Cokie Roberts talks politics, sexism in Raleigh

November 7, 2008 1:47:51 PM PST
A well-known journalist with a front row seat to the historic election is in Raleigh Friday night.

ABC News Analyst Cokie Roberts addressed a crowd of women in Raleigh. She talked about women in politics and sexism.

Just days off the presidential election, Roberts joined students and alumni at St. Mary's School in Raleigh. As an award winning journalist, she has seen political greats come and go. The new president-elect is next in line.

"Barack Obama will come into office with a landslide election," Roberts said. "That is very helpful. It means that he can say to members of Congress I won by more than you did in your district, and that gives him a lot of clout. We don't know what he's going to do with that clout."

Only time can measure the success of Obama's presidency, according to Roberts.

When it comes to race relations, she says electing the nation's first Africa-American president doesn't put the issue to rest.

"But it says any child in our country can have expectations -- unless it's a girl," she said.

From Sarah Palin to Hillary Clinton, Roberts says the landscape for women in the workplace and in politics is changing. But some of the rules remain the same.

"I think Sarah Palin probably got something of a bum rap," she said. "Some of it she brought on herself. I think she has the view that she was deserve and that she'll go back to Alaska and try to build her political clout. I think Hillary Clinton now creates a career in the senate. She's a very fine senator. I think to take on the mantle of Ted Kennedy in the Senate makes a lot of sense."

What doesn't make sense to Roberts is the lack of women taking on major roles.

S

he admits North Carolina's first female governor is an achievement, along with other women in top state offices, but she's like to see more.

"So, we're still talking about the first 100 years of women's participation in politics," Roberts said. "It is improving, but it still has a long way to go."

Roberts says sexism is still a major issue, but perhaps with more women on the national stage, that will change.


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