A Glenwood preschool teacher and single mother of two children is making a name for herself as a blogger for a San Francisco-based website geared toward issues of interest to women.
“The website is Lipstick and Politics and I’m not the lipstick” Bobbi Jo Rohrberg said during a recent interview.
“I’m not into fashion and entertainment. The politics is what I like most, but I’m also a single mom who’s been through divorce so I also like to write things for co-parenting and general parenting.”
Rohrberg, who teaches at Northeast Elementary in Glenwood, began her budding blogging career two years ago after being contacted online by a former Glenwood Community High School classmate - Katrina Markel.
“I was pretty vocal on Facebook - I like to follow politics and current events,” Rohrberg said.
“I was just sharing my opinions out there and a former classmate (Markel) contacted me in March 2011. The website was looking for a conservative voice not living in a big city.”
Markel, one of the founders of LipstickandPolitics.com and the website’s director of media, said Rohrberg proved to be just what the startup site was looking for.
“I knew that she was smart and could probably write because we had a solid English education in Glenwood,” Markel said. “It was also important to find someone with the right personality. I wanted to find writers who were respectful of others’ opinions while also being confident about their own viewpoints. Bobbi Jo seemed to fit the bill. However, I had no idea she would take the invitation to write for us and really run with it.”
Run with it, Rohrberg has. Her first submission (as a guest blogger) for the website focused on the “C” word - Conservative. After submitting a handful of additional pieces on politics and parenting in the summer of 2011, she was starting to capture a growing online audience through the website and social media venues. In the fall of 2011, Lipstick and Politics asked her to become a regular contributor. She’s now written nearly 70 pieces for the site and has around 3,700 followers on Twitter.
Her blogging has taken Rohrberg to the Ames Straw Poll in 2011, the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) in Chicago and the 2012 National Republican Convention in Tampa, Fla. She’s rubbed elbows with some of America’s most well-known conservative political figures, news media members and cable television talk show faces. Former presidential candidate Herman Cain, U.S. Sen. Rand Paul, Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker and television personality Sean Hannity are among the people she met during the 2012 presidential election campaign.
“I got to meet and talk to Sean Hannity. That was pretty exciting for me. I told him I’ve been referred to as the token conservative on the website, because it’s pretty much based in the Bay Area.” Rohrberg said. “He said, ‘Keep doing what you’re doing and writing what you’re writing, because voices like yours need to be heard.’”
Rohrberg said Sen. Paul is the only person she’s been in awe of.
“I’ve been called a political nerd,” she said. “I was as nervous talking to Rand Paul as you might have been talking to Tom Cruise or somebody.”
Rohrberg was one of only 150 bloggers approved for credentials to cover the Republican National Convention.
“That was just amazing,” she said of the experience. “To see all the speeches and just feel the energy inside there.”
Markel said Rohrberg’s writing is one of Lipstick and Politics biggest draws, despite the website’s liberal-leaning audience.
“She’s built an online following through social media and she doesn’t shy away from controversial topics,” Markel said. “Her tenacity didn’t go unnoticed. The Danish newspaper, Politiken, asked her to write columns from the Republican perspective before the election, she was featured in a Tampa Bay newspaper as an example of the bloggers covering the RNC and one of her blogs surpassed a million hits, which is a record for us.”
Rohrberg’s writings about parental issues have also been popular, including a recent blog that called out Victoria’s Secret and other national retailers for marketing sex-driven clothing to young girls and a reactionary piece to the Sandy Hook school shootings, coming from the perspective of both a mother and preschool teacher.
Rohrberg said writing is a passion and an endeavor she wouldn’t mind taking on professionally after her son, Nathan, 10, and daughter, Sydney, 6, have grown older.
“I’d say it (writing) is my biggest passion,” Rohrberg said. “If I could do it professionally and full-time, I’d do it. I’d do it right now, but having two kids in school, it’s really not a good time for me to be all over the country.”