Gillespie challenges Warner

Washington lobbyist and Republican political operative Ed Gillespie made Virginia political news last week with this video announcement that he plans to challenge Mark Warner for Senate this year. This decision apparently pleases Virginia GOP political activists: state Republican Party Chairman Pat Mullins, for example, called Gillespie a “good candidate” in this Bearing Drift op-ed (intended more to frame Jeff Shapiro as a Warner supporter than to call for a Gillespie run).

Some think Governor McAuliffe’s success offers reasons for optimism despite Warner’s popularity (57% total approval rating according to this poll).  Bearing Drift columnists Norm Leahy and Paul Goldman argue in a Washington Post editorial that Gillespie’s lobbying background won’t hurt him given the way McAuliffe overcame his own political fundraiser history.  And Shaun Kenney, also at Bearing Drift, makes a case that Warner should fear Gillespie’s candidacy, mostly because he believes the challenger will be able to mobilize conservatives in the state while painting Warner as responsible for the Affordable Care Act. Continue reading

From the Archives: Augusta National, Women, and Social Norms (April 5, 2009)

Augusta National, Women, and Social Norms

NOTE: Augusta admitted its first female members, Darla Moore and Condoleeza Rice, in August 2012.  Virginia Rometty was not invited to join.

A pretty big golf tournament kicked off this morning in Augusta, Georgia, at the course Bobby Jones built.  This is one of the most prestigious major tournaments for professional players at perhaps the single most exclusive private golf club in the world. The club has no membership application process, and the only way to join is by invitation.  Until 1990, Augusta had never invited a black person, and did so then only after the three organizations that govern professional golf said it would no longer permit clubs which discriminate to host tournaments.  This was a pretty big deal, and the bid deal today is that the club still has no female members.

This could change very soon.  This very tradition-oriented club has one that will force a decision on admitting women: it has always offered membership to the incumbent CEO of International Business Machines.  IBM recently promoted a woman, Virginia Rometty, to that position.  Augusta will now have to admit a female member or break this long-standing tradition, exposing the club as worried at least as much about the gender of its members as their positions in the corporate world or place in society. Continue reading

Foggy Bottom Reboot

Since a hacker destroyed the old version of the site, I’ve been putting together a new version.  I plan to import as much content as I can from the old and hope to reconstruct something that will hold readers’ interest.  Expect a few posts over the holidays and an attempt to begin posting regularly on 1 January 2014.