Murkowski's Loss Gives Senate GOP a Gender Gap
She's the only woman in a leadership role
By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted Sep 4, 2010 12:26 PM CDT
Sen. Mike Enzi, center, joined by Sen. Lisa Murkowski, R-Alaska, right, and Sen. Kit Bond, R-Mo., left, at a news conference.   (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)
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(Newser) – Lisa Murkowski's surprise loss in Alaska means Senate Republicans could end up looking and sounding like an old-boys network. Politico points out that for the first time in 10 years, the GOP's Senate leadership will be without a woman in its midst. Murkowski has the No. 5 position, which means she gets to step up to the podium on televised news conferences with the boys.

The GOP has only three other female senators, but none are good contenders to take Murkowski's vice-chairmanship, writes Meredith Shiner. (Susan Collins and Olympia Snowe tend to buck the party, and Kay Bailey Hutchison is flirting with retirement.) “This isn't a good story to have in American politics, that when one woman leaves, there's no one to step in,” says the director of the Center for Women and Politics at Rutgers.