2010: Year of Political Mean Girls?

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Linda McMahon U.S. Senate candidates, Democrat Richard Blumenthal (L) and Republican Linda McMahon (R) debate on the stage at the Garde Arts Center on October 12, 2010 in New London, Connecticut. (Dana Jensen-Pool/Getty Images/Getty)

In the final days leading up to midterm elections, some of the most prominent candidates on the national stage are women. Between Meg Whitman firing her immigrant housekeeper, Carly Fiorina getting caught mocking her opponent's hair, Sharron Angle attacking Harry Reid, and Linda McMahon trumpeting her success in the brutal world of professional wrestling, conservative women politicians have earned a reputation as being mean girls with cutthroat personalities who play by their own rules. 

We talk with Gail Sheehy, journalist and author, about the new brand of female politicians she wrote about for The Daily Beast.

Comments [7]


I completely agree with Kelly. The booker should have figured out pretty easily how weak and sexist Sheehy's "argument" was and kept her out of the lineup.

Oct. 20 2010 09:20 PM
Kelly from Salt Lake City, UT

Peg from Ithaca: Point taken. But notice the media as well as the voters don't hone in on Paladino's gender.

The fact that Palin, Fiorina, et.al. are women has nothing to do with them being "mean and nasty." That's my point.

Oct. 20 2010 01:24 PM

This story, about "Mean Girls" in politics, was sandwiched between pledge breaks wherein my local NPR affiliate was begging me to donate because public radio was so different; offering serious, extended discussions of meaningful topics.


Do some serious work on serious electoral issues. And get some balance, instead of the usual lineup of left-wingers that can be found just as easily at MSNBC, or Salon, or PBS.

Then, you might think about asking someone like me for a donation.

Oct. 20 2010 11:49 AM
Carlos from Boca Raton, FL

Take sex away and what you have is a conservative Republican. It is just as sexist to hold these women to a certain standard as it was to hold Hillary Clinton to a different standard during the 2004 primaries.

Oct. 20 2010 09:57 AM
Peg from Southern Tier NY

Carl Paladino (male, republicanan, tea party and conservative candidate for NY governor) is "asserting his strength and standing up for justice" in a "mean and nasty" manner and NY voters ARE "taken aback" and are turned off by a MAN who has gone too far.

Oct. 20 2010 09:50 AM
Peg from Ithaca NY

Starring Republican Mean Girls -

Mama Grizzly SCREEEEECHING in the role of the Wicked Witch of the West.

Meg Whitman - as the greedy stepmother in Cinderella

Carly Fiorina as the evil Queen in Sleeping beauty

Everyone loves a good fairy tale when the evil protagonist loses!

Oct. 20 2010 09:39 AM
Kelly from Salt Lake City, UT

To wake up in the morning listening to Gail Sheehy vomit such sexist comments was too much to take. Why is it that sexism is still so prevalent and accepted in this society? If you were to rewind the conversation and insert "Jewish" or "African American" in place of "Woman," then heads would definitely roll.

As a woman, when I assert my strength and stand up for justice, people are taken aback. If I were a man, they wouldn't think twice. Gail, Maureen ODowd and other so-called liberals join the ranks of conservative republicans who continue to perpetuate this. Feminism IS a four letter word.

Oct. 20 2010 08:55 AM

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