17 different women, 36 crazy children, 0 babies in utero
Adventures, Advice and Questions from a group of Mormon women who met in Queens, NY and have now scattered all over the place.

Friday, August 29, 2008

Moms for Office

I have been watching the DNC most of the week, and I am still pretty enamored of the Democratic ticket. This morning, however out comes John McCain with Sarah Palin.

There she is with her 5 kids and her 44 years and her working mom self. I relate so much to this woman for all of these reasons. When I am 44, I will have teenagers too! I am guessing I won't have a 4 month old infant, but hey, I am not very good at guessing my life, so who knows.

The point is, this is the first time I am feeling an emotional pull toward the Republican ticket. It's fascinating because the election is now so polarized Far Right vs. Far Left, but now I am feeling a bit conflicted, but it will probably only last for the duration of writing this post.

I can't help thinking of my Dad today. I haven't discussed the latest with him, but he will never not vote Republican. Though I feel totally supported by him in my choice to be a working mother, he never wanted his wife to be a working mother. I don't know if my Dad is a typical conservative or not, but here now, his only choice is to vote for a woman who is the mother of 5 children. Will this affect how some conservatives view her? Will motherhood help or hurt her/McCain-Palin?

Michelle Obama is also a working mother, but she is not running for office like Sarah Palin is now. Will she be an affective candidate? She has a 4-month-old baby with downs syndrome and 3 other children still at home. Of course my point of view is that their Dad (who I presume will not continue his commercial fishing whilst in the VP mansion in DC) will do an excellent job raising the children while Sarah is out and about doing her VP duties/campaigning, but what will the Conservatives think?

Though I am still on the Obama train, I am so excited about Sarah Palin as McCain's running mate. I am so pumped up about the next few months until the election! As the networks keep saying, it's historic either way! I got down right choked up Thursday night when I saw those little Obama African-American girls waving to the crowd! And now we have a fellow-mother running too!


  • Although I will vote for the other ticket, I feel strangely protective of Palin.

    Already I have seen ugly commentary and blog posts. Why did she have so many kids and a career? How could she be a good mom to them? Why did she go back to work so soon after having her last child, who has Downs Syndrome? Why did she carry her child with DS to full term?

    It's going to be hard watching all of her personal life choices debated on a national platform. I think because these are all choices that me, and many many other women have faced. And of no fault of hers, I think it's going to send this whole discussion back a few decades.
    posted by Blogger Jen at 8/29/2008 08:09:00 PM  

  • jen, I know right?
    posted by Blogger Kage at 8/29/2008 08:24:00 PM  

  • why back?
    posted by Blogger Melissa at 8/29/2008 08:45:00 PM  

  • I still don't know which way I'll vote yet -- neither is overwhelmingly appealing these days, but I do love this picture of Palin.

    Not that I think she needs to prove she can be the Supermom toting around her baby while being Governor and now campaigning for VP, but there is something in that photo that communicates "you can be a good mother and let your sphere of influence extend beyond your home". This message, whether you choose to be a working mom or not, is a good one in my book.
    posted by Blogger TftCarrie at 8/29/2008 08:59:00 PM  

  • As a Republican (I worked on The Hill for 3 years in a Republican office), I can say that I am very excited for Sarah Palin to be on teh ballot. I think she was a smart choice on McCain's part, and I think she will only do good things for this election. I disagree with Jen that she will set "this discussion" a few decades back. I don't see how that's possible.
    posted by Blogger jlk at 8/29/2008 09:18:00 PM  

  • It seems like a supremely cynical choice to me. McCain has for months criticized Obama's lack of experience, but now, in an apparent bid for disenchanted Hillary voters, he chooses a woman with ZERO national experience and no discernable foreign policy knowledge, as if "women candidates" are interchangeable because women are too dumb to notice that underneath the lip gloss, all women are not the same.
    posted by Blogger Kathi D at 8/30/2008 01:05:00 AM  

  • Plus, it is apparent that McCain's choice is in the service of his campaign, not the country. He is a 72-year-old who has had multiple bouts of cancer, and he chooses a vice-presidential running mate who is in no way capable of becoming President now or in the near future in case he drops dead or becomes incapacitated.

