Thursday, December 31, 2009

Politicalgirls: Newsmakers 2009

Some made history and others reclaimed their places in the political limelight. One wrote a book and another championed women rights around the world. These are the Politicalgirls that were Newsmakers in 2009.
Michelle Obama She became the first African American First Lady and during her inaugural year advocated for military families and promoted healthier eating for school age children. Hillary Clinton -  Following her failed presidential run, the current Secretary of State threw  herself into her new position of restoring America's image abroad. Sarah Palin -  She shocked the political world this year when she resigned as governor of Alaska and released her New York Times bestseller, Going Rogue: An American Life. Nancy Pelosi - Became the first woman Speaker of the House of Representatives in 2007, and has led the House in passing some of President Obama biggest initiatives. Susan Rice - The first African American Ambassador to the United Nations, she has helped pass a resolution in the UN condemning sexual violence against women and has supported other initiatives aimed at assisting women worldwide. Sonia Sotomayor - The third woman to be appointed to the Supreme Court, she is also the first Hispanic to serve on the nation's highest court.  Olympia Snowe A moderate Republican from Maine, she is known for working with her Senate counterparts. While she did not lend her support to the Democrats on the recent Senate health care bill, earlier this year she was one of only 3 Republicans that supported the stimulus bill. Kathleen Sebelius -  While she hasn't been front and center on the health care debate the Health and Human Services Secretary, helped calm the public nerves about the H1N1 flu this year.

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Politicalgirl: Stylebook - First Lady of Style - 2009 Fashion Year in Review

As the year 2009 comes to close, so does First Lady Michelle Obama's inaugural year in the White House. The year has been a whirlwind for the first lady as she hosted her first state dinner, and accompanied President Obama on several trips abroad representing the US. Closer to home, she could be found championing causes close to her heart such as encouraging elementary students to eat healthier foods and advocating for military families.

Whatever the occasion or the function, First Lady Michelle Obama always did it with style. And while others have often talked of her affinity for all things sleeveless, and her decision to wear shorts earlier this year, I think that the First Lady brought a new sense of style to 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue. I gathered a couple of my favorite looks from the past year.

Whether visiting countries during the G-8 Summit or hosting Stevie Wonder for a night of music, the First Lady was fashionable and feminine wearing both floral frocks and neutral browns.

The First Lady proved that she could pull off an array of ensembles no matter the color - from lively yellows to vibrant reds she always seemed to make a statement. Bold and stylish belts were also a staple of her wardrobe showcasing her toned physique.

Always by her husband's side, the First Lady was often seen accompanying the president to various events at the White House. At the annual Governor's Ball she wore a glittery gray Petter Sororen dress and topped the look off with piles of pearl necklaces.

She kicked off the year wearing a one shoulder look from designer Jason Wu (top left) that set the stage for a memorable year. As the year came to a close the First Lady hosted her first state dinner and wore a vibrant gold ensemble that paid homage to the dinner's honorees, India's Prime Minister and his wife (bottom left).

What looks where your favorite from the past year?

Monday, December 28, 2009

Politicalgirl: Pop Culture Girl - Tyra Banks

In rather surprising news today, Tyra Banks announced that she would be ending her daytime talk show. Speaking with People Magazine, Banks stated that she will be ending The Tyra Banks Show at the end of the current season to focus on her production company, Bankable Productions.

The show earned two Daytime Emmy Awards, and was entering its 5th season where it was known for its quirky show topics like "Objectum Sexuality"and "Grossest People in America".Tyra's mantra of positive body and beauty image resonated with audiences and made it widely popular with young women.

Tyra Banks' announcement follows news that Oprah Winfrey will be ending her own show in 2011, and Banks had been rumored to take Oprah's mantle of daytime talk queen.

Politicalgirl: 2009 Year in Review - Justice Sonia Sotomayor

Source: Win McNamee/Getty Images

This year we witnessed the first Hispanic woman to be confirmed to the Supreme Court. Only a couple months into his presidency, President Obama nominated Sonia Sotomayor, a federal appellate judge to serve on America's highest court.

