feeling the pressure. Several of them have already said they will not vote for Pelosi as speaker in the next Congress, that is if their party manages to keep control.

Other Democrats insist the GOP is pouncing on Pelosi because she has been so successful passing legislation such as health care and Wall Street reform.

Here’s my question to you: How much might House Speaker Nancy Pelosi hurt the Democrats in the midterm elections?

Interested to know which ones made it on air?


Filed under: Democratic Race • Democrats • Nancy Pelosi
August 10th, 2009
05:00 PM ET

Pelosi & Hoyer: Town hall protests 'un-American'

FROM CNN's Jack Cafferty:

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Majority Leader Steny Hoyer write in a USA Today op-ed that opponents of the debate "are afraid not just of differing views - but of the facts themselves". They claim that "drowning out the facts" is how this country has failed many times at overhauling health care.

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Although they say dialogue is at the heart of democracy. These Democrats describe the protests as an "ugly campaign" that misrepresents reform and disrupts the discussion. They point to tactics that have included: hanging in effigy one Democratic congressman, holding a sign that showed a tombstone with the name of another lawmaker, and shouting "Just say no" over those who wanted to have a real discussion on reform.

Pelosi and Hoyer insist that despite the disruptions, members of Congress will listen to their constituents and explain the reform. They say they're confident that their health care plan will stand up to any critics.

Meanwhile, Republicans insist the protests are legitimate. Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell calls complaints from Democrats "absurd". He says attacking people for expressing their opinions "may indicate some weakness in their position." McConnell says the fact is Americans are concerned about health care reform, and the Democrats need to deal with that.

Here’s my question to you: House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Rep. Steny Hoyer call the town hall protests against health care reform "Un-American." Are they?

Interested to know which ones made it on air?


Filed under: Health care • Nancy Pelosi • Steny Hoyer