TIME Congress

How Elizabeth Warren Turns Boilerplate Viral

Her secret sauce? Carefully modulated anger

Last week, Sen. Elizabeth Warren posted a video on Facebook of a recent speech in which she discussed the decline of the middle class and criticized Republicans in Congress. Its substance was fairly routine for a Democratic lawmaker, but the response was not.

In one week, the video has gone viral, grabbing more than 2 million views and picking up more than 50,000 shares on Facebook. And it’s not unusual for the Massachusetts Democrat, either. Three of her most-watched speeches on YouTube have more than a million views, while another seven have more than 100,000 views.

So what’s her secret? TIME sat down with some rhetoric professors to take a closer look at her most recent viral hit and figure out why the former Harvard professor who once had trouble just doing a softball interview with The Daily Show has become such a power hitter online.

They argued that the secret sauce in Warren’s videos is a palpable but carefully modulated sense of anger, the very quality that billionaire investor Warren Buffett had criticized her for earlier this week.

The recent video’s headline doesn’t entice—“Watch and share my opening statement from yesterday’s first Middle Class Prosperity Project forum”—or boast an impressive backdrop. For nearly six minutes, it’s a close, unwavering shot of the 65-year-old academic and freshman Senator sitting on a black leather chair behind a microphone and a nameplate in a nondescript Capitol Hill room. The first minute and a half of the speech is relatively dull, filled with facts highlighting the decline of the middle class.

Then she slows down.

“In the 32 years from 1980 to 2012, 90% of Americans got zero income growth,” says Warren. “Nothing. All of the income growth in that 32-year period went to those at the top.”

It’s at this point in the speech where she first begins to repeat her points for emphasis—a trick used by “orators since time immemorial,” says Jeffrey Walker, chair of the Department of Rhetoric and Writing at the University of Texas at Austin—and let her emotion bubble up.

“She projects an attitude of indignation and anger and wants the audience to gin up their emotion about this issue,” says Walker. “The phrasing and the tone of voice and the hand gestures all contribute to a sense of her being angry, but it doesn’t seem artificial.”

That anger continues in what Walker calls the “rhythmic envelope”: a few refrains of what caused those economic problems—ripping “the choice to” do x, y and z in Washington—and who she thinks should be blamed. The next line she repeats begins with “I’ll believe Republicans care” about the country’s “middle class,” “working families,” and “future.” She nears the end of her speech blasting Republicans in short phrases.

“I have a message for my Republican colleagues: you control Congress,” she says in what becomes the pull quote on Facebook. “Stop talking about helping the middle class – and start doing it. Close tax loopholes, raise the minimum wage, cut student loan interest rates, raise Social Security payments, fund our schools and our highways and medical research.”

Lynn Itagaki, an English professor at Ohio State University, says that Warren is a “great translator” with a “clean-spoken manner” who can help sway the mass public on complicated material, especially through a vehicle—Facebook—that has a built-in audience ready for one of Warren’s favorite topics, tackling student debt.

“With the kind of a precision of a doctor or surgeon, she names it, identifies the political choices that caused it historically and then she proposes a solution,” says Itagaki of middle class economic issues. “She provides a diagnosis of the problem and then provides you a prescription.”

“She’s activating the emotions of ‘we must protect what is good about our families and what is good about hard working Americans,’” she adds.

But in this speech, Warren could do better in connecting with the audience on a personal level, according to Walker, as she talks broadly about “young people” and “moms and dads” instead of specific people. And she would be, as Buffett argues, more effective in changing minds instead of reinforcing some if she didn’t bash Republicans.

“She doesn’t give you an image of a particular person being crushed under the debt,” says Walker. “It restricts the audience that she can be really effective with to those who mostly agree with her already. So there’s a partisan preaching to the choir aspect.”

“If you’re trying to persuade someone to do something, you don’t say ‘you’re ugly and stupid and evil, so will you do something for me,’” he adds.

Still Walker, who believes that the state of U.S. discourse is “pretty depressing” after reading some of the Facebook comments, believes that Warren did succeed in generating some passionate responses.

“It has a huge number of hits on the webpage,” he says. “Perhaps it’s the generation of emotion that ultimately has that effect. … Clearly she made some people angry. Not angry at her, rather, angry at the problem.”