"[Sotomayor] is an inspiring woman who I believe will make a great justice," stated President Obama.

Source: AP / President Obama, Associate Justice Sonia Sotomayor

Born and raised in a housing project in the South Bronx, Justice Sotomayor has really lived the American dream. After her father passed away when she was only nine, she threw herself into her studies and excelled academically. She has often said that her mother is her "greatest inspiration" and that she instilled in her a strong work ethic and emphasized the importance of education early on.

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Senate Passes Historic Healthcare Legislation

At 7 am this morning the Senate finally passed sweeping healthcare legislation. With a vote of 60 to 39, Senate Democrats tackled one of President Obama's top domestic priorities. The landmark bill was not an easy win for him with with weeks of internal fighting among Democrats and Republican attempts to slow down its passage.

With the Senate's first Christmas Eve vote since 1895, healthcare reform has one more step before it reaches President Obama's desk. After the Christmas break, the Senate and the House must come together in conference and reconcile their different versions into a single bill.

Also on hand for the vote was Victoria Kennedy, wife of Senator Edward Kennedy, former Senator of Massachusetts who passed away in late August. Senator Kennedy was a major supporter of healthcare legislation and spent the majority of his time in the Senate seeking it's reform.

We are incredibly close to making health insurance reform a reality in this country. Our challenge now is to finish the job," stated President Obama.

Senate Bill Highlights
More than 31 million Americans gain Healthcare Coverage
Mandate that everyone obtains health insurance
Cannot be denied based on pre-existing health conditions
Federal aid available for those who cannot afford to purchase healthcare

Politicalgirl: Picture of the Week

Source: Pete Souza / White House 
 President Obama, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, Vice President Joe Biden, Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel
Even though it is only one woman in this picture, it still deserves to be the picture of the week. For some strange reason this picture just makes me smile. I believe it's because everyone seems genuinely happy, and it's proof that they all get along. Aren't you happy that these are the people that are ruling the free world?

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Politicalgirl: Nancy Pelosi - Time 2009 Person of the Year Runner-Up

By now you have heard that Ben Bernake, Chairman of the Federal Reserve, was selected as Time's Person of the Year. With all the criticism of his selection, you might have missed that Nancy Pelosi was also selected as a runner-up on Time Magazine's annual list. Love her or hate her, Nancy Peloisi was a force to be reckon with this year. Speaker of the House of Representatives, she has been critical in President Obama's first year with helping him pass key legislation like the stimulus package this past January.

Here is an excerpt from

It can be foolish — maybe even dangerous — to underestimate Nancy Pelosi. A former stay-at-home mom of five who didn't run for public office until she was almost 47, Pelosi holds the highest post ever attained by any woman in U.S. history, and stands second in line of succession to the presidency. She has consolidated more power than any other Speaker in modern history, scholars of the office believe. In the first year of the Obama presidency, she has used that power — and an 81-seat Democratic majority, the largest either party has enjoyed in the House in 14 years — to pass every item on his agenda: health care, energy, regulatory reform, education, pay equity.

Monday, December 21, 2009

Politicalgirl: Newsie Diane Sawyer

Source: ABC News / Diane Sawyer

It is hard to be politicalgirl and not be a newsie as well. What's a newsie? A newsie is a person that is a junkie for all things news. They log on to newspaper websites like and a couple of times a day. They watch the latest opinion news on MSNBC, FOX, and CNN nightly. And they know all the Capital Hill correspondents and reporters by name.

So the news that Charlie Gibson was retiring and Diane Sawyer replacing him definitely sent a jolt up self-proclaimed newsie spines. Who would have ever guessed that women anchors would hold the majority in nightly news? I certainly did not, especially considering that Katie Couric has only been in the anchor seat for a little over 3 years, and has had a bit of a rocky start. Either way the news of Diane Sawyer's ascension to ABC News' top spot is something to be admired by politicalgirls everywhere.

