By Robin Abcarian, The Los Angeles Times
CHARLOTTE, N.C. â€” The panel discussion was about how to get more women to run for public office. At the end, a middle-aged woman in the audience rose to ask a question. It was Cathy Malloy, the first lady of Connecticut, and she had something to get off her chest.
She was earthy and funny and clearly aggrieved.
â€œOne of the things about public life, whether you are Republican or Democrat, is that people do not appreciate people in public life like they should,â€ Malloy said. â€œAmericans eat their politicians up every day. And this is a huge problem. Not only do we get beat up, our children get beat up. And itâ€™s tough business, a really tough business, for people that want to get in public life.â€
The panel discussion, held in conjunction with the Democratic National Convention here, was sponsored by Emilyâ€™s List, a group that supports female office-seekers who support abortion rights.
She was upset, Malloy said, because the day after she received a major national award for her work with rape victims, she was pulled over by police and ticketed for not wearing a seat belt. Of course, her ticket made the news. The state was in the midst of a â€œclick it or ticketâ€ campaign, and the irony was too delicious for the media to ignore.
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