National Journal - People not focusing on Herseth record.

An avid reader sent this on to me from an article in today's National Journal regarding Democratic Congresswoman Stephanie Herseth:
As the youngest woman in a Congress dominated by older men, however, Herseth finds that the media aren't always interested in focusing on her speeches and her legislative record. The politics1.com Web site named Herseth as the "hottest woman in politics" in 2004, and her switch to a new hairstyle, including blond highlights, prompted one observer to tell The Hill newspaper in May that she'd gone "from bookworm to bombshell."

and...

The publicity that Herseth attracts has some Republicans grumbling.

South Dakota GOP Chairman Randy Frederick noted that while the state's press corps regularly scrutinizes Johnson and Republican Sen. John Thune, Herseth has enjoyed a "free ride" in coverage. "Rarely do I see anything from the press that seems critical of her or takes her to task," Frederick said, adding that "she almost has this 'princess' aura -- she can do no wrong."
I'd have to agree that the media tends to focus on her looks rather than her record. But then again, most male reporters aren't going to look and fantasize like a juvenile about Thune or Johnson in pajamas having a naughty pillow fight.

The State GOP had a press release about Herseth voting with Democrats on opening up 2,000 acres of the Artic National Wildlife Refuge to oil and gas exploration which would reduce imports and improve supply. Did it get any amount of play whatsoever? Nada.

But talk about Stephanie's hair? It lights up the blogosphere.

Is there a double standard in South Dakota and some of the Washington media? You bet. Is it going to change anytime soon? Probably not. Which is a bit disappointing for my daughters or my wife, or any other female who would someday aspire to run for office.

Focus on the issues and less on what a candidate is wearing. Then we can decide who is the best for our state on something tangible.

Comments

Anonymous said…
The last line is interesting juxtaposed to the headline in the following post. Maybe you should take your own advice. ;-)
PP said…
Probably. (But, I always need a catchy headlline.)
Anonymous said…
You don't have to read a newspaper or a blog to find out what's going on with or Congresswoman. She covers the state from one end to the other and her office and staff are readily available. Any questions or concerns that I have ever had were taken care of to my satisfaction, and thats all I give a rip about. Not what the Hill the Argus or the SDWC think about her freakin hair cut.
Anonymous said…
Here we go again with the hair thing in S.D. politics.
I think the last time this happened it went from Herseths hair to Kate Loobys hair and at the end of the days there were over thirty comments sent in on the topic.
There has to be more to think about than bad hair here. But I guess it's entertaining enough to capture everyone's attention so let the bloging begin.
Anonymous said…
did you read before you opened your mouth?

I think PP was saying that it shouldn't be what matters.
Anonymous said…
I just read the whole profile. There is a lot of positive things there. Maybe you should print those too.

Anyway, the headline is a little misleading. You should also note that the brief section you quote only notes that the media "aren't always" covering her record. It doesn't say that nobody is covering her record.

More than half the NJ profile is about her record.
Stevo said…
let's hear more about the Princess in pajamas having a naughty pillow fight! that's much more fun than her record, which basically shows she believes in nothing except her own career, a Larry Pressler in the making
gt said…
people talk about her hair because she's so vacuous there's nothing else to talk about
Anonymous said…
Herseth votes Republican, that's why she wins. Pull an Adelstein, Steph, and switch parties to show your true colors.
BUD said…
ah, the banality of congresswoman herseth...progressives will get nowhere with her
Anonymous said…
actually, I think the only place I've seen a discussion of Herseth's hair is on this blog.
Anonymous said…
didn't Steve Hemingson first call stephanie "the princess"?

why, yes he did. he called her "Princess Stephanie from the Democratic Duchy Of Herseth in Northeastern South Dakota". you can't find it online, but Dakota Politics reprinted part of Hemmingson's quote:

http://southdakotapolitics.blogs.com/south_dakota_politics/2004/week5/index.html#entry-789746
Anonymous said…
Frederick is right that she gets zero scrutiny, but he should say the same thing about Johnson. As for Rounds and Thune, they get attacked regularly...it's liberal bias, of course, but maybe part of it is also that The Princess is so inconsequential that nobody cares...she's only interesting as it relates to her new hairdo and hot pants
et said…
she may not do anything politically, but there is a case to be made for eye candy....i'd like to have Dick Cheney running things, but a Stephie centerfold on my wall
Anonymous said…
so does she have a boyfriend of what??!! i not bashful...i'll ask her out...she kinda a flirted with me last time i met her. "so you're saying there's a chance?!"
feasant said…
One in a huge crowd and in the minority party, what did South Dakotans think was going to happen? Miss Herseth will get nothing done because she is too busy trying to steal Thune's thunder. Go do your own thing Miss Herseth.

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