Palin Reaction Roundup: All weekend, women of every political stripe were checking in about Sarah Palin, the Alaska governor who is also John McCain’s chosen running mate. All agreed that Palin was tapped at least part because of her possible appeal to former supporters of the Hillary Clinton candidacy.

Not surprisingly, conservative commentators like Laura Ingraham, above, were most supportive. Ellen Saurbrey, who was the anti-abortion U.S. representative to the United Nations in 2005, called Palin “a great choice.”


Sauerbrey [said that] the 44-year-old
mother of five, abortion opponent and lifetime National Rifle
Association member would “do a great deal to shore up the conservative
base.” Former Rep. Helen Delich Bentley of Baltimore said Palin “should appeal tremendously to all of the mothers, the women.”

Other, less expected figures were also excited. Slate and Washington Post columnist Melinda Henneburger called Palin “a game-changer,” adding that the  ” smart, reforming, 44-year-old pro-life mama of five ..will bring energy to the ticket and help McCain with conservatives for sure.” And Geraldine Ferraro, the only other woman chosen for a major-party ticket, applauded McCain’s daring on Fox News:

It’s going to be a very interesting campaign. I must say that several months ago I said that it would be great if there was a woman on the ticket — that I felt that John McCain would have to pick someone, especially if Hillary was the nominee. But without Hillary being the nominee it’s really quite equally as important because people are looking for a smart campaign and I think this might do it.

There are a lot of women who are disaffected by how Hillary was treated by the media, by how she was treated by the Obama campaign, by how she was treated by the Democratic National Committee — [Democratic party chairman] Howard Dean not speaking up when sexism raised its ugly head in the media. They’ll be looking to see what happens now.

Other Clinton supporters had a response opposite from Ferraro’s, seeing in the choice a set of assumptions about women voters.

Senator Barbara Boxer sent a strongly worded statement calling Mr. McCain’s choice “dangerous”:

The Vice President is a heartbeat away from becoming President, so
to choose someone with not one hour’s worth of experience on national
issues is a dangerous choice. D If John McCain thought that choosing Sarah Palin would attract
Hillary Clinton voters, he is badly mistaken. The only similarity
between her and Hillary Clinton is that they are both women. On the
issues, they could not be further apart.

Senator McCain had so many other options if he wanted to put a
women on his ticket, such as Senator Kay Bailey Hutchison or Senator
Olympia Snowe – they would have been an appropriate choice compared to
this dangerous choice. In addition, Sarah Palin is under investigation
by the Alaska state legislature which makes this more incomprehensible.

Dee Dee Myers, former Clinton Administration press secretary, added that Palin was not like Ferraro, but like Dan Quayle:

Unlike Barack Obama, whom McCain has so emphatically condemned as
not-ready, Palin hasn’t run for or served in the Senate. Nor has she
run for president, which would have required her to think through and
take positions on critical issues from the war in Iraq to the war on
terror, from Iran’s nuclear ambitions to the Russian incursion into
Georgia, from the emerging power of China to the march of
globalization. She hasn’t debated tough opponents a dozen or so times
or faced aggressive, often downright hostile reporters on a daily
basis. Talk about untested. Her slim record undermines one of McCain’s
most effective arguments against Obama.

In the Atlantic Online, Ta-Nehisi Coates added:

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.






Stopping for breath, starting anew:

Last fall, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, like many newspapers in
the current difficult times, offered buyouts to reporters like Michelle
Hiskey. In Columbia Journalism Review, she writes about how the offer
got her to think about the next stage:

I’m
forty-five. I started here twenty-two years ago, half my lifetime. It’s
an uncommon crossroads—federal labor statistics show that a person
sticks with a job for about four years.

Newspaper work, though,
means far more than a paycheck, and most of the other seventy-two
people who have also accepted the buyout and are leaving today will
tell you the same. We are a family full of passion and character, one
I’m deeply sad to leave.

Like a household, a paper takes nonstop
devotion and effort. Our people must step up every day, and now with
ajc.com, every minute. We share a strong sense of public service, that
our work can, at its best, change lives. And our bonds strengthen from
crisis to crisis—sound like your family, too When I arrived fresh from
college, my plan was to survive my ten-week internship then return to
my (real) family’s sales company. I still pinch myself that I got to
stay.

Like any typical Atlanta transplant, I found my first social network
at work. The newsroom was full of twentysomethings who worked long
hours then headed to Manuel’s Tavern for beers and b.s. But as soon as
I swore off dating anyone there, I met a reporter who would become my
husband. (At one time, there were twenty-two couples in the newsroom.)

When
our children were born, my coworkers brought food and helping hands —
just as we had done for them. A group of us usually spend Thanksgiving
together. As in a family, our roots deepened along the way in other
small but significant ways. One reporter made me her bridesmaid. I
introduced a photographer to his eventual wife. I babysat for a page
designer, and as the years passed, coworkers’ children babysat for
mine….

A year ago, my editor Jan Winburn had challenged me to
dig deeper into a story about a road trip I had taken with my father.
It meant exposing a complicated relationship, trying to build with
words a bridge from my private loneliness to a public narrative.

That
story changed my life. As reader after reader wrote to tell me they
could relate, I realized, for the first time, that my isolation was my
own creation. A series of vivid dreams signaled me to write more of my
own story, so I began, bit by bit. But with a full-time job, my memoir
was slow going. Still, I understood that my personal history, even if
my daughters turned out to be the only ones to read it, would be my
most important story.

— Chris L.

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  • patricia izzo September 14, 2008 at 9:36 pm

    I am a Hillary supporter. DO you notice her silence? it speaks loudler than her weak tes effort to support obama. It still makes me slack jawed when i think that obama let carolien kennedy and her uncle ted, influence him so much that he did not pick the candidate with 18 million votes. this was the last straw as far as i see it. i will not vote for obama.. i will vote for palin.. and beleive it or not.. i am a life long dmeocrat! but this time, i am voting for gender.. just like most of the african americans are votign with race as a big plus … and i do not fault them for that.. but int he same vein, they most not fault me for voting for gender. we have has 43 male presidents and 43 male vice presidents.. i cannot wait quietly or take a seat any longer.. i must choose NOW.. and this time i choose a woman.
    no matter who gets in.. we will have the change everyone wants so much.. and both are risky choices.. obama is runnig for president with a weaker resume than palins…that is risky!
    that leaves me with only one vote and i vote for my sister1

    Reply
  • Diane Lapson September 4, 2008 at 11:26 am

    Great website. Just seeing it for the first time.
    This website is called “womens voices for change” – so let us please not just look at a candidate hopefully, simply because she is a woman.
    As a very active community leader, I support all people who make good changes for women and of course, for everyone. Because things are so serious, women, also, should not be swayed by a “pretty face” and “great personality” alone.
    There’s too much at stake. Just my 2 cents. I get the feeling that people who read this website ARE already that aware.
    Thanks
    Diane

    Reply
  • Kate September 1, 2008 at 1:02 pm

    I think you mean “Alaska governor,” not “Arizona governor” in your intro paragraph.

    Reply