More on Palin

I have a piece up at TAP:

Palin’s addition to the ticket takes Republican faux-feminism to a whole new level. As Adam Serwer pointed out on TAPPED, this is in fact a condescending move by the GOP. It plays to the assumption that disaffected Hillary Clinton supporters did not care about her politics — only her gender. In picking Palin, Republicans are lending credence to the sexist assumption that women voters are too stupid to investigate or care about the issues, and merely want to vote for someone who looks like them. As Serwer noted, it’s akin to choosing Alan Keyes in an attempt to compete with Obama for votes from black Americans.
It’s clear that Republicans believe that what made Hillary Clinton such a good candidate was her gender, not her political experience or positions on the issues. And McCain’s decision to pick Palin shows he took this message to heart and chose to add her to the ticket primarily because of her gender. In so doing, McCain has turned the idea of the first woman in the White House from a true moment of change to an empty pander.
Why is this a pander? Because Palin is not a woman who has a record of representing women’s interests. She is beloved by extremely right-wing conservatives for her anti-choice record (fittingly, she’s a member of the faux-feminist anti-choice group Feminists for Life). Palin supports federal anti-gay marriage legislation. She believes schools should teach creationism. Alaska is currently considering spending more on abstinence-only sex education. And when it comes to a slew of other issues of importance to women, such as equal pay, she’s not on the record.

Read the rest here. I’ll be discussing the article (and debating this woman) on CNN tomorrow morning at 10:30 a.m. eastern.
More from other bloggers after the jump…

Gina at What About Our Daughters:

McCain is doing what Obama supporters should have done this week in Denver at the Democratic National Convention. The Republicans are doing what Republicans do… whatever it takes to win the White House. Its cynically pitting the hopes and aspirations of Black folks against those of White women who vote… here is an FYI, White women voters outnumber us! [...]
Why do I place the onus on Obama supporters and not Clinton supporters to make the overtures to mend the rift? A) Because as the winner, it didn’t cost you anything to be kind to those who lost, even if you thought they were sore losers and B) You need the PUMAS, the PUMAS don’t need the Obama acolytes. As far as some of the Clinton supporters are concerned, their election is over.

Andi at the Bitch Blog:

Simply put, this cynical, calculated choice by the McCain camp — she’s a woman, so she’ll get the votes of all those cranky old bags who were pulling for Hillary! — is going to mean another round of headaches and frustration for feminists. Yes, many of us were excited at the prospect of a woman in the White House; no, not any woman will do. And, unfortunately, the folks who are supposedly on “our” side who want to drive home how bad a choice Palin is will do so with sexist commentary about her beauty-queen past, her smarts, her lack of any sort of foreign-policy experience, and, undoubtedly, her hair and wardrobe. And women who find Palin’s politics odious, but who are equally offended by the media’s treatment of her, will be in the always-awesome position of hearing from all corners how unfeminist they are for not supporting the sisterhood.

Rebecca Traister at Broadsheet:

But even among more reasonable Democrats, the Palin pick does create worries for the still-tender party, not the least of which is that it will reopen a debate about whether Barack Obama should have picked a female vice president, or more specifically, Hillary Clinton.
Biden is a strong candidate for Democratic women, with a good record of supporting reproductive rights and opposing antichoice nominees to the Supreme Court. Biden also wrote the groundbreaking Violence Against Women Act, and is great on the lunch-bucket economic issues so vital to so many American women.
But there was pressure on Obama, especially after the energy (and votes) generated by Clinton’s run, to consider as a running mate Clinton herself, or women like Kathleen Sebelius and Janet Napolitano. He reportedly did not formally vet Clinton, and none of his final top three candidates for the job were female.

Rachel Setzer

I have no problem with Palin being McCain’s VP. More women should be nominated for big national offices. I don’t think she’s going to fare well in debates with Joe Biden — who has an ability to tear someone to shreds without insulting their honor, as we saw in his speech on Wednesday — and I’m not totally convinced that she’s going to do a whole lot to help the McCain ticket. That is, unless those PUMAs really are stupid, which I’m pretty sure they’re not (oh, and they don’t really exist anyway).

Ta-Nehisi Coates:

Also, if you’re making a play for Hillary voters—older, middle-aged white women in rust-belt states–is the way to get it done by bypassing, say, Carly Fiorina and Kay Bailey Hutchison, to pick a former Ms. Alaska who’s only been governor for two years? There’s a meme about Barack Obama reminding older women of the slick, handsome guy who beat them out for a big promotion, even though they were more qualified. But here’s another very likely meme–Sarah Palin as the inexperienced, younger, attractive woman who beats them out for a promotion, even though they were more qualified.

