Panel Says Women Affected Election

Six panelists at a Radcliffe-sponsored roundtable discussion last night concluded that, both as candidates and as voters, women had a profound effect on the 1992 election.

The panel, which included Boston Globe columnist Ellen H. Goodman '63 and Massachusetts State Sen. Lucile P. Hicks, agreed that Bill Clinton's inclusive style attracted a broad base of voters, including women.

Clinton's stand on the economy and abortion rights made him seem more sympathetic to women voters, according to Ann F. Lewis '58, a political strategist and commentator who also sat on the panel.

The other three panelists were Barbara G. Pieper, an Institute of Politics fellow; Lynn Wachtel, chair of Women Executives in State Government; and Phyllis Ann Wallace, an MIT professor emerita in economics.

"[Women] care about the economic issues that are close to them such as unemployment rather than the 'bigger' issues which are more theoretical," Lewis said.


In contrast, the "preaching from the pulpit" style of the GOP Convention alienated many moderate women, said Pieper, who is a Republican.

"When the Republican Party can elect women, it will once again be a party to reckon with," Pieper said.

The panelists applauded the record number of women elected to Congress and statewide offices, attributing theresults to voter dissatisfaction with the statusquo.

Three women were elected to the Senate,including the first Black woman, Democrat CarolMoseley Braun of Illinois.

"Women were cast as outsiders, better, purerand more virtuous candidates. They got votes whenchange and outsiders were attractive to voters,"Goodman said.

But Goodman added that this image has a downside, because "when women [who are] seen asperfect took the first hits, they took these hitshard and their inflated profiles collapsed."

Though this has been a year of progress,women's involvement in all aspects of governmentmust continue and increase, panelists said.

"We need to make sure we have enough women runfor office. The numbers in the single digits arenot enough...even in this watershed year," Wachtelsaid.

The event, called "Elections in the Year of theWoman: Postscripts and Prospects," was held inAgassiz House

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