Sunday, February 14, 2016

The GOP (Gentlemen Offering Platforms)

Republican positions on social issues are pushing more high-profile women toward runs for higher office.

The GOP (Gentlemen Offering Platforms)


There appears to be an emerging trend in politics in which Republican policy and positions on social issues are pushing newly high-profile Democratic women toward campaigns for higher office.

It's a trend currently playing out in Pennsylvania and in Texas.

In Pennsylvania, there's widespread buzz about the possibility that the state's new attorney general and first-time officeholder, Kathleen Kane, could end up in the race for governor.

In Texas, it already appears likely that a formerly-unknown state senator, Wendy Davis, will run for governor.

In both cases, these women drew national attention for strongly and louding speaking out against GOP positions: in Kane's case on same-sex marriage; in Davis' case on restrictions to legal abortion.

Kane, of course, made her splash with a pep rally/news conference at the Constitution Center to announce she will not defend PA's ban on gay marriage because she believes it to be unconstitutional.

Davis gained national fame filibustering a tough new Texas law (eventually passed) further restricting abortions.

Absent PA's ban and Texas' legislation, neither of these women would be talked about as possible candidates for governor.

Kane, according to a report in the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, claims to have no interest in running in 2014 against incumbent Gov. Corbett. But her quote (if that's all she said) that she loves her current job and, "I think it's the right time and the right place for me right now," isn't exactly Shermanesque.

Davis, according to a report in The New York Times, was n Washington Monday for a speech at the National Press Club and says she'll seek reelection to the Texas Senate or run for governor.

While Davis seems more likely to get on the path to higher office than Kane does (at this moment), both these Democrats have garnered tons of attention and encouragement solely because the GOP (Gentlemen Offering Platforms) has opened doors for them.

Daily News Political Columnist
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About this blog
John Baer has been covering politics and government for the Daily News since 1987. The National Journal in 2002 called Baer one of the country's top 10 political journalists outside Washington, saying Baer has, "the ability to take the skin off a politician without making it hurt too much." E-mail John at

John is the author of the book "On The Front Lines of Pennsylvania Politics: Twenty-Five Years of Keystone Reporting" (The History Press, 2012). Reach John at

John Baer Daily News Political Columnist
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