PNS Daily Newscast - September 20, 2019 

A whistleblower complaint against President Trump sets off tug-of-war between Congress and the White House; and students around the world strike today to demand action on climate change.

2020Talks - September 20, 2019. (3 min.)  

Climate change is a big issue this election season, and global climate strikes kick off, while UAW labor strikes continue.

Daily Newscasts

Women Candidates Encouraged to Sharpen their Debate Skills

August 13, 2008

St. Paul, MN – Women candidates for political office in Minnesota have an opportunity this week to better prepare for a tough campaign. The non-profit White House Project is holding a "debate boot camp" Thursday to help hopefuls sharpen their rhetorical skills.

Organizer Liz Johnson says the day-long session is a good way to help them learn how to discuss and defend the issues that are important to them.

"We're still woefully short with our diversity in business, politics and community. So, we're looking to build more women leaders and help them get into leadership positions in their communities."

Johnson believes women are held to a higher standard in politics than their male counterparts, and still don't play the role in public service that they should.

She explains that the goals of the camp are to help women develop the skills necessary to be viable candidates for public office, to teach women to speak with their own voices and express their values using their own experiences.

"We spend a lot of time integrating stories into stump speeches, for example. And then, we go on to do more with responding to questions and pivoting and always getting back to authentic voice and the use of stories."

Johnson believes sharp debating skills are essential for a successful campaign. She suggests participants get help refining their stump speeches and go through mock debates.

Johnson says the training session helps candidates better explain who they are and why they're running for office.

"The more you let people know who you are, why you're running, and what you want to accomplish when in office, the better a public leader you'll be and the more informed the public will be, so it benefits everybody."

More information about the White House Project is available online at

Jim Wishner/Steve Powers, Public News Service - MN