Christian Progressive Liberal at Jack and Jill Politics:

Yeah, McCain’s trying to make a little history of his own, but considering the crowd he has to play to in order to win, his choice of Sarah Palin, while it would play under the big ticket Democratic party, the GOP continues to believe that a woman’s place is in the home (there’s those “family values” again), and it may not save him.

Join the Conversation

  • earthling

    I’m from the UK and am finding this whole thing very interesting. Two words: Margaret Thatcher. She was Prime Minister of the UK for about 10 years in the 80s, as leader of the Tory party (equivalent of the Republicans for those uninitiated into British politics!). During that time she did so much damage to the country that most people, male and female, now hate her guts and can’t wait for her to finally croak so that they can dance on her grave while singing ‘hallelujah’. Honestly, you would have to live here to realise the levels of hate British people feel for this woman.
    Why? Well, she was ultra-right-wing, initiated economic policies that crippled poor working families, smashed the unions, took away free milk from school children, allowed the police to beat people up who were on strike, went to war in the Falklands, spearheaded the decline of British industry – 3 million were unemployed under her govt – and so much more that there isn’t space to write it all here. She caused a recession, untold alienation, disaffection and poverty, and the UK still hasn’t recovered from her free market-worshipping economic policies (mainly because Tony Blair continued them, but that’s another story).
    The 80s was a time of great backlash against feminism and she was a big part of this. She created an all-male cabinet and kept other women down while she enjoyed the top job.
    My point is this: vote for the Republicans at your peril! Just because there is a woman on the ticket, doesn’t mean that good things will follow for society. It would be great to have a woman in the White House but it has to be the right woman. The party will always be the party, it doesn’t matter who leads it. Republicans are still Republicans and if I were American I would be doing ANYTHING I could to stop them getting into power for another four years. I would vote for Obama despite whether or not I happened to agree with everything he said and despite the fact that I would’ve preferred Hillary.

  • katliz74

    Just as Biden filled holes in Obama’s ticket (foriegn policy, experience, etc.), Palin fills the more obvious ones in McCains: young, female, staunch conservative. (Some ultra-conservatives have taken their time warming to McCain.)
    Hearing the news yesterday, I was immediately encouraged for an Obama win. Because not only does she make Obama look ultra-experienced, she’s also in bed with Big Oil. I will put my faith in the American people to ensure that we will not see another term with oil cronies in the White House.

  • Suzy Q

    The Republican Party represents misogyny and racism. It is the KKK of American politics. The new Republican Party grew out of the racism that opposed the Civil Rights Movements.
    I is anti-union, anti-poor, anti-woman, anti-people of color, anti-abortion, anti, anti-equality, anti-LGBT.
    It is truly Anti-American.
    I was a Clinton supporter. But when Obama narrowly beat her in the primaries, I became an Obama supporter although I took it easy for a few weeks before doing so.
    I am not about to engage in horizontal arguments over which is the greater oppression factor. All are oppressive and we all win when a member of the oppressed classes wins. Misogyny and racism are both bad.
    I might have thought more highly of McCain (although I doubt it) had he chosen some one with the status of Condi Rice. As it is his move comes off as misogynistic, sleazy and cynical as well as insulting.

  • Jut Gory

    SuzyQ: you do not think that picking a black woman as VP would be more cynical. People would have the same complaints. I would have liked Rice, but I think he could not do that strictly for the cynicism factor.
    And, I agree with earthling: it would be great to have a woman in the White House, but it has to be the right woman. But there is no way I would have voted for Hillary.
    Palin was a great choice for McCain. Between the McCain-Feingold and McCain-Kennedy bills, the Republican base saw someone who was not really conservative. Whatever her lack of experience (and I think it matches up with Obama), she is a solid conservative pick that will really energize the party.
    So, I do not think it is a cynical pick. He picked an outsider, one he did not have to beat up on in the primary (unlike Obama-Biden), and gives him conservative credibility with the party.
    Whatever your thought on her, his pick will certainly make this race far more interesting.

  • Liz-99

    GO, ANNIE!
    Great job on CNN today when the anchor tried to dismiss your valid point that experience is less the issue than conduct. She tried to suggest that because the investigation is on-going that we cannot consider it, and you reminded her that Palin is currently under investigation by her own legislature after only 18 months in office. The matter of character was what Republicans used to attack Gore, by linking him with Clinton.
    I guess for the Republicans, if a candidate wants to cut off a woman’s right to choose, then that is the sole factor in determining his or her “character,” and officials can then go on to wage illegal wars, strip the Constitution of its meaning, and lie– all while still being considered to have a good character.
    Yours is the kind of debate we should be having. You stayed focused and went for the best point that did not bring gender or non-issue vagaries, like “experience” into it.
    Rather than use the stupid Republican “character” language, though, I liked how you used more specific language– corruption! This is exactly small-town politics that brought us Jack Abramoff and Tom “The Bug Man” Delay.

