Politics: Sarah Palin

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Masum Momaya, Curator
Masum Momaya, Curator
United States

Sarah Palin

What do you think of the presumptive 2008 Republican candidate for Vice President, Sarah Palin? Is this is a good choice? Does this advance women in politics? Share your thoughts!

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Sarah Palin is very clearly a case of "form over substance"

Unfortunately, selection of Sarah Palin as VP candidate represents a regression to the dark ages for women around the world.

She has demonstrated a tremendous lack of depth and is dangerously binary in her approach to complicated issues.

Add "over-confidence" to "ignorance", coupled with power and you have very a dangerous mix.

Holly Wagner
United States

Funny... McCain's choice of Palin was not demoralizing or demeaning to me...In my opinion, Clinton's behavior with women in the White House was much more demeaning...but then again, I guess we all have the freedom to see things differently..which is why this is such a great country.

Holly Wagner
United States

Can I just say Sarah that your comments were some of the most articulate, most heartfelt, most thought out on this entire blog. It really will be a miracle for a woman to achieve a high office in the US because the "girl on girl" crime of criticizing and undermining is so high. Thanks for your words!

Sarah Palin Who?

She's a woman. And fairly concervative. This is her pull, along with her ability to relate to regular working class Americans. But does this work? Not for me.
I watched the debate last night and I was certainly not impressed with her. Why? There are a few reasons, the first being the fact that she could never really answer a direct question. But mostly, I was abit ffended at her attempt to speak to "Joe Sixpack and the hockey mom". Who are they? I hate to be the one to play the race card, but I am going to do just that. And I am going to play the religion card too. I am am American, and while I know that there is no way she can relate to everybody, I feel that her sentiments actually alienate those who don't share the mentality or social ties that she is referring to. My husband isn't some beer guzzling dude in a dingy jersey. And my kids don't know the first thing about hockey. BUT I am middle America, a nurse worried about her mortgage and how I will pay for my children's college tuition. Her folkseyism left much to be desired.
But that isn't all. What of her diatribe about what a real patriot is all about. How dare her. I KNOW that I don't sahre the same values as her, nor do I agree with ehr ideas (or lack thereof) about foreign policy but she has no right to determine what qualifies me or anyone else as patriotic.
Is Palin a good choice? No. I would love to see a woman in office, but not this woman and not her kind. I agree that she is a distraction, a pretty distraction, but a distraction nonetheless.

Anahi DeCanio
Anahi DeCanio
United States

Bill Clinton is not running for office though...

Ours is an absolutely GREAT country. It got that way by its people always striving to do better. It doesn't mean we don't room for improvement. McCain/Palin is a large step backward.


a woman at any cost?

Some seem to think that putting a woman in office is an end in itself...a destination

Women have been in politics for generations. As of today, we represent 17% in parliament around the world.

I am happy to endorse the likes of Condoleeza Rice, Nancy Pelosi, Angela Merkel, Hillary Clinton who are all women of substance and integrity.

Sarah Palin is clearly NOT in this category. Her selection would be a disservice to all those other women who have gone before and fought the good fight.

A woman at any cost? I don't think so.

Karen Peradon

Opinion from a Mum in Oz

Aside from all her political views (of which I really do not agree with) do you think she should be working at all? I am not denying women's incredible skills of multi-tasking but if I had a baby, let alone one with special needs, I would want to be at home looking after him. I find it extraordinary that I have heard no comment on this. That's my humble opinion from a Mum of two wonderfully healthy kids on the other side of the world!

Sara D.

Who are we to judge?

Who are we to make such a judgment? I think that debates and discussions on mothers' rights to work outside of the home only serve to divide us and hinder progress forward (possibly taking us steps back in the struggle). I thought the women's movement was about choices, advancing women's choices, such as whether a woman can decide to work or not work after childbirth (if she is lucky enough to have this choice as many women must work for their and their children's mere survival). I think the moment we begin to pass judgment on other women's lifestyle choices, we begin to play into patriarchy, only to tear each other apart as a male-dominating society would desire us to do, so that we do not succeed in bringing about real change for all women. Women's empowerment is about each woman becoming empowered to solely determine what is best for herself and her family and to fully exercise her rights to make such decisions without the interference of others, (be that government, society, or even other family members).

Overall, I wish this thread had a less judgmental tone.

Karen Peradon

Yes, of course, I agree and my comments were not meant to be judgmental - although is that not what we do when we select our politicians? Everyone absolutely should have the right to free choice.The jobs of being a mother and a vice president are both huge in their own right, all I'm saying is that it is a lot of balls in the air. Yes, that is her choice and I'm sure she feels fully capable but if I was a American voter I would be concerned that she can keep her eye on all those balls.

Constanza Svidler
Constanza Svidler
United States

What a difference a candidate makes

Since the nomination of Sarah Palin, I've been amazed at how she’s been "positioned" within the mainstream media. Particularly thinking about a past story in WPP, "Fashion is Political," the transformation (could we say Cinderella-esque?) undergone by Palin since she's been under media scrutiny is nothing short of spectacular (and, strategically, very telling).

The recent reports that $150,000 was spend on her wardrobe alone is not surprising, as it reinforces that she is more pretty package and political strategy than a viable candidate (although, compared with what Cindy McCain must spend on such things, that amount seems like a bargain).

That Palin has been prepped and polished by the GOP in every which way imaginable came through during the VP debate and the way in which certain issues seem to have emerged as important, ones not even acknowledged prior to her nomination. Regardless of political leanings, I don’t want to vote for hype and pretty packaging with a buttons that delivers three stock messages when pressed. I am looking for substance in my elected officials.

What does Palin’s nomination and subsequent transformation say about the GOP and what the GOP thinks of voters in general, and female voters in particular?

