Tag Archives: Lindy Boggs

In Princeton and DC: Old Girl Networks at Work

The WIBA Leadership Conference was a delightful success, and on an appropriate day, when Congressional women did an endrun around recalcitrant men to lead-broker a compromise.

From Time magazine:

It’s quite an irony that the U.S. Senate was once known for having the worst vestiges of a private men’s club: unspoken rules, hidden alliances, off-hours socializing and an ethic based at least as much on personal relationships as merit to get things done. That Senate—a fraternal paradise that worked despite all its obvious shortcomings—is long gone. And now the only place the old boys’ network seems to function anymore is among the four Republicans and 16 Democrats who happen to be women.

At the WIBA conference, woman after woman told of battling the old boy networks. “Women can’t direct theatre,” Emily Mann was told, yet McCarter hired her. She knew what she could do. Asked: “Did you ever think you would get a Tony? breathless pause expecting modest no”

Mann’s answer: YES.

I think the operative slogan is: “Never underestimate the power of … ”

White Southern Lady: Civil Rights Advocate

How would Princeton be different if Barbara Boggs Sigmund had lived? Her mother, Lindy Boggs, just died: 

The New Orleans Times Picayune obit writer describes Bogg’s “disarming personal charm, a gift for communicating warmth and a sense of civility that drew others as her allies, almost to their surprise

Friends said she elevated manners to an art form, and made personal charm a powerful political tool. . . But a hard substantive edge always glinted just below the surface. . . Mrs. Boggs also became famous for her tenacity — a warm and ever-gracious refusal to take no for an answer. . . 

Boggs supported civil rights, as did her daughter, who began to follow her father’s and mother’s political trajectory as mayor of Princeton Borough. Boggs quit her job in Congress in 1990 to care for Barbara who, after years of sporting an eye patch, would die of cancer that year.

Had Barbara Boggs Sigmund lived, I believe she would have — in her New Orleans drawl — done something about issues of inequality with which Princeton is still struggling. She was her mother’s daughter.