November Newsletter  - Volume 3, Issue 3




Upcoming WDC Events

Montgomery County Democratic Party's Annual Holiday Party  

Mark Shields Informs and Amuses in Post-Election Talk at November Luncheon  

2013 Women's Legislative Briefing  

Political Book Club 

It's Time to Renew Your Membership   

Suggestion Box 


You may click on one of the above titles to go directly to that subject, or simply scroll down the newsletter.     


Thanks to Sybil Cantor, Sheila Fyfe, Bonnie Wicklund and Marian Kisch for their contributions to the newsletter.




Mark your calendars now for these upcoming events. For more information on locations and registration, watch for future e-mails and daisy cards - or visit our website at



Saturday, December 8


Annual Holiday Membership Tea with Margaret "Peggy" Engel, co-author of Red Hot Patriot:  The  Kick-Ass Wit of Molly Ivins Peggy Engel

2 p.m.

Courtyard Marriott

5520 Wisconsin Avenue, Chevy Chase

Cost: $22


If you loved the legendary Molly Ivins, you'll also love the woman who brought her to life in Red Hot Patriot! Jump-start your holiday fun with Margaret "Peggy" Engel, playwright and Executive Director of the Alicia Patterson Journalism Foundation at the Missouri School of Journalism.


The holiday tea is also a great way to introduce potential members to WDC. Bring a guest or two!


WDC will continue our tradition of collecting monetary donations for a non-profit at this event. This year, we will contribute to National Center for Families and Children (NCCF), located in Bethesda. Their residential programs serve homeless families, victims of domestic violence and vulnerable adolescents. Other programs include treatment, foster care, social services for family reunification, parenting education, and transitional housing to promote independent living and family stabilization.



Thursday, December 13: PLEASE NOTE NEW LOCATION!


Happy Hour    Girls

5:30-7 p.m.   

Lebanese Taverna

7141 Arlington Road, Bethesda


Want to meet new people and talk politics?  Join us at the next WDC Happy Hour. Every second Thursday of each month, Democrats who are passionate about politics gather to relax and network with WDC members and their guests. Whether you want to meet elected officials, make new friends, form new business contacts or just have fun, the WDC Happy Hour is the perfect place to meet and greet fellow Democrats.  



Monday, January 14


WDC Legislative Forum: How You Can Make a Difference in Annapolis: The Secrets to Being an Effective Advocate

10:30 a.m. - 12 noon

Jane E. Lawton Community Center, 4301 Willow Lane, Chevy Chase


Individuals and organizations do make a huge difference in shaping public policy in Maryland. It is easier than people think and very rewarding. With this 1 hour workshop, Robyn Elliott and Leni Preston will provide you with the tools you need to be effective in Annapolis and to ensure your voice is heard, not only in this legislative session, but year-round. Robyn Elliott is a partner with Public Policy Partners ( and represents a broad range of consumer and health care provider organizations. Leni Preston is chair of the Maryland Women's Coalition for Health Care Reform ( and has been the lead advocate for "Getting It Right" in implementing health care reform in Maryland.


To RSVP contact Lenna Israbian-Jamgochian at or 301-512-0329.



Thursday, February 7


WDC Annapolis Day

8:45 a.m. - 4 p.m.

Details to follow


This is a unique opportunity to visit with your delegates and senators to hear what will be happening during the 2013 session of the General Assembly and to learn about their legislative priorities. You will have the opportunity see the General Assembly in session, take a private tour of the State House and attend committee hearings. We have requested a meeting with Governor Martin O'Malley and await word of his availability. Carpools will depart Chevy Chase Lake parking.




Sunday, December 2   Snowmen

3 - 5 p.m.

Montgomery County Education Association, 12 Taft Court in Rockville


Please join your fellow Democrats to celebrate the holidays - and bring a new, unwrapped toy to be donated to the Community Ministry of Montgomery County.


Please also bring the following dish to share (according to the first letter of your last name):

A-I Dessert

J-N Side dish

O-Z Hors d'oeuvres


Questions: Call Marie Wallace at 301-460-4320





                                                                                                       By Marian Kisch


Shields at WDC Luncheon


"There was a different reaction this year than in 2008," he said. "Then, there were tears of joy; this year, there were sighs of relief."


Shields outlined the stages that a losing party goes through:

  1. Blame the defeat on its own losing candidate.
  2. Say the loss must have been due to a gimmick. (FDR was good on the radio, Reagan on TV.)
  3. Blame the customer, the voter. Republicans said voters were easily duped.
  4. Get me a winner. Party doesn't care who it is, they just want to win.

