September 8, 2008
Sarah Palin's Not That SpecialBy Alicia Colon
By now some of the Sarah Palin hoopla will have died down and people can view her candidacy for the Vice President more realistically. While it's fair to say that the mainstream media was surprised -- no, make that stunned -- by the Governor of Alaska, those of us charter members of the vast right wing conspiracy are not. Sarah Palin is not that special. In fact, she's typical of the conservative American women who don't whine about how difficult it is to wear so many hats. We just do it.
Anyone watching FoxNews Wednesday evening before the Palin speech met Congresswoman Michele Bachmann of Minnesota. She was being asked about how she handled her family life while busy with her political career. This beautiful woman is a mother of five and with her husband of thirty years had also raised 23 foster children. She and her husband also run two businesses but Rep. Bachmann said her family always comes first.
Palin/Bachmann 2012? Why not?
Feminists like Gloria Steinem who have never had children simply cannot imagine how mothers of large families cope. The idea of allowing a mentally challenged child's birth to proceed is inconceivable. Ms. Steinem denigrated Gov. Palin in a commentary for the Los Angeles Times -- Palin: wrong woman; wrong message.
[Of course nobody pays any attention to Gloria since she told John Stossel how women would make just as good firefighters as men; "It's better to drag them out, because there's less smoke down there."
So now women firefighters are trained to drag the victims that are too heavy for them to carry. Concussion anyone?]
Steinem wrote, "This isn't the first time a boss has picked an unqualified woman just because she agrees with him and opposes everything most other women want and need."
Sally Quinn, hostess with the mostest of the Beltway dinner clique, savaged Palin's selection as a choice that made her "angry." She wrote,
Ms. Quinn went on to question how Palin could be a good mother while maintaining her duties as a V.P and her post garnered a lot of criticism. She was invited to appear on the O'Reilly Factor to explain her hostility and she unwittingly revealed what really ticked the media off. Seems her biggest complaint was that Sarah Palin was not mentioned early enough for the media to vet her properly. The vetting process for candidates should be left to the primary nominee not the media.
Nevertheless, these catty and vicious comments on Palin prove what I've always known. Women are women's worst enemies.
During my past ten years as an op-ed columnist, I've been fortunate to have met many of Palin's counterparts. They are successful, pro-life, and strong with very supportive husbands who are not intimidated by their wives' political acumen. In addition, whenever I've met them in a personal situation, they've amazed me with how well they've handled the challenges in their family, such as severely disabled children or parents with Alzheimer's.'
What Sarah Palin brings to the national scale is a glimpse into the lives of the real women of America. There are more women who resemble her than resemble the Steinems or the Quinns. One young woman, who faced an unplanned pregnancy, kept the child and married the father, told me that she never thought she would ever see someone like Palin in such a high office. "She's someone I could really relate to, "she said, "because she shares my own values."
While researching the life of Cindy McCain for a biography that will be published soon, I discovered an incredible woman who has been caring for the least of our brethren since her teen years. She is incredibly smart, caring, compassionate and a savvy businesswoman and mother -- in other words, a typical conservative woman from the heartland of America.
What Sarah Palin's critics do not understand is that large families evolve and the more can be the merrier as long as there is a supportive husband as a partner. Older children become mother's helpers and in so doing become independent and competent. I ought to know. My husband and I raised six children and are reaping the rewards with seven grandchildren.
A few weeks ago I wrote that the first black president would probably be a Republican. Now it's plain to see that the first woman president will be one too.
Contact Alicia Colon