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Rebecca Sive
I am the author of Every Day Is Election Day: A Woman's Guide to Winning Any Office, from the PTA to the White House. I speak on strategies for women to gain public power and political influence, making the world a better place for women and girls. I am a Lecturer, Chicago Harris, University of Chicago, where I teach a course on women in public leadership.

Listed in Feminists Who Changed America, University of Illinois Press (2006), I have won numerous awards for my work, including distinguished achievement awards from my alma maters, the University of Illinois and Carleton College. Visit for more information.

Entries by Rebecca Sive

Women in Politics Matter -- Even When They're Not Women's Advocates

(3) Comments | Posted March 15, 2015 | 7:12 PM

As we celebrated Black History Month and the 50th anniversary of Selma's Bloody Sunday -- as we saw President Obama and President Bush hand-to-hand on the Edmund Pettus Bridge -- Americans everywhere were reminded that race always matters in our nation's political discussions. We were also reminded that a diversity...

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What Is Democrat Diana Rauner Doing, Campaigning for Republican Bruce Rauner?

(3) Comments | Posted October 8, 2014 | 3:43 PM

Notwithstanding the blizzard of solicitation calls, emails, collateral material and advertising in the Illinois gubernatorial campaign, two statements of Bruce-Rauner enthusiast Diana Rauner stick out: that she is a Democrat, and that he has no "social agenda." (So, no worries my sister, pro-choice Democrats.)

What the heck does...

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Big Girl Debbie Wasserman Schultz Doing What She Has to Do: Just Like the Big Boys Do

(1) Comments | Posted September 23, 2014 | 5:36 PM

I've never met Debbie Wasserman Schultz, though I hope to when she visits David Axelrod's Institute of Politics next month. Nevertheless, I feel like I know her.

That's because she's been everywhere for candidates and issues I care about for many years. And because...

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Gillibrand's In, Clinton's Not

(0) Comments | Posted September 8, 2014 | 3:38 PM

Politico Magazine's September-October edition is just out with "The Politico 50," its list of today's biggest American political thinkers.

In her introductory letter, Politico Magazine editor Susan Glasser notes that, notwithstanding what her job might be one day, Hillary Clinton didn't make the cut. Wow, I thought:...

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Chicago Women Show Rahm Emanuel the Light at the End of the Tunnel

(0) Comments | Posted July 17, 2014 | 10:25 AM

Tuesday, Toni Preckwinkle, one of the two women who -- according to the latest poll -- would beat Rahm Emanuel in a race for mayor of Chicago, announced she wasn't running.

Monday, the other one, Emanuel's enemy Karen Lewis, head of the Chicago Teachers Union,...

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Allyson Schwartz Defeat Signals Significant Roadblocks Ahead for Women Candidates

(4) Comments | Posted May 22, 2014 | 4:55 PM

Allyson Schwartz's defeat in Tuesday's Pennsylvania Democratic gubernatorial primary is a danger-zone-ahead sign for women politicians who aspire to executive office.

The obstacles on this road ahead were signaled in a recent New York Times article, "Glass Ceilings in Statehouses in the Northeast." For instance, the Times noted...

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For California Women Who Dream of Political Leadership and Power: Some Rules of the Road

(0) Comments | Posted March 7, 2014 | 10:00 AM

As we begin Women's History Month, and celebrate International Women's Day (Saturday, March 8), I've been reflecting on the lessons today's women office-holders, and those who aspire to political office, can learn from those who've already traversed that path.

But, first, a bit of context: this ruminating comes on the...

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C-suite Doors Still Locked to Women: Time to Press in From the Outside While You Lean in From the Inside

(0) Comments | Posted December 10, 2013 | 12:21 PM

"Progress in the F500 remains flat," " significant year-over-year uptick for the 8th straight year," and "... only 14.6% of Executive Officer positions were held by women--the 4th consecutive year of no year-over-year growth," reports Catalyst today.

Bottom line: no progress these days -- any days, it...

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6 Easy Rules Christine Quinn Forgot

(6) Comments | Posted September 13, 2013 | 5:44 PM

This will go down in American history as the (sad) year when women lost mayoralty races in our nation's two biggest cities. Time to regroup, girlfriends.

In the three decades since Jane Byrne became the first woman elected mayor of Chicago, we've learned that, in order to...