Palin in her Alaska office ()

Sarah Palin Debates

Sarah Palin has sparked much debate both on a national and global platform. Bloggers are abuzz with discussions, and websites discuss the pros and cons of the Republican Party's selection for Vice President. Read the ongoing forum post (link below), and the excerpts from the international blogs in “Blogging about Sarah Palin,” thinking about the underlying reasons people give for deciding whether or not she “advances women in politics.”

Are they more concerned with her ability to “descriptively” or “substantively” represent women? What seem to be the general arguments in one or the other camp? Is there a consensus about what she does or does not offer women?

Molly J Serra
Molly J Serra
United States

Why is it so complicated?

While reading these posts that range widely in theme and following as much media coverage on the election as possible, I feel like most people have already chosen their sides.

Even though, the campaigns’ opposing arguments have holes in them which are confusing and disconcerting. In the debate over Sarah Palin’s ability to hold position in the white house, women are being forced to cipher through so-called evidence that is often irrelevant and from a chauvinistic viewpoint, such as a this quote from a political leader, "Women cannot cook soup with one hand and lead the country with the other”.

Through the posts, I can see that many long time supporters of the Women’s movement are struggling over two important aspects of the movement: the advancement of women in political positions and the advancement of policy in favor of women’s rights and gender equalities.

Unfortunately Sarah Palin’s conservative republican views disagree with most of the stances the women’s movement has worked hard to promote and facilitate, but on the other hand, it is an achievement for the U.S. women in politics to finally have a woman so close to vice presidency and even presidency.

Not to be mistaken, it was easy for me to choose from Palin’s views on gay marriage, but (I think) I can understand why some mothers in the U.S. would be on the fence for someone like Palin, who is designed to seem so similar to them.

First, I would question the authenticity of a debate that reigns over topics usually left untouched in normal day-to-day conversation, such as critiques of a mother’s ability or skills to be a parent. Most moms have their own personal techniques and outsiders respect the unwritten rule of a private family life and structure. From the Sarah Palin story, women are being pushed to critique her potential with evidence of how she’s structured her family and how family effects her work ethic, both of which do not seem appropriate without knowing her on a personal level or the particular circumstances.

Who are we to decide it was not right for her run for vice president when she has a baby with Down’s syndrome? Why does it matter that she continued to do her gubernatorial tasks soon after giving birth? Women should be judging and evaluating Sarah Palin using their understanding of political representation, not the evening news gossip.

Sebastien Trempont
United States

Does Palin qualify?

Sarah Palin should not be the worry of the voters. There is still one person above the VP position that runs this country. Although there might be controversy as to the qualifications of Palin, her running mate has had enough experience in both war and politics to be fit enough to guide the country. Honestly, her role will be to gather the percentage of votes McCain can't pick up on his own. If be elected, she'll certainly amass the experience her critics claim she lacks.

Paola Vu
United States

Sarah Palin: Strategic Move

To be honest, when I first read about the Vice-Presidential appointment of Alaskan governor, Sarah Palin, I was pretty confused. The fact that Senator McCain chose to nominate a relative unknown, with very little big-time political experience (she’s barely in her first term as governor) was strange enough but admittedly, it was his nomination of a woman like Palin that puzzled me most. Now that may sound pessimistic and sexist (or whatever else the Republicans are complaining about the critiques of this freak show appointment) and I wish I believed McCain made the appointment based on any true political qualification on Palin’s part, but the whole situation seems rather suspiciously like a desperate political strategy to keep the McCain campaign fresh and on the front pages.
Now it’s the courting to the PR machine that really gets me turned off about the whole Palin controversy. It seems like such a cheap ploy for publicity. I understand that the media and advertisement are big factors in modern day politics, but feeding into the whole mess makes the McCain campaign look weak to me. The political machine of our country is run on publicity and that unfortunately is because the American people demand that of their political representatives.
When recently hearing about Palin’s clothing controversy (reports that the McCain campaign spent upwards of $150,000 on clothing and approximately $22,000 on makeup for Palin) I was once again left wondering why we (the American public) let ourselves get so distracted with such superficial concerns. By allowing such ridiculousness to take up so much of the political conversation and attention we are perpetuating a dangerous obsession with shallow political distractions.

Deleted User

Sarah Palin: style over substance?

I, too, was disheartened upon learning that Sarah Palin was McCain's pick for VP. This is the woman chosen by the GOP to supposedly appeal to floating female voters: I don't know whether to laugh or be alarmed. Unlike Seb, I think we absolutely should be concerned about Palin's qualifications; not only will she be representing our nation if McCain is elected, but VP is the first in the line of succession to the presidency. Sarah Palin as President: a scary thought indeed. Furthermore, if the American public is only going to "approve" a limited number of women in power (as reflected in recent history), I want those positions to be available to the absolute best possible candidates.

After reading over the various forum and blog postings, I am relieved that much of the discussion appears to be concerned with Palin's ability to substantively represent women. It seems that some women are having trouble reconciling their political values with their feminist ideologies, though: is it necessary and beneficial to openly criticize the women in the public sphere, or does it perpetuate stereotypes against female leaders? And what of the Republican party's own portrait of Palin as mother extraordinaire, rather than skillful politician? Is this image supposed to make it easier for the public eye to stomach the idea of a woman in the White House? Personally, I don't want to hear about her being a hockey mom. What Palin seems to represent to the American public is a brand of so-called feminine power that is more accessible to those who dismiss the very tangible qualifications of female leaders. This "style over substance" campaign, as reporters love to call it, cannot be helping the cause.

Tags: Sarah Palin , U.S. , Vice President , candidate , Republican , conservative , candidat , المرشح

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