Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Connie Schultz at Akron Press Club

What a great delight to hear Connie speak, not as the candidate's wife, but as her own woman -- reporter, author and spokesperson for the working people of Ohio. Her writing voice will be heard by more and more people, as she has been picked up for syndication, her columns soon to appear in over 400 newspapers!

There aren't enough voices like Connie's -- voices that aren't afraid to say "I'm a feminist," for example. She does not hesitate to express astonishment that most of the reporters she met while campaigning for her husband Sherrod Brown, were white middle-aged men and that she met only two minority reporters in the state of Ohio. When did it become uncool to be aware of and concerned about gender bias? Connie Schultz is the perfect anecdote to the mean-spirited and unkind proponents of feminist equals Nazi.

I am eagerly awaiting the publication of her new book, And His Lovely Wife: A Memoir From the Woman Beside the Man. In her talk today, she gave us glimpses into her experiences. From her hesitancy in agreeing to Sherrod's run for senate in the beginning to her whole-hearted efforts once it had begun that took her to every region of this state. She spoke of her dismay that every major paper except one endorsed DeWine. Sherrod, however, was not fazed by such things. "Well of course, the Plain Dealer isn't endorsing me," he'd shrug these things off and in retrospect, he was quite right to do so. Sherrod won by a 13% margin, and he did it by speaking to the people, on the issues. It just underscored how far removed management is from the rest of us cogs in the wheels.

And that is another reason I admire Connie Schultz -- she grew up in a working class family and speaks to both the virtues and the indignities of working class people. Her stories about her mother and father bring tears to the eyes, as she speaks of how hard they worked at deadening jobs so that she and her siblings could have better lives. She is a marvelous story teller, in print and in speech, delivered without notes but with complete confidence, humor, empathy and deep insight.

Today's talk at the Akron Press Club was recorded and will be broadcast on Time Warner Cable, on Channel 23 in Akron, Canton, Mansfield, and Youngstown and Channel position 15 in Cleveland on the following days and times:

Saturday, May 19th -- 7 PM
Sunday, May 20th - 4 PM
Thursday, May 24th - 7 PM

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