TIME Supreme Court

Obamacare Arguments Center on Chief Justice

Supporters of the Affordable Care Act gather in front of the U.S Supreme Court during a rally in Washington on March 4, 2015.
Alex Wong—Getty Images Supporters of the Affordable Care Act gather in front of the U.S Supreme Court during a rally in Washington on March 4, 2015.

John Roberts saved the law in 2012, but he played his cards close to the vest Wednesday

Chief Justice John Roberts once again holds the fate of Obamacare in his hands.

The conservative Supreme Court justice who provided the crucial vote to save the Affordable Care Act in 2012 was at the center of many of the arguments Wednesday on another legal challenge to the law. But like the eye of a hurricane, he remained quiet.

Roberts made only two substantive remarks during the hour-and-a-half of oral arguments on King v. Burwell. One was to casually dismiss a line of argument pursued by liberal Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, who had peppered an attorney behind the lawsuit with questions over whether the plaintiffs had the standing to sue. The other was to note that a future president — presumably a Republican — could reverse the Obama Administration’s readings of the law.

But Roberts was the unspoken audience for an argument made by two other justices because of his reasoning in the last Obamacare challenge. In that decision, he argued that Congress could not force states to expand Medicaid by threatening them financially — something he compared to putting “a gun to the head.”

This time around, liberal Justice Sonia Sotomayor and conservative Justice Anthony Kennedy argued that if Congress made health insurance subsidies dependent on whether a state set up its own exchange — the argument that conservative lawyers were making — that would be similarly improper coercion.

“If we read it the way you’re saying, then we’re going to read the statute as intruding on the Federal-State relationship,” Sotomayor told a lawyer for the plaintiffs. “Because then the states are going to be coerced into establishing their own exchanges.”

Kennedy was even more blunt. “If your argument is accepted, the States are being told either create your own Exchange, or we’ll send your insurance market into a death spiral,” he said. “The cost of insurance will be sky­ high, but this is not coercion. It seems to me that … there’s a serious constitutional problem if we adopt your argument.”

Two other conservatives, Justices Antonin Scalia and Samuel Alito, questioned whether the dire warnings that the federal government has presented as potential consequences of a decision really would come true.

“You really think Congress is just going to sit there while all of these disastrous consequences ensue? “ Scalia asked. “Congress adjusts, enacts a statute that takes care of the problem. It happens all the time.”

Solicitor General Donald Verrilli then earned a laugh when he responded, “Well, this Congress…”

TIME 2016 Election

Everything We Know About Hillary Clinton’s Email

And what we don't know

The new political headache afflicting Hillary Clinton is all about email.

The New York Times reported Monday that the presumptive Democratic presidential candidate had exclusively used a private email account for her government business during her tenure as Secretary of State, rather than a government email account. And an Associated Press report Wednesday said Clinton used her own email servers, rather than a third-party provider like Gmail or Yahoo Mail. That’s raised questions about whether Clinton was making a deliberate attempt to prevent her messages from being disclosed by open records requests or subpoenas.

Clinton’s campaign has said she followed both “letter and spirit of the rules,” but the snafu has played into Republican criticisms of her as secretive and politically calculating.

Here’s everything to know about controversy.

Wait. What’s the big deal?

A top U.S. diplomat working only on a personal email account raises an obvious question: Did Clinton stay off government email to hide something? Federal regulations are meant to prevent a situation in which officials, by keeping emails “off the record,” could thwart information requests made by the public or the government. When Clinton took office in 2009, federal rules required that government employees using a non-government email account “must ensure that Federal records sent or received on such systems are preserved in the appropriate agency recordkeeping system.” (It was only last year, one year after Clinton’s tenure had ended, that President Obama signed a explicitly limiting U.S. officials’ use of private email accounts for business matters.) But Clinton aides are the only ones who have determined what amounts to official correspondence and what doesn’t, and others might come to different conclusions.

Did Clinton break the law?

Probably not, but we’re still in a legal grey area. The Federal Records Act—passed in November, after Clinton left the State Department—requires government officials’ emails that are sent from personal account to be forwarded to an official account within 20 days. But during Clinton’s tenure, it was never explicitly required that top-level officials like Clinton use government-issued accounts. “What she did was not technically illegal,” Patrice McDermott, a former National Archives staffer and the head of the transparency group Open The Government coalition, told The Hill newspaper. But, she said, “it was highly inappropriate and it was inappropriate for the State Department to let this happen.”