  • janeair

    The coverage of this announcement has seemed like an excuse for the news media to be pitting women against each other. Tearing other women down is never feminist. It confuses me why so many women labeling themselves as feminists seem to be going after Palin more veraciously than they would have attacked a male running-mate.
    She disagrees with me on many important issues, and I don’t plan to vote for her; but it seems like she did a great job as governor, at least by conservative standards. And her conservative beliefs seem to echo those of her constituency. She also has a great record of fighting corruption, and even asked to be investigated by her own attorney general, when accusations of corruption where leveled against her.
    As Republicans go, she seems pretty great and I am always happy to see another woman running for office, no matter her political positions. But that still does not mean I will vote for her.

  • ericalarue

    VERY well-put, Friedman! Thank you for making sure that those of us who perceive McCain’s choice to be a sexist gesture to get more votes are able to have their voices heard…keep writing!

  • Virginia Harris

    Senator Clinton and Governor Palin are proof that women can and do diverge on important issues.
    The ‘women’s vote’ is a myth!
    Suffragettes were opposed by many women who were what was known as ‘anti.’
    They believed women were incapable of selecting or becoming political leaders, even as they themselves took leadership roles against votes for women!
    The most influential ‘anti’ lived in the White House. First Lady Edith Wilson was a wealthy Washington widow who married President Wilson in 1915, six months after the death of his pro-suffrage wife Ellen.
    She endeared herself to her future husband, who had consistently opposed votes for women, when she declared at their first meeeting that she didn’t even know who the candidates were in the 1912 election, and felt that women had no business whatsoever in politics.
    Her precise role in the jailing and torture of Alice Paul and hundreds of suffragettes will never be known for certain, but she was outraged that they picketed her husband’s White House.
    Most people are totally in the dark about HOW the suffragettes won, and what life was REALLY like before they did.
    “The Privilege of Voting” is a new FREE e-mail series that follows eight great women from 1912 – 1920 to reveal ALL that happened to set the stage for women to finally win the vote.
    It’s a real-life soap opera!
    Extremely powerful suffragettes Alice Paul and Emmeline Pankhurst are featured, along with Edith Wharton, Isadora Duncan, Alice Roosevelt, presidential mistresses and First Lady Edith Wilson.
    There are tons of heartache for these heroines on the rocky road to the ballot box, but in the end, they WIN!
    Exciting, sequential e-mail episodes are perfect to read during coffeebreaks!
    Subscribe free at

  • kmg

    Can y’all weigh in on the rumor about the parentage of Palin’s youngest child? I am seeing these circulated a lot online and I am feeling very conflicted–on the one hand, I think if they are true it says a lot about the hypocrisy of the abstinence only, “family values” crowd she is a part of and are therefore have a valid part in the debate; on the other hand, regardless of whether or not they are true, they drag the sexual history of a minor who has not consented to being a public figure into the open in a way that is so, so horrible and shaming. I am trying to be as oblique about this as possible (which is not very, apparently) because of the privacy issues involved. The frat dudes that have taken over Kos are of course completely uninterested in discussing this aspect, and I would love to see some thoughtful commentary on it.

  • AgnesScottie

    Suzy Q – Condi Rice does something that the McCain camp is trying to avoid. The dem line right now is to try and paint McCain as being exactly like Bush. If he picked Condaleeza as his VP then he gives himself a connection to Bush, and no one really wants to be connected to Bush right now. That and the American public probably doesn’t like Ms. Rice very much right now because of her connection to the shady goings on in the Bush administration.
    (However, there was a comment on one of the Palin threads which listed 5 more experienced Republican women who would have made better female pics. But they were older and less attractive…)

  • rrriotgrrrl

    See what Ann Coulter has to say:

  • Misspelled

    It confuses me why so many women labeling themselves as feminists seem to be going after Palin more veraciously than they would have attacked a male running-mate.
    I can’t speak for anyone else, but personally, I’m offended that McCain and his advisors apparently think that as a feminist, I’ll vote for anybody with a vagina, rather than having the presence of mind to recognize that exactly zero of the beliefs that make me a feminist are reflected in her policies.
    And I’m concerned that there are people who actually are falling for this idiotic gimmick, and I’d like to do what I can to make them see how self-destructive it would be to vote for McCain.
    A male running mate would pose less of a threat. As things are, there are people seeing this as McCain picking up the baton Obama “dropped.” I’d like for that to get nipped in the bud. So yeah, I think Palin would suck as VP, and I’m telling my friends.

