GOP reversal: Hillary Clinton was right, it does take a village --- to elect more women

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Paul Bedard,Washington Secrets,Republican Party,Hillary Clinton

Hillary Clinton, slammed as a socialist and worse after releasing her 1996 book, “It Takes a Village,” is getting a rare stamp of approval from a corner of the GOP that sympathizes with the pain she felt as a busy mother and first lady: House Republican women.

As they strive to expand their presence in Congress, the Republican lawmakers are urging potential candidates to jump into the fight, but first find a supportive "village" that will help them have it all.

“What I tell young ladies is that you don’t have to wait your turn,” said Alabama Rep. Martha Roby at an event hosted by the moderate Ripon Society. “You don’t have to sit down and take a number and wait until somebody else tells you it’s your turn. It’s not a DMV line.”

But make sure to get help handling the dual chores of politics and family, she added. “You got to have a good support network — here and back home. You’ve got to have people that will help you. Hillary Clinton got it right when she said it takes a village. But choose your village. Make sure you’ve got people around you that you want.”

Roby and other members of the Republican Women’s Policy Committee said they are on a recruiting drive since just 8 percent of House Republicans are women.

And they are being aggressive in approaching potential House candidates because, said Rep. Diane Black of Tennessee, women often need to be pushed into running. “Women have to be asked. Not like males who will make that decision on their own. Women want to be asked,” she said.

Roby added that to get more candidates, the GOP needs to stop blaming Democrats and instead offer new solutions, and take that argument to a larger, less conservative audience.

“We have to stop blaming the other side. We have to be the party that we are — that is, the party of ideas and solutions. When we go out there and say Obamacare is wrong, we have to say what’s right. And we have to make sure it resonates with the American people,” said Roby.

“Lastly,” she added, “I believe we have to preach beyond the choir. We all thought we were going to win the election. At least I did. And I think part of the reason we lost is that we only hear each other. We’re not speaking to the people in the grocery store line that may have different political views than us. So we need to engage in that conversation.”

Paul Bedard, The Washington Examiner's "Washington Secrets" columnist, can be contacted at pbedard@washingtonexaminer.com.