This hardly seems like a coincidence

Your editor wonders if Arianna Huffington was getting in a dig at our President with this story.


Unemployment For Women Not Getting Better


Unemployed Women The woman — dressed in a crisply-ironed blue dress, practical and polished flats and the perfect shade of red lipstick to complement her smooth alabaster skin and ebony hair — approached the microphone. What she said next made the audience at an October forum on joblessness gasp.

“Ladies and gentlemen, I stand before you,” Gayle Leslie said, “as a woman with a college degree, as someone who is incredibly well networked, congenial, flexible and determined and who has never stopped looking for work. But after almost three years without a job, I am also the face of homelessness.”

The last time Leslie had a full-time job, she was responsible for producing voters for Barack Obama. Today, the 51-year-old former copywriter and event planner, is homeless.

More at the link. The story itself is about the unemployment rate for women. The article looks at the employment numbers released by the Bureau of Labor Statistics, and points out that while the unemployment rate for women 20 and over is lower than that for same aged men, 7.8% vis-à-vis 8.3%, that the unemployment rate for women, which didn’t rise nearly as high for women as it did for men, has remained fairly stagnant, while the rate for men has dropped from its peak of 9.9% at the end of the second quarter of 2009, which is technically the beginning of the recovery. The article noted that women held 66% of the government jobs which have been cut.

What the article had nothing to do with was President Obama, but instead followed plight of Gayle Leslie, the woman who worked so hard all her life, and is now broke, exhausted her unemployment benefits last year, and is surviving upon “the kindness of friends.” Yet, of all of the women the article author, Janell Ross, could have used as the “human face of the story hook” in the article, your editor finds it ironic that she chose a formerly successful woman whose last full time job was working for the 2008 election of Barack Obama. Coincidence?

11 Comments

  1. Looking at the unemployment data including race, in concert with the electoral breakdown from the 2008 election, your editor finds some interesting facts:

    • White men, who gave 41% of their votes to Barack Obama and 57% to John McCain, have an unemployment rate of 7.3%
    • White women, who gave 46% of their votes to Barack Obama and 53% to John McCain, have an unemployment rate of 6.9%
    • Black men, who gave 95% of their votes to Barack Obama and 5% to John McCain, have an unemployment rate of 16.2%
    • Black women, who gave 96% of their votes to Barack Obama and 3% to John McCain, have an unemployment rate of 12.6%

    While the current employment advantage for women exists regardless of whether one voted for Barack Obama or John McCain, it seems that the more likely it is that you voted Barack Obama in 2008, the more probable it is that you are unemployed today. Coincidence?

  2. The Editor ponders: Your editor wonders if Arianna Huffington was getting in a dig at our President with this story.

    Ms. Huffington was a staunch supporter of Barack Obama in 2008–as gushing as Chris Matthews in her support of the current POTUS–but as recently as this morning, her commentary as a panelist This Week Ms. Huffington was anything but supportive of the president’s reelection.

    The article which was posted by Editor, delves into the reality that female unemployment has remained stagnant, unlike the creative spin by the Obama Administration. It is not the only example of Ms. Huffington’s growing disillusion with the Democratic president. Last month, for example, she expressed her disappointment in the man she once cheered in an interview with NY Magazine:

    Huffington says now that she is disappointed in Obama and could even see herself voting Republican in the next presidential election. “To me,” she says, “the issues are more important than the party.” She pauses. “Trust me, I realize how hard it is to change the system, but Obama has demonstrated only the fierce urgency of sometime later, and at the same time the middle class is under assault”—she smiles—“which is of course the topic of my last book.”

    http://nymag.com/news/media/arianna-huffington-2011-11/

    [Comment edited to indicate blockquote; no changes made in content. -- Editor]

  3. A correction has been made in my article; I had originally missed that the woman who is the “human face” of the article had her full name published, which Janell Ross has pointed out to me. She also noted that Miss Leslie “was one of many women I interviewed while reporting this story. I felt that the audience’s response to her story at a forum on joblessness served as a useful example of how unaware many people are of the economic struggles of middle-aged women.”