  • Av0gadro

    Not that the Democratic party really cares, but I am fucking SICK of having them take my vote for granted just because they are better on the issues I support than the Republican party.
    Seriously? How is supporting universal health care, equal pay, Roe, and the VAWA taking anyone’s vote for granted? Is it the DNC’s job to check up on the feelings of every party member, or to put forth the candidates who support the platform and can win. I don’t give a damn whether they chose my candidate in the primary as long as they choose a ticket who can beat McCain and thus assure that if my kid gets sick, I don’t have to let him suffer – that if I get pregnant, I don’t have to go through another debilitating pregnancy to have a kid I can’t afford, that if my high school best friend wants to marry his boyfriend, he can, that if I’m getting paid less that Mark just ’cause he’s not a Martha, I have some recourse . . .
    That’s not taking my vote for granted. That’s making sure I can survive.

  • Lissa

    I’ll just start off by saying that I am an adamant supporter of Hillary Clinton.
    I know a lot of Hillary supporters, like me, are distraught and disappointed that she lost the nomination. It’s OK to be disappointed! But it is not OK to jeopardize everything women have worked so hard for!
    I am truly disheartened and crushed to see us fighting so much. It is disappointing, but we can’t let ourselves throw away all we have gained! Voting for McCain would be detrimental to everything we, as women, have won and are still fighting for in this country. We are all on this website because we share something in common. We want to stop the persecution we face daily and we want to stop being treated as less-than-equals. We need to look at each other and remember that we are joined together in fighting for the same thing.
    Also, I feel that I need to speak out for minorities for just a moment:
    Do we honestly think that Obama doesn’t know what it’s like to be part of a society whose power structure wasn’t designed for him? This country was originally set up for a certain group of people to be in charge and it wasn’t women and it wasn’t African Americans either. Obama had and has to fight to be recognized as equal just like we do. I think that should grant him at least a little bit of our empathy.

  • Orange_Orange

    “Because Palin is not a woman who has a record of representing women’s interests. She is beloved by extremely right-wing conservatives for her anti-choice record (fittingly, she’s a member of the faux-feminist anti-choice group Feminists for Life).”
    While I agree that McCain’s choice is pandering, it is because he thinks that Palin can get Clinton voters and not because of her record on liberal feminist issues. What I mean to say is that while I believe in a woman’s right to choose, equal pay, and all those issues; I know many women who do not. The reason they do not is because woman are HUMAN and just as diverse and complicated as the male species. A person of any gender who agrees with Senator Clinton’s issues is not going to just vote for Palin just because she is a woman. That is why this candidate selection is so insulting.

  • Orange_Orange

    “That is why this candidate selection is so insulting. “
    You know I should rephrase that, it is why anyone thinking that female Clinton voters would vote for Palin is so insulting. Obviously, she has every right to represent her interest and run as a VP candidate and there is nothing insulting about that.

  • liberallatte

    We need to denounce her anti-choice, anti-feminist records while also criticising sexist attacks against her; a hard task, but not impossible.
    I’ve created a new Facebook group, “Feminists United Against Sarah Palin”; please check out and join, we need to beat those sexist anti-Palin groups in terms of membership!

  • Ladybug

    The way I see it the Palin pick could either blow up in McCain’s face because of her total lack of significant experience and possible scandals, or it could be a huge payoff because of her immense personal appeal (the woman was, literally, Miss Congeniality and her oldest son is leaving for Iraq–on 9/11 of this year, no less).
    As a Democrat and feminist, I sincerely hope it’s the former and not the latter. But as a Hillary supporter (who will vote for Obama), I have to say that Obama could have avoided the latter if he had done the right thing and picked Hillary. Why are we so pissed that he didn’t, asks merfyt?
    Because she got 18 million votes. Because she had as much support in the party as he did. Because she was incredibly gracious in conceding to him and has done more than could ever have been expected in campaigning for him. Because no one–NO ONE–in the Democratic party has both the experience and skill as well as the support and following that she does. Because, frankly, it’s the right thing to do.
    And here’s another reason: because every time Barack Obama stands up and talks about the 18 million cracks in the glass ceiling, and about what Hillary has done for his daughters, it makes me want to throw something at my television. If you really thought that, Senator Obama–if you really, truly did–then why did you not pick her? Why did you not even consider her? Why would you not want your daughters’ great role model on the ticket with you, continuing to provide great leadership and service to this country with you? Why would you not want to do your part in actually shattering that ceiling, not just admiring its cracks, by making the first female VP be YOUR VP–not John McCain’s?
    The morning after Hillary’s speech at the convention, I heard Chuck Todd on MSNBC say this about Hillary supporters: “I think we’ve all underestimated why these women are still so angry. It has been twenty-four years since Geraldine Ferraro was on the Democratic ticket. Unless John McCain picks a woman, which is unlikely, that is an entire generation that has watched the glass ceiling turn to cement instead of cracking.”
    Unlikely indeed. I wonder if John McCain was watching that morning too.

