Karen Danczuk (Credit: Twitter)
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.
Danczuk, a British Labour Councilor and selfie enthusiast, stirred things up this week in the way that most politicians prefer to do the stirring these days—via Twitter. On Wednesday, she took to social media to share a story involving her first encounter with British Labour political powerhouse Harriet Harman:
When I first met Harriet Harman she said I was far too pretty to be interested in politics & should be in Girls Aloud. KD
— Cllr Karen Danczuk (@KarenDanczuk) February 11, 2015
The admission launched a predictable #shitstorm. Harmon herself denied the claims, calling it "inconceivable" that she would discourage a woman from entering politics, as others jumped to her defense. It also capped a rough few days for Harman, who was recently criticized for using a (yes) pink-hued "Barbie battle bus" to encourage women to vote for the Labour Party. (Because, you know, women are only interested in voting for politicians and stuff when BARBIE is involved.)
Of course, one tweet does not a truth make, and we have no way of knowing who between the women is lying. But in any case, the tweet has opened up an important dialogue about that ever-enduring idea that one can't be pretty (and, for that matter, a selfie enthusiast) and understand politics. It's time to send that tired notion into a fiery pit of death. Perhaps it can hitch a ride to its demise on the Barbie battle bus.
It's occurred to us that in this weekly round-up of female politicians, we have spent far too little time writing about German chancellor Angela Merkel, who (sorry Hillary) is arguably the most powerful and influential female politician in all the land. We apologize for this slight, and offer up here, as atonement, several words on her.
This week, Merkel made the news for a particularly impressive, exhausting, batshit insane schedule of diplomacy that included: negotiating the bailout package in Greece, meeting with Putin in Moscow, hitting up the Munich Security Conference, handling some negotiations with President Obama in DC, negotiating a Ukrainian cease-fire in Belarus, and attending an EU Summit in Brussels (and what, pray tell, did you do with your life in the last week?)
A story about her week quoted Merkel as once saying, "I have a certain camel-like quality. I have a certain storage capacity."
Meanwhile, last night I passed out at 10 pm after an evening of taking the dog for a 15-minute walk and watching Lord of the Rings.
Bonus Merkel coverage! This amazing Tumblr, Hipstermerkel.
Meanwhile, in Hillary-World, it was another week of straight-up weirdness. To keep the news straight, let's break it down by "wacky" and "substantive."
The New York Times reported on growing issues with the team looking to help bring Hillary to office—calling to mind similar issues that helped derail Hills' '08 bid.
Along with Republican Bill Frist, Hillary penned a rare bipartisan op-ed for The Times on extending health insurance coverage for children.
Political strategist extraordinaire David Axelrod addressed lingering hopes that Elizabeth Warren will usurp Hillary by saying simply, "I don't think she would beat her."
Rand Paul blames Hillary for ISIS. Seriously.
Fox News used a Republican National Committee hit ad as an undisclosed source in what it presented as actual reporting.
London Mayor Boris Johnson apologized to Hillary for once calling her a "sadistic nurse in a mental hospital."
"Sadistic nurse in a mental hospital"? Just another week of Hillary news . . .