Women and Sarah Palin

A word to the men who read this blog: While I don’t claim to speak for all women, I can claim to give you a woman’s point of view on what John McCain choosing Sarah Palin for his vice presidential candidate means to me. And remember that I voted for Al Gore in 2000. (W. in 2004.)

It tells me that the Republicans believe that a woman can do the job equally as well as a man.

It tells me that John McCain isn’t going to demean the women reporters around him by calling them “Sweetie” and brushing them off.

It tells me that the Republicans think that now is the time for women to step up to the podium they’ve been aiming for for decades.

It tells me that 18 million voters, who were essentially ignored by the Democratic party, are not being ignored by the Republicans.

It tells me that politics are forever changed in America, and love her or hate her, you have Hillary Clinton to thank for the choice of Sarah Palin.

I simply cannot describe to you what a difference the choice of Palin makes for us. I watched the McCain news conference, and as he walked onto the stage, I found myself thinking that this boring old man had managed to make me feel excited about his campaign. And I am someone who intended to vote for him since he was assured the nomination. Two of my closest female friends feel the same way. There is a groundswell of excitement for McCain now, and next week’s convention suddenly got a lot more watchable.

Sarah Palin has made me excited about politics again, so much so that I’m contributing to the McCain campaign. So much so that I’m going to try to get to any and all of her appearances in Virginia. So much so that I can ignore the issues that she and I disagree on—and there are many—because it’s about damned time that women had a shot at the Executive Suite to top all Executive Suites.

American history changed today every bit as much as it changed with Obama’s nomination—but this one means more to me, for obvious reasons.

Obama can go home and grow a little in November. He’s not ready to be president. But Sarah Palin is more than ready to be VP.

And if she and McCain win, four or eight years from now, there could be an all-female presidential race. Now how cool would that be?

Susie B. is smiling.

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50 Responses to Women and Sarah Palin

  1. HearMeRoar says:

    You nailed it, meryl. My thoughts exactly!

  2. Eric J says:

    The RJC gave her a “thumbs up” and said “As governor of Alaska, Palin has enjoyed a strong working relationship with Alaska’s Jewish community.” No specifics yet, but I hope they’re forthcoming, along with some pro-Israel statements. A Google search on Palin + Israel doesn’t bring anything up.

    Maybe it’s just the honeymoon, but it feels like she’s someone I can easily “agree to disagree with” where necessary. Certainly her personal story proves that she has the courage to back up her convictions as far as abortion goes, and I have to respect that.

  3. Jason says:

    I think you nailed it on the head.

  4. Allan says:

    I, a man, am energized and I believe that this will energize not only the base of the party but cross over all parties and independents.

    Silly, but one thing that really impressed me when she took the podium. When she was introduced, she said thank you Senator McCain and Ms McCain. I might be old fashioned in that respect and she may move to first names, but that was damned classy.

  5. Fauxmaxbaer says:

    Harriet Miers was a lovely lady, too. But, she wasn’t qualified to be on the Supreme Court. And Sarah Palin is not qualified to be an unsure heartbeat away from the presidency.

  6. Lady-Light says:

    Meryl, you are so right. Actually, I agree with some of what she’s already done as governor of Alaska, pushing through an ethics bill and putting a stop to pork-barrel projects such as the ‘bridge to nowhere.”
    My first thought upon hearing of her being chosen, was, ‘what a coup for McCain–brilliant move! My second thought was, how is she any more qualified to be Commander-in-Chief than is Obama?
    And then I remembered: she has a son in the military who is about to be deployed to Iraq. That’s already more qualified than Sen. Obama.
    Score ONE for Palin; ZERO for Obama.

  7. Chris Huston says:

    While I cannot speak for all men, I can give you a man’s point of view on this.

    It tells me the Republicans think Hillary supporters are foolish and gullible…perhaps they’d even use the term overly emotional.

    It tells me the Republicans think Hillary supports will vote for a woman who is anti-choice and has even less experience than Barack Obama.

