McCain & The Working Mom.

What drew my attention was not the first-term, 44-year-old Alaska governor who was standing at the podium proudly accepting the invitation to join a presidential ticket. My eyes were instead focused on a woman in the crowd.

 

Dressed in a navy blue T-shirt bearing an American flag, the woman had, just moments earlier, been politely listening to GOP nominee John McCain explain why he made his particular choice of a running mate. Before revealing the name of his VP, Sarah Palin, McCain talked about how his announcement would “shake up Washington.” It wasn’t until he mentioned that it was the week of the 88th anniversary of women’s suffrage when it dawned upon the woman in the flag T-shirt -- who’d likely been standing in the Dayton, Ohio crowd for hours -- that the vice presidential nominee was not a guy. The spectator’s mouth fell open. Her eyes widened. She looked at the man standing next to her as though she couldn’t believe what she’d just heard. It couldn’t be a woman. Could it?

 

A few minutes later, a mother of five – who gave birth to a baby with Down Syndrome in April, whose eldest son is being deployed to Iraq in September and who was celebrating her 20th wedding anniversary on this day – stepped in front of her first national audience. With a nod to Senator Hillary Clinton’s 18 million primary votes and the 18 million “cracks in the glass ceiling” created by her failed presidential bid, Palin said, “. . . [I]t turns out, the women of America aren’t finished yet and we can shatter that glass ceiling once and for all.”

 

It was stunning news to try to absorb as viewers watched Palin, her children and her husband on stage, particularly coming on the heels of the previous evening’s historic speech given by Democratic presidential nominee Barack Obama as he accepted his party’s nod on the 45th anniversary of Martin Luther King’s “I Have a Dream” speech.

hmbowler
10.21.08

There is both good and bad in both sides of this campaign. I truly believe that everyone should take the time to read carefully what each side would like to do with our country. I will be voting for Mccain/Palin purely for the simple fact that no government institution should ever have the power to dictate to any human being what treament options they can and cannot have. I am sorry but to nationalize the healthcare system means we lose our various options we have now. With that invoked itself it means a huge amount of money to put into place = higher taxes for all. Hello we have enough problems already each state provides a healthcare system for those who cannot afford other options. Leave it as it stands and stop messing up the wonderful systems we do have in place. I'm speaking as a parent of a special needs child. His programs would all be disruped with this change over. That's not to include all the jobs that will be lost from private insurance sectors. Lets throw another log on the fire of unemployment I think not. Everyone here should use what little intelligence it takes to figure out what Obama's plan calls for and will invoke in all of our futures.

Maro129
10.11.08

Obama is not responsible for Acorn...its conceivable that his campaign donated to Acorn to encourage voter registration...period. He was 8 yrs old when Ayers committed his acts...he is not responsible for Ayers...period. If you are not a Black American, you can not understand that ongoing pains of Black America which Rev. Wright expressed...but can you understand that Sarah Palin endorses the independence party in Alaska who wants to be a separate and independent nation from America and denounces America in the worst written word possible (see adn.com). Sarah Palin is a republican and Todd Palin is not a republican...he follows the independence party of Alaska...who have expressed hatred for America....period. John Mccain, Sarah Palin, and Cindy Mccain have recently campaigned against Obama where as hatred, slander, and violence has been incited in American. They are referring to Obama as a traitor, arab, someone not like us (white), someone to kill, just plain hate-mongers...period. John Mccain (one of the Keating 5) aided the fall of the saving and loans (which cause the loss of farms) while Cindy Mccain invested with the saving and loan embezzlers (John Mccain admitting being aware of this financial gain for his family)....outrageous, period.

Sarah Palin and Todd Palin used her elected office in an attempt to have her ex-brother-in-law fired...resulting in Walt Monegan losing his job. In 2005 an Alaskan judge ordered the Palin's to back off of their obsession to destroy Wooten (the ex-brother-in-law)....misuse of office....period. The 230 million dollars in earmarks for the bridge to nowhere records of how the money was spent have alledgedly disappeared....Sarah Palin's friend was assigned to govern the dispensing of these funds?...hummmm. no need to ponder this one...period.

The 230 million dollars in earmarks for the bridge to nowhere records of how the money was spent have alledgedly disappeared....hummmm....period. Sarah Palin has had three interviews which clearly depict her inability to mentally express an intelligent thought....fact...period. One can go on and on with shady dealings of the Mccain/Palin creditability....period. Q: When did politicians gain the reputation of being honest...period.