    I hope his choice will sink him. (And of course, I wasn't going to vote for him no matter who he chose, as you might guess! But THIS choice seems NUTS.)
    posted by Blogger Kathi D at 8/30/2008 01:11:00 AM  

  • Kathi D, I don't see how she's incapable of becoming President now or in the near future if McCain were to become unable to perform his duties as President (for whatever reason), if he's elected.
    posted by Blogger kadusey at 8/30/2008 09:20:00 AM  

  • kadusey, you are right, of course. I shouldn't have said incapable, because of course people can rise to the occasion in surprising ways.

    It just seems that nothing in her life so far has prepared her to address national issues or foreign policy issues. She has been the mayor of a very small city, and the governor, for less than two years, of a very quirky state.

    After all the hay the McCain campaign has tried to make of Obama's inexperience, it seems like such a cynical and calculated political move. As if he were trying to fill a political niche instead of actually looking for someone who could capably govern in his absence.

    Granted, every VP pick has a political element, but not since Dan Quayle has there been someone so spectacularly ill-suited to govern.

    I do have to disclose my liberal left-wing leanings and my quite thorough Democrat-ness. I can honestly say that had a Democrat chosen a Sarah-ish VP, I would have freaked out too, though.

    By the way, I think she has a dynamite personality and I admire her for her industriousness. I agree that her personal choices shouldn't be hung out to dry.

    All the political views, not so much. She is an unmitigated disaster on environmental issues, which is enough in itself for me.
    posted by Blogger Kathi D at 8/30/2008 10:59:00 AM  

  • thanks for posting that picture, carrie! regardless of how i feel about the rest of the situation, that picture made me happy.
    posted by Anonymous makakona at 8/30/2008 02:14:00 PM  

  • melissa, "why back?" sorry, I don't get it....could you explain...

    carrie: LOVING that photo....saw another video clip of her in her office yesterday with a handmade card from her daughter Piper in the background.

    jlk, already on one of the networks they were discussing how a photographer took a picture of Palin's shoes at her acceptance speech....have you ever seen that happen to a man? So...there it's creeping in already...it was happening with Hillary too, she even made a joke: "sisterhood of the traveling pantsuits"...so the fashion talk of all women involved (potential first ladies too) is kind of setting it back...jen, thoughts?

    kathi d, your comments seem almost verbatim what MSNBC in particular is arguing...but MSNBC doesn't seem to be focusing much on her personal choices...more her extreme RIGHT views.

    As for her stepping in to be P IF elected and IF McCain was incapacitated, wow....I'd hold my breath a bit, but not so much because she is a mother and "lacks experience "etc. (see orig. post), but because she is so RIGHT, and the war! When she talked about her son going to fight, I just had images of the veterens with their prosthetic limbs and PTSD and just got a little cringy.
    posted by Blogger Kage at 8/31/2008 07:42:00 AM  

  • This sums it up really well for me:

    posted by Blogger Kathi D at 8/31/2008 10:17:00 AM  

  • I consider myself a Republicrat--a hybrid if you will. There are things I like and dislike about both parties. (Is that an independent? I don't know). My problem is why Republicans have to blast all Democratic values, and why Democrats have to do the same with Republicans? I feel like Democrats are basically saying "The Republican mindset is ridiculous and anyone Republican is an idiot." And of course Republicans do the same to Democrats. This type of negative categorizing would be considered wrong and evil in any other context--race, religion, gender, etc. So my point is this...when I hear a politician say something to the effect that the opposing party is intrinsically filled with flawed logic and their core beliefs are just wrong, I'm thinking, why is it OK to demonize the other side so openly? Why do we have to try to make each Party out to be negative and fundamentally flawed? I just don't understand how a Presidential nominee could try to gain the trust of the American people if he criticizes their beliefs so openly by criticizing their preferred political party, to which a large majority of Americans ascribe to either way.