  • Michael

    “If you really thought that, Senator Obama–if you really, truly did–then why did you not pick her?”
    Because she would have way more power as Senate Majority Leader than she ever would as Vice President?
    I feel that people who insist on Hillary as VP severely overestimate the significance of the Vice President position. The purpose of the VP slot is, effectively (barring Cheney), solely for the election. Anybody hear the old joke, “I have two sons, one joined the navy, and the other became vice president, and I haven’t heard from either one since”?
    I didn’t support Hillary for president, but I can admit that she’s one powerful and connected woman. To waste that position on the vice presidency would have been a blunder for the democratic party.
    If people want the democratic party to recognize Hillary’s accomplishments, push for her to be put in a real position of power, not in the vice presidency.
    (BTW, this is why, ultimately, Palin’s selection is not going to affect the election *that* much. Nobody votes for the VP. The only exception is when things completely implode, ala Eagleton).

  • 1spacescientist

    Obama must be our candidate. To those who say there is no difference between the two parties, one need only look at the last eight years to tell the difference. Osterizer, you aren’t old enough (your myspace page says you’re 21) to remember what it really means to have a Democratic President. Even Clinton had it rough – the Repubs controlled both the House and the Senate. We really, really need a clean sweep of all three (Pres, House, Senate) to clean up the mess that Bush & Co. have made. And that means we need all hands on deck working together.
    Something to consider: most polls say that the race between Obama and McCain is close, within a few percentage points (see the NYTimes for a collection of different polls’ results). And yet Obama is leading McCain in fundraising by more than 2:1. He’s raised almost $390 million, whereas McCain has raised about $174 million (source: What this means is that the corruption and gerrymandering is so bad that one Democratic dollar does not guarantee one Democratic vote. So we must work extra-hard to overcome the Republicans’ efforts to ensure that most districts have been redrawn to favor Republican victories. This is not a time for squabbling about Clinton or Palin (as Clinton herself has emphatically pointed out).
    Another four (or eight) years of Republican control will be devastating to our economy, environment, civil and human rights, and international security. There is too much at stake for personal grudges. Those of us who remember a different time than the rule of Bush II know the difference between Democrat and Republican, and it is imperative that we transmit this knowledge to younger folks.

  • Ladybug

    Everything you said about the vice presidency is basically true. And if Hillary ever gets to be Senate Majority Leader, she will have more power than she would have had as Vice President. For that reason, if Obama had offered her the VP slot, it’s possible Hillary would have considered turning it down. But that doesn’t mean she didn’t deserve to be asked.
    And I’d bet almost anything that if she had been asked, she would NOT have turned it down. The thing about vice presidents is, sometimes they wind up being presidents.

  • Jane Minty

    This actually makes me really angry. No, I do not think it is good to have THIS female VP on a Republican ticket. I do NOT think this is progress. She is being used as a symbol, pure and simple. Used as a symbol = no progress. More of the same.
    Please, no more of “not THIS female” from either side (how about, “not THIS human?”). The choice of any VP is symbolic, because it represents what the primary candidate might be lacking. But yes, I think Clinton and Rice would have made much better VP choices, in terms of experience.
    To Northray, thank you for your perspective. I’ve been looking for this since the announcement. Ladybug: I completely agree.
    1. She does have a respectable resume (tho it doesn’t entirely pertain to the responsibilities of VP), and some interesting hobbies.
    2. She does not represent my views, so I would never vote for her.
    3. McCain’s strategy is painfully obvious, but I think she’s in on the joke.
    4. The choice could have been much worse.
    I do think a lot of liberal urban dwellers just don’t understand that she may represent another kind of connection besides gender; it’s the combination of her gender, beliefs, background, and lifestyle that has been unprecedented in a VP nomination, and therefore it will be very difficult to determine her appeal. While I hate having to pander to the interests of some flyover state idiots, Palin will definitely pique the curiosity of many reasonable people. Many of us know and love (but vehemently disagree) with someone like Palin, perhaps a relative or family friend.
    Don’t get me wrong – I’m really excited about the Obama-Biden team. However, in the closing scenes after Obama’s speech the other night, I was briefly annoyed when the candidates were on stage with “the wives and kids.” Isn’t it always the candidates, supported by a wife in a skirt and their offspring? When the Republican convention rolls around, are we underestimating the potential impact of some younger (those who don’t remember 1984) undecided voters witnessing a woman VP candidate on stage, accompanied by not only her kids, but a possible First Man? My personal beliefs and November vote notwithstanding, I’m not ashamed to admit this will be awesome to see once again.