    It tells me they think Hillary supporters are desperate to vote for a woman, any woman, no matter her qualifications.

    But that’s just me.

  8. Maggie says:

    It tells me that McCain thinks that Hillary voters only cared about her being a woman and not about her being the most qualified for the job. It’s a huge set back if people buy into this as a pro-woman choice. It’s deeply cynical tokenism.

  9. soccer dad says:

    You might be interested in this.

  10. Joshik says:

    “[Obama is] not ready to be president. But Sarah Palin is more than ready to be VP…”

    Thank you for providing me with a good laugh — it’s been a rough day at the office!

    I look forward to the debates. She looks to be very formidable, especially if the questions focus on sports or beauty contests.

  11. I totally agree that we owe it all to Senator Hillary. Unintended consequences and all that. Had the former First Lady not reached for the stars and fallen to earth, the P.U.M.A.s — Party Unity My A** — and other Democratic and Independent women who “feel that Dean, Obama and the media gave Hillary (and women) a raw deal in this election” wouldn’t be looking for something beyond the Democrats’ offerings this year.

    Thank you, Hillary.

  12. Gwen P says:

    Here’s an undercutting defeater for your argument: John McCain compared his own wife to a “trollop” and then called her a “c*nt.” It would be interesting to see you address this. I’d rather be called, “Sweetie,” quite frankly.

  13. Anon says:


    This pick is going to put McCain over
    the top.

    The initial reaction from the Obama campaign shows just how much the wheels have come off over there.

    When asked about it later Sen. Obama
    mentioned that sometimes campaigns
    are on a ‘hair-trigger’.

    You Think?!

    Go McCain/Palin 2008

  14. Gwen: Cite it. I’ll believe it when I see more evidence than your say-so.

    I can, however, point out to emails and comments calling me a c*nt on many occasions, for, well, having one.

  15. So Chris, Democrats aren’t foolish and gullible for choosing a black candidate with little experience over a woman candidate with more experience, but Republicans are foolish and gullible for choosing a female VP?

    You know, Democrat hypocrisy has risen to epic heights these days.

  16. Soccer Dad, I already saw him. He’s a hottie. Better still, he’s a union man. I REALLY like that, as I’m still a believe in unions—just not what many of them have turned into.

  17. Jeff says:


    Here is one source for Gwen.

    It was 1992, but also speaks to McCain’s temperament or temper.

  18. Rich says:

    It says to me that the republicans, and democrats for that matter, are calculating machines more interested in getting elected than doing right for their constituents. I would prefer to have a woman in the #1 spot, not #2.

  19. TMA says:

    >She looks to be very formidable, especially
    >if the questions focus on sports or beauty contests.

    I think she could do pretty well against Biden on energy policy, too —

    heck, it looks like she started earlier this week.

  20. Jeff, you’re quoting Matthew Yglesias, who quotes reporters who refuse to give their names, and who blogs on The Agonist? The blogger who established his entire online presence on plagiarism and lies?

    Puh-leeze. You need to find better sources. I call bullshit on this one.

  21. Jeff says:

    I’m just doing the google and I like the Atlantic.

  22. Tatterdemalian says:

    Being progressive means you can be as racist and sexist as you want, and you get a free pass for it because you’re progressive, and progressives can’t be racist or sexist.

  23. Solomon says:

    all this talk of “oh! what now?! what will women do?! what will hillary supporters (women) do?! oh lord, it’s all turned upside down now!!” puhleeeze…give me a big fat break!

    all this talk is absolutle dumb rubbish. i hope that all americans, and i mean ALL, will choose to vote for the candidate that embodies the issues that they believe in. PERIOD!this stupidness of voting for someone because they are a woman, or black or an older white man p.o.w. is just absolutely incredibly astoundingly ignorant!

    sadly, i do believe that a pocket of americans just may fall into this “foolsih” category and vote simply along those very surface lines.

    how incredibly sad for this great country.

