“[These] three dynamic, very educated women became known as the witch, the ditz and the media darling,” an adviser during President George W. Bush’s administration said on Monday of U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, 2008 Republican Vice President Nominee Sarah Palin and first lady Michelle Obama, respectively.
In a discussion of her new book, “You’ve Come a Long Way, Maybe,” Leslie Sanchez addressed the recent emergence of women in politics as well as upcoming challenges for those working in government.
Sponsored by the Georgetown University College Republicans and Georgetown University Republican Women, the event held in Healy Hall was Sanchez’s second visit to campus after a November 2007 stop at the Hilltop to take part in a panel discussion on minority members of the Republican Party.
Prior to her rise as a well-known political analyst, Sanchez walked 1,000 counties in 22 states selling encyclopedias to raise money for college.
“I came from a broken home. But I wanted to go to college and I believed in education,” Sanchez said to the audience.
Sanchez held up a copy of her new book, which features photographs of Clinton, Obama and Palin on the cover.
“We can talk about why I may favor one over the others,” Sanchez joked as she pointed to the picture of Palin, a rumored contender for the 2012 Republican presidential ticket.
“[Sanchez] provided our members with a not-so-typical Republican viewpoint – that of both a woman and a Latina. Women will certainly be rising through the ranks of our party, as we have seen with candidates such as Sarah Palin, and it is important for us to understand the importance of women for our party,” Geoffrey Bible (SFS ’12), chairman of GUCR, said in an e-mail.
One audience member asked for Sanchez’s opinion on the 2012 elections, which she said would revolve around the state of the U.S. economy.
“We need to look at the double-digit unemployment [rate], and if it will still be a problem, and whether people see access to credit. That will be the problem – the economy,” Sanchez said.
Speaking on the night after the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act passed the House of Representatives with a vote of 219-212, Sanchez called attention to the Republican perspective on the health care debate.
“The problem with the health care bill is that once you give a benefit to someone, it’s incredibly difficult to take it away,” Sanchez said.
Known by some for being one of the final four contestants on the 2005 NBC show “The Apprentice: Martha Stewart,” Sanchez briefly discussed her foray into reality TV.
“If anything, I learned about production. I kept trying to get off the show!” Sanchez said as she laughed.
She had some advice for the students in the audience prepping for careers in the public eye.
“In whatever you do – blogging, as a journalist or as a political analyst – I strongly suggest that you brand yourself now,” Sanchez advised those considering the workforce and those running for office. “Clean up your Facebook pages!”
Sanchez, who graduated from The George Washington University, became deputy press secretary for the Republican National Committee in 1999, and was later appointed in 2001 by President Bush to be the executive director for the White House Initiative on Education Excellence for Hispanic Americans.”