Republican Candidates Should Recognize 'Unique' To Working Women, Mothers

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Although "quite a few" women care about protecting issues supported byDemocratic presidential candidates, such as abortion rights andviolence against women, these "culture-war touchpoints" are not the"top voting priority" for the "60% of women who today both scrambleafter a child and hold a job," Wall Street Journal columnistKimberley Strassel writes in an opinion piece. According to Strassel,no Republican presidential candidate has recognized "the hugeopportunity to redefine 'women's' politics for the 21st century" byrecognizing issues that are "unique to working women and mothers."

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Although the "majority of health care decisions are made by women," neither former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani nor former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney,who are both running for the Republican presidential nomination, has"explained how their innovative proposals to put individuals back incharge of care would help women in particular," Strassel writes.Republican candidates also should advocate "flex time" proposals thatchange the law on overtime pay emphasize that "tax burdens" andchild-care expenses are sometimes "so burdensome" that women withchildren cannot "afford a career," according to Strassel.

AlthoughRepublicans should not treat women "as a 'special interest' monolithicbloc," there are "votes to be had for the candidate who owns thequotidian concerns of this population," Strassel writes, adding, "Andthere are future generations of women voters to be won by the partythat progresses beyond the stale rhetoric of women's 'rights' andcrafts a new language of women's 'choice' and 'opportunity' and'ownership'" (Strassel, Wall Street Journal, 8/31).

Reprinted with permission from kaisernetwork.org. You can view theentire Kaiser DailyWomen's Health Policy Report, search the archives, and sign up for emaildelivery at kaisernetwork.org/email. The Kaiser Daily Women's Health Policy Report is published for kaisernetwork.org, afree service of The Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation.

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