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Hat Tip to Bill Maher: New Rules From Susan Rice and Samantha Power

(0) Comments | Posted June 7, 2013 | 5:29 PM

Like others, I was stunned Wednesday morning when I read Mike Allen, exclamation point and all, reporting that President Obama was planning to appoint UN Ambassador Susan Rice as his national security adviser and nominate Samantha Power as his next UN ambassador.

Allen reported both the facts, and...

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Robin Kelly Winning Jesse Jackson Jr.'s Seat Is a Textbook Case for Women Politicians

(7) Comments | Posted February 28, 2013 | 5:05 PM

Illinois's second congressional district seat, held by Jesse Jackson, Jr. for 17 years, is a big political prize: a safe seat for Democrats, winning the Democratic primary is tantamount to winning the general. The seat is not likely to be open again anytime soon.

District voters, wearied by the...

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Hadiya's Story: Love in the Time of Hate

(0) Comments | Posted February 19, 2013 | 4:46 PM

Super Bowl weekend was a one-two punch. First, there was the announcement of President Obama's proposed policy the New York Times wrote would mean "churches and religious organizations that object to providing birth control coverage on religious grounds would not have to pay for it," notwithstanding the...

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Beyonce Singing Two National Anthems But President Obama Only Listening to One

(3) Comments | Posted January 18, 2013 | 9:02 PM

I understand why Barack Obama admires Beyonce. Like him, she is smart, hardworking, forthright and demands respect. Besides, his closest advisor likes her. A lot. But it strikes me that, hard as it may be to imagine, President Obama isn't totally enamored of Beyonce.

Think that's not possible?...

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(Once Again) Hillary Clinton Teaches Us How to Run the Political Table (Are You Listening, Susan Rice?)

(2) Comments | Posted December 7, 2012 | 9:08 AM

Girlfriends: Now that we have the president back, is it time to turn off the computer and cool-out? Nope. Not a chance, after the morning's reading.

The first article up was: "'Family fight:' 3 friends vie for (congressional) seat," in yesterday's Chicago Sun-Times. The article is an...

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Giving Thanks

(1) Comments | Posted November 20, 2012 | 3:22 PM

For one year in high school, I had a second sister. Her name was Anamaria Monsao Mollo. She was an exchange student from Brasilia, Brazil. In September 1967, Anuska, as she was called, came to live with my family and attend Pearl River (New York) high school, under the auspices...

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The Real Purpose of the 'Cult of Moms': To Deny Women Public Power

(1) Comments | Posted September 20, 2012 | 1:06 PM

Political powerhouse Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan has been a subject of national media attention since answering Chicago Sun-Times reporters' questions while at the Democratic National Convention a couple of weeks ago. Okay, now: Hold your breath and get ready for this one. Nope, the questions were not...

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Deal With It, Girlfriends: Bill Clinton Teaches Women Candidates How to Win

(10) Comments | Posted September 7, 2012 | 11:57 AM

Back in the Monica Lewinsky day, a significant divide developed among Democratic women advocates: those who couldn't forgive President Clinton for behavior that embarrassed Hillary Clinton beyond telling, and those (like me), who said "we've got bigger fish to fry here, and let's keep our eyes on the prize --...

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Why Would Any Woman Vote Republican This November?

(189) Comments | Posted August 22, 2012 | 7:13 PM

Reports on women's reasons for choosing to seek public office are replete with data supporting the fact that these women, regardless of political party affiliation, are motivated by a desire to improve the lives of women and children. There are also occasions when women-electeds join hands across the political aisle...

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On the Matter of Gabby Douglas's Hair, or for That Matter, My Kinky (Jewish) Hair

(75) Comments | Posted August 3, 2012 | 1:22 PM

The first time I visited Tel Aviv, I saw tall women with long, straight blonde hair at a local nightclub. I assumed they were European visitors. Nope. Not according to my Israeli cousin who took me there. He told me they were Jewish, just like us. But they don't have...

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Like Hope, Evolving Is Not a Strategy

(2) Comments | Posted May 11, 2012 | 11:49 AM

I am absolutely comfortable with the fact that men marrying men, women marrying women and heterosexual men and women marrying are entitled to the same exact rights, all the civil rights, all the civil liberties. And quite frankly, I don't see much of a distinction beyond that. --
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