    Democrats aren't intrinsically flawed--we've had some great Democratic Presidents. And how could it be that Republicans are always the bad guys when we've had some great Republican Presidents?

    There is more to my point than this, but I hope you get the jist...that said I'm not sure how I feel about Palin. This will be interesting...

    KathiD--thanks for the article...food for thought.
    posted by Blogger miggy at 8/31/2008 11:20:00 AM  

  • kathi d, enjoyed the article. I wasn't really paying attention to all the rude naysayers who were giving the same analysis on her over and over, but the author of your link spelled it out a little more clearly...especially the population of the towns she has governed and the first two duties of her mayor position.

    And ladies, we all know the end of a pregnancy and the challenges of newbornness takes away from our normal functioning selves....so I would argue, her 18 months of serving as governor were in reality a bit less than that if you factor in that baby stuff, sleep deprivation etc.
    posted by Blogger Kage at 8/31/2008 08:10:00 PM  

  • hi
    how was your day?
    i liked your blog
    you are fantastic!!!

    really nice blog
    fabulous fantastic
    take care
    see you
    posted by Blogger BECK at 9/01/2008 12:02:00 AM  

  • I just meant why will Sarah Palin set the whole discussion back a few decades? Do you think Hillary did? All I see is forward from these two women.
    posted by Blogger Melissa at 9/01/2008 08:31:00 PM  

  • I think Jen's comment is pretty clear in terms of why it sets the discussion back. Sarah Palin is still in the "mommy" stage, while Hillary Clinton has completed that. I have already heard lots of call-ins on radio shows, read blog posts, etc., that totally set the discussion back. "The Republican party is the party of family values and yet we are talking about taking a mom out of her home..." etc.

    Not that I (considering myself an independent, but on the liberal side, esp. economically) disagree with the importance of a mom's influence in her home. But it's really the tone of these critics more than anything. I really feel like I've been transported back 40 years when I hear some of these types of comments on the radio or read them online.

    To be fair, the fact is that mothers and fathers are not the same, so questions about Obama's ability to balance home and family don't seem exactly the same as questions about Palin's. That said, it's far from impossible to be an incredible mother and an incredible whatever-else. It's just more difficult to be both at once than to be one or the other--or, in Hillary Clinton's case, to be one at one stage and one at a later stage.

    Not that I'm calling her "incredible" but she wasn't running for president when her kid was small. Then again, maybe if she had been born 20 years later, she would be. But maybe not...that raises the issue of feminism "disappearing" because we young women take our rights for granted. (e.g., being completely shocked that someone would say Palin is unfit for VP due to her home life.)

    This comment is so rambly, I just wanted to say that I agree about it setting the conversation back. Not that it's Palin's fault necessarily, it's just the way it is. She's especially striking because of her conservative views on so many things except this one particular thing--being a SAHM--which apparently a lot of people are still pretty conservative about.
    posted by Blogger Eliza at 9/03/2008 08:08:00 PM  

  • I like her cause she's normal. She's a spitfire who makes her own choices. There is no such thing as enough experience for being in high office! It is all on the job training. You vote for a person who has votes/background you like so that picks for Supreme Court and other noms share your political beliefs.
    It's not like any President can get anything done anyway...hello...congress...senate.
    I agree that it sends the discussion back to Equal Rights, but in a different way. She's "playing with the big boys" and people don't like it. They got their "Equal Rights" and it's too far right...lol
    posted by Blogger katrina at 9/09/2008 08:11:00 PM  

  • It's nice to see such a mix of views who are nice to each other. I live in Wasilla, we snowmachine near the same lodge (her husband races). I don't agree with her politics but I have a great respect for her. Everyone who has worked with her has commented that when you're in talking with palin, at least one of her kids will call or show up. She seems to just include them in everything. I think it's pretty amazing that she balances it all so well.
    posted by Blogger Jolene at 9/21/2008 05:50:00 PM  

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