During the aftermath of the 2008 election, like many of us, Stacy Mott was looking to find conservative women like herself. Little did she know that six months later, she'd be the founder and president of Smart Girl Politics, a "conservative women's movement" with over 11,000 conservative female (and male) members. Yesterday, I had the opportunity to talk to Stacy about all things Smart Girl Politics (SGP) - from how it began to what her goals are for the future of the organization.
What prompted you to start SGP?
Mott: Smart Girl Politics started as my personal blog last summer. When the election was over, I struggled to find other conservative women on the internet like myself. I put a small "help wanted" sign on my blog asking if there were any other conservative women who wanted to join with me. I received 60 emails the first week.
Did you expect the response SGP has received?
Mott: I am surprised daily by the growth of SGP. I could never have imagined six months ago that my little help wanted ad would lead to an organization of over 11,000 women and men.
Where would you like to see SGP in the future? What are your goals for the group?
Mott: I would like to see SGP become a resource for conservative women. SGP will continue to be a community environment that supports the voices of conservative women. We have three main goals for SGP. The first is to provide a voice to conservative women. The second is to educate women not only on how to get involved in political activism through our training and education classes. We will take this training use it for voter registration and get out the vote efforts. Finally, we are training conservative women to take back their communities by running successfully for local offices, including school boards, town councils, etc.
What has been your best SGP-related moment?
Mott: It's amazing how many I have from the past six months. I still laugh when I think of the first radio interview I did hiding in my bedroom closet with my three small children outside the door yelling at me. One of the biggest moments was watching the O'Reilly Factor with my husband one night and having Tammy Bruce mention Smart Girl Politics as the alternative to NOW. My email box was overloaded with comments the next day.
Are there any women in politics (GOP or otherwise) whom you really admire? Why?
Mott: There are so many great conservative women to admire in politics. I admire Michelle Bachmann and the courage that she had during her last campaign. She held her own against some really vicious attacks. I would say that is the same reason that I admire Sarah Palin as well. Not only has she been attacked, but they continue to attack her family repeatedly. The fact that she can take those punches and continue on is a reason for anyone to admire her regardless of your party.
What makes you a conservative?
Mott: Life experience has made me a conservative. Until 9/11, I was a Democrat. The last eight years have shaped my life more than the previous twenty-five. I became more aware politically and paid more attention to the world around me. Having my children also had an impact on my political views. It's amazing how much you change when you have a family to protect.
Why do you think conservatism is important to women?
Mott: I think conservatism is important to women because it affects so many aspects of our lives. Contrary to the media accounts, conservative women are smart, hard-working, and tough individuals. We are concerned about our families and willing to do whatever it takes to fight for their future.
A big thank you to Stacy Mott for participating in our interview and we would like to wish her much continued success with Smart Girl Politics!