Overhead on the Hill: Democratic Senators hold off Heath Care Filibuster

President Obama and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D - Nev.)

Early this morning, Senate Democrats were able to pass a key legislative vote in their efforts to reform health care. The vote passed 60 to 40 with all Republican senators voting no on the transformative bill. The pending legislation is poised to cover an additional 30 million Americans who currently do not have health care.

The vote this morning is only the first of four votes that are needed between now and Thursday. The last vote is expected at 7pm on Christmas Eve. While the Democrats are rejoicing about their early morning victory today, the road to health care reform has not been an easy one.

This past week concessions have been made to Sen. Joe Lieberman of Connecticut and Sen. Ben Nelson of Nebraska  in order to get 60 votes needed to pass Senate bills and prevent filibusters. Sen.
Lieberman was successful in gettting legislation that allowed Americans at the age of 55 to buy into Medicare dropped, and in order to secure the vote of Sen. Nelson, Sen. Reid included restrictive language on abortions in the bill.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Wednesday Work: White House, Urban Education Leaders, & Many More

Wednesday Work is a recurring feature that provide the best jobs, internships, and fellowships from the following week. If you would like to be featured send an email to

White House Internship
The Summer 2010 White House Internship is now available on According to the website, the internship is open to applicants 18 years and older and those who are enrolled in an undergraduate or graduate program at a college, community college, or university (two-to-four year institution) or must have graduated in the past two years from undergraduate or graduate school.

Also new to the summer internship is the opportunity for students who are on a quarter system or those that can only work part time (the program is usually full time only) to apply to the program as well. Those students who have the chance to work in the Office of Presidential Correspondence, responsible for the official correspondence from the president, and have the same opportunities as other students. For more information and to apply for the internship, please visit

Urban Education Leaders Internship Program
Another great internship opportunity is a program started by Washington, DC School Chancellor Michelle Rhee to encourage students to get involved in education policy projects.

The program is open to undergraduates as well as graduates students and students can intern during any semester throughout the semester. The program's focus is on conducting research and finding solutions to challenges in the current education system. The deadline for the Spring is January 15, and the Summer program has an early application deadline of December 18, 2010 and regular deadline of March 31, 2010. For more information, check out the website UELIP.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Congressional Black Caucus grows frustrated with Obama Administration

Source: Associated Press - Congressional Black Caucus Chairman Barbara Lee, D-CA, and members of the Congressional Black Caucus

Members of the Congressional Black Caucus (CBC) has made it no secret of their dissatisfaction with the White House the past couple of weeks. This comes as the national unemployment numbers rose to 10% across the nation last month, but went as high as 15% for African Americans. With African-Americans being hit the hardest by the recession, members of the CBC would like more targeted support directed toward their constituents in the form of jobs and mortgage relief.

One of the most vocal members of the 42 member caucus is Rep. Maxine Walters, (D-CA). She has pressured President Obama and his administration to live up to campaign promises and agree to more initiatives to help minorities. Rep. Walters also threatened to vote with Congressional Republicans to kill other bills down the road that are apart of the Democratic agenda.

Monday, December 14, 2009

A White House Christmas

Source: Pete Souza, White House -- First Lady Michelle Obama, President Barack Obama, Oprah Winfrey
President Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama hosted Oprah Winfrey in a special taping at the White House. The special, aired on ABC, featured an interview with the Obama's as they prepare for their First Christmas in the White House.

The First Lady gave Oprah a tour of the White House and talked about the months of preparations it takes to get the People's House ready for the Christmas season. The special also featured a sit down interview with the Obama's about the past year and how they continue to keep a strong relationship despite their new address.

Going into the program I figured that Oprah would toss President Obama some softballs, however she was able to ask him a couple of substantive questions about the economy and his decision to send additional troops to Afghanistan. She even asked President Obama about his slipping approval ratings and whether he has given them any thought.