Because her official emails were sequestered on her private email address, much of her correspondence was not openly available via the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA), which gives the public right to access information from the federal government.

Will we ever see Clinton’s official emails? Or have they simply disappeared?

Clinton’s team turned more than 50,000 pages of emails from her personal email account to the State Department late last year, when the Federal Records Act was passed, at the department’s request.

How do we know that she turned over all required emails?

We don’t. For several years, media outlets have filed requests for Clinton’s official correspondences during her tenure under FOIA. These requests have remained unreturned or unfulfilled, though the State Department has acknowledged their receipt. Theoretically, all of Clinton’s emails concerning government matters during her tenure fall under FOIA’s domain—but they are inaccessible if they were sent between Clinton’s private account and a third-party agency, such as a nonprofit foundation or a private consultancy. Clinton would need to provide these emails herself.

Have other U.S. officials used private email accounts?

Yes. Several officials in the Bush Administration, such as Karl Rove, were heavily criticized for using political e-mail accounts to send emails from the White House. While Clinton herself has not commented on the situation, Nick Merrill, a Clinton spokesman, noted that former Secretaries of State in both parties had also used their own email accounts when engaging with U.S. officials.

Were they punished?

We don’t know. There haven’t been reports outlining specific repercussions against those officials who used private accounts for business emails. The White House has repeatedly made its e-mail policy clear each time the issue arises. “Very specific guidance has been given to agencies all across the government, which is specifically that employees in the Obama administration should use their official e-mail accounts when they’re conducting official government business,” White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest said Wednesday.

How much do high-ranking officials like Clinton really use email?

It varies. Janet Napolitano, the former Secretary of Homeland Security, was known for never using email at all. It’s unclear exactly how often Clinton emailed, but certainly enough for her team to turn over 50,000 pages worth of emails. During her time as Secretary of State she was often spotted looking down at her BlackBerry—the image of her doing so in sunglasses inspired a Texts from Hillary meme.

So what Internet service did she use?

Clinton used a private email server registered back to her family’s home in Chappaqua, N.Y., the AP reports. That means she or someone working for her physically ran her own email, giving her wide-ranging control over her message archives. It also could have made her mails more vulnerable to hackers or physical disasters like fires or floods. The Secret Service would have been able to protect an email server in Clinton’s home from physical theft, however.

Clinton reconfigured her email account in November 2012 to use Google servers as a backup . Five months after she resigned as Secretary of State, her email server was reconfigured again, switching her backup provider to a Denver-based email provider called MX Logic.

Who’s this Eric Hoteham figure?

Eric Hoteham is the mysterious name associated with Clinton’s private server account. But no public records of “Eric Hoteham” appear to exist, and the name wasn’t found in campaign contribution records or elsewhere, the AP reports.

What email address did she use?

One of her private email addresses was hrd22@clintonemail.com. HRD appears to stand for her premarital initials (Hillary Diane Rodham, as opposed to now Hillary Rodham Clinton). But it’s unclear what the 22 is for. She was sworn in on Feb. 2—or 2/2.

Read next: 5 Things You Didn’t Know About Using Personal Email at Work

Listen to the most important stories of the day.

TIME Congress

Washington Kids Should Be Able to Sled Down Capitol Hill, Lawmaker Says

Washington DC Area Hit With Mid-March Snow
Win McNamee—Getty Images Jon Ward sleds with his daughter Gwen and son Jethro on the west lawn of the U.S. Capitol on March 17, 2014 in Washington D.C.

The District of Columbia representative wants a ban on sledding on the U.S. Capitol grounds lifted before snowstorm

The District of Columbia’s representative in Congress has formally requested that a ban that forbids sledding on the U.S. Capitol grounds be waived in anticipation of an upcoming snow storm.

Congresswoman Eleanor Holmes Norton of Washington D.C.wrote to U.S. Capitol Police Board Chair Frank Larkin on Wednesday requesting the ban be removed for March 5-8, so that D.C. families can take advantage of the snow.