MLB
10.03.08

To stacyclark:
Let us remember that not all Muslims are terrorists or extremists. That type of thing can happen in ANY religion. The U.S. is supposed to be a place where you can be free of religious persecution.

The rest isn't worth disputing because that has already been done.

MLB
10.03.08

I agree with rosaflor - whole heartedly. I spent six years in college and took my women's studies very seriously. I also take my job as mother very seriously. I would never vote for Sarah Palin because she is a mother or because she is a woman. I will only vote for those who are qualified - she is not. This has been demonstrated over and over and over - by her.

However, the issues that face women are important and real. OBAMA/Biden not McCain/Palin will be looking out for and protecting those interests.

Weather we like Palin or not, the discussion is on the table. I chose to have children - our mothers and grandmothers weren't given a choice. I thank the strong women that have made it possible for me to be home with my children and then return to the workplace. As women we must stay vigilant, but also not treat men or each other as the enemy. As Rosaflor implies, there is still much work to be done.

Freedoms Daughters is a book about civil rights and the role women played in that movement. Many women gave of themselves in the name of making our country a better place. They deserve to be remembered.

stacyclark
09.28.08

To Rosaflor:

Remarkable post, it almost makes me want to vote for Obama but I will NOT.

However, I am interested in your opinion regarding Obama's verbal slip about his "Muslim faith"
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iQqIpdBOg6I&feature=related.

And the following article regarding his "black militant"/racist church...
http://www.enterstageright.com/archive/articles/0307/0307obamination.htm.

Why should tax payers pay the tab for his trips to Africa... http://blogs.suntimes.com/sweet/2006/08/obama_african_travel_who_pays.ht... ... and fund his desire to send 50 Million to Africa annually.

It seems that as long as there are poverty stricken people in Illinois he has demonstrated his inability to affect "Change" in a small state. If he cannot change Illinois how can he make change on a global scale?

Not even with all the prestige of Harvard can Obama do all that he is promising.

Obama states he is against the war when his voting record maintains he has repeatedly voted massive financial support for the war.

I am veteran of the USAF and I think we are in better hands with a man who has much more political experience as well as a man who served to fight in hand to hand combat, known as a former POW - MIA and has no limits to the sacrifice he will make for our country and Americans.

What about the recent post of Obama to fund ACORN 20% of the 700 Billion Bail Out? http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XfD4NncC8uk&watch_response

ACORN is an criminal organization Obama supports and represented.

Yikes!!! No thank you. I will take my chances with the old guy and Carrbou Barbie, even if she only had a G.E.D.

McCain/Palin

stacyclark
09.28.08

Do you really want an answer to your question? I don't think you are from "outer space" but your post seems a little naive and dare I say (gulp) oppressive. I don't believe for a moment that elected officials are the brightest of the bright, yet they are the cunning and devisive.

teacher3
09.27.08

I'm very liberal and know it. But even if I weren't, I would have difficulty understanding how anyone could think this woman could be a vice-president and perhaps (gulp) a president.

Don't get me wrong. I think it is wonderful to have female/mother role models and I would have had difficulties raising two children alone without them. I think her attitude toward her children and especially her special needs child is great. I'm sure that she has inspired some with her hardworking and tenacious spirit. That does not mean this person with whom some women relate should be in national office when it is overwhelmingly clear that although she may be aggressive and has an ability with witticisms, she is nowhere near the level of intellectual superiority we would expect for a VP nor is she even particularly educated or experienced. This is not a PTA president, a sorority housemother or EVEN a governor we are electing. This is someone who nearly flunked out of college. She might be outstanding in her community or even to some, in her state. She is in no way outstanding in the nation, except for her media attention.

We are talking about national office here. This is a place where we should be demanding (and NO DOUBTS HERE!) the best, the brightest, the most capable candidate we can even dream of. (What has happened to that excellence, those dreams of our forefathers, to say nothing of that elegant dignity, in our presidency?) Shouldn't we feel SO PROUD of our choice? This feels like a slap in the face to me, and I believe it should feel that way to all women. Sarah Palin is not making females look good in the end, don't you see? The way in which she is presented in the media is making us look exploited. She is being 'used' as some sort of trick to get McCain elected.

The fact that Sarah doesn't see herself as ill-qualified is probably all the evidence we need that this is a bad deal. Please ask yourself...Can you REALLY see Ms. Palin having intelligent foreign policy discussions with the heads of foreign governments? (And I don't mean charming them out of their socks.)

