‘Women Rule’ Explores How Women Run – Power, Perception, and Reality

myersThis morning, POLITICO, Google, and The Tory Burch Foundation launched the 2014 Women Rule series with an event on How Women Run: Power, Perception and Reality. The event addressed how politically powerful women are portrayed in popular culture and featured Beau Willimon, creator of “House of Cards;” Rep. Martha Roby (R-Ala.); Leticia Van de Putte, State Senator (D-Texas); Robbie Myers, editor-in-chief, ELLE Magazine; Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.); Sen. Claire McCaskill (D-Mo.) and Kellyanne Conway, president and CEO of the polling company, Inc. & Woman Trend.

On a scene from “House of Cards” in which Claire pulls a bill from the floor…
“Of course there was a version we would have loved to have write, that she completely succeeded, and that everything changed, and there was tons of reform, but that’s not really commensurate with the way the show works,” said Willimon, during his conversation with POLITICO senior Washington correspondent Anna Palmer. “We wanted to see what would happen if an issue completely important to Claire was something she had to sacrifice in part in order to achieve a higher summit of power.”
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On how DC style has evolved…
“In terms of Washington style, it’s definitely more conservative than in other places in the country,” said Myers. “I think it’s sort of leftover from the 80s when women poured into the workplace and had to dress like men and basically desexualize themselves in some way. But I do think that’s shifting now as women do move up the various ladders and the various rungs of power.”
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On how “House of Cards” differs from reality…
“My colleagues are much nicer,” said Sen. Gillibrand. “Most of the women portrayed in the series are quite cold and quite calculating. But my experience is that I adore my female colleagues that I have in the Senate. Women are so good at working together, finding common ground, getting things done.” And when asked if women are power hungry, she said ‘no.’
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On whether “House of Cards” portrays women lawmakers accurately…
“There is really very little that is portrayed accurately in that show,” said Sen. McCaskill. “They lost me when there was a sexual encounter with the vice president, his wife, and a Secret Service man.”
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Also today, POLITICO COO Kim Kingsley announced a new 2014 feature to the series – “The Women Who Rule Awards.”

Photo: Robbie Myers, editor-in-chief, ELLE Magazine, by Rod Lamkey Jr./POLITICO.