The Watercooler ~ More Iron Ladies?

Remember Elizabeth Emken? She was the dark horse here in California who challenged U.S. Senator Dianne Feinstein for her senate seat in 2010 and has now announced her run for Congress’ 7th district in 2014.

She’s written an interesting piece challenging the Republican Party to provide more support to women who run for office. And for those women who dare to take the plunge, she offers this advice:

Margaret Thatcher was a true leader who broke into the boys’ club and led Britain to an economic rebound. Here in the New World, we should encourage Republican women to channel their “inner Maggie.”

She goes on to explain one reason why the Democrats get away with smearing Republicans with an anti-women theme:

Of the 20 women currently serving in the U.S. Senate, only four are Republicans. In the House, the GOP claims just 19 of the 78 congresswomen. Here in California, Republican women fare no better, with only 2 of the 11 female state Senators and 6 of 21 Assemblywomen sporting an “R” after their names.

Then the clincher, which I agree with fully:

We have an impressive number of incredibly accomplished women in the Republican Party, but they won’t consider running for public office until there’s a consistent support system in place.

Lest you think I’m going to leave you with the impression that this is one more self-flagellating piece about how awful Republicans (especially conservative ones) are, Emken provides hope for changes on the horizon:

Fortunately, help is on the way. The Republican National Committee just announced its “Women on the Right Unite” program that will ensure Republican women candidates get the support, mentorship and resources to be successful both as they enter politics or seek higher offices. The National Republican Congressional Committee has joined this effort with its own “Project GROW” that is designed to empower, engage and encourage female candidates and women voters.

And yes, I know that conservatives have little trust in either the RNC or the NRCC right now, but perhaps bringing more conservative women on board will persuade them to stop acting like they’re afraid of their own shadows. And that’s the key here. We have to make sure the women they are supporting are truly conservative.

The Watercooler is always an open thread.