South Carolina State Superintendent of Education Inez Tenenbaum
has a career history of working with children. Now the former
elementary schoolteacher hopes to translate that background, coupled
with her moderate Democratic beliefs into a U.S. Senate seat in
this Republican-leaning state.
has informally distanced herself from the presidential campaign
of Massachusetts Democratic Sen. John Kerry and his more liberal
policies. Tenenbaum acknowledged the strategy in an interview
with the Washington Post saying Republicans will attempt to show
her to be a classic Democratic liberal.
the people of South Carolina know me," she told the Post.
"I think it will fall on deaf ears, that attempt to label
me and try to nationalize me."
has said the issues she intends to focus on in her Senate race
are creating jobs, education and health care.
issues South Carolinians care about are the issues I care about:
education, health and families," she said. "Education
is an economic development tool. As a former school teacher and
attorney, I know that Congress can enact policies that create
incentives to develop jobs."
South Carolina has lost over 70,000 jobs to outsourcing, many
in the textile industry. Tenenbaum says she'll work to bring jobs
back to South Carolina by ensuring enforcement of current trade
agreements in Congress as well as opposing new trade agreements
that harm the Palmetto State.
campaign was embarrassed in early August during a conference call
with reporters aimed at highlighting her pledge to protect American
jobs from going overseas. Reporters on the call discovered the
hookup was arranged by communications workers in Montreal, Canada.
The campaign promised to stop using BellSouth, the company that
provided the hookup, for that service again.
to many in her party, Tenenbaum would extend President Bush's
tax cut policies.
to make permanent President Bush's tax cuts for the middle class,
including extending the 10 percent bracket, doubling the child
tax credit and making permanent the marriage penalty reduction.
South Carolina's middle class families need a tax cut, not a tax
hike," she wrote in an Aug. 30 editorial in The Greenville
is also moderate on social issues. She supports President Bush's
call for a constitutional amendment to ban gay marriage. She supports
the war in Iraq. She favors the death penalty. And while Tenenbaum
supports abortion rights she is for a ban on certain late-term
abortions. However, Tenenbaum would not support any ban on partial-birth
abortion that did not include an exception for the health of the
mother, such as the ban that passed in Congress last year.
two-term tenure as state superintendent of education generally
receives positive reviews. The popular education leader is credited
with improving the state's public education system.
Week's national report card called "Quality Counts,"
South Carolina was rated No. 1 in teacher improvement in 2003
and 2004. And up until this year, the state saw continued improvement
in SAT scores. Tenenbaum released early results for the 2004 SAT
in late August. The average score dropped by 3 points.
the first time in six years we've had a dip," she said.
without raising taxes, Tenenbaum was able to negotiate over $750
million for new schools.
was born in Hawkinsville, Ga. on March 8, 1951. She attended the
University of Georgia where she obtained a Bachelor's of science
degree in 1972 and a Master's degree in education two years later.
She moved to South Carolina in 1975 to license Head Start facilities
and federally funded child care centers.
Samuel Tenenbaum in 1984. In 1986, after working as research director
of the Medical, Military, Public and Municipal Affairs Committee
of the S.C. House of Representatives, Tenenbaum graduated from
the University of South Carolina's Law School. She worked for
the law firm Sinkler & Boyd, focusing on health, environmental
and other public interest cases through 1992.
established the South Carolina Center for Family Policy, a nonprofit
organization that aims to reform the state's juvenile justice
system in 1992.
She ran and
lost the primary race for state lieutenant governor in 1994.
has denied that gender is a factor, a potential victory would
make her the first woman senator from South Carolina.
for the Online NewsHour by Annie