“This could be the last snowstorm the D.C. area gets this winter, and may be one of the best for sledding in years,” Norton said in a statement. “Children and their parents should able to enjoy sledding on one of the best hills in the city. This is a one-time waiver that will allow D.C. kids to sled while we await a more formal review of the ban, which will likely come after the last snow has fallen in our region. Have a heart, Mr. Larkin, a kid’s heart that is.”

In February, Norton made a separate request to overturn the ban. Norton says families are calling her office, asking for the ban to removed. You can read her letter here.

TIME Supreme Court

4 Ways the Supreme Court Could Rule on Obamacare

Supporters of the Affordable Care Act gather in front of the U.S Supreme Court during a rally in Washington on March 4, 2015.
Alex Wong—Getty Images Supporters of the Affordable Care Act gather in front of the U.S Supreme Court during a rally in Washington on March 4, 2015.

The health care law is once again before the high court

When the Supreme Court last considered the Affordable Care Act, the argument was easy to follow: Does the federal government have the power to force people to buy health insurance?

The question this time is a lot more complicated.

As the justices discussed a single line in the law Wednesday, they were debating issues of administrative law precedent, congressional intent and interpretation of statutory language. But the bottom line is still the same. If the court’s majority rules a certain way, the law would collapse, causing as many as eight million people to lose their health insurance.

The case centers on whether states need to set up their own health insurance exchanges under the law for their residents to qualify for subsidies that make it affordable.

Here’s a quick look at four ways the court could rule.

The Liberal Hail Mary

The ruling: The majority finds that the people bringing the lawsuit don’t have the standing to sue and throws out the case without ruling on the merits.

The argument: One plaintiff listed her address as a motel. The others might qualify for veterans health care or Medicare, which would make their claims of being hurt by the law a moot point.

Why they would do it: Chief Justice John Roberts might agree with the liberal justices as a face-saving way to make the case go away. He was quiet during oral arguments Wednesday.

Why they wouldn’t do it: Even if three of the four plaintiffs don’t have standing, if the fourth did, the case could move forward. It’s a longshot.

The Ironic Precedent

The ruling: The majority finds that forcing states to create their own health insurance exchanges at the risk of their residents losing subsidies is improper coercion.

The argument: Without the subsidies, a state’s health insurance market would fall into a “death spiral.” That means the law would effectively force states to build one.

Why they would do it: In its last decision, the court overturned a part of the law forcing states to expand Medicaid, saying it was coercive. Justice Anthony Kennedy seemed open to that logic again.

Why they wouldn’t do it: It’s a constitutional argument, which is a bigger deal than for the justices to simply interpret the law’s wording.

The ‘Not Our Problem’

The ruling: The majority finds that the law is poorly written but needs to be interpreted strictly, essentially saying the court’s hands are tied.

The argument: Congress didn’t do its job well when it passed the final version of the bill, but it’s not up to the White House — or the court, for that matter — to fix it.

Why they would do it: The Supreme Court regularly throws laws back to Congress to fix. They’ve done it recently it with a fair pay law, the Voting Rights Act and campaign finance law.

Why they wouldn’t do it: Precedent. In the most-cited administrative law case in history, the Supreme Court found that the White House should have leeway to interpret poorly worded laws.

The Conservative Hail Mary

The ruling: The majority finds that Congress intended for a state’s residents to be denied subsidies if the state didn’t set up its own insurance exchange.

The argument: An MIT economist who helped design the law once said that in an academic lecture that has since gone viral in conservative circles.

Why they would do it: The lawsuit’s supporters have argued that Democrats in Congress intended this all along. Going along with that argument would avoid the problem of legal precedent.

Why they wouldn’t do it: There’s lots of evidence, such as interviews with the staffers who actually wrote the law, that Congress didn’t intend this. It’s a longshot.


Morning Must Reads: March 4

Mark Wilson—Getty Images The early morning sun rises behind the US Capitol Building in Washington, DC.

