Monday, May 24, 2010
HAWAII SPECIAL ELECTION SHOWS THE POWER OF REPUBLICAN WOMEN.
BY SCOTT SCHNEIDER
The Republican Party may have narrowly missed the chance to send shock waves through the nation last week by not being able to take the Murtha open seat in the Pennsylvania race but they have renewed vigor after taking the open seat in the Hawaii on Saturday night and Republican women may have had a huge hand in it. Charles Djou took the formerly Democratic seat with 39.5% of the vote after Colleen Hanabusa and Ed Case split the opposition vote and failed to combine for 60%. The seat, which opened up after Rep. Neil Abercrombie's retirement from congress presented a huge opportunity for Republicans to score a victory in what has been one of the biggest Democratic strongholds in the nation, and squarely in the district where President Obama spent a part of his childhood. And what may have led them over the top didn't necessarily involve the traditional underpinnings of a GOP campaign. The Federation of Republican Women likely played a huge role in helping to put Djou over the top.
"Our women in the ground were very involved in the Djou campaign," National Federation of Republican Women president Sue Lynch told me at the Wisconsin Republican State Convention in Milwaukee on Sunday. "In fact, Mrs Djou (Stacey Kawasaki Djou)is a member of the Federation in Hawaii."
Late last week, Lynch put out a YouTube video calling women to action for both Tim Burns and Charles Djou campaigns.
"If you're willing to help us make calls, send a check, or even be deployed to Pennsylvania to help Tim, that would be great," Sue remarked. "We need to send a message to the Democrats of what's to come in November and with your help we can do that."
It's often said that behind every great man, there is an equally great woman and though the Burn's race in Pennsylvania fell short, the Djou race in Hawaii District 1is a shining example of how much Republican women, both young and old have begun to shape the face of modern-day elections in conservative America. Long gone are the days where man's better half in the GOP were simply relegated to backrooms where they stuffed envelopes, made phone calls, and arranged baked cookies on a silver platter. Today's Republican woman is out front and center, running campaigns, running for campaigns, and facilitating the outcomes of those campaigns. They bring vigor and organization, as well as a protective passion and zeal to their candidates that only comes from the maternal instinct for protection of children, God, and country that naturally runs so strongly in all of them. The results can be seen in the increasing numbers of women who are rising up through the ranks of grassroots leadership, campaign and organizational staffing, county and State committees, as well as those who are actually running for State and National office. As of this election cycle, 112 Republican women are running for congressional office according to the RNC and strong female candidates like Mary Fallin of Oklahoma and Carly Fiorina of California are joining the ranks of Michelle Bachman and Sarah Palin who have already made their mark along with several others as this new kind of strong, conservative feminist woman who working and toiling, taking on the slings and arrows of the pioneer to bring about a new guard outside of the good ol' boy's club.
Carly and Mary, the new faces of GOP women.
Such women, I believe, aren't at all in competition with or opposed to men's leadership roles in the Republican Party but rather compliment and enhance those roles and fortunately they've been able to shed the bonds of yesteryear because as far as I'm concerned they can only be assets to the Party.
"The good news is that we have a Republican woman candidate over there as well," Lynch also informed me. "Her name is Ramsey Wharton running for a congressional seat and so we are going to be watching that one real close and making things happen there as well."
Ramsay Wharton is a former news anchorwoman who is running for the 2nd District seat in Hawaii. Indeed, another strong woman candidate who seems to be heading up a growing list of strong women candidates in the 2010 election cycle on the GOP side. It's a foregone conclusion the NFRW and it's state chapter in Hawaii will be sending all of it's forces this summer and fall to help secure another victory in a deep blue state.