‘Reluctant Republican' takes on extremism in new book

Published: Thursday, March 7, 2013 at 04:34 PM.

"In the primary, I was running against four men — each more conservative than the next. I was more moderate and pragmatic," she said. "I didn't want to be a politician or have a bridge named after me. I just wanted to solve our problems."

Losing because she wasn't seen as "conservative enough" was a problem she saw happening all across the nation because of the right wing control of the party, she said.  

After the election, Olschner was told she was the lousiest politician some had ever seen, and that is OK with her.

"I had never run for office before and I didn't try to win. I just told the truth," she said. "I understood the complex issues and what it took to solve problems. When this country was founded, it was founded by men who had other jobs, quit their jobs long enough to help solve the country's problems, then went back to their jobs. They weren't politicians or right-wing nuts."

Olschner's training is as a courtroom lawyer, a profession she practiced for 30 years in Birmingham. She is still licensed.

When she made the decision to run for Congress, Olschner believed she had the training, intelligence, and temperament for the job. However, she realized that on the Republican ticket, a moderate, traditionalist can not win.

"The climate right now does not support people who are honest. There is no center in Washington," she said.

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