Clarke’s Gender Campaign Rolls On

More post-racial politics in the 11th Congressional race…

After receiving an invitation to join Yvette Clarke on the steps of City Hall next Tuesday (pdf) for a women-centric promotion that we couldn’t pass up posting (“A women’s place is in the House…The House of Representatives!”), we decided to talk to Clarke PR rep Juda Engelmayer about the abrupt change in strategy that coincided so neatly with his arrival to the campaign.

Here’s what he said:

“Basically the focus has been on race — the focus hasn’t been on issues and it’s hard to get the focus back on issues when what’s exciting to the media are polarizing issues and we’re trying to do that.”

“Emily’s List and Future PAC just endorsed her. These are women’s groups who believe she’s good on women’s issues. Because of that, we decided we’re going to start going with that. She is the only woman in the race so we believe it has a certain appeal and attraction level. But there are women’s issues out there that are important and two PACs believe she is the candidate of choice for these reasons.”

“People can argue that bringing up the women’s issue is just as polarizing in a sense as the race issue, nobody can change their color, and nobody can change their gender — well let’s not go there. We’re harping on a kind of non-issue: ‘Vote for me because I am of a certain class or gender,’ so its kind of feeding into the same race issue. But on the other hand, these two PACs give us the clout of having issues behind us as well.”

Got that?

—Nicole Brydson