  24. Actually, Solomon, voting for someone because they are a woman, or black, or an older white man p.o.w. is human nature.

    When you’re not sure which candidate you want to vote for, sometimes, standing in the voting booth about to pull the lever, the only thing that makes the difference is gender, or skin color, or age and life experience.

    Human nature tends to trump logic a whole hell of a lot. Ask the Georgians.

  25. Jeff, that probably wasn’t fair. You couldn’t know about the Agonist unless you were around the blogs five years ago.

    Plus, I have a looong memory. The guy’s still around, making money off his blog, when he refused to even admit he was plagiarizing for the longest time.

    Boy, did he hate me back then. Wonder if he still does?

  26. Bruce says:

    ‘Sarah Palin is more than ready to be VP’


    I’d be interested in knowing why you say Sarah Palin is more than ready to be VP. Remember, that with McCain’s age going into a job that really wears you out and makes you older, that she really needs to be ready to be President too. Maybe you can convince me that she is a good choice so I can vote for McCain.

  27. My Response says:

    First, if you are voting for McCain because he picked a women for VP and you were a Hillary supporter you are ignorant. Secondly, you should vote for a person on the issues. Look where this country is today and once elected. If and this is a big IF McCain wins dont complain when you are worse off because you wanted a Women in office.

    People need to think and research before just jumping up and saying I am voting because of race/gender/age.

    Maybe we need something new in the Washington since the Bush/McCain program is and has not worked.
    I am a white middleaged women and I am a Hillary supporter but I would never mever vote for McCain as I do not agree with his Issues also Obama and Hillary are more on the same page with their issues and beliefs.

  28. Sarah Palin only has two years of senior executive experience–not much, but it’s two years more than ANY of the other finalists–Obama, Hillary, McCain, Biden–have had.

    Commenter David Curp, at this Neptunus Lex thread, says: :And for the Obaminators to already start on her lack of experience (even though as our good Captain has pointed out she has more executive experience than The One) is like watching all the chickens not only walk toward the chopping block but working very hard to pull off their feathers the better to save us time plucking them.”

  29. Chris Huston says:

    “So Chris, Democrats aren’t foolish and gullible for choosing a black candidate with little experience over a woman candidate with more experience, but Republicans are foolish and gullible for choosing a female VP?

    You know, Democrat hypocrisy has risen to epic heights these days.”

    Now Meryl, you’re missing the point. To vote for one candidate over another is not an issue of gullibility. I voted for Obama in the primary because I believed his vision for the future and his past judgment were superior. Other people I know voted for Hillary because they felt she was the best person for the job.

    However…you make reference to the “18 million” voters the Republicans are paying attention to. Here you are, of course, referring to Hillary supporters.

    So let’s analyze this. Let’s have a hypothetical Hillary supporter who is now considering voting for McCain because of Sarah Palin. Sarah Palin is pro-life, she supports teaching creationism, she is wed to the oil and gas industry, she supports drilling in ANWR.

    Now, I can only assume that a supporter of Hillary Clinton supported her policy positions; positions which Sarah Palin does not share. And Palin would definitely not be ready on day one, having nowhere near the experience Hillary does.

    In fact, I think Sarah Palin and Hillary Clinton have only one thing in common, their gender. So yes…if someone supported Hillary Clinton in the Democratic primary and is now ready to vote McCain due to Palin, I’d say you’re gullible and you’re voting against everything Clinton stood for.

  30. Gary Rosen says:

    “I’d be interested in knowing why you say Sarah Palin is more than ready to be VP.”

    I’d be interested in knowing how Obama is more ready to be President than Palin.

  31. Jeff says:

    It does take some executive experience to run a national campaign, especially one that is successful and actually analyzes the voting process to understand that small caucus states are as important if not more so than large populous states.

    Obama has also worked on foreign policy issues in the Senate including nuclear non-proliferation. He has also worked across the aisle with one of the most conservative Senators, Tom Coburn on transparency in government.

    My wife is actually very upset with McCain’s pick and feels it was patronizing.

