Wednesday, September 03, 2008

Sarah is one of us

All day today the talk was this is Sarah's night. This morning I spoke with a woman from Minnesota. She said, everyone around here knows someone like Sarah, and like Sarah's family. And yes, that makes her success all the more remarkable. Yesterday I met a woman from New Hampshire, she said even the Hillary supporters she knows are enthused about Sarah, and independent women like her style--a mom, a professional and someone who doesn't put up with bullying. Another said she was really steamed at the media double standard--so now working moms are to be despised, now that they're Republicans? So now, women candidates are asked personal questions about how they care for their family no one would ever dare ask a man? For my part, I don't go looking for sexism but this is it. We women can't stand for this, no matter what our political beliefs. Sadly, some woman in the media are the worst offenders.

As recently as the fall of 2007 Newsweek ran a very complimentary profile on Sarah, so let's look at what they said unclouded by all the current partisanship as exemplified above. (Um, isn't the media supposed to be objective? Just asking.) The article lauds women executives and approvingly pairs her with Democrat Governor Janet Napolitano of Arizona. Now if Gov. Napolitano had been chosen the Dem nominee, does anyone think the media would be suggesting she was unqualified for the job? Newsweek led with Palin as a superstar, a superwoman. But now she's just the mayor of a small town, as the Obama campaign first referred to her. And had Barack Obama chosen Virginia Governor Tim Kaine as his Vice President, who also has been governor for two years, does anyone think he would be portrayed as unqualified for the job? Has anyone asked Barack Obama whether he shouldn't be at home taking care of his young girls?

What else did Newsweek say?:
New research shows that voters give female governors significantly higher marks than their male counterparts on such qualities as honesty, cooperation and caring—as well as toughness. And at a time when the national debate has become poisonously partisan, governors like Napolitano, 49, and Palin, 43, are making their mark with a pragmatic, postpartisan approach to solving problems, a style that works especially well with the large numbers of independent voters in their respective states.
So how about some honesty from the press? How about some minimal standards of fairness and decency? Newsweek in 2007:
It's no coincidence that two of the nation's most popular women governors come from frontier states (Arizona and Alaska were the 48th and 49th, respectively, to join the Union) without established social orders that tend to block women from power.

"When voters perceive things are bad, they expect a woman candidate to come in and create change," says Debbie Walsh of the Center for American Women and Politics at Rutgers University. "Voters give them license not to fit the mold."
How about letting Sarah Palin speak for herself? And let the American people decide.

Sarah is one of us.

--crossposted at BlogHer

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