  • wax_ghost

    All the people who claim that she should be, or should have been offered, the VP slot piss me off. Because no, you wouldn’t have been satisfied with her being VP. You would have complained that Obama was being sexist and that the Democratic Party thinks women should always come second.
    Does it every occur to you that there are other positions she could get? As Michael said, she could become Senate Majority Leader. She could be appointed to a Cabinet position.
    It pisses me off, too, that so many people are so gleefully riding their privilege by saying they will throw their vote to someone other than Obama. I don’t have the luxury of voting for who my conscience would like, being a poor female in a red state. Hey, there’s this thing called “compromise”, which has to be made in a system like ours that makes only two parties viable. If you don’t like it, change the system, but for fuck’s sake, don’t throw women like me to the wolves.

  • wax_ghost

    “She” in my last post being Hillary Clinton.

  • jaja

    is anyone following the rumor that her last child may actually be her daughter’s child?
    a rumor, but pretty compelling

  • Comrade Kevin

    In this year of identity politics, if former Hillary Clinton voters want to combat the idea that they cast a vote for Mrs. Clinton simply because of her gender, this is a prime opportunity.
    I think this selection will be a positive for feminism because it will force it to confront the most pervasive myth circulated about the movement—that it advances the rights of only women while casting a callous eye towards men. As I understand it, feminism is really humanism, and this is an excellent opportunity to advance that dialogue by confronting pseudo-feminist rhetoric.

  • Michael

    “And I’d bet almost anything that if she had been asked, she would NOT have turned it down.”
    I don’t know if we can say that for sure. She may have been asked, and she may have turned it down because she’d rather a real position of power.
    One thing about VP selections, they don’t ask publicly, for fear of being turned down publicly. They ask privately, so that all the public sees is acceptance.
    If I were Hillary Clinton, I would have turned down the vice president position in favor of a much more powerful and significant position in the Obama whitehouse.

  • Hannah

    First of all, I’d like to say to all the “Hillary Supporters” — that’s fantastic that your devotion to her is so enduring, but at this point in the election, my question about your support is this: Are you a “McCain Supporter” or an “Obama Supporter?” Those are our major party candidates, and the ones whose politics we need to examine now.
    I feel that people who insist on Hillary as VP severely overestimate the significance of the Vice President position. The purpose of the VP slot is, effectively (barring Cheney), solely for the election. Anybody hear the old joke, “I have two sons, one joined the navy, and the other became vice president, and I haven’t heard from either one since”?
    Regarding this particular VP choice, I have to disagree with this statement. Senator McCain is not a young man, as the press has reminded us time and time again. Say McCain becomes President, and he’s doing a decent job — not so conservative that Democrats hate him, and not so liberal that his own party resents him. He’s been working both sides of the aisle to enact policy that everyone can be happy with. Those of us who voted for Obama are thinking, “This is so much better than the W administration.”
    And then, a year and a half into his presidency, McCain has a heart attack, or a stroke, or is diagnosed with terminal cancer, or any number of the things that can happen to a man in his 70’s. Good-bye, President McCain, hello, President Palin. Instead of the mildly conservative president who was miles better than his predecessor, our new leader is a full-blown conservative who is less concerned with uniting her people than forcing her conservative agenda on us. For anyone who is pro-choice, pro-gay rights, environmentally conscious, Hindu, or atheist, that scenario should be one of the scariest things you’ve heard all day. Personally, I’m terrified that second in line could be a person with whom I disagree on almost every issue.
    I think McCain’s choice is two-fold. The fact that Sarah Palin is a woman IS important. It is a patronizing attempt by the Republican party to sway women voters away from Obama. Even if it doesn’t work, the fact that they would even attempt it is insulting to me. It’s hard to deny that they are trying to install Palin as a Hillary substitute when Palin herself said in her acceptance speech, “Hillary left 18 million cracks in the highest, hardest glass ceiling in America, but it turns out the women of America aren’t finished yet, and we can shatter that glass ceiling once and for all.” The fact that she would compare herself to Hillary Clinton is laughable to me — I imagine that if these two women met, they would be arguing about every political issue in the book within two minutes. Which brings me to the other major reason McCain picked her, and one that should matter most to voters regardless of gender (ours AND hers): She is hugely conservative. She believes that creationism should be taught in science class, that abortion even for rape victims should be illegal, that drilling anywhere and everywhere will solve the world’s ills. If she were a man I would feel exactly the same way.
    I will not vote for McCain because of his condescension; I will not vote for a McCain/Palin ticket because of her political views.

  • Adrasteia

    Allie Wrote: “But I do believe that despite the pro-choice problem John McCain subscribes to less boy club politics than Obama.”
    It’s not just McCains’ anti-choice problem, it’s his anti-equal pay for equal work problem, his pro-killing innocent women and children in other countries problem, and his anti-health care problem.
    The Republican Party has NEVER run a woman as a major candidate and it’s now 2008. The Dems have. To think that McCain’s choice of Palin now is proof of his commitment to women is shockingly naive.