I’m surprised they held up as well as they did because I thought they would start crashing after six months.
President Barack Obama

My favorite question of the night was when Oprah asks President Obama the rating he would give himself for his performance this past year. "A good solid B plus," he answered and I happen to agree. While President Obama has had a tough year with the numerous items he has had on his agenda, I think he has done a good job so far. I personally think it is too early in his term to grade him fairly, especially comparing him to other modern presidents. Most didn't have to tackle as many problems as President Obama so early on in their administration, so a grade of B plus sounds about right.

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Politicalgirl: Sunday Brunch

Sunday Brunch  is a recurring feature that will give a brief rundown of the politicalgirls that will have their say on the Sunday morning talk shows.

Christina Romer was the only politicalgirl on the Sunday talk shows this morning. She was a guest on the Meet the Press today and talked about the economic forecast for the coming year. Romer is the chair of the President's Council of Economic Advisers.

Source: -- Christina Romer talks with President Barack Obama and Vice President Joe Biden

Houston elects First Lesbian Mayor

Annise Parker celebrating her victory as the first openly gay mayor of a large city

On Saturday night, city controller of Houston, Annise Parker won Houston's run off election to become the first openly gay mayor of a large city.

Ms. Parker won by defeating Gene Locke, an African-American former city attorney by a margin of 53 percent to 47 percent. The final weeks leading up to the vote on Saturday were consumed with personal attacks and mud slinging. Several anti gay groups sent out fliers denouncing Ms. Parker's sexual orientation. While Mr. Locke came out against the attacks several of his major supporters help finance some of the mailings.

"This election has changed the world for the gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgendered community. Just as it is about transforming the lives of all Houstonians for the better, and that's what my administration will be about," stated Ms. Parker on the night of her big win.

This has been a great week for politicalgirls! Ms. Parker's victory comes after Martha Coakley's primary win over four males in Massachusetts for Senator Edward Kennedy's former Senate seat.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Michelle Obama named Most Fascinating Person of 2009

Michelle Obama and Barbara Walters
Last night, Barbara Walters revealed her annual list of the 10 Most Fascinating People. Some of the notables this year included reality star Kate Gosselin, singer Lady GaGa, and Michael Jackson's three kids, Prince Michael, Prince Michael II, and Paris Michael Katherine.

Michelle Obama was picked as the number one most fascinating person of 2009, and gave an insightful interview on her life in the White House this past year.

Others on the list included singer Adam Lambert, tv personality Glenn Beck, former vice-presidential nominee Sarah Palin, and South Carolina's first lady Jenny Samford, director Tyler Perry, and quarterback Brett Farve.

Interesting enough, Mrs. Walters picked President Obama last year as the most fascinating person of 2008. Congrats to First Lady Michelle Obama, a great politicalgirl indeed!

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Martha Coakley wins Democratic primary for Kennedy's Senate seat

Martha Coaklely accepting the Democratic primary nomination on December 9, 2009

Martha Coakley, the current attorney general of Massachusetts has won the Democratic primary nomination for Edward Kennedy's former Senate seat. Mrs. Coakley defeated three men to win 47% of the vote.

Scott Brown, a State represenative, won the Republican primary and both will square of in a special election on January 19.

According to her campaign website, Mrs. Coakley has always been a devoted public servant. She started her legal career in 1979, and has worked in several district attorney offices in Massachusetts.

We here at thepoliticalgirl are excited about the prospect of another woman Senator! Politicalgirls rule!

Politicalgirl: Stylebook

Stylebook is a recurring feature that will showcase politicalgirls' style and fashion.

All to often women are led to believe that they have to limit their style in order to work in politics. However, since Politicalgirls are young and just beginning their careers, its okay to allow a little of your personality to shine through with your wardrobe.

