The case for more female Republican strategists

Matt K. Lewis Senior Contributor
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Over at the New York Times, Jonathan Martin reports on a new Republican media firm — led by women — and specifically designed woo women voters.

Here’s an excerpt:

“Ms. Gage, Ashley O’Connor and Christine Matthews this week are opening what appears to be the first Republican firm aimed specially at wooing female voters. They are calling it Burning Glass Consulting — a reference to what they see as the need for a focus on appealing to women that is so laserlike that it can burn glass.

“‘We want to get smarter about how we communicate the Republican message specifically to women,’ said Ms. Gage. ‘Certainly there are challenges with other demographic groups, but women represent 53 percent of the electorate.’

“The three strategists will undertake public opinion research, TV ads and general consulting for Republican candidates about how to better reach that majority.”

This makes perfect sense to me.  This is not to say that male Republican strategist can’t help a candidate appeal to the modern woman — just that most haven’t.

There’s still too much macho bullshit going on in the “good old boys club” of Republican consultants. Take my advice for it, some of these guys are straight out of Mad Men — yet they’re advising candidates on what to say and how to act in order to win single females in cosmopolitan areas?

As their website puts it: “Women are the majority of voters and very often decide elections, yet Republicans run campaigns largely directed at men and from a male perspective and treat women like a coalition group. Women’s messaging is rarely treated with the nuance needed to make a strong connection. Women voters are diverse; they care about a variety of issues and see the world in different ways.”

The good news is that the trend of incorporating more women in GOP leadership positions is catching on. The NRCC, for example, once felt more like a frat house than a political committee. Today, the committee is led by a female staffer. Other Republican media firms, such as Something Else Strategies, already include female partners.

I’m not suggesting we kick the men out. We need them. The sexes compliment each other. But were I a politician, I sure as hell wouldn’t make any big decisions about messaging unless at least one smart woman — who was in a position to speak her mind — signed off on it.

Matt K. Lewis