August 29, 2008
First thoughts on Sarah Palin
It's official: McCain has selected Palin. I don't know a lot about her, but I'm trying to do some reading now. My first impression is that I disagree with her on a lot of issues, but kinda like her as a person. My main worry is that I have not yet found any previous statements from her on foreign policy, and at this point it will be difficult to tell what she actually thinks vs. what McCain is telling her to say. And that makes me nervous.
I'm very conflicted about one thing: I can't help but have a gut feeling that it's just WRONG to ask the mother of a special needs infant to take on such a demanding and time-consuming job. (Sure, she could have said no, but what would that do to her future career opportunities?) But at the same time, I would never ever want a woman disqualified from consideration for a job because she's a mother. So. I don't know.
Anyone have opinions on Palin, pro or con?
Posted by Kat at August 29, 2008 12:34 PM
She's the first thing I've been politically excited about in years. :)
Seriously, I just LIKE her. You and I differ politically, I know, and that's OK :), so you won't be offended when I say that I really DO agree with her on all the issues where I can find her having a stance. And she is exactly the kind of woman I would love to have as a role model for my daughter -- she's smart, she loves the outdoors, she works hard, she is a family woman, she's very pro-life and pro-freedom, and she is awesome at cutting political crap and getting at real issues, as far as I can tell.
Foreign policy stuff can be hard to find for governors, unless they have had Clintonesque presidential aspirations from day one, because it's just not their sphere. I am interested in that myself. I mean, her son enlisted in the military and is about to be sent to Iraq, but that doesn't actually say anything about *her*, except that she's a pretty good mom to turn out a son like that. ;-)
To play the devil's advocate: I'm not a [modern] feminist at all, so I don't usually like this kind of reasoning, but what if it was the *father* of a special needs infant who had been nominated? That'd be fine, right? I'm sure this is something they've worked through as a family, since being a governor isn't exactly a cushy work-from-home kind of endeavor. I'm not completely comfortable myself with the idea of leaving infants in child care (but then, I don't even send my kids to *school*, so I'm not exactly Everywoman on this issue), but given the political choice between a woman who has children and lets others care for them during the day, and one who's never had children, I think I'll still pick the former. It's a tough choice for someone like me, and evidence of the fact that I've mellowed considerably from the positions I held a decade or so ago. :)
I have very deep concerns about her - No foreign policy experience; committed to the over-through of Row vs Wade; before governor of Alaska she was the mayor of a town of 9,000...my town is bigger than that...and if my mayor ran for governor - I'd laugh at him...NO EXPERIENCE.
I walked past Palin's governor's mansion just in June. She lives in the tiny town of Juneau, which is unreachable by road. You have to fly or boat in.
Given McCain's age and cancer history, I'm not willing to have this woman run the country, work with Congress, or make critical global decisions in the next 4 years, on top of parenting not just a special needs child, but 3 others at home. We'd be back to having the old Republican Guard running the country for her, no matter how well she speaks.
She has very little experience, she doesn't believe in global warming and the best they can say about her is that she is a hunter, beauty queen, and former basketball player. Oh yes and she owns a float plane. The needs of a newborn child with Down syndrome are enormous, hopefully her husband can be a full time parent. But, I can't help but think she is young enough to put aside her political career for a while to be sure her family is taken care of. I would say the same of a father of a child with special needs. I can't see her appealing to a lot of Hillary supporters.
My first reaction was what is he thinking? She seems nice enough although I disagree with her on most issues too. It will certainly make McCain's age and health bigger issues. And I imagine there will be another round of the mommy wars amongst pundits.
I'm just wildly happy that there will be at least one Not White Male in the White House next year, no matter which side wins. Well, either in it or a heartbeat away.
I will preface this by saying I have read your blog for a couple of years and find your blog and the associated links a great resource.
Anyway, I have to echo Rachel's comments. She's (Palin) got me excited! I think she's a great role model at this point. She's a great choice and balance for McCain. I think her executive experience and the things we have heard of what she has accomplished in her years as an executive is pretty amazing. The mere fact that she took on the old republican cronies in her state is pretty bold and impressive.
There are two things I don't get though with Dem supporters and their comments about Palin. 1) her experience...it would seem to me that Obama has less experience than she, especially executive experience, not only with foreign policy but overall. 2) the mom factor...I will be completely honest here, when her ability to be an effective leader is questioned because she's a mom of 5 it grates me to my core. Unlike Rachel, I am a modern feminist and I don't see how people can question her ability. I don't think the fact she has 5 kiddos, one who is a special needs child, should matter a lick. It seems to me that she has a pretty great support system in place and a strong marriage, in short the things in place to help her and her family remain stable through the process and beyond. That said, had McCain picked a guy with 5 kids, no one would question the fact that he even had 5 kids, let alone his ability as a leader (i.e. any one question Obama’s ability to raise his daughter’s and be president? If they have, I haven’t heard it).
If you don’t agree with her politics, that’s one thing. To question Palin’s ability, especially compared with what the Dems have put up is pretty paltry.
Just my 2 cents for letting me express my opinion!
Keep up the good work and thanks!
Unfortunately, I don't know anything about her. But I'm watching with interest, and I'll be reading your future thoughts =)