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A Republican, Whitman believes the current gridlock on Capitol Hill can trace its roots to the fact that both Democrats and Republicans run to the extreme sides of each party's political agendas to win party primaries, giving them little room to govern from the middle once they've cleared the general election contests. The first woman elected Governor of New Jersey, Whitman worries the same could be true for next year's Presidential contest. If Republicans choose a nominee who is too extreme for most Americans, she's concerned her party may become irrelevant.
Whitman, who served as Director of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency during the first administration of President George W. Bush, also shares her belief that coal and nuclear power must still play a role in the nation's energy policy. Whitman visited the Southern Illinois University Carbondale in September 2011 at the invitation of the Paul Simon Public Policy Institute to discuss her political career, the role of women in politics, partisanship, and environmental issues. The event was sponsored by the Simon Institute's Morton-Kenney Public Affairs Lecture Series.
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