Loop21.com Talks With Political Powerhouse Michael Goldman
10 months ago
The Campaign Veteran goes on the record about the Obamas, Afros and the Politics of Hair
Michael Goldman is a political consultant who has advised hundreds of candidates and campaigns among them, Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick (the state’s first African-American governor), Senators Ted Kennedy, Bill Bradley and legendary House Speaker “Tip” O’Neill.
Below is an edited version of his conversation with Loop21.com about the role of appearance, racial politics and the politics of hair in the 2012 election and beyond. (Click here to read the rest of Loop21.com's coverage of the Politics of Appearance in the presidential campaign.)
[Also Read: The Moment Obama Became Black]
Loop 21: How would you say the coverage of female candidates has changed since you first started working in politics?
Michael Goldman: Well we’re talking 40 years so the change has been monumental. That said women are still treated differently by reporters than men, particularly the further you get up the food chain electorally.
Loop 21: Can you elaborate?
Goldman: Sure. Reporters like all individuals come with their own biases. Voters also put on women candidates expectations that they don’t put on male candidates. For instance you never hear of a male candidate called “shrill” or “too aggressive” or “not aggressive enough” or frankly, hints that they are too quote “gay looking.”
It’s like there’s always a reason people are looking for to not vote for the woman.
You still don’t have many blue-collar women running as you do blue-collar men. A male plumber or carpenter or local baseball coach can run but females always have to be much better educated to be taken seriously.
I think we saw some of these differences play out in Obama versus Hillary…I mean remember the coverage about Hillary not being emotional enough for voters? Then she cried and there was coverage about her crying. [Rep. John] Boehner [Speaker of the House] cries every ten minutes and no one says anything. Can you imagine if [Rep. Nancy] Pelosi [Boehner’s predecessor] did that? People would have made comments about her hormones or something.