Sarah Palin Should Pull Out.

Sure, I’m curious to see the titillating made-for-Lifetime TV drama of Alaskan Governor Sarah “Barracuda” Palin play out and stick a thumb in the eye of all of those social conservatives who believe they own America’s family values. However, I think Sarah owes it to all of us women, but perhaps most importantly her eldest daughter and youngest son, to elegantly withdraw herself from the Republican Party’s nomination for vice president.

 

That’s right. Go home. Run your state, which has a smaller population than Jacksonville, Florida. Shoot more caribou. And take care of your infant son and soon-to-arrive grandchild.

 

Not wanting to be redundant, I promise this is not going to be a post bashing McCain’s vexing V.P. pick and outlining Palin’s clear lack of experience to be promoted to “Heartbeat Away from Leader of the Free World.” Like my fellow Democrats (or at least some of them) I am going to try to take the high road here. So I’ll be clear, this is not a personal attack on Sarah Palin. Yes, I’m insulted that McCain chose someone so completely unqualified to be his number two. And that just because his pick had ovaries and a feisty fearless reputation, McCain thought he would woo women or ridiculously the Hillary vote. But that’s almost beside the point.

 

Sarah clearly has a complicated life that yes, many of us women can relate to. And I believe that some of our best leaders have come from places of adversity, dysfunctional families and untraditional upbringings, think Bill Clinton and well, Barack Obama. But for all of my Girl Power passion, I just don’t think a mom with a special needs infant and a pregnant teenage daughter and two other youngish kids at home will be able to focus on her very big job in the West Wing. It’s refreshing to have leaders who are real people and, of course, who are mothers, but let’s be honest, when the school calls to say that your kid is throwing up and has a fever and you are away in Albuquerque on a business trip, are you able to be focused on your job? The everyday kid stuff is distracting. So I don’t think it’s a great leap to imagine the energy drain a child with special needs takes on a family, and particularly a mother. We worry more. It’s primal. It may not be politically correct; it’s biology.

 

As I write this post at work, my babysitter is taking my son to the dentist to have his cavity filled and I am wracked with guilt that I am not there with him (it’s his first filling ouch!) Yes, we working moms have to outsource some of the kid stuff. But there are certain jobs that moms with young children or even teenage children just can’t take on – or they can’t take them on well.

 

jenni75
10.01.08

I have read both of Barack Obama's books cover to cover, I am sorry that you haven't and therefore do not have the information that those of us that have read them, actually have. I GUARANTEE that if you read them that you might feel somewhat different.
I'm sorry that this woman is the one that you feel you need to look up too.
Feminists would never have chosen the anti-abortionist SP for their choice to represent them, don't kid yourself about that!
If she is qualified then so are you!
Here's a link to a video that can actually teach you something about your candidate, enjoy!
http://vodpod.com/watch/1004212-defenders-of-wildlife-vs-palin-brutal

onmytoes
09.23.08

I AM STUNNED. As a woman, a mother, an employee, and a wife. What happened to all pushing the agenda of a working mother, having it all, doing it all, having the husband assist with raising the children. I guarentee that if Hillary Clinton was in this position the tone would be completely different; one of support, pride, and justice for womankind. When I heard Mrs. Palin speak I was (for the first time in my life regarding politics) overcome with emotion that a woman could be VP. And STOP with the non-experience BS. Please look at Obama CAREFULLY - a Community Organizer DOES NOT write legislation, NOR has he as a Senator..actually he has spent more time away from his desk as a Senator than at it. He did however write two books, which I guarentee that NONE of you have read from cover to cover and you should...very revealing. I am proud as a working mother and wife to have Sarah Palin represent my gender. I find her to be a strong female which I believe all feminists were fighting for in the first place, right? I am also sooo sick and tired of people judging her about taking on a job with a special needs child and her parenting skills when I believe someone wrote how the Republicans aren't the only ones with moral standards...let me get this straight...it would have been ok if Sarah had aborted her special needs baby and for her daughter to have aborted her unborn child and NO ONE would have had a problem with that but since neither one of them did that NOW we have to say that Sarah is a bad parent for having more human beings grace this earth. YEA you guys are right, she is awful, she should drop out, what a horrible human being. Much better to vote for someone who said that he wouldn't allow his daughters to be burdened and straddled with a baby...WOW, I can see how he respects the human race...as a mother who was blessed with the God given ability to give life that statement makes me sick to my stomach give me the gun shooting, bible hugging, lip-stick wearing working mother!!!

cadahl
09.16.08

I don’t really think it really matters how many kids Sarah Palin has, or what ages they are. Am sure she has a staff of people who take care of everything except hugs and kisses and the occasional bedtime story. While her salary is not extravagant, the “expenses” she has billed to the State so far reportedly have more than doubled her income. More than enough for a stable of housekeepers, nannies, drivers, cooks, and personal assistants.

Sarah Palin’s not “doing it all” and am sure as VP, she wouldn’t have to “do it all” either, probably even less than she’s doing now. This is the difference between the working mothers on this site and her: Sarah Palin is not a supermom. She doesn’t have to do it all. We do (with the occasional housekeeper or babysitter, of course).