  32. Gary Rosen says:

    “It does take some executive experience to run a national campaign”

    Then Obama’s campaign manager should be running for President.

  33. Imshin says:

    Is the rumored Pat Buchanan connection anything we should be worried about?

  34. Imshin, Lynn pointed out to me that so far, the only proof we have is that Buchanan said he heard she worked for him. And that she wore a Buchanan button way back when.

    So I think not. Also, in ’97, Buchanan was not the up-front anti-Semite he is today. He was subtle enough that Michael Kinsley declared him a friend.

    I’d be more worried about her creationism and other conservative issues, but it still comes down to whether or not I believe John McCain will be a better leader for my country than Barack Obama. I believe that almost every other candidate (from the major parties, anyway) are more qualified to lead than Obama.

  35. Now, I can only assume that a supporter of Hillary Clinton supported her policy positions; positions which Sarah Palin does not share. And Palin would definitely not be ready on day one, having nowhere near the experience Hillary does.

    Chris, you can assume nothing of the sort. Are you telling me that every single Hillary voter voted for her because of those reasons, and that none said, “Dammit, it’s about time a woman ran this country!” and pulled the lever for that reason?

    You can’t. And if you do, well, you’re awfully naive.

    People choose who they want for many reasons, and some of them seem completely stupid.

    Tell me you think that Obama is getting the high-90% black vote because of his positions, and I will call you a liar or a fool. Most of those black votes are because Obama is black. And I don’t think African Americans are stupid for that.

  36. Pamela says:

    John Roberts from CNN believes that Palin should stay home because she has five kids, one with Downs Syndrome.
    So it’s okay for her to be Governor of Alaska, but not a Vice President?

    Wonder how many working moms out there would beg to differ with his thoughts?

  37. Gary Rosen says:

    Geez, she’ll have a lot more free time as VP than she does as governor of a state!

  38. Andrea Hart says:

    I was absolutely blown away by Sarah Palin! YES YES YES!! I trust her completely to run this country if anything happened to McCain. Senator McCain is not intimidated by an intelligent capable woman whereas Obama is. Obama would rather have his wife portrayed as a stay-at-home-Beaver-Cleaver-mom in front of the whole world when we really know she is not that way. Did you fall for that? I didn’t. I’m surprised that Michelle agreed to portray that image. I would rather she say what’s on her mind then become a cream puff for the Democratic party! I knew there was more to John McCain than meets the eye! Anyway, we are about to see a whole new world!

  39. Mark says:

    Wow, the misogyny coming from the left and right just astounds me. So, it’s not bad enough that she’s a woman, but she’s attractive too? What, can only the Bella Abzug’s of the world run for office? Sometimes I AM ashamed to be a guy, but only long enough to want to sock some jerk in the eye. Fellas, didnt your father teach you any more respect for the ladies than that?

    As far as the experience issue. For once, I agree with Bill Clinton, no one is really ready or qualified to be President. There is no experience to prepare you for it. If you meet the Constitutional requirements, then the only other issue is, your position on all of the issues.

    As someone who has worked for some strong women in the business world, I actually prefer them to most men. Too many of the guys are sissies, bigger girls than the women.

    I applaud McCain for this move, whatever the outcome. Hell, I may even vote for him now.

  40. Ebabegeek says:

    You are right on target. I am now even more energized and excited about this momentous campaign. Sarah Palin is a true maverick. She is afraid of no one and is getting things done. We could all learn a few things from this woman. She is my hero.

  41. Lois Landau says:

    Thanks. Your words reflect my thoughts. I am a woman with 5 grown children and am thrilled to think that Sarah took the call. All women, Democrats and Republicans, need to unite and send a message that this time, we will not stand down. This time we are going to “Take that wall down!” BTW, I have a technology company and in a few weeks we are launching Reach Circles. I would love to have you lead a Circle for Sarah. Let me know if that interests you.

  42. Rachel says:

    Chris, of course you can assume that Hillary supporters will vote for Sarah Palin. I am already assuming that right now.