  • Lala

    I’m a NYer and I voted for Obama so I could give a damn about this Palin person. This she a woman stuff is absurd to me. So damn what?

  • Lala

    …and Melissa Harris-Lacewell take on it was spot on as usual.

  • Suzy Q

    “SuzyQ: you do not think that picking a black woman as VP would be more cynical.”
    I actually did not suggest he should have picked Condi Rice. I said someone of the stature of Condi Rice. I was on my way to work and there aren’t a lot of Republican women of national stature and Condi’s name was the only one that popped into my head as I was posting.
    Once upon a time before Bush and the last 8 years I thought highly of Rice. Too bad her role with this administration means I will never again hold those feelings.
    He could have picked Linda Chavez who was also in the administration.
    There really aren’t whole lots of Republican women are there?

  • northray

    wax ghost posted:
    is anyone following the rumor that her last child may actually be her daughter’s child?
    a rumor, but pretty compelling
    Hmmm, I am a local and was not aware of this, but then I was wandering around bear country all spring and not keeping up with the happenings back in what passes for civilization up here.
    A quick review of the link and the first family photo posted in an update is 1.5 months before Trig was born. Bristol has a normal Valley Girl (the Mat-Su Valley, that is) tummy and is not even close to appearing nearly 8 months pregnant. Palin is standing behind a child hiding her front like quite a few moms do that don’t want people to know whats up.
    The other family photo from “2007” has Bristol with the exact Valley Girl tummy that she has in the photo from just before Trig was born.
    Bristol’s tummy shows no change between the two photos in what could be a trimester of growth for the baby. So no baby on board for Bristol.
    In all the other photos from around the 7 to 8 month time Palin is wearing clothes that purposly make her the same diameter from the chest to the hips. Perfectly hiding any evidence of any swelling of the mid section. Just like many moms that don’t want you to know they are with child.
    As for the 8 to 9 hours of labor on the plane ride home from Texas. My mom kept me in for over 12 hours so that I would not be born on April 1st. In labor for almost two days on purpose. She was not an athlete either. So if my couch potato mom could control her labor for two days then a fit women such as Palin could do it while flying for 9 hours.
    And there is something not on there that may not appear anywhere in print. A day or two before Trig was born a local radio DJ that is in tight with the family announced the pregancy after meeting with them. That man can not keep anything under his hat so if Palin was not pregnant he would have spilt it by now.

  • Marcus

    “The Republican Party has NEVER run a woman as a major candidate and it’s now 2008. The Dems have. To think that McCain’s choice of Palin now is proof of his commitment to women is shockingly naive.”
    I don’t question that, but taking the nomination, as TAP did, as proof of Republicans’ anti-woman stance is sheer lunacy.

  • Okra

    I followed that link jaja posted, and got hit with a bunch of lovely comments that tether women to their reproductive faculties once again.
    Here’s “lawyermomof3″ holding forth on why Sarah Palin shouldn’t have gone on a long airplane flight while nearing her due date:
    “lawyermomof3 // 12 hours ago
    I have a strong suspicion the story is true because a mother, especially one with four other children, would not put herself or her unborn child in serious danger by flying for any period of time if in labor, let alone, premature labor. If she were, in fact, pregnant, then she exercised the poorest of judgment. This tremendous lapse in judgment is reason enough to keep her out of the Oval Office.”
    REASON ENOUGH to keep her out of the Oval Office? Indeed? A person’s choice about their health and the health of their soon-to-be born baby is really none of our business and absolutely NOT INDICATIVE of being qualified for an office.
    Same with McCain–his cunt and rape jokes are reprehensible. But should they disqualify him from seeking and gaining the Oval Office? Unfortunately, to be fair, the answer is “no.”
    I just can’t go that far in conflating the personal with the political.
    Now, talk to me about Eliot Spitzer and Bill Clinton and Clarence Thomas, and I think you might have case there–sex with prostitutes and sexual harassment both being illegal.

  • Okra

    As well as illegal, add “an abuse of public power.”

  • jaja

    Bill clinton did nothing illegal or unlawful. His partner was willing. Clarence hasn’t been proven to have done anything. Spitzer is a different story.
    anyway it isnt about legality. if she is intentionally misrepresenting herself and facts to the public, it becomes relevant in judging her character. doesn’t that point to a liar?
    I disagree with you that McCain’s jokes are not to be taken into account when judging his capacity to lead. If they express a bias that the country has or should move away from, then it’s best to find a leader that doesn’t have those sorts of hangups.