Obamacare in Court Again

Supreme Court justices will hear arguments Wednesday in the case of King v. Burwell, the latest challenge to President Obama’s signature health care law and one that could leave it gutted from an unexpected direction

The Weird Benefit of Salty Diets

The latest research, which the scientists stress is still in its early stages, hints that there may be some benefits to salt that have gone unnoticed

Alabama Halts Same-Sex Marriage

The state’s all-Republican supreme court ordered probate judges on Tuesday to stop issuing marriage licenses to gay couples

How Airlines Cheat You Out of Frequent Flyer Miles

A new study shows that a switch by airlines to frequent flyer programs based on dollars spent rather than miles traveled could cause around 45% of passengers to lose out on points

Concern Over Iran’s Nukes Drowns Out Its Growing Role

Consternation over Iran boiled on Tuesday as Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu declared its nuclear ambitions a threat to Israel. But at the Pentagon, the focus was on Tehran’s growing role in Iraq’s fight against the Islamic State of Iraq and Greater Syria

New Hormone Discovered That Curbs Weight Gain, Diabetes

Scientists have discovered a new hormone that normalizes the metabolism and slows weight gain caused by high-fat diets — mimicking the health benefits of exercise. MOTS-c increases insulin sensitivity, allowing the body to more effectively process glucose

The Most Expensive Places to Book a Hotel in the U.S.

Planning a spring trip within the U.S.? You might want to budget a bit more money for a hotel. The 20 most expensive American cities to stay in are surprisingly scattered across the nation, from Butte, Mont., to Panama City, Fla.

Top General Says U.S. Should Consider Arming Ukraine

Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff General Martin Dempsey argued during a Senate hearing on Tuesday that the allegedly Russian-backed rebellion in Ukraine threatens to undo more than six decades of peace in Europe and could potentially splinter NATO

NFL Duo to Donate Brains to Trauma Research

New York Giants punter Steve Weatherford and former NFL receiver Sidney Rice both announced that they will donate their brain to science research after their death. Weatherford said he’s doing it “more to help generations after us”

Calif. Teacher Found Hanging Knew Suicide’s Devastation

The California teacher whose students found her hanging in her classroom knew the devastating effects of suicide: Her own father went missing and was found dead with a bullet wound to his head after committing suicide nearly four years earlier

Khloé Kardashian Wants to Join Fashion Police

The star of Kourtney & Khloé Take the Hamptons is interested in joining E!’s Fashion Police now that Kelly Osbourne has left the show, according to People Kardashian, 30, has previously appeared on the network for red carpet commentary

Teach for America Passes a Big Test

New teachers who sign up with Teach for America for two-year classroom stints in some of the nation’s highest-poverty schools are just as effective as other teachers in those same schools, and sometimes more so, a new study finds

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TIME 2016 Election

Hillary Clinton Ran Email Server Out of New York Home

Former U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton addresses the 30th Anniversary National Conference of Emily's List March 3, 2015 in Washington, DC.
Win McNamee—Getty Images Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton addresses the 30th Anniversary National Conference of Emily's List March 3, 2015 in Washington, DC.

Clinton is under fire for using a personal email address for official State Department business

(WASHINGTON) — The computer server that transmitted and received Hillary Clinton’s emails — on a private account she used exclusively for official business when she was secretary of state — traced back to an Internet service registered to her family’s home in Chappaqua, New York, according to Internet records reviewed by The Associated Press.

The highly unusual practice of a Cabinet-level official physically running her own email would have given Clinton, the presumptive Democratic presidential candidate, impressive control over limiting access to her message archives. It also would distinguish Clinton’s secretive email practices as far more sophisticated than some politicians, including Mitt Romney and Sarah Palin, who were caught conducting official business using free email services operated by Microsoft Corp. and Yahoo Inc.

Most Internet users rely on professional outside companies, such as Google Inc. or their own employers, for the behind-the-scenes complexities of managing their email communications. Government employees generally use servers run by federal agencies where they work.

In most cases, individuals who operate their own email servers are technical experts or users so concerned about issues of privacy and surveillance they take matters into their own hands.

Clinton has not described her motivation for using a private email account — hdr22@clintonemail.com, which traced back to her own private email server registered under an apparent pseudonym — for official State Department business.

Operating her own server would have afforded Clinton additional legal opportunities to block government or private subpoenas in criminal, administrative or civil cases because her lawyers could object in court before being forced to turn over any emails. And since the Secret Service was guarding Clinton’s home, an email server there would have been well protected from theft or a physical hacking.

