Skip to comments.Multitasking Moms Weigh Palin's Politics, Spirit
Posted on 09/07/2008 6:55:14 AM PDT by markomalley
There's no question many multitasking women across Connecticut see themselves in the everymom image spun by vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin and the GOP.
They like her spunk, her style and the pride she takes in being both Super Mom and Super Gov.
"Her personal story is very compelling," said Kerry Doherty Laberge, a stay-at-home mother of two from Farmington who writes a blog called Gruppie Girl. "I'm a PTO mom, I'm a dance mom. ... I feel like I could take on the world some days."
But just because Laberge can relate to Palin doesn't mean she intends to vote for the self-proclaimed pit bull with lipstick.
"I almost feel like the Republican Party is looking at us as blind feminists who will vote for her just because she's a woman," said Laberge, a one-time Hillary Clinton supporter now firmly in Barack Obama's camp. "As much as she embodies the everywoman spirit, I don't think she's pro-woman."
John McCain's choice of Palin dominated the buzz surrounding last week's GOP convention, a selection with the prospect of both risk and reward for the Republicans.
Despite her swift and unlikely journey from hockey mom to small-town mayor to Alaska's governor, Palin has been slammed for her inexperience, particularly in the realm of foreign policy.
But Palin also has the potential to appeal to two key constituencies: The party's conservative base, who feared McCain might select a more moderate running mate, and the millions of American women doing the same precarious, work-family balancing act that defines Palin's complicated life.
"I'm thrilled to see women on the forefront," said Moira Wertheimer, a Republican who serves on the Simsbury Board of Selectmen, holds degrees in both nursing and the law and is the mother of two young girls. "I think her story as a working mom is the story of America."
At the office and in the blogosphere, at the bus stop and on the sidelines of the soccer field, many women in Connecticut applaud Palin, even if they disagree with her brand of conservative politics.
"As a woman, she would be making history, and that's wonderful," said Elizabeth C. Regan, who lives in Salem and is the mother of a 3-year-old and a 4-month-old. "Women can and should be in roles like that. She's worked her way up and did it while raising a large family. That's wonderful."
But it's not that simple.
Added Regan: "I can't see past her politics."
Although she is a registered Republican and will probably support John McCain, Regan defines herself as a moderate and is deeply troubled by Palin's right-of-center philosophy.
"Her stance on reproductive rights is much too extreme for me," Regan said. "I feel like she's speaking to the Republican Party base. ... In Connecticut, we're a bit more liberal so I wonder how her message will resonate here."
Of course, the electoral calculus of presidential politics may mean that the GOP has already concluded that McCain can't win this small, blue state, regardless of his running mate.
Still, among Connecticut conservatives, Palin has been embraced with zeal.
Before selecting Palin, "McCain didn't have the luster that he has now," said April Hoopes of Hamden. "She makes me very excited because her beliefs are much more directly conservative."
Hoopes, a home-schooling mother who has seven children ranging in age from 18 months to 15 years and is pregnant with her eighth, acknowledged she was initially skeptical of this working mother of five, who returned to her desk in the Alaska governor's office three days after giving birth.
How could she possibly manage it all, Hoopes wondered. Would her family obligations get lost amid the demands of her high-profile job?
"I was a little cautious when I heard it at first," Hoopes said. "I have a large family as well. ... I know that it's a lot of work."
Palin's candidacy resonates strongly with another constituency: parents of special needs children. Palin's youngest son, 4-month-old Trig, has Down syndrome, and during her acceptance at last week's Republican National Convention, she pledged to be a high-profile advocate for the millions of families raising special needs children.
Lisa Seminara of Avon watched that speech with tears in her eyes.
"I think she's fabulous, a breath of fresh air," said Seminara, whose oldest daughter has cerebral palsy. Seminara was leaning toward McCain anyway, but his selection of Palin "sealed the deal."
Some have condemned Palin for taking on so many responsibilities, including the all-consuming task of running for national office, when she has a young special needs child at home. Seminara bristled at such criticism. And many have pointed out that no one is asking how the male candidates will juggle their public responsibilities with the demands of their private lives.
"She made a choice and she obviously feels that she's going to do great at both," Seminara said. "She knows what she's getting into. I don't think she made her decision lightly."
Ruth Cullen, a working mother from the Unionville section of Farmington who writes for a blog called Ruthless in the Suburbs, said she respects Palin's choices, even as she rejects her politics.
"I respect the right of any woman to make choices that are right for her," Cullen said. "Choices between family and work these are the hardest choices women have to make."
But, added Cullen, "She won't be getting my vote."
Read the comments associated with the article: fairly revealing!
Once again, we see that the only thing that really matters to liberal women is being pro-abortion.
For the ditz who said Sarah is too “right of center”, news flash ... the Pubbie party is (traditionally) right of center. Like ... duh!
Confucious say, people who stand in the center of the road become road kill.
Liberals/Socialists can’t handle ANY task much less multiple ones.
All that stuff has been debunked. If you’re a troll, the Mods will get you. If you’re just gullible, try to outgrow it.
Breathe easy, those pictures are not of Palin and her daughter. The rifle one has Palin’s head photoshopped on it, and the other, IIRC, is the sister of the daughter’s fiance.
You can’t be so stupid as to think those are what they claim to be. Both smears have been debunked. The girl in the pix is Levi’s sister and the other pic is a fake, the real picture has been found and should be easily found.
PTO=Power Take-Off? ??
Oh hush. There’s so much information out there, one person can’t catch it all. Especially if they’re busy with everyday life.
I think a bit part of the change is summed up by Brooks & Dunn - ‘Put A Girl In It’
Chances are the women of this mindset wouldn't have voted for Mac - regardless of his VP pick.
Anecdote: My wife's sister (upper middle class - well educated) is ecstatic over Palin. The funny thing is that she was VERY pro-Hillary. I made the point to my wife that Hillary & Palin are diametrically opposed on most important issues - and did her sister understand that?
In the end it doesn't matter for women like my SIL. They are impressed with strong women, and are anxious to see them advance politically.
Sexism in the Twin Cities
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>> “I think she’s fabulous, a breath of fresh air,” said Seminara,
And she is. Palin is a wonderful person, and any individual that paints her otherwise needs to use the tools of slander, anger, and hate.
This election is in the hands of women; moms, sisters, and daughters across the Country. God bless them all.