We asked members of the Republican Security Council to nominate women they admire, and to tell us why. We were thrilled by the strong reader’s response which included over 250,000 page hits. We said the nominees should be intelligent and successful women who are role models for the next generation.
RSC members were asked to nominate women who are positive examples and have a strong commitment to the principles and goals of the Republican Party. An ideal candidate would have an impressive education, a promising career, a purpose in life, and goals they want to achieve. Many past nominees were active volunteers in political and nonprofit organizations. The nominees should be women who have a dream and the drive to achieve it. They should be women who best represent the GOP’s future.
Some choices were surprising and a few recommendations suggested by our administrators did not receive the necessary 100 votes to qualify.
Every year there are many votes for celebrities who are registered Republicans but not active in the GOP (i.e. Sarah Michele Gellar, Jessica Simpson, Hilary Duff, Shannon Doherty, etc.). Celebrities who received more that 100 nominations included singer Martina McBride and model Cindy Crawford. They were added to the Honorable Mention category.
WHY ARE WE DOING THIS?
The GOP gender gap is especially significant among young women, and we want to highlight people who are not established GOP leaders. Young Republican women are rarely noticed. Sarah Palin, Michele Bachmann and Ann Coulter already have close to 100% name identification, and they do not need our help.
The women on this page are rising stars, and the next generation of GOP leaders. We hope more women will be in senior GOP leadership positions, but that is not true today in the House or Senate. In politics you often learn more by losing then winning. GOP consultant Noelle Nikpour worked for losing candidates Asa Hutchinson (AR), Dick De Vos (MI) and Rudy Giuliani (NY). She believes “The GOP needs a new image especially with young women and college students. The Democrats have done a great job in capturing these important groups. We need more young Republican role models.”
ACCOMPLISHMENT NOT APPEARANCE
The group is limited to 45 nominees which means many outstanding women were not selected, and they will be considered next year. We asked our members to select the most admired women, and we told them this is not a beauty contest.
A dozen people nominated freshman State Representative Julia Hurley (R-TN), but she was not selected. We admire her for defeating a liberal incumbent and we know she is intelligent and hardworking. However, all the comments we received were about her modeling portfolio and previous work as a Hooters waitress.
Rep. Hurley, 30, is attractive, but our contest is about accomplishment and fostering GOP goals, not physical appearance. Hurley is a young woman with a bright future and we are sure she will be nominated in the future when the focus will be on her legislative accomplishments.
We assume it was part of an organized effort, but our guess is that we received 1,000 messages promoting radio host Laura Ingraham. Ingraham meets all of our criteria except one, she is over 45. If this group was not limited by age, the top 45 Most Admired Republican Women would probably include the women listed below.
First Ladies: Nancy Reagan, Barbara Bush and Laura Bush.
Governors: Jan Brewer, Susana Martinez, Sarah Palin, Linda Lingle and Jodi Rell.
Senators: Kay Bailey Hutchison and Elizabeth Dole.
Representatives: Michele Bachmann, Marsha Blackburn, Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, Mary Bono, Sue Myrick, Barbara Cubin, Lynn Jenkins, Cathy McMorris Rodgers, Shelley Moore Capito, Kay Granger, Jo Ann Emerson, Jean Schmidt, Virginia Foxx, Judy Biggert, Ginny Brown-Waite, Candice Miller, Marilyn Musgrave, Thelma Drake, Heather Wilson, Deborah Pryce and Katherine Harris.
Former Cabinet members: Condoleezza Rice, Margaret Spellings, Susan Schwab, Elaine Chao, Mary Peters and Carla Hills.
Commentators: Peggy Noonan, Ann Coulter, Laura Ingraham and Linda Chavez.
WHY IS THIS GROUP NECESSARY?
When President George W. Bush signed the Partial-Birth Abortion Ban Act on November 5, 2003, he was surrounded on the White House stage by a large group of lawmakers and party luminaries. What was missing? Not one woman was present. We have to change that picture. Few women continue to be present at many Republican leadership gatherings.
IS THIS IMPORTANT?
If the gender gap was eliminated, the GOP would definitely be the majority party. While a majority of men tend to vote Republican, women usually lean Democratic and with bigger numbers. They went for Obama by a huge margin in 2008. Over 70 million women voted, against 60.7 million men, and women gave 56 percent of their votes to Obama and just 43 percent to John McCain.
Men split almost evenly. Women are 51 percent of the population and 54 percent of voters. The gender gap between Republicans and Democrats, in presidential elections, has historically ranged from 4 to 11 percent; in Pennsylvania, a key swing state, it was 8 percent in 2008.
In June of 2012, the gender gap was 32% in New Hampshire where women supported Obama by a 24% margin, while men preferred Romney by 8%. In 2004, George W. Bush lost single women by 29%, but ended up winning married women by 15%.