"Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton could be elected president next year, and Rep. Nancy Pelosi would likely remain Speaker of the House assuming the Democrats retain control of Congress. But otherwise, women’s long, steady march into public office could stall in 2008, and possibly even retreat," writes June Kronholz in today’s Wall Street Journal. She continues:

Women will surrender two of the nine governorships they now hold and face stiff competition over a third. All three women up for re-election in the Senate can expect withering opposition, including Louisiana’s Mary Landrieu, whose seat is considered the Democrats’ most vulnerable.

The nonpartisan Cook Political Report lists 14 women among the 75 most vulnerable House members, including eight women who won office with less than 51% of the vote in 2006. And although women hold a quarter of all seats in state legislatures, "we’ve hit a plateau," says Debbie Walsh, director of the Center for American Women and Politics, a public-policy institute at New Jersey’s Rutgers University.

The bottom line: While women will cast about 53% of the votes in November 2008, based on the past two presidential elections, their share of elective offices seems to have leveled off at about one in six at the federal level, and one in four in the state capitals.

Continue reading here.

This story reminds me of a site worth mentioning: She Should Run, a project sponsored by the Women’s Campaign Forum that seeks nominations for political candidates.

Mary Stier, president and publisher of the Des Moines Register, is retiring next month to follow her dream of starting a national multimedia venture aimed at boomer women, reports the Register. Stier, 50, will become chief executive officer for The Brilliance Group.

"I believe — no, I know — there’s a need for a media group that can serve aspirational boomer women," Stier said. "After much soul-searching, I feel it’s time to follow my dream of serving these women nationwide. And I am so happy that I can build this company in Des Moines."

"When I decided to write this column I got e-mails from career and aging experts wanting to offer you guys advice. Some of it was offensive, frankly. One expert suggests you dye your gray hair, particularly women. This is the kind of mentality that’s getting you all riled up," writes MSNBC contributor Eve Tahmincioglu in this advice column to older workers feeling out of sorts in the workplace. "So stop spending time in front of the mirror looking for every new wrinkle and gray hair. Forget about shopping for a plastic surgeon or Grecian Formula. You have to focus on what you can bring to the table."

Barbara R. Morgan (WVFC’s hero) got back to teaching yesterday, reports The New York Times. "The students were in Idaho; she was in space, orbiting aboard the International Space Station," writes John Schwartz. "Ms. Morgan, who is now what the space agency calls an educator astronaut, told the students that being an astronaut was not so different from being a teacher, at least in some ways. ‘We explore, we discover and we share,’ she said. And both ‘are absolutely wonderful jobs.’"

Five of the 37 American Indian tribes in Oklahoma have women as leaders, reports the Tulsa World. That amounts to almost 14 percent of the 37 federally recognized tribes. S.E. Ruckman writes:

Before becoming the Eastern Shawnee chief, Glenna Wallace served years as the tribe’s secretary, eventually replacing her brother who was chief.

Now in public meetings, Wallace is often asked how she should be addressed, although she answers her phone with a lilting, "This is Chief Glenna."

"People want to know, ‘What do we call you?’ " she said. "Like chief is a man’s word."


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