Once upon a time, Marsha Blackburn was advised that running for public office would be waste of time and money

A detailed Yahoo News profile piece bears the headline, ‘Don’t call Marsha Blackburn a feminist, even if she is one.” It’s a good read and generally flattering – enough so that her U.S. Senate campaign emailed supporters and media a big excerpt from the lengthy biographical background portion, dating back to her winning a Mississippi chicken-cooking contest at age 10 and before.

The article begins by recounting that, when she first thought about running for Congress, Blackburn visited “a prominent player in Tennessee politics, a man she knew and respected, to solicit his advice and talk about her prospects.” His reaction was disdain.

The political player, whom she won’t name, had been friendly before. But when she broached the subject of her running for office, he turned cold. “He never came from behind his desk,” Blackburn recalled. Up to that time, Tennessee voters had never elected a woman to Congress, except four women who had won special elections or been appointed to succeed their husbands after their deaths.

“You’re wasting your time, you’re wasting my time, you’re wasting money,” he told her. ‘I don’t see how you would ever win.”

An excerpt from elsewhere in the article:

Even running in what has been billed as the “year of the woman” because of the record number of female candidates and increased activism among women voters, Blackburn has done almost nothing to call attention to her own potentially history-making bid or her personal story as a woman who has broken gender barriers in business and in politics. She explains the omission by saying she wants voters to back her because she is “the most qualified,” not because she is female.

In some ways, it’s a surprising stance for Blackburn, a political spitfire and constant presence on cable news who has given motivational speeches and even wrote a book encouraging women to see themselves as “warriors” in a society that more often elevates men as “great leaders.” Blackburn is careful to say she is not of the “men-are-pigs school of feminism.” She argues that women should “rise up and take places of leadership alongside men.” But while being a passionate advocate for women to embrace leadership roles, she has sometimes offered a mixed message on how she applies these rules to her own career.

In a state that has been slow to recognize women in politics, Blackburn has been careful to avoid the subject of gender in her own campaigns, including her current race, where she has sounded themes more commonly heard from male candidates, bragging about shooting skeet and mentioning that she carries a handgun in her purse. When she arrived in Washington in 2003, she pointedly asked to be called “congressman” instead of “congresswoman.” “It’s the name of the job,” she explained.

… In Congress, Blackburn has occasionally spoken out about the need for her party to be more inclusive for women. A member of the House leadership — she is a deputy whip — Blackburn has argued there should be more females in party leadership roles and argued the party has not done enough to appeal to women voters. And she wrote a book, “Life Equity,” that cited her own experience in politics to encourage women from all walks of life to rise up, take on leadership roles and see themselves as equals to men.

But Blackburn has also been criticized for taking positions that some describe as anti-woman. Among other things, she has repeatedly argued against legislation mandating equal pay for women. And in 2009, she voted against the Lily Ledbetter Fair Pay Act, which would have made it easier for women to pursue employment discrimination cases based on pay differentials with men.

Asked why she has opposed bills aimed at promoting gender quality in the workplace, Blackburn has argued that women want recognition over equal pay. “You know, I’ve always said that I didn’t want to be given a job because I was a female, I wanted it because I was the most well-qualified person for the job. And making certain that companies are going to move forward in that vein, that is what women want,” Blackburn told “Meet the Press” in 2013. “They don’t want the decisions made in Washington. They want to be able to have the power and the control and the ability to make those decisions for themselves.”

15 Responses to Once upon a time, Marsha Blackburn was advised that running for public office would be waste of time and money

  • Stuart I. Anderson says:

    Imagine! Believing in a meritocracy rather than coercive diversity. Sounds like a lady who will make a great U. S. Senator!

  • James White says:

    She was advised correctly. If you would like to see her NeoCon DeepState votes, just click my name above.

  • Silence Dogwood says:

    Great for Marsha! She has a great story to tell and should do so. Young ladies need role models serving in the government from both sides of the aisle.

  • Mike S. says:

    For conservatives it is not lost on most of us that while her voting record is decent she nonetheless will ALWAYS side with the GOPe (Republican Establishment). She supported Lamar Alexander, always supported John Boehner and no doubt will be a Mitch McConnell lackey. She is says she is running because the “senate is broken”. Just another feckless campaign slogan that means nothing given her outstanding record of supporting the political status quo.

    • Stuart I. Anderson says:

      So the punch line is. . .? Vote for Bredesen to do your part so that the leftist loons control the U.S. Senate? There’s got to be a punch line or we are nothing more than a debating society.

      Do you live in the 6th Congressional District? That’s where to take out your anti-establishment zeal by voting for Judd Matheny. How about Tennessee’s 61st House District where conservatives are trying to replace Charles Sargent with conservative stalwart Rebecca Burke against a fist full of No Record/centrist/establishment candidates. There are plenty of places for us to wield our conservative anti-establishment sword, but please, NOT Tennessee’s U. S. Senate race!

    • Mike S. says:

      Stuart your statement she “will make a great U.S. Senator” because she is not Phil Bredesen somehow tells me that the bar for greatness isn’t all that high for you or Marsha….and I don’t disagree. Marsha in all the time she has been in the U.S. Congress has NEVER done anything but carry the water of those who insists on maintaining the status quo. Great? I don’t think so, barely average.

      • Stuart I. Anderson says:

        For years after she was one of the key votes that led to the passage of prescription drug coverage under Medicare I could barely stand to exchange greetings with her AND SHE KNEW IT! So believe me, I am fully aware of Marsha’s shortcomings. But Mike, I’m just a beaten down Tennessee conservative, who currently has two “Republican” U.S. Senators with Heritage lifetime scores of 47% and 64%, so when a lady presents herself with a very good chance of being my next U.S. Senator and she has a lengthy tenure in the House where she compiled a lifetime score of 82%, I simply couldn’t be more enthusiastic or financially supportive.

  • Eddie White says:

    James, I looked through the various votes you listed. It is a very extensive list. As with any elected official, there are some votes that she has cast I agree with and some I don’t. I am a conservative Republican, but not a Libertarian. For example, I fully support the Patriot Act. I think it has made our country safer. Your problem is you have no solution. The choice is Bredesen or Blackburn, there are no alternatives. If Blackburn is not elected, you will get Bredesen. We will see how happy you will be with his voting record. Blackburn is clearly more conservative across the board on many issues that conservatives care about, and I will support her.

  • Silence Dogood says:

    We should debate Marsha’s worthiness to be a Senator of Tennessee. Hopefully, she is briefed on Tom’s column and see our reservations. But on Election Day we need to go to our polling place and vote for Marsha. And pray she loves this country as much as we do. 🇺🇸🇺🇸🇺🇸🇺🇸

  • William Upton says:

    Given the alternative……vote for Marsha!

  • Bob Fischer says:

    Yet, she runs from issues that affect her own state. What will she do about pension/banking/ Wall Street reform? Education, healthcare, livings wages, veteran issues, safe workplace and workman’s comp, rebuilding infrastructure, reforming the school loan industry and all the other things that affect the daily lives of most of the citizens of Tennessee? We all get it. She and Diane hate Mexicans. Good for them. Bigots everywhere can take heart that the alt-right is rising again. But what is she going to actually do? Bredeson understands that there is more to governing in a democratic republic than just trying to establish yourself as a demagogue. He is the only intelligent vote for this office.

  • Silence Dogood says:

    No, he is not. And inferring the rest of us are unintelligent is an ineffective way of swaying my opinion. Bredesen will lose like HRC lost: leading in the fake news polls and being supported by the Never Trumpers (like Haslam & Bush). His time is past and he is too bland.

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