Pulitzer Prize Nominee Gets Political in Alexandria


Pulitzer Prize nominee and noted author Ann Crittenden spoke out passionately Monday about why she believes that Senator Barack Obama should be the next President of the United States at a gathering of predominantly Democratic women at the Old Town home of Megan and former Lieutenant Governor Don Beyer. 

Crittenden, whose widely acclaimed book, The Price of Motherhood, was written after she decided to focus on her son rather than return to work fulltime, has written extensively about the economy and was the first to quantify the value mothers give the economy and society in general through raising upstanding, hard-working intelligent citizens.

As a journalist who has never previously spoken out on behalf of a candidate, Crittenden offered her extensive reasons behind her decision to support the Obama-Biden ticket.

Crittenden stated that, if elected, Obama will positively impact issues affecting mothers and children because of his stance on the war and his approach to solving the countrys economic problems.  She elaborated by explaining that she believes Obamas goal of having Federal legislation requiring four weeks of paid family leave and seven days of sick leave would particularly help struggling single mothers with modest incomes. 

Crittenden went on to say that early childhood education is an investment in kids and there is no better bang for the buck like this.

After Crittenden spoke, there were a number of questions and comments, including one from a Republican, Kim (not her real name) who got the groups attention by saying, Hello, my name is Kim and I am a Republican.  Sounds like I am attending an Alcoholics Anonymous meeting.  But no, I am attending a coffee in Old Town to hear about Barack Obamas pro-women policies.   I am an Obamican.  I am proud of it, and came to it over a year ago.

The articulate and thought-provoking Kim continued, We need five or six simple messages that we can deliver to folks who are not yet decided to show Obama as the positive force I already believe he can be, in spite of some of the political beliefs he holds that people like me find anathema. 

Beyer, who has been involved in politics since well before her husband was Virginias Lt. Governor, was delighted that so many women from all over Alexandria, both Republicans and Democrats, came to hear what Ann had to say about Obama and the positive impact his administration can have on women, children and families in general.  He is such a bright, dynamic candidate, who can make such a difference if the country will elect him President.

While an enjoyable time was had by all, no one seemed to leave the gathering with the feeling that either party had the race locked up, but rather that the presidential race has engaged the entire country.

Lisa Collis, former First Lady of Virginia and whose husband Mark Warner is running for Senate, stated that she doesnt remember another election that has generated this much interest and enthusiasm. Its exciting to see so many come out for a gathering like this to discuss the positions of the candidates on issues that are important to us as women, mothers and patriots.

Collis continued, Its clear that the support for Senators Obama and Biden is overwhelming among this group and its not just because we were seduced with delicious pastries and coffee.

In the end, the thoughtful crowd of well-heeled women left with several pieces of tangible advice from Crittenden, which are applicable to supporters on both sides of the political aisle:

Create a database of friends to send articles and blogs to when you see insightful pieces, and;

Check the facts when you hear or see an advertisement; the information may not be accurate.  Some good fact checking and political websites to gain, verify or compile political information can be found at: www.factcheck.org; www.politico.org; or www.realclearpolitics.com.