- The Washington Times - Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Angela McGlowan laughs as she recalls how she sought a job after arriving in Washingtonasafreshly minted University of Mississippi graduate in the early 1990s, visiting congressional offices and handing out her resume.

“I walked along the corridors of Capitol Hill and no one would give me a job,” she says, sweeping back her long hair as she sits at a conference table in her Arlington office. “I was temping for $8 an hour for a law firm.”

The president and chief executive officer of Political Strategies & Insights says she didn’t understand networking as a career strategy. A friend who did understand, and who knew Ms. McGlowan’s beauty queen past, suggested a way to get her high-heeled foot in the door.

“A girlfriend of mine said, ‘Angela, you’re beautiful, you’re brilliant; you should go for Miss District of Columbia. It’s about access in this town, it’s about who you know.’ I said, ‘I’m smart. I don’t need to be in a beauty pageant.’ But I learned the hard way.”

Back home in Mississippi, Ms. McGlowan had held such titles as Miss Magnolia, but she had hoped to leave behind the pageant circuit when she arrived in the nation’s capital.

After she captured the title of Miss District of Columbia USA in 1994, however, she found that doors suddenly opened for her.

A serious message

A Republican political consultant and Fox News Channel contributor, Ms. McGlowan can laugh now as she recounts her early days in Washington and prepares to promote her first book, “Bamboozled: How Americans Are Being Exploited by the Lies of the Liberal Agenda.”

Even as she laughs, however, Ms. McGlowan has a serious message.

“I have been wanting to write this book all my life,” she says, citing as her inspiration a stanza of poetry by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow:

The heights by great men reached and kept, / Were not obtained by sudden flight / But they, while their companions slept, / Were toiling upward in the night.

She learned that verse from her father, James Thomas McGlowan, who died when she was 12.

“I was 7 years old when my father read me that poem,” Ms. McGlowan says. “I was like, ‘Why is he telling me this?’ and I think my father knew deep down that he wasn’t going to be with me.”

Her father, a Methodist minister and educator born in 1915, worked to improve educational opportunities for blacks in segregation-era Mississippi, then worked during the civil rights movement to promote integration.

“He helped build a bridge between the black community and the white community. … He brought hope to the hopeless and desperate,” Ms. McGlowan says.

Along with the importance of hard work, Ms. McGlowan also learned from her father the importance of helping others.

“He brought pride and self-worth to people,” she says, “and one thing that I do today is, no matter how successful I am — especially as a woman and a person of color — we have got to reach back and help others.”

That commitment, Ms. McGlowan says, has led her to create mentoring programs and apprenticeships to help young women and minorities. Her message of empowerment and self-sufficiency is reflected in her anger at what she calls the “liberal lies” that she blames for social and economic problems among minorities.

“Why is it today that seven out of 10 babies [born to black women] are born out of wedlock?” she says, attributing the trend to government welfare programs. “Seventy-five percent of all children born out of wedlock will grow up under the poverty line. …

“Liberal politicians tell us we are second-class citizens, we can’t do it on our own: ‘You stay on the plantation and we’ll dole out the cheese and come see you for the vote.’

“Liberals always say that they are representing the little guy, but if the little guy makes it, then who will the liberals represent? So they have to keep us down, so they can stay up — and we have allowed it.”

Her book is based in large part on dozens of interviews with such public figures as historian James McPherson, the Rev. Al Sharpton, Labor Secretary Elaine L. Chao and Niger Ennis, national spokesman for the Congress of Racial Equality.

“I interviewed the experts who live, breathe, and know policy and politics,” Ms. McGlowan says, “and the general question, starting out all my interviews, was which policy prescriptions have created a better America for women and people of color, Democrat or Republican?”

To her, the answer is clear: “If you put Republican and Democrat on a scale, the Republican side will hit the table with a thud.”

She takes issue with what she sees as Democrats’ patronizing attitudes toward blacks, citing the January comment by Sen. Joseph R. Biden Jr., Delaware Democrat, describing Sen. Barack Obama, Illinois Democrat, as “the first mainstream African-American who is articulate and bright and clean and a nice-looking guy.”

“Did he say [Senator] Hillary [Rodham Clinton, New York Democrat,] was articulate? Did he say that [former Senator] John Edwards [North Carolina Democrat] was clean?” Ms. McGlowan says. “I have a brother who is an orthopedic surgeon and a sister who is a Ph.D. candidate, and we do take baths. … And Democrats are supposed to be the party of equality.”

Principles a must

Like many other conservatives, Ms. McGlowan says that the Republican Party’s woes in the midterm elections last year stemmed from a failure to adhere to principles.

“We have got to get back to our basics … to the principles of this party, to the principles that helped found the nation,” she says, but adds: “Sometimes you need to get a slap in the face and need to get a reality check and step back and regroup. And the 2006 midterm was a slap.”

Ms. McGlowan notes that Republicans had been increasing their share of the black vote before last year. “Unfortunately, what happened in the midterm election, from a black perspective, was Hurricane Katrina. It was the catalyst,” she says, discussing how the Bush administration was faulted after the flooding in New Orleans.

“Our party needs to communicate better in the communities of color,” she says.

Ms. McGlowan is critical of the trend of unwed childbearing, which she says creates problems for fatherless boys raised by mothers who often deride men as worthless.

“If you have a woman that raises a male child and she doesn’t know what a male is good for, how is she going to know how to raise him?” Ms. McGlowan says, citing the advice of Judge Joe Brown, for whom she worked in Memphis, Tenn., before the judge became star of his own syndicated television show. “A male child, if you don’t get him before the age of 7, in the inner city, he will go out to the street and find a family.”

However, she says, “I’m not saying that single mothers can’t raise their babies. My father died when I was 12, and my mother raised me. But I had a strong mother and a strong father. The welfare state promotes having more children out of wedlock and says, ‘You vote for us now.”

Opportunity knocking

As she looks ahead to the presidential election next year, Ms. McGlowan sees an opportunity for Republicans in the looming battle for the Democratic Party nomination between Mrs. Clinton and Mr. Obama.

“With Obama, the black community is divided because they don’t know where he stands. … If Hillary starts to bash him and it seems like she is going after Obama … it could backfire,” she says. “That would be very good prime time for Republicans to move in and do advocacy. ”

Ms. McGlowan has a convert’s zeal for the Republican cause. “I was a volunteer for the [1992] Clinton-Gore campaign and my mother’s still a Democrat,” she says.

She says she is ready to defend her beliefs.

“I want the liberals to come out and slam me, so I can slam them back. I’m always ready for a fight.”

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