  • Okra

    Jaja, I didn’t comment on whether or not Palin has lied or misrepresented herself. I have no thoughts on that, either way; if she lied about the baby’s parentage, well, then, that’s not going to be good for either her or McCain.
    My comment deals exclusively with other peoples’ insisting on judging her fitness as a mother and then suggesting that she is not fit to be Vice-President because of her alleged parenting gaffes.
    I think “character” issues are important when deciding whether or not to cast one’s VOTE for a candidate. I believe, however, that they should not be a complete bar to *running* for office, unless, as I pointed out, they deal with legal issues or abuse of public power.
    Re Clinton: I’m talking about his various alleged sexual harassment and assaults. Ditto Thomas. I should have put in “alleged” for both, and clarified “if these allegations are true.”
    What are you talking about–Lewinsky? I don’t care about that mess except that he later lied about it.

  • mlr710

    For goodness sakes, Palin was the mayor of a town (more like a hamlet), then governor of a state with less people than darn near every congressional district in California. Alaska has no state sales tax or state income tax….Alaska has no budgeting issues!…DUH….the state government is a fraction of most of the other state governments in the “lower 48″. For all the “he’s not experienced” talk of Barack Obama, last I checked the former editor of Harvard Law Review and constitutional scholar ran a successful $300 million dollar grassroots campaign against the old guard of the Democratic party. Nuff said…oh well there is that one other nice thing about Barack. He is clearly not afraid of a smart, strong woman, in fact he loves those traits, hence, Michelle.

  • wax_ghost

    northray, I did not post that and would rather not be associated with spreading such gross rumors.

  • Liza

    We supported Hillary not because she is a woman, but because she is competent, smart, and a strong leader; and she challenged the notion that women cannot do this job or have these qualities. The focus on her historical campaign has been slightly skewed in this respect, I think. But not all women, any more than all men, can do the job of the presidency. That’s why McCain’s pick is insulting and sexist, as well as cynical.
    (I hope we see more about Palin’s corruption and small-time political hustling as the days go on, btw. Just sayin’. Some good posting from Alaskans in the know is becoming available.)

  • s ohara

    you people are sick and cynical. and ironically, about the most anti-feminist group of bloggers i’ve seen. so, let’s see
    1. mccain picked palin because she has a vagina?
    2. being pro-choice equates her to be anti-woman rights? didn’t she exercise her pro-choice right by having her last child?
    3. a young woman who had the courage to take on old-school GOP cronies and won back to back?
    4. the fact that she is Governor in the most hotly political energy state in the U.S.?
    5. that she is a blue-collar, principled mother of five who just got the calling of her life?
    What on earth makes you believe that this woman is a shrinking violet?
    you have no leg to stand on. be prepared for a very painful Fall election, but this woman from nowhere is going to be the vice president of the united states, a woman with more credentials to be president than barack obama. those of you who are so soured by hillary’s defeat must attack this remarkable woman should be absolutely ashamed of yourselves.
    i support sarah palin 100!

  • Sgt.York

    Palin was a good choice for McCain because she is a woman and because she will be adored by the Christian base: stridently anti-choice and wants Christian religious mythology to be taught in public school science classes. I find it rather amusing the number of women who supported Hillary Clinton and are now considering voting for McCain because Palin is his vice presidential choice. They appear to be complete unaware of the issues or the political stands of the candidates.

  • Lala

    Someone mentioned Linda Chavez and she would have at least been a more qualified pick and though I am Hispanic that still wouldn’t mean anything to me cuz I don’t like her politics either.

  • Ariel

    I say screw it all and vote for Nader! He’s been trying at it for so long. Plus he’s actually on the ballot…at least in Missouri.

  • rendition

    Puma’s are living in a fantasy world created because the Republicans haven’t run against a woman. The idea that Dean, the democratic party, Obama are anti-woman or more so than the R’s or McCain is not supported.
    That would be like me (black male) assuming that because of the pain and bitterness of the primary that Democratic white women are more likely to be racists than republicans.
    In more detail, has everyone visited osterizer’s blog post and looked at her evidence? That’s where she addresses the key issue: is Obama anti-woman. Where’s the beef?
    You seriously posted a picture of him with his back to Clinton in a crowded room with a bunch of other people in the shot? That sort of true believer stuff undercuts your credibility. On the other side is “periodically down” and “claws” the best you can do? I guess so.
    If you want to lay your anger at a “Bros before Hos” cafepress shirt at Obama’s feet please go ahead.
    I will continue to work on my own issues regarding the grouping of nominally liberal women into the category of people who have some undefinable dislike for Obama’s style. This is of course the exact same thing that a woman like Clinton suffers from. Some people know enough to watch their mouths but they “just don’t like her”.
    I can’t read other people’s minds, so I have to take that at face value whoever it’s directed against. It’s hard though. I’m sure many Clinton supporters her also know this difficulty.

  • susanb

    people that would vote for clinton would not vote for palin. this is just the way it is. they definitely have different views.
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