Jelani Cobb, in a New Yorker magazine article titled “Voting by Numbers,” which appeared in the Oct. 27th issue, explains that while women make up 51% of the population they occupy just 20% of the Senate seats. Further, Cobb notes that most Americans believe that we would be better off with more women in elective office. Cobb explains several reasons that women and minorities are underrepresented in politics; in particular she notes that when Christine Quinn ran for Mayor of NYC, only 16% of woman voters preferred her in the primary. Somehow women and minorities running for office need to overcome what seems to be a preference among the electorate for white male candidates. Cobb concludes that while one might expect changing demographics to be reflected in Congress, we have to make it happen.
In another article in the Oct. 27th issue, “The Obama Brief,” Jeffery Toobin discusses the makeup of the Federal courts. Here is a summary of recent President’s appointments
Women Minorities Clinton 29% 24% Bush 22% 18% Obama 42% 36%
Toobin goes on to discuss judicial appointments and confirmation by the Senate at length. I only note that we are making progress.
© William Hungerford – October 2014