Girl power — no longer a novelty

It is not news that women are a dominant force in Washington politics. That fact of life has been true for many years. But it is worth reminding ourselves every so often of our true progessivity and open-mindedness.

Washington now holds the impressive distinction of being the only state in the country with two female U.S. senators and a female governor. Most interesting is we crossed this threshold years ago and few noticed.

Washington, Maine and California have two female U.S. senators. Sen. Maria Cantwell's re-election assures our standing in this derby for at least four more years until Patty Murray's next campaign. California's governor is the ever macho Arnold Schwarzenegger. Maine's governor is John Baldacci.

For many years, Washington has had the highest, or one of the highest, percentages of women in the state Legislature. Washington currently is third in the nation in this category.

"You have such a history of women participating in all facets of society, real role models," Debbie Walsh, director of a women's center at Rutgers University in New Jersey, told the Associated Press. "You have so many women in positions of power that it's no longer a novelty."

It's not a novelty but our continual election of women to higher office remains a sign of Washington's egalitarian nature.

No one knows for sure why we elect so many women, but it probably also flows from our lack of old-time political-machine bosses.

Voters, as well as skilled politicians at several levels, understand that men do a very good job at a lot of things and, quite often, women do, too.