Senators Barbara Boxer (D-Calif.), Carol Moseley-Braun (D-Ill.) and Patty Murray (D-Wash.) have been targeted by Republicans as the most vulnerable women senators for next year's re-election campaigns.
The three all support abortion rights and fight against welfare cuts, stances which conservatives plan to publicize in order to portray them as radically liberal. Republican pollster Tony Fabriuzo took cheap shots at the Senators, calling Murray "an empty suit," and attesting that Boxer "grates people the wrong way." Republican Chairman Tom Schroeder called Boxer an "extremist" on the abortion issue, and criticized her opposition to anti-affirmative action measure Proposition 209. In response to conservative charges that the women were too liberal for their constituents, Murray, a working mother, said "I probably am much more typical of a United States citizen than many of my colleagues."
Murray and Moseley-Braun said they weren't surprised by the GOP attacks. "It speaks straight to the gender gap problem that the Republicans have," said Murray. Moseley-Braun said "Republicans have failed to understand that women can be as accomplished and effective and hard-working as their male colleages. If they think the women they've targeted are pushovers, they've got another thing coming."
Media Resources: Washington Post - October 14, 1997