But homebrew email servers are generally not as reliable, secure from hackers or protected from fires or floods as those in commercial data centers. Those professional facilities provide monitoring for viruses or hacking attempts, regulated temperatures, off-site backups, generators in case of power outages, fire-suppression systems and redundant communications lines.

A spokesman for Clinton did not respond to requests seeking comment from the AP on Tuesday. Clinton ignored the issue during a speech Tuesday night at the 30th anniversary gala of EMILY’s List, which works to elect Democratic women who support abortion rights.

It was unclear whom Clinton hired to set up or maintain her private email server, which the AP traced to a mysterious identity, Eric Hoteham. That name does not appear in public records databases, campaign contribution records or Internet background searches. Hoteham was listed as the customer at Clinton’s $1.7 million home on Old House Lane in Chappaqua in records registering the Internet address for her email server since August 2010.

The Hoteham personality also is associated with a separate email server, presidentclinton.com, and a non-functioning website, wjcoffice.com, all linked to the same residential Internet account as Mrs. Clinton’s email server. The former president’s full name is William Jefferson Clinton.

In November 2012, without explanation, Clinton’s private email account was reconfigured to use Google’s servers as a backup in case her own personal email server failed, according to Internet records. That is significant because Clinton publicly supported Google’s accusations in June 2011 that China’s government had tried to break into the Google mail accounts of senior U.S. government officials. It was one of the first instances of a major American corporation openly accusing a foreign government of hacking.

Then, in July 2013, five months after she resigned as secretary of state, Clinton’s private email server was reconfigured again to use a Denver-based commercial email provider, MX Logic, which is now owned by McAfee Inc., a top Internet security company.

The New York Times reported Monday that Clinton exclusively used a personal email account it did not specify to conduct State Department business. The disclosure raised questions about whether she took actions to preserve copies of her old work-related emails, as required by the Federal Records Act. A Clinton spokesman, Nick Merrill, told the newspaper that Clinton complied with the letter and spirit of the law because her advisers reviewed tens of thousands of pages of her personal emails to decide which ones to turn over to the State Department after the agency asked for them.

In theory but not in practice, Clinton’s official emails would be accessible to anyone who requested copies under the U.S. Freedom of Information Act. Under the law, citizens and foreigners can compel the government to turn over copies of federal records for zero or little cost. Since Clinton effectively retained control over emails in her private account even after she resigned in 2013, the government would have to negotiate with Clinton to turn over messages it can’t already retrieve from the inboxes of federal employees she emailed.

The AP has waited more than a year under the open records law for the State Department to turn over some emails covering Clinton’s tenure as the nation’s top diplomat, although the agency has never suggested that it didn’t possess all her emails.

Clinton’s private email account surfaced publicly in March 2013 after a convicted Romanian hacker known as Guccifer published emails stolen from former White House adviser Sidney Blumenthal. The Internet domain was registered around the time of her secretary of state nomination.

Rep. Trey Gowdy, R-S.C., chairman of the special House committee investigating the Benghazi attacks, said the committee learned last summer — when agency documents were turned over to the committee — that Clinton had used a private email account while secretary of state. More recently the committee learned that she used private email accounts exclusively and had more than one, Gowdy said.

President Barack Obama signed a bill last year that bans the use of private email accounts by government officials unless they retain copies of messages in their official account or forward copies to their government accounts within 20 days. The bill did not become law until more than one year after Clinton left the State Department.


Associated Press writer Stephen Braun contributed to this report.

TIME politics

Why March 4 is a Great Day for Women in Politics

Jeannette Rankin and Frances Perkins
FPG / Getty Images (L) and Gamma-Keystone / Getty Images (R) Jeannette Rankin pictured in 1916 (L) and Frances Perkins in 1928 (R)

Two women took historic public offices on this day

On the same date, March 4, many years apart, two women made history in American politics. In 1917, Jeannette Rankin took office as a representative of Montana, the first woman ever in Congress. The first female member of a president’s cabinet, Frances Perkins, took her post on Mar. 4, 1933. Both were pioneers, carving out their roles as they went along. But their accomplishments extended beyond just showing up as the first women in what had previously been male political spheres. Rankin took an influential stand for women’s suffrage and pacifism, and Perkins’ ideas laid the groundwork for the New Deal and social security.

