Tag Archives: women in politics

The Mother as Candidate

Sheryl Gay Stolberg of The New York Times quotes my book in a front-page story about Lenore Romney’s 1970 race for the U.S. Senate. The accompanying video has some great clips of Mitt Romney’s mother from her appearances as a candidate and first lady in Michigan in the 1962-70 vintage.


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Filed under Presidential Campaigns, Republican Politics, Women in Politics

A Chapeau in the Ring

The July-August issue of Michigan History has my article on Elly Peterson’s 1964 campaign for a U.S. Senate seat from Michigan. It includes some good photos from that time, as well as photos of campaign brochures and memorabilia.

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Filed under Uncategorized, Women in Politics

Phyllis Schlafly’s Child Care

At age 86, Phyllis Schlafly is back out promoting another book, this one co-authored with her niece, Suzanne Venker, and titled The Flipside of Feminism–What Conservatives Know and Men Can’t Say.

Elly Peterson battled Phyllis Schlafly for more than 15 years of her career in politics, first to try to prevent her from becoming president of the National Federation of Republican Women two years after Schlafly’s hero, Barry Goldwater, lost his presidential race. Peterson won that battle but possibly lost the war, when Schlafly retaliated by setting up her own newsletter and her own organization, the Eagle Forum, and then used them as a base for her opposition to the Equal Rights Amendment in the 1970s.

There is more I could write about this conflict–and I probably will. But for now I wanted to comment briefly on the kerfuffle over Venker’s  acknowledgement that Schafly did have child care help during her years of activism. Continue reading


Filed under Republican Politics, Women in Politics

Waiting to Be Asked

Today’s Washington Post brings the story of a guy who arranged for a crossword puzzle constructor to work his marriage proposal  into a crossword puzzle.  A few weeks ago, I ushered at a performance of the local Hexagon satirical revue where a man had made arrangements with the director to do HIS proposal onstage in the middle of the performance.

The expectations are getting high, guys!

But these stories about elaborately arranged proposals lead to a pertinent question: are women told from an early age that they need to wait to be asked? And does that impact the likelihood that they will seek public office? Continue reading


Filed under Women in Politics

Geraldine Ferraro, Part 2

As I began reviewing the life of Elly Peterson, I realized that she shared a painful experience with Geraldine Ferraro–having to respond to allegations about her husband’s real estate “dealings” late in her campaign. Continue reading

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Filed under Women in Politics

What This Is All About

Welcome to my blog! I’ve just spent most of the past six years working on the biography of a pioneering woman in politics, Elly Peterson. The fruits of my labors will be available later this summer when the University of Michigan Press publishes my biography, Elly Peterson: “Mother” of the Moderates.

But as the 2012 elections approach, I find there is much going on that is worth reflecting and commenting on. So I decided to get started early.

In the meantime, click here for  more about my book.

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Filed under About This Blog