But in reality, he said, it all goes back to the candidate. The higher you go in politics, the more important the candidate is. Voters prefer "I like" over any other judgment. The primary candidate who surprised Shields most in this election was Texas Governor Rick Perry, who never showed his sense of humor to the public. Shields also believes the Republicans did not use their best candidate - that Mitch Daniels or Chris Christie would have been more electable, especially with the likability factor.


Romney was seen as insensitive, talking about the 47 percent who were written off - "the revenge of the waiters" - and people being bought off and given "gifts."


Shields also said an important key to Obama's win was Bill Clinton. He presented the best defense of the Obama Administration than anyone, including those in the Administration. He campaigned extensively and was brilliant at explaining complicated things.


Losing parties also divide amongst themselves, Shields said, into the "shirts" and the "skins." The "shirts" believe they lost because the world had changed and they didn't. The "skins" say that they were not true enough to their own beliefs. According to Shields, the Republican Party has more "shirts" than "skins" at this time.


The role of immigration in this election was important, Shields admits, "but it's a deeper problem than just immigration." He pointed out that several of the Republican primary contenders had more moderate views of integrating immigrants and supporting the Dream Act - but the party chose Romney, who was more radical on these matters.


Regarding the upcoming "fiscal cliff," Shields spoke about the problems John Boehner faces, with 107 of his members from the conservative South. "The question is what he can do and what they will do to him. Especially with Eric Cantor waiting in the wings." He wonders if Boehner is strong enough to bring a bill to the floor without the majority support of his own caucus. "It's important to find a way for Boehner to retain his dignity."


Strong leadership is required to get things accomplished in Congress, Shields said. "We would not have had a health care bill without Nancy Pelosi. She showed leadership and toughness."

This spills over into electing more women in Congress. Shields said that two assumptions are made about women: They are more honest, and not as tough. He encourages women to first become mayors or governors so they can demonstrate their toughness through situations such as strikes.


On the question of the Electoral College, Shields was pessimistic that three-quarters of the states would ratify a bill to replace it with the popular vote. But he believes the present system is undemocratic. For example, one electoral vote in Wyoming covers 170,000 people, while in California it represents 680,000.


"Politics is nothing more or less than the peaceable resolution of conflicts and differences among competing opinions." Compromise is required, Shields emphasized, adding that he respects and admires those who run for political office.


Shields concluded: "Americans want liberals with a spine of steel, or conservatives with a generous heart."





The 2013 Women's Legislative Briefing will be held Sunday, January 27 from 12 noon to 6 p.m. at the Universities at Shady Grove, Building II, 9630 Gudelsky Drive, Rockville. We are once again co-sponsoring this event. Dr. Bernice Sandler, "The Godmother of Title IX" will be the keynote speaker.


This is a great opportunity to learn about legislation that will be considered during the 2013 session of the General Assembly. We urge those of you who are members of our Advocacy Committee as well as any member who is interested in learning more about what to expect in Annapolis to participate. Admission is $15. You can register online or download a mail-in registration form at
http://www.mdhealthcarereform.orgFor more information, please contact the Montgomery County Commission for Women at 240-777-8333.

Article4POLITICAL BOOK CLUB:        


The December 19 selection is American Emperor: Aaron Burr's Challenge to Jefferson's America by David O. Stewart.Books


The book club meets the third Wednesday of every other month, 10:30 a.m. at members' homes. A facilitator leads the discussion for each book. Want to join the conversation? New members are always welcome. Contact Estelle Stone at  

If you're interested in seeing what other books have been discussed, please go to and click on Political Book Club.  




Annual dues-paying time has come and gone. By now you should have received our renewal package for 2012-2013. Payments were due September 1. We hope that each of you will return the form that was enclosed with the letter as soon as possible, or go online at and click on "Renew Now." 





 Suggestion Box

Do you have ideas for future programs? Do you know someone who would be a great speaker at a future WDC event? Or would you just like to get more involved with the overall work of the Club? If so, please send an e-mail to or visit and click on "Volunteer" to complete the "It Takes a Village" volunteer form.




 Keeping members better informed, better connected and more politically effective since 1957      



Woman's Democratic Club
Jane Merkin.President
Woman's Democratic Club
Sybil Cantor
Email Coordinator