“They both had to invent the roles for themselves in public life,” says Kirstin Downey, author of The Woman Behind the New Deal, a biography of Perkins. “And they had to do it by being strong and independent-minded.”

The two women were born the same year, 1880 (although Perkins, who notoriously lied about her age, always claimed 1882). Rankin was raised in Montana by a rancher and a schoolteacher. After working for years in the woman’s suffrage movement, in 1914 she succeeded in winning women the right to vote in her state. Two years later she was running for one of two of the state’s at-large Congressional seats, which she secured by 6,000 votes with the help of Montana’s newly enfranchised women.

Pacifism played a major role in the women’s suffrage movement, and Rankin was one of its staunchest champions. She took office amid intense debate over whether or not the U.S. should enter World War I. In the final vote, she was one of 50 dissenters, a decision that generated controversy in the media and among her fellow suffragists. Among the citizens of Montana, her move wasn’t as unpopular, but new state legislation changed the rules about Congressional elections, placing the Republican Rankin in an overwhelmingly Democratic district. Rankin decided to gamble on a Senate race in 1918, which she lost.

Although she wanted to be remembered as the congresswoman who voted for women’s suffrage nationwide, the 19th Amendment passed in 1919, when she was out of office. Instead, she immortalized her reputation as a pacifist when in 1940 she was elected to a House seat a second time. After the attacks on Pearl Harbor, she stood firm as the only vote against the United States entering World War II. Responding to nearly universal pleas to change her vote to a “yes,” or at least to abstain, she responded, “As a woman I can’t go to war, and I refuse to send anyone else.” The ethical stand she took drew a major backlash, making it difficult to do much with the rest of her term and obliterating her chances at reelection.

Frances Perkins, for her part, got her political start in 1911 when she witnessed the horrific Triangle Shirtwaist Factory fire in New York City. She made a name for herself on work-safety commissions in the city, helping to conceive and draft many fire regulations that still exist today. When Franklin Delano Roosevelt was elected the governor of New York, he appointed her as his industrial commissioner. According to Downey, she was one of his most trusted, lifelong advisers. Yet her appointment to Secretary of Labor was still uncertain after he won the presidency, as her gender made her a highly controversial choice. When Roosevelt offered her the job, Downey says, she accepted with conditions—that he let her pursue policy goals that would eventually make up the New Deal.

“She’s really the creator of social security. She’s the driving force behind the Federal Labor Standards Act. It lead to the 40-hour work week. It banned child labor,” Downey tells TIME. “And it changed America.”

To be taken seriously, Perkins dressed very modestly, rarely wearing any makeup. She noted that men tended to take more seriously women who reminded them of their mothers—one of many observations she recorded in a journal she’d been keeping throughout her professional career titled, “Notes on the Male Mind.” She was quiet in meetings, lest she interrupt and be shouted down, or worse, bruise the ego of the man she sought to contradict. She later wrote:

“I tried to have as much of a mask as possible. I wanted to give the impression of being a quiet, orderly woman who didn’t buzz-buzz all the time. … I knew that a lady interposing an idea into men’s conversation is very unwelcome. I just proceeded on the theory that this was a gentleman’s conversation on the porch of a golf club perhaps. You didn’t butt in with bright ideas.”

Rankin and Perkins confronted odds that exceeded under-representation, from repressive stereotyping to an absence of bathroom facilities. When Rankin first took office, American women were three years away from having the vote guaranteed. Perkins herself was unable to vote for much of her early political career, until New York state voted for suffrage in 1917.

“There was a lot of stigma attached to them. There was an unsavory association to unattended women,” Downey says. “Back then there was a saying about women, ‘You only want to be in the newspaper twice—when you’re married and when you die.'”

Perkins hoped her unquestionable success would earn her a comfortable professorship after her retirement from public life. Unfortunately this wasn’t the case. She had trouble securing offers, moving universities often when she wasn’t granted tenure. Eventually, she ended up at Cornell, where she stayed until her death in 1965.

Meanwhile, though Rankin never again took public office, she used her notoriety as a pacifist to continue lobbying against war. She led a peace march in the Washington in 1968 to protest U.S. involvement in Vietnam, and when she died at age 91 in 1972, she was considering yet another run for Congress.