While I don't advise you to throw out all of your two piece suits, or strut into work wearing the latest runaway fashions, you should find key pieces and accessories that will set you apart from others in the office. Add a piece of jewelry, such as pearls or a sensible watch. Supplement your usual black and grey with hints of color like yellow, red, and purple. Try adding a belt to your outfit, giving you a nice stilloutte.

Saturday, December 5, 2009

Politicalgirl: On our Bookshelf

On our Bookshelf is a recurring feature that showcase some of the best reads in the political world. All books that future politicalgirls should have stocked on their shelves.

One of my favorites right now is FDR by Jean Edward Smith. Franklin Delano Roosevelt will always be remembered as one of America's most beloved presidents. He led Americans during World War 2 and the Great Depression. The book not only but gives a detailed look at our 32nd President and his political life, but also a behind the scenes look at the his family roots and his relationships with the women he loved.

Another read for any politicalgirl is Edward Kennedy's True Compass. The youngest Kennedy had the opportunity to write this memoir before he passed in late August to a brain tumor. The book recounts the storied history of the Kennedys, and how he dealt with much of the grief that plagued the family. The book also focuses on his life in the Senate and delves into his various passions such as health care and civil rights.

Politicalgirl: Political Gift Guide for the Holidays

The holiday season is in full swing, and I have a couple of gift ideas for the political-oriented girl.

The Almanac of American Politics 2010 is a great gift for a politicalgirl looking to all that there is to know about politics. Often described the "Bible of Politics" it profiles every member of Congress, as well as every governor. The almanac also includes congressional districts, maps, and census data. A must have for every politicalgirl.

Another great gift idea is a collection of political DVDs. You can arrange the DVDs in a nice gift bag or basket and include some the most popular political DVDs. Some of my favorites are below:

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Politicalgirl: Facts & Tidbits

Facts & Tidbits is a recurring feature that will give little known facts and unusual tidbits for the aspiring politicalgirl. 

Women in the 111th United States Congress

US Senate
17 women Total
•13 Democrats
•4 Republicans

United States Women Senators

US House of Representatives
74 women total
•57 Democrats
•17 Republicans

21 are women of color
•12 African-Americans (12D)
•7 Latinas (6D, 1R)
•2 Asian-Americans (2D)

Politicalgirl: Overheard on the Hill

Overheard on the Hill is a recurring feature that will give a brief rundown of the happenings on the Hill. It will also feature important legislature that politicalgirls have brought to the floor.

The Senate is very close to agreeing on a health care bill. The past couple of days five moderates and five liberal Democratic Senators have been meeting to hamper out a health care compromise.

The moderates are: Sens. Blanche Lincoln, D-Ark., Mary Landrieu, D-La., Ben Nelson, D-Neb., Tom Carper, D-Del., and Mark Pryor, D-Ark.

The liberals are Charles Schumer,D-NY, Jay Rockefeller, D-W.Va., Sherrod Brown, D-Ohio, Tom Harkin, D-Iowa, and Russ Feingold, D-Wisc.

While the public option is no longer on the table, the new plan includes giving Americans the opportunity to buy into the same program that Senators and they staff have, as well as extending Medicare to Americans as young as 55.

The public option only kicks in if private insurers do not participate in the new health care plan.

The bill is no where to being complete however with the Congressional Budget Office needing to score the bill and give the cost of the entire program.

On our Bookshelf: Sarah Palin releases "Going Rogue: An American Life"

Sarah Palin released her new book, "Going Rogue: An American Life" giving readers a glimpse into her life. The memoir not only recaps the 2008 presidential race and her decision to run, but shares stories of her growing up in Alaska and the value of family in her life.

Palin is also crisscrossing America on a book tour. And in step with her "rural America" image, she is foregoing big cities, and instead focusing on mid-range and smaller cities such as Oklahoma City, OK and even visited my home state of Alabama. The majority of the cities she visited are also in Republican leaning cites like Roanoke, VI and Dallas, TX, raising speculation that she is considering a 2012 presidential run.
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