CPAC saved the women for last

Many Republicans remain puzzled why the party lost the woman vote in the 2012 presidential election and can’t seem to appeal to more women. Look no further than this year’s Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) and you will understand why.  Watching speakers take the main stage the first two days of CPAC felt like an episode of the 1950s show Mad Men. With a handful of exceptions, all the speakers were older white men, which the Republican Party doesn’t need more of.

Come on guys, we can and need to do better than this. A recent CNN poll found more than 55% of Americans believe the GOP doesn’t understand women and that misunderstanding number jumps to nearly 60% among women. Republican nominee Mitt Romney lost the woman vote by over 10 percentage points to Obama, 44% to 55%.  Romney hasn’t been the only Republican with “women problems.” No GOP presidential candidate has won 50% of women voters since 1988 when President George H. Bush won the woman vote.

Reviewing these grim statistics, one would think CPAC would want to kick off its conference featuring powerful conservative women to attract more women voters and help us win in 2016. Despite the fact Republicans have more women elected governors than Democrats, none of the female Republican governors like New Mexico’s Susanna Martinez, South Carolina’s Nikki Haley, Oklahoma’s Mary Fallin or Arizona’s Jan Brewer spoke at CPAC.  However, numerous male governors and US Senators spoke.

I look forward to attending CPAC each year and appreciated being invited to speak on the well received panel March 8th, “Why Conservatism is Right for Women: How Conservatives Should Talk About Life, Prosperity & National Security.”

But half of politics is an optics game and to the outsider looking at the first two days of CPAC a person might think the conservatism is only for white males.  There’s nothing wrong with white males. They just aren’t representative of all of Americans or conservatives for that matter.

For the most part, CPAC chose the last day, March 8th, of its conference to stack up its women and minority speakers like Former Governor Sarah Palin and Dr. Ben Carson. Some would say CPAC saved the best for last and I think that could be true but after two days, many people leave the conference on the third day.

Conservatives and Republicans alike ask why do women keep voting Democrat when the polices of cradle to grave government dependency, The Life of Julia, do nothing to empower women economically? The reason Democrats keep winning the woman vote isn’t because their message is better it’s because they’ve got better messengers—women talking about women’s issues.

During the 2012 presidential election, Obama enlisted female celebrities to talk about the single issue of contraception. Besides his wife Ann, GOP candidate Romney had virtually zero women talking about the real women’s issues of economic empowerment, marriage, family and education. But the GOP did have a few Republican Senate candidates saying unsavory things about women and rape and as a result, ended up handily losing their elections.

Time and time again, we see the Democrats  “marketing to women,” using women to appeal to women.  And what does the GOP do? We see Republicans using men to lecture women about women’s health issues and “Sugar Daddy” government. Whether its food, clothing, or politics when a person or in this case a woman sees herself reflected in the face of a product, it makes her take a second look. We need women to take a second look at the Republican Party.

Democrats put women in leadership positions in Congress and the Democratic National Committee. Besides GOP Conference Chair Congresswoman Cathy McMorris Rogers, how many women does the GOP have in leadership positions in the House? There has only been one female chairman of the Republican National Committee.

No one is asking conservatives or the GOP to give special treatment to women or minorities for that matter. We’re asking for the party “establishment ” to take off their white old male goggles and see the electorate for what it is—a richly diverse canvas of women and minority voters.  If we don’t start building bridges into these communities, Republicans can get used to losing the White House in 2016 and the foreseeable future.





If you enjoyed this article, Get email updates (It’s Free)

10 Responses to “CPAC saved the women for last”

  1. Rita Ann says:

    Today was the first time and last time I ever seen you in my life MSNBC but you remind of some of the reality celebrities like (kk) you know, who don’t care what they(sex tape) do or say just as long as all eyes on me. You don’t give a damn about the Black community.
    All you want is to be talked about be good, bad or indifferent. Its all about ME! ME! ME! You would sell you lowdown dirty soul to the devil if you could get your own television show you. You probably hate Michelle because she is a brown skin beauty and you want to be her. Well stand in line behind Oprah, Beyoncé,(rich, classy black women) and who ever that blonde taking selfie with Michelle husband during Nelson Mandela funeral. GO ahead do you with ur fake a$$. P.S.
    Don’t forget you are still BLACK!

  2. Autonymous says:

    Keep up the good work Ms Crystal!

  3. Tyler D says:

    Crystal you do realize your black right LOL, you asking blacks to think about things your one of them.

  4. David N says:

    I like your blog. It is generally well thought out and quite erudite. I do think you are right that the republicans do a poor job of marketing their ideas. However, having said that, there needs to be some responsibility on the other side.

    You would think that fifty years of progressive policy has contributed to the destruction of the black family and dozens of cities either like Detroit or on their way to being Detroit, would convince people that maybe there was something wrong with the liberal philosophy. Maybe blacks should look up and say, “are we really better off since Barack Obama has become president?” Just saying.

  5. 17BlackFemaleRepublican says:

    I just recently became a Republican, and I have reviewed the way the Republican Party has addressed the issue of female and minority voters. Without a doubt, the comments said about “rape” and “women” from certain senators hindered our Republican party from gaining any votes. Moreover, I agree with your comment on the “black box” that minorities are packaged in. I believe that what our party’s problem is understanding the millenial generation. According to a survey by the Pew Research Center, 49% of millenials are patriotic, 26% are married, 47% of births are out of wedlock, and 29% are not religiously affiliated. These facts don’t even include that 43% of millenials are non-whites. With a party that is known for their traditional family values of marriage,Christianity, and white male patriarchs, it’s more difficult to appeal to this generation, the generation of our essential future. So when sensitive topics like gay marriage and abortion arise, of course they run in the other direction. All they see are white males and lack any knowledge of the diversity in the Republican party. More specifically, with the first black president Obama, they believe that the Democratic party is more open to all beings, and yet they aren’t educated about the statistics under his presidency.They see a raise in jobs, but don’t know of the raise in long-term unemployment. They see a raise in food stamp recipients and don’t question why more people are poor enough to require the aid of the government. I think the party needs to recognize this and use younger members to reach out to this generation that aren’t as educated about these issues. Otherwise, we’ll be left with another election with an even lower voter turnout filled with the majority of a people still packaged in their “black box”.

  6. Franklin says:

    It’s surprising there is a republican party at all….

    the media has been creating divisions, in fighting and internal wars for years….

    the only difference between the republican party and the democratic party is the number of lies and BS is much higher in the democratic party….

    it’s all about your money and your vote…..your thoughts and mouth are not welcome in any political party….

  7. […] and respected in their own party. Beyond that, the GOP would probably be well served to read Wright’s postgame on the conference, or listen to Obenshain when she tells them that, “White men stay behind, let the women get out […]

  8. Carabec says:

    I saw your panel, you were great! As were the rest. My husband not a Feminist, said what this Party needs is more women with b—s! these women are right and know how to get their thoughts through.

  9. Franklin says:


    If women were first they would complain….

    When they get to close it out they complain….

    what you need to have girl boy girl boy girl boy….

  10. Anonymousest says:

    I just saw your CPAC video. The one thing I took away from your contribution was, “Men should not talk about women’s issues, but the government should write laws concerning women’s issues. ”

    It sounds a lot like Sandra Fluke’s, “You don’t have a right to question what I do with my body, but I yoummust pay for it.”

    If you are going to eliminate half the body politic from the debate, it should not be discussed.

Leave a Reply