Why I Love Sarah Palin.

by Leslie Morgan Steiner

 

With trepidation I recently agreed to:

 

A) Buy Sarah Palin’s New York Times #1 bestselling autobiography, Going Rogue

 

B) Read all 413 pages

 

and

 

C) Talk publicly about Palin on one my favorite radio shows, Michel Martin’s Tell Me More.

 

Washington, DC, where I live, votes 97% Democratic. My beloved liberal DC mom posse – who always listen to the show since it conveniently comes on NPR at exactly the hour we are all scooping our kids from school – vituperate Sarah Palin with intensity usually reserved for stepmothers who were once Hooters waitresses. Even the Republican former speechwriter Mary Kate Cary, my co-guest on Tell Me More, avers Palin.

 

My reluctance to tackle Palin publicly came because I knew what would happen: in the tempting privacy and security of the windowless NPR radio studio, I’d confess to how much I actually like Sarah Palin. Three million people would hear it on air, including the mamas. Then my friends would run me over in carline as I tried to pick up my children.

 

Before YOU run me over, first let me state what I hate about Palin.

 

First, she uses a lot of exclamation points in her book!

 

She glorifies Ronald Reagan as if deserving sainthood.

 

She preaches – and seems to believe -- the specious concept that policies effective in Wasilla (population 10,000) and Alaska (population 686,000) can be translated to the greater United States (300 million) and the world (six billion).

 

She believes God speaks directly to her and justifies decisions that hurt thousands of people, such as her feeble decision to abandon her elected position as Alaska’s governor last July, with God’s impossible-to-debate alleged invisible hand.

 

She can be hypocritical. For instance, during the McCain campaign she flaunted the puzzling fact that she never used babysitters, then thanked at least nine in the acknowledgements section of her book. (In the meantime making us working-moms-who-use-daycare feel like piles of dog poopie.)

 

Finally, I can never, will never, agree with her view that women and girls cannot end unwanted pregnancies inside our own, God-given bodies.

 

In short: Palin’s political ideology is flawed, adolescent, and potentially hazardous to ordinary citizens.

 

However, to my chagrin, I can’t help but adore Sarah Palin. She reminds me of my favorite moms – including my own.

lini4545
12.21.09

Leslie,

I get you a completely agree with you. Love Sarah Palin, hate her politics. As a mother of 6, I admire her ability to run for vice president, while still breastfeeding her 5th child, who has Down Syndrome, and standing up for her pregnant teenage daughter. Most women would be in pieces.

leslie morgan s...
12.17.09

Leslie Morgan Steiner

And also, we need babysitters for non-work reasons too! Like to see a friend, go for a walk, take our car to the too-filthy-for-kids repair shop, etc.

I believe the only people who criticize us for having babysitters are people who've never actually taken care of kids by themselves!

Every caregiver needs a break sometimes.

leslie morgan s...
12.17.09

Leslie Morgan Steiner

Neuromum -- I agree, the "look america, no babysitters!" is a public relations spin designed to thwart critics who even in this day and age think a good mom doesn't work for pay. Ridiculous! Most mothers have ALWAYS worked one way or the other. It's insulting and infuriating when anyone suggests you can't be a good mother if you work -- or use a sitter, daycare, or some other solution you feel good about. Leave us moms alone!!! We're doing the best we can and that kind of critism doesn't help anyone.

maryellie
12.17.09

"Despite her vehement denial, she’s a feminist and vocal cheerleader for women’s equality..."

Vehement denial indicates that one is NOT a feminist. Just like Phyllis Schlafly and her 6 figure salary....that she earned berating women to stay at home.

I don't deny that Ms. Palin isn't an appealing figure. But she has gone out of her way to demonize people (women) like me. I can't get on board the love train.

Jane Swift (former governor of Massachusetts) was a much better role model here - and her politics weren't even close to mine. But she was run out on a rail by the Republicans in MA when Mitt Romney decided to be governor.

neuromum
12.16.09

I'm kind of with you!! I hate her politics but do like her personality. I even kind of think its cool that she goes hunting. Bummer about her policy on abortion, though. And what is up with the anti-babysitter attitude? The obamas did this too- I heard it said that they never used a nanny. First, that doesn't make sense. Second, why is it a badge of honor not to use childcare of any kind? I find that totally odd. What do people think that career women like Michelle Obama and Sarah Palin do with their children during the day? It doesn't make any sense to me. Like somehow they would be morally superior if they managed to concoct a complicated arrangement with both parents which obviated the need for third party care? I am mystified by that.

leslie morgan s...
12.16.09

Leslie Morgan Steiner

The Anita Bryant question made me laugh so hard I spit out my coffee!

Somehow, even in 1976 when I was 10 years old, I knew she was a nut case. Cwazy!

I am with all of you who think I'm the nut case for liking Palin. But I just can't deny it. I abhor her politics but I do like her. I'd never vote for her, but just like people used to say they'd want to have a beer with George Bush, I'd love to swap mommy tales with Palin. I also think she has been unfairly portrayed by the media as a ditz -- impossible to ignore the gender bias in the way the media has attacked her. Even a true ditz like Dan Quayle was not ridiculed as much!

Michi
12.16.09

While I acknowledge that she is a mom and has had those fun mom issues we all have (kids do yell loudest when you are on a conference call) I can't admire her. Because she undermines so many other things about being a mother.
She's ambitious sure, but so are many women; surely we can find another to admire?
It isn't really like she plays up her mom aspects; she's plays up the angle that she can be more conservative than the next person. And that I can't admire; that's an ideology, not a political point of view.
I was wavering about voting for Obama or McCain until she came on the scene; then I had to do everything in my power to defeat her; not McCain, but Palin.
You're entitled to your own opinion, but can't even partially go there with you on this one.

MDTaz
12.15.09

Um, I have a hard time thinking Sarah Palin as the kind of cheerleader for feminism that I'd want my daughters to admire. Let's see, she quits the job of governor halfway through the first term, she's been trapped in more than a handful of outright lies, she parades her special-needs kid around for sympathy, she winks at the camera during a vice-presidential debate. I don't think that's what Gloria Steinem or Bella Abzug had in mind.

http://maternal-dementia.com

The Suburban Outlaw
12.15.09

Sorry I must comment - did you like Anita Bryant too? I didn't and couldn't. You cannot separate the woman from her beliefs and her beliefs are, well, nutty.

jej@jjhlaw.com
12.15.09

I politically am you, and I love what you said about Sarah. Don't let the naysayers get to ya girl. She may not be the sharpest pencil in the cup but she has had the balls to try to do the motherhood professional politician woman thing all out and on the national stage to boot and we should all give her two thumbs up for it. Those who mock and deride, as I so frequently do myself, should perhaps gaze in the mirror a bit more and think about whether we could hack it ourselves before we are so free to critique and criticize. We really need learn to give credit where it is due. The fact that she has five kids, one with special needs, and is still going for it full out, but not by leaving the kids behind or hidden, truly rocks and in many ways she should be an inspiration to us all. For those who disagree and think that they are so much smarter or can do it better, then make us all proud and get out there and go for it. I promise to give you an easier time than we did her. Any takers? Any Democrats got what it takes to go for it? Let me know and I will back you all the way girls!!!! On a parting note as my mommy taught me "if you don't have anything nice to say then don't say anything at all." Although it is true that this truisim if applied liberally won't give the required sunshine in government, splashes of it here and there on the less critical issues are the minimum that we should extend to other woman. If we could learn to support and back our own sex I have little doubt we would get a shoot at screwing it up slightly less than the men have. Happy Holidays to all and better New Year too!