    Miss Ross stated that she was choosing not to comment on the political aspects of my article, as is her right, but I do not see how, in selecting the one (?) woman she interviewed out of many being a former campaign worker for Preside Obama, does not carry with it political undertones.

  4. The light at the end of his rope wrote:

    It’s a little late for Huffington to be complaining about the policies of the man she helped put in office.

    Well, she’s just one of millions of people who voted for Mr Obama in 2008 who are somewhat dissatisfied with the man they elected. There are a lot of people at the ends of their ropes now.

    I was told that if I voted for John McCain and Sarah Palin, incompetents who didn’t know what they were doing would take over the presidency, and the economy would get much worse. Well, I did vote for John McCain and Sarah Palin, and the people who told me what the consequences would be were exactly right. :(

  5. Gretchen is correct about Arianna Huffington’s disappointment with President Obama, but I have never seen/heard her say that she would vote Republican next time. Therefore I question whether she did say that, unless she might have been thinking of Huntsman or Roemer, both of whom could be tempting for disaffected Dems.

    But with a Repub President we would get the same dysfunctional/do-nothing/corrupt party too. My take is that very few Dems would vote Republican, but then there are the Independents who will have significant influence over the outcome of our upcoming general election – they are the key to victory for either party.

    Will Ron Paul form a third party? That’s another possibility!

    Under the circumstances President Obama inherited from the warhawk/freespending Repubs who led us into our Great Recession, and in the face of a Republican Senate and House whose first priority has been to prevent a second term, the President has improved our economy, therefore has done a creditable job. I do not think the voters will want to see a change to a party which has demonstrated that they are not able or fit to govern.

  6. WW wrote:

    Gretchen is correct about Arianna Huffington’s disappointment with President Obama, but I have never seen/heard her say that she would vote Republican next time. Therefore I question whether she did say that, unless she might have been thinking of Huntsman or Roemer, both of whom could be tempting for disaffected Dems.

    Actually, Gretchen gave the link for it, directly below the paragraph; if you follow the link, you’ll see it at the bottom of page two. Gretchen did forget to blockquote it in her comment, which I have fixed.

    But with a Repub President we would get the same dysfunctional/do-nothing/corrupt party too. My take is that very few Dems would vote Republican, but then there are the Independents who will have significant influence over the outcome of our upcoming general election – they are the key to victory for either party.

    If the Republicans win control of the Senate, retain the House, and capture the Presidency, why would you assume that we would have a dysfunctional, do-nothing Congress? One would assume that they would pass the necessary laws and appropriations for the Republican agenda . . . unless, of course, the Democrats manage to block such via the filibuster. Should that happen, you will doubtlessly approve, and if nothing gets done, rather than blame the Democrats, you’ll blame the Republicans.

    I agree that relatively few Democrats will vote Republican, and that it will be the independents who decide the elections; that’s pretty much always the case. President Obama is virtually guaranteed 40% of the vote, as is the Republican nominee; it’s only the 20% in the middle which is up for grabs.

    Under the circumstances President Obama inherited from the warhawk/freespending Repubs who led us into our Great Recession, and in the face of a Republican Senate and House whose first priority has been to prevent a second term, the President has improved our economy, therefore has done a creditable job. I do not think the voters will want to see a change to a party which has demonstrated that they are not able or fit to govern.

    The Republicans control the Senate? How odd that I missed that. But the voters didn’t seem to give President Obama much credit for having “improved our economy” when they went to the polls in 2010. Perhaps they see President Obama’s “accomplishments” somewhat differently than you do.

  7. Dear Editor,
    Gretchen had NO idea what that b-quote thingee was. Thank you for correcting her error of omission. She will try to remember the function of b-quote in the future…and she will also do her best not to speak of herself in the third person while posting.
    Signed,
    Gretchen’s keyboard

  8. Mr. Editor, the art of governing is dependent upon being willing to compromise. That the Repubs have refused to do under President Obama. Moreover, I can hear you complaining already should the Dems ever use the filibuster, yet not a word from you about it when the Repubs have broken all records in their use of it to obstruct the US Senate. That’s just the way it is with you oligarchs.

Comments are closed.