So, as a disqualifier for a vice presidential run, I don’t think her mothering duties (or how well she does them) should matter nearly as much as her politics and lies but if they impact the outcome in favor of Obama, great.

akseymour
09.11.08

I had the same thoughts about Edwards. While I agree that women should be able to work and have a family, and heck, even go to school. Some jobs are so demanding that they shouldn't be considered by a parent of either gender when they have young children. Yes, I'm sure that if Palin becomes the VP her husband will not be working, except in the capacity expected of political spouse. However, there are some things a child just needs their mother for. A pregnant teenage daughter can't talk to her father about what it is like to go through childbirth. An infant can't breastfeed from their father. If McCain was looking to get the "women's vote" there are certainly more qualified candidates with less distractions.

mph
09.10.08

I wish we could hear directly from Ms. Palin. The possible future leader of the free world can't be made available for an interview? As far as the mommy-angle, I think it can be done, but one would have to cede a lot of responsibility for one's children to others. And I read that Todd did stay home for a while after she was elected as governor, but he eventually returned to work (source: http://www.ktuu.com/Global/story.asp?S=6965360)

Catalina88
09.08.08

I cannot stomach Ms. Palin for any number of reasons but her being a mom is not one of them. I haven't verified it but I think her husband IS a SAHD. Even if he weren't how is that our business? I don't think that's a valid reason for her to "go home" at all.

Hunters Mom
09.08.08

I am a full time work outside of the home mom and have to agree with much of Wendy's article. What I find most frustrating about some of the comments is that, many people still don't want to admit that supermom does not exist. Children have to be raised and cared for by someone....and if mom has a full time job, she's got a lot on her plate. Statistics show that working moms still do more than half of all household and child care related tasks. When you talk about working moms, the first thing that comes up is work-life balance...how does she do it? Society has not yet caught pace with our presence in the workplace....as a result we are usually first in line for handling sick babies, early pickups from school, and everything in between. Quite simply, this is just the way things are in the real world that exists right now. We haven't heard that Sarah Palin's husband is a stay at home dad, or that he handles a large portion of the household and child related tasks. Therefore it is reasonable to ask the questions that many of us our asking....we actually know how difficult it is to be a working mom. Not to mention she has 4 month old. Honestly look back to when you had a 4 month old...did you work outside of the home? If you did what did that feel like? What was your stress level like? The problem is that people want to make this more of a statement about sexism and a double standard when instead Sarah Palin's situation should bring to light the fact that America has failed the working mom by neglecting to put the support in place that she needs to run a family and have a great job all at the same time in a way that everyone thrives. Of course I believe that working mom's can do this but as another commenter mentioned something has to give...we have to fight to get flexible work arrangements, take off from work often without pay, miss out on certain things with our kids, give up career advancement in exchange for more flexibility, and rely on help from our extended family. Right now, working moms in the federal government don't even have paid maternity leave. The same rings true in most states. Recently a bill was proposed that would give Federal workers paid leave...is this something that Sarah Palin would support? Returning to work 3 days after giving birth, to a special needs baby no less, doesn't seem to be supportive of moms, of families, or of kids. I don't just need a woman VP for the sake of breaking the glass ceiling, I need a President who cares about issues that impact working moms like me and cares about real families and that's exactly why I support Barack Obama and Joe Biden.

Amy3
09.05.08

It's OK for us to wonder how she came to this decision, what they've (she and her husband) worked out, how she is planning to handle it all. I wonder that too. It would be a gut wrenching deision for most of us. What I object to is everyone assuming she didn't struggle over this. Assuming she doesn't care about the kids, and just thoughtlessly staked out her own personal plan, disregarding her family. Maybe the family said "Oh my God how could you say no?? Of course we'll work it out! You must do this Mom!!" Maybe Bristol said she knew what would come to her personally, and she could handle it.

Maybe Sarah is losing sleep over this decision still. I would be.

Wondering is natural. But slamming her as a bad mom and saying she's absolutely wrong to do this? We hurt ourselves. Read my article up right now in the Around the Watercooler section at mommytrack'd to see why I think liberated women should be ashamed of themselves.

When Joe Biden took the oath of office in his son's hospital bed, with two little boys who just lost their mother and sister in a car accident, no one thought he was a bad dad? Should he have put his political career aside and taken a less stressful job? His situation was far more dire than Palin's! But he's brave and a good dad?

lfc
09.05.08

Thank you Wendy for articulating what I've been thinking. It seems to me that some of the harshest criticisms of Mr. Palin are coming from working mothers with high-power, high-stress jobs (and are being labeled as "elitist" and "sexist") because we know something's got to give, and in Ms. Palin's case, it's either her children or my children (as citizens of the US). This is all aside from the fact that she is entirely unqualified for the job and espouses social policies that would set women back decades.

aestapa
09.04.08

I can't believe that I am hearing women saying that Palin can't be a mom and perform her job! I would expect that of some men out there, but come on...aren't we all living this life of working and raising kids? Isn't that the point of this entire website? Its never easy...but are we supposed to go back to 1952 and raise our children (yes...even those of us with special needs children) and not offer the world our talents?

It seems some women are too caught up in being angry about Hillary, they can't see that its ok for another woman to take a stand and break new ground. The only thing I find disgraceful in this whole situation is the venom other women are using in their judgments. In addition to running a career, a small business, earning a masters degree and being months away from a doctorate, I am raising two small boys, one of whom has special needs. Is it perfect? No! But if it were any other day, women would be supporting my decisions to work, study and raise my boys into young men who respect all a woman can accomplish.

Such vile comments about Palin's daughter only prove those correct who say that women can't put aside their hormones to be rational, successful, business people.