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What a week in politics! The “binders full of women” moment exploded in a wide-ranging, national conversation.  It appeared everywhere from Facebook images going viral, to people writing hilarious reviews of binders on  You’ve got to check them out.

Of course it’s about more than just binders per se, that is at issue here -- and on this show we’re going to talk about what was said for real during the second presidential town hall debate.  What policies are the candidates standing for and what policies are the candidates avoiding?

**You can hear the whole show now by clicking here to get the podcast:

Special guests include:

  • Avis Jones-DeWeever , Executive Director of the National Counsel of Negro Women (@sistahscholar)
  • Joel Silberman, Founder and President, Media Talent 2.0 Inc (@JoelSilberman)
  • Celinda Lake, Pollster and Political Strategist for the Democratic Party (@celindalake)
  • Claire Moshenberg, MomsRising Associate Campaign Director (@cmoshenb)
  • Lisa Maatz, Director of Public Policy and Government Relations, American Association for University Women (@lisamaatz)


***LISTEN to the entire “MomsRising with Kristin Rowe-Finkbeiner” radio show here:


Women, Binders, Dinner, oh my! The Presidential Town Hall Debate Analyzed 

MomsRising Radio with Kristin Rowe-Finkbeiner Highlights:

Avis Jones DeWeever is the Executive Director of the National Counsel of Negro Women:

On ensuring high voter turnout on Election Day and recognizing voter suppression tactics (At 10:10 on iTunes

“We understand how important the right to vote is because we’re not that far away from having to fight for a great deal, and so we value it tremendously...We need to make sure that people are organized around the nation to make sure that voting happens, that voters are not bamboozled by a lot of the misinformation that’s out there. [Voter ID] is really an issue that’s meant to suppress the black vote and the vote of young people. Though we are winning victories in the court system as it relates to all of these voter ID laws, we’ve seen a backup strategy that’s been increasing and that’s been just out and out lies and intimidation.  We’ve  seen billboards popping up all over, places like Ohio, very key states, that look very ominous and say that voter fraud is a felony and you can be fined $10,000, three and a half years in jail, and interestingly, they just seem to be popping up in black neighborhoods.” 

“I don’t think that’s a coincidence.  And you know, we’re seeing black radio stations putting out those same sort of messages. When you see those types of shenanigans going on, like particular organizations that are being developed right now meant to recruit one million poll watchers who are going to be stationed disproportionately at black and brown precincts specifically for the intention of intimidating voters, we know that we have a lot to fight against.  So what we’re doing is we’re educating the public, letting them know that they do have this right; letting them know that first and foremost, not only vote but vote now,  and vote early if at all possible.  And don’t be intimidated -- if you’re in a situation and you’re being questioned, we’re letting people know that they can call 1-866-OUR-VOTE, speak to an attorney live on the phone, and they can let them know what they need to do in order to exercise their right to vote.”

Joel Silberman is the Founder and President, Media Talent 2.0 Inc:

On what body language can tell us (At 16:13 on iTunes

“The most interesting thing for me was that clearly Romney was prepared for the president to come out of the gate stronger.  So Romney's strategy was very corporate.  He was attacking as if he were the CEO with hostile takeover stockholders in front of him; and in those situations, he can dominate because that’s what he does for a living.   But being president is a little different and I think the debate gave us an opportunity to see one man, President Obama, who looked like the president, and another man, who looked like a mean boss of a company.   Everybody has had that mean boss come at them and just think that by the force of their words and the force of all that energy, they could be right whether they were or they weren’t.   President Obama merely looked at him and said, “That’s not true” and he crumbled.  And it was interesting to watch the way he crumbled.  He crumbled by trying to attack more…”

“All of a sudden there was a stiffness to it and [Romney] was not agile on his feet.  The president looked relaxed.  It was kind of like looking at an athlete and someone who was a rank amateur.  The athlete always looks fluid.  The athlete always looks genuinely relaxed.  The amateur always is going to fake that and there’s always going to be too much energy.  Mr. Romney had too much energy and none of it was positive.”

Celinda Lake is a top Pollster and Political Strategist for the Democratic Party

On what information the undecided voter needs to choose (At 28:30: on iTunes

“Really both candidates have to answer the question “What are you specifically going to do next year that’s different from what’s being done now that will help my family because my family’s not in good shape?”  The second thing they want to know is who really gets my life more and that’s where you see a lot of the contest in that debate with President Obama talking about being the son of a single mom, talking about women he had met on the campaign trail, talking about his grandmother, his own daughters, et cetera, and that’s where Mitt Romney got into trouble talking about binders of women and also talking about all women getting off work at 5 o’clock.”

On equal pay and what to expect in November (At 35:34 on iTunes

“Absolutely equal pay is a strong issue and nobody can understand why Mitt Romney will not support tough enforcement of equal pay laws.  The other thing that’s very, very strong is funding for Planned Parenthood.  Planned Parenthood’s favorability nationwide right now is 69 percent.  That is more favorable than either presidential candidate by a substantial margin…”

“Eleven million unmarried women turned out to vote in 2008 and didn’t turn out in 2010.  We desperately need them back in 2012 and they’re not that engaged right now.  They haven’t seen anything that they thought would make a difference in their lives.  And 6.6 million younger women voted in 2008, didn’t show up in 2010.  We need them back as well as their younger male counterparts.”

Claire Moshenberg is an Associate Campaign Director for MomsRising

On creating a binder costume for Halloween: (At 41:12 on iTunes

“Well I’m hearing that the top adult costume this Halloween is going to be dressing up as a binder, which I totally love after this last debate.  And there’s some really great non-toxic ways to put this costume together.  You can start with big cardboard.  Go to your local grocery store.  Go to your recycling bin.  Find some big pieces of cardboard and that recycled material can become the body of the costume.  Decorate it and you have a perfect binder costume which is going to get so many laughs for Halloween.”

Lisa Maatz is the Director of Public Policy and Government Relations, American Association for University Women

On Katherine Fenton’s debate question that sparked the ‘binders full of women’ answer: (At 52:59 on iTunes

“I think it’s because he [Romney] hasn’t spoken about women all that much in his campaign… And the thing he talks about is “binders full of women”, and I think we all know he meant binders full of resumes of qualified candidates for senior positions in his state administration. But the way that he said it, coupled with his demeanor, the fact that he dodged the question, and  as I said before, the fact that women haven’t been brought up on his side of the aisle all that much, was really interesting.  The other thing I’ll tell you is that I was very disheartened to see the young woman who asked that question kind of be targeted on Twitter.  I think she took down her Twitter account.  You know, she was called a feminazi.  Some people tried to call her a lady parts tool which I think is hilarious -- as if somehow everything that women care about and vote for has to do with our lady parts.  But I think equal pay is an economic justice issue and that’s the way she framed it.”

Fired up? Join MomsRising today! 

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