    I do agree with Meryl that voting for a candidate that’s similar to you (race, gender, nationality, etc.) is human nature. It’s really sad that this is the case.

    However, I will not be surprised if McCain wins thanks to Sarah Palin. I will be incredibly sad if McCain wins. Personally, based on the last 7 years, I cannot, in good conscience, vote for any Republican candidate.

    I believe that McCain’s and Palin’s ideology is wrong for America, and hopefully, more people will not vote for them. I do admire Palin’s record, but again, I believe that she is not the best candidate for a national position.

  43. Idiots says:

    Meryl- It tells me that you dummies are letting McCain pull the wool over your eyes. He is using all of you Hillary Supporters even though Palin is so OPPOSITE. But all of you are only thinking about whats between someones legs and not the issues.

    THINK PEOPLE!!!!!!!

  44. Wow. First, insult us. Then tell us to think.

    Way to make us change our minds.

    Yep, the left is getting ever more convincing. I don’t know how I can withstand their impeccable logic much longer.

  45. Bruce says:


    ‘I’d be interested in knowing how Obama is more ready to be President than Palin.’

    I never said Obama was ready to be President, and I think he’s too naive about the world to be President. But, I wonder what makes Meryl say Palin is ‘more than ready’ to be VP, if there is anything concrete, or just because of the type of person she seems to be.

  46. Jamie says:

    Back when primary season was getting underway and it was becoming clear that it’d come down to Obama or Clinton, I exclaimed to my husband, “Are these two the best the Democrats have?!” My further comment was, “I can’t believe it, they’ve decided to punt the Presidency and elect an image rather than an executive.”

    So yup, I believe there are an awful lot of Clinton supporters out there for whom Clinton’s gender, not her qualifications or policy positions, was decisive – just as I think there are probably a lot of Obama supporters for whom Obama’s race self-identification is the primary factor. And lest anyone misunderstand, I don’t think all “Let’s elect the first woman President!” supporters or all “Let’s elect the first African-American President!” supporters share these irrelevant traits with their candidates; some, perhaps many, support(ed) them for the feel-goodness of it.

    My husband, who has said for the past year that the Democrats ought to have been able to elect a potted plant in this cycle, now thinks McCain/Palin might just be unbeatable. I’m not giddy yet, but this pick certainly does make Obama look even greener than he did before. Brilliant: to call attention to the Repub VP candidate’s relative inexperience is to draw unwanted attention to the Dem Presidential candidate’s unbelievable deficit there. To call attention to her gender is to look sexist (again). To say she’s just a pretty face – well, you get the idea…

  47. Kathleen Bryan says:

    Let all of us women and men get together and fight the media for fairness in treating Sarah as they did Obama. The same questions that they gave to Obama should be the same of Sarah…….not, Can you do this job (VP) having 5 children…..Looks like the Dems are sure afraid of Sarah!

  48. alex says:

    Just a correction:

    Palin was FOR the “bridge to nowhere” until it started to get slammed, then she flipflopped and was against it.

    How this is ‘anti-pork’ is beyond me.
    It’s merely politics as usual.

    Also, she couldn’t even run her town of 5000 without hiring a city manager?

    Her state of Alaska has fewer people in it than a middling city; I’m glad she’s been the equivalent of a mayor of a small-to-medium town, but that kind of ‘executive’ experience does not mean she is at all experienced on the national level.

    I realize everyone is desperate for someone to believe in, but can we wait to have opinions that aren’t just based on ‘kickass’ rhetoric?

  49. alex says:

    Sorry, I should have put in the number:
    670,000 people in Alaska.

    And do we really need someone AGAIN who is intent on making deals with the oil industry? How does everyone think we got such high oil prices in the first place? Tax breaks, energy people writing energy legislation in the Bush Whitehouse – we really want more of the same?

    Finally, as a Hillary supporter, I need more than just gender to get my vote. Please, people, don’t assume on this kind of thing!

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