Do I belong in outer space or am I the only one who thinks the suggestion of Sarah Palin, Vice President, is like some sort of surreal cartoon that somehow came to life?

rosaflor
09.25.08

To dgisola7: Your facts are not accurate. 1) Sarah Palin served as Mayor of Wasilla from 1996 to 2002 (6 years) and as Governor of Alaska from December 2006 to the present, just under 2 years. That's a total of 8 years in elected office. Barack Obama served as Illinois State Senator for 8 years then was elected Senator in 2004 (with 80% of the vote)---thus he has served for 12 years in elective office. 2) Obama's votes of "present" in Springfield do not indicate that he was disengaged. "Present" is an often-used procedural vote in the Illinois legislature. 3) Either you disregard Obama's professional experience or perhaps you don't understand it. He has taught Constitutional Law at the University of Chicago for 12 years and practiced law with a corporate law firm for 9 years; between college and law school he worked 3 years in community organization, which is a bit like social work with the community as client. 4) Do you think education is important? Sarah Palin needed six years and four schools to get a BA, and that's as far as she went. She was flunking out of the University of Idaho and was reinstated only after making up courses at a community college. John McCain graduated 894th in his Annapolis class of 899. Barack Obama has a BA from Columbia University in International Affairs and a JD (Juris Doctor = Doctor of Laws) from Harvard University, Magna cum Laude, President of Harvard Law Review (that's essentially saying he was the top law student in the entire United States---it is an enormously prestigious position). Palin could not survive fifteen minutes in a graduate seminar without embarrassing herself. She has a poor command of facts and is shallow; after being prepped by handlers she tends to recite the same rote phrases over and over---she has neither depth of knowledge nor facility of thought. 5) You say that Obama has not run anything or decided anything. For two years now he has run a campaign that is praised even by his political enemies as the best-run campaign in modern history---professional, efficient, effective, creative, and SOLVENT. Don't forget that he defeated the mighty Clinton machine---not bad for an "inexperienced" rookie who has "never done anything". Now: why don't you tell us about Obama being a terrorist, a Black Militant, and a Muslim?

By the way, we do know who watches Palin's children. Her parents, her husband, her older children, her friends, her neighbors, and her employees. How convenient for her. Most of us who worked and raised children at the same time were not QUITE that fortunate.

rosaflor
09.25.08

To all of you who will vote for Sarah Palin as Vice-President (and, given McCain's age and health, quite possibly as President)---because you admire her as a mother, or a working mother---I would like to say something. I have lived nearly eight decades as a woman. I came of age in a world where girls were always counseled to take typing and shorthand in school so they could prepare to be some man's secretary. A world in which young women were told that college wasn't necessary because they "could always get married". A world in which few women were allowed to enter professions which now welcome them---fields such as surgery, engineering, and, yes, politics. Trust me here: we did not get into operating rooms and courtrooms and classrooms and boardrooms because we were good mothers. WE WENT TO SCHOOL. In many cases, we had to fight our way into school, fight our way through school, and fight our way through interviews in which we were asked what kind of birth control we used or told that "women don't do research". (At this point please consider that I am giving you all a sweet smile and saying, Girls, you really can't imagine how bad things used to be.) So now we have a woman, Sarah Palin, closer to the Presidency than any woman has ever been before---not because of her education, which is a joke, and not because of her experience, which is a political marketing job, and certainly not because of her political positions, which are so conservative that they are pernicious to women. Palin's schtick is that she blends her sexiness with her motherhood and puts it out as bait---the dangling baby, the references to her breasts and her lipstick and her go-go boots---then smacks (or has a proxy smack) anyone who notices she's a female. Sarah Palin is about being a woman, not about being a competent woman. You cannot imagine how deeply offensive I find this. She is not running for Mother, or Babe, or MILF---she is running for Quasi-President of the United States. To vote for her because you admire her motherhood is to spit on every woman---your mothers, grandmothers, teachers, attendings, supervisors, and mentors--- who has had to prove herself---intellectually, professionally---in a world dominated by men.

MLB
09.22.08

Palin doesn't speak for me - however, having her (a mother of five) on the Republican ticket has opened up much needed dialogue in this country regarding motherhood and its place and role in our society. Not all women are going to agree about political choices, but what we can do is start talking publicly about the needs of working/stay-at-home mothers everywhere. If you are not sure who to vote for - look at the voting records of all candidates and make your own informed decision. Compare Sarah Palin to other strong women in our history - Read some of "Freedom's Daughters" by Lynne Olson. Understanding our past is part of creating a sustainable future.