Maxine Waters

Maxine Waters


Maxine Waters, born Maxine Moore Carr on August 15, 1938 in Saint-Louis (Missouri), is an American politician1,2 member of the Democratic Party, federal representative of California for the 29th (1991-1993), 35th (1993-2013) then 43rd district of the state (since 2013).

She was previously a member of the California State Assembly between 1976 and 1991. As an elected member of the United States House of Representatives, she was a notable opponent of the Iraq War.


Youth and beginnings

Maxine Waters was born into a family of 13 children raised by a single mother in Saint-Louis3,4. After high school, she married Edward Waters. They have two children together, Edward and Karen5.

In the early 1960s, the family moved to Southern California. She worked in a textile factory and then for a telephone company. In 1966, she joined the Head Start program and became a teacher; she subsequently coordinated several volunteers from the program5. Four years later6, she graduated in sociology from California State University in Los Angeles5. She divorced her first husband in 1972.

Local politics

From college, Waters got involved in politics. In particular, she directed David S. Cunningham’s campaign for Los Angeles City Council in 1973 and became his assistant once Cunningham was elected5.

In 1976, she ran for the California State Assembly in a predominantly African-American and Hispanic district of Los Angeles. During the Democratic primary, she defeated Johnny Collins, supported by the outgoing MP5. Right-hand man of Assembly Speaker Willie Brown, she notably carried a law obliging state pension funds to withdraw their funds from companies operating in segregationist South Africa3.

At Congress

Maxine Waters was elected to the United States House of Representatives in 1990. In a constituency now stretching from south Los Angeles to Torrance4, she is re-elected every two years with over 70% of the vote3.

In 2008, she was criticized for arranging a meeting between the Treasury Department and the executives of a bank in which her husband had shares, with the aim of obtaining federal funds. An investigation is launched by the Ethics Committee of the House of Representatives, which considers after three years that Waters has not violated rules of ethics4,7. His grandson, then chief of staff, was nevertheless reprimanded for his role in favor of the bank. Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (en) considers Maxine Waters to be “one of the most corrupt elected officials” 7. Another controversy concerns his daughter Karen, who has raised nearly $ 650,000 by monetizing Waters’ official support for candidates, whose list is then sent to voters via slate mailer. This legal means is considered to be a means of circumventing electoral financing laws7.

Since 2013, she has been the best-placed Democrat on the House of Representatives’ Financial Services Committee3.

In popular culture

Waters’ repartee, nicknamed “Auntie Maxine” (in French: “auntie Maxine”), and her attacks on the Trump administration (she publicly called for harassment of any member of the Trump administration, including in a restaurant, a store or a gas station, recommending the formation of demonstrations to prohibit them from all normal life: “They’re not welcome anywhere” 8) earned him a certain popularity with millennials. The videos of his speeches regularly create a buzz on the internet3,4,9,10.

Electoral history

United States House of Representatives

Maxine Waters, the favorite “aunty” of young Americans

Since her viral rant against the director of the FBI, the 78-year-old Californian MP has been favored by millennials. Portrait.

At 78 years old, “Auntie Maxine” is the idol of American youth. Maxine Waters, Californian MP with a communicative smile, seduced millennials thanks to her clear-cut and filmed positions.

Originally from the small town of Kinloch, Missouri, she is the fifth child of thirteen siblings. Raised by her mother, she began working in a clothing factory as a telephone operator, before being hired as an assistant teacher in 1966. In 1956, she married Edwards Waters with whom she had two children: Karen and Edward Jr. She divorced in 1972 and married Sidney Williams, an American football player, in 1977. In the meantime, her political career began first in the office of a Californian deputy, then in the California assembly, where she worked. on issues related to the development of South Africa and apartheid. From the 1990s, the woman politician rose through the ranks: she became deputy of the State of California in 1991 and representative of the 43rd District in 2013, a position she still occupies today.

“No credibility”

A CV that would make more than an American pale. But why is Maxine so popular with young people? Obviously thanks to strong opinions and a foolproof repartee. In January 2017, the “aunties of the Americans” made talk about her on the sidelines of the Hillary Clinton emails affair, which the latter would have sent from her private messaging when she was Secretary of State. Face camera, Maxine Waters had attacked with virulence the director of the FBI, James Comey, at the origin of the reopening of the investigation, ten days before the ballot for the presidential election. Asked about this “coincidence” at a press conference, the MP replied with some anger: “The case is closed and we can not say anything, but all I can tell you is that the FBI director has no credibility ”. After this shattering declaration, she had simply left the gallery, thus putting an end to the journalists’ questions.

Another example, last March. Fox News presenter Bill O’Reilly dares to attack his hairstyle which he considers similar to the “James Brown wig”. The response of the person concerned is scathing: “I am a strong black woman who cannot be destabilized in this way”. And to recall in the wake that there are other more important issues to deal with.

She speaks the “millennial language”

Which brings us to the following equation: “hangout + media + coverage on social networks = darling of young people”. A formula that Maxine Waters masters with a master hand. In a video for NowThis Politics, the MP admits, smiling: “They call me Aunt Maxine, and I love it. I’ve dedicated a lot of my life to millennials. Following my video on the FBI, the kids said “she threw shade”, but I didn’t know what that meant. I had to ask my grandchildren. ”

Since then, she has been the subject of “tweets, retweets and cheers in the cities” she visits. “They ask me for autographs and photos. I feel a connection has been created with them. Many would like to see me in the race for the White House and participate in political and governmental decisions at a federal level. I am very happy with that. ” “Auntie Maxine” loves young people, and the latter gives her back.

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