TIME Education

Teach for America Passes a Big Test

But the number of new teacher applications are down this year, for the second year in a row

New teachers who sign up with Teach for America (TFA) for two-year classroom stints in some of the nation’s highest-poverty schools are just as effective as other teachers in those same schools, and sometimes more so, a new study finds.

That’s good news for the national nonprofit, which has come under fire in recent years as battles over education reform have become increasingly contentious.

Critics accuse TFA, which is closely aligned with the charter-school movement, of devaluing the teaching profession by pushing its recruits — mostly young, bright-eyed college grads — into classrooms without adequate experience or training. The organization’s supporters, meanwhile, argue that these new recruits fill a vital role in some of the highest-poverty schools, which are often unable to find teachers at all.

The findings released Wednesday conclude that TFA’s first- and second-year elementary school teachers, who average just over a year and a half of teaching experience, were as effective as their counterparts in the same schools, who averaged 13.6 years of teaching experience, as measured by their students’ test scores in reading and math. A small subset of those TFA teachers — ones in pre-K through second-grade classrooms — were found to be slightly more effective in teaching reading than the national average in those grades.

The study, conducted by the research group Mathematica Policy Research, was required as part of a $50 million U.S. Department of Education grant that TFA received in 2010 to help it recruit and place more teachers in the neediest schools. It was designed to measure the quality of the new teachers recruited and trained between 2011 and 2013.

The study looked at 156 lower elementary school teachers — prekindergarten through fifth grade — from 36 schools across 10 states. TFA teachers were compared with non-TFA teachers at the same school, in the same grade level, who covered the same subjects. The study’s authors noted the results reflect similar findings in previous, large-scale random studies, published in 2004 and 2013.

TFA had planned to use the Department of Education grant to increase the size of its teaching team by more than 80% by September 2014, but fell short of that goal, according to the study. By the 2012–13 school year, it had increased its teaching pool by only 25%, from 8,217 to 10,251 teachers nationwide. The number of new applications are down this year, for the second year in a row.

TIME 2016 Election

Hillary Clinton Gets Hero’s Welcome at Emily’s List Gala

“Don’t you someday want to see a woman President of the United States?” the former Secretary of State asked the crowd

Hillary Clinton got a warm welcome at the 30th anniversary Emily’s List gala Tuesday night, calling for equal pay and paid leave before a crowd that’s worked to elect pro-choice Democratic women for decades.

Accepting the fundraising group’s “We Are Emily” award, the former Secretary of State and presumptive Democratic presidential front runner gave a taste of the “middle-class economics” she’ll likely campaign on, calling for greater protection of labor unions and taking digs at Republicans’ “old trickle-down economics.”

“We’re fighting for an economy that includes everyone and works for everyone,” Clinton said.

Even when she wasn’t on stage, Clinton was the topic of the night. Nearly every speaker at the two-hour event referenced her still officially unannounced campaign. Top Chef host Padma Lakshmi, who opened the event, called her “our next President.” Minnesota Senator Al Franken, who started his speech by jokingly apologizing for being a man, suggested her first granddaughter refer to both Clintons as “POTUS,” instead of grandma or grandpa. House minority leader Nancy Pelosi said Clinton would be one of the “most qualified Presidents in the history of the United States of America.”

Pelosi added, “And she just happens to be a woman.”

“Do you want Hillary Clinton to be President of the United States?” Emily’s List founder Ellen Malcolm asked the crowd, which immediately erupted into roaring applause.

“Well, Hillary, you heard us,” Malcolm said before the program paused for dinner. “Just give the word and we’ll be right at your side. We’re Emily’s List. We’re ready to fight and we’re ready to win 2016.”

The other star of the night was Democratic Senator Barbara Mikulski of Maryland, who announced Monday that she won’t run for another term in office. Clinton, who is known for wearing practical pantsuits, referenced Mikulski’s 1993 fight to overturn a precedent that required women to wear skirts and dresses on the Senate floor.

“She blazed a path forward,” Clinton said. “And among her many accomplishments, one that I’m particularly grateful for, was when she forced the Senate to allow women to wear pantsuits on the floor.”

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