An Open Letter to Sarah Palin About Working Mothers

Tue, September 16, 2008


Dear Sarah,

I hope you don’t mind me calling you Sarah. I feel like we know each other so well, what with all the media coverage you’ve been getting in the last couple of weeks.

I know you’re really proud of the working motherhood arrangement you’ve crafted for yourself. But since the GOP has been holding you up as the shining beacon of model motherhood, I have a few questions for you. I think a few of the other moms I know do, as well. So I hope you don’t mind me asking! We could have a quick chat over a cup of coffee, or you could just E-mail me back — I know you’re killer on the Blackberry!

Katha Pollitt at The Nation already has posed some questions to you. And I really do want to know the answers to them. But here are a few others I’m curious about, as well:

1. If you’re elected vice president, what are you going to do to help all the other working mothers in America? You know, not all of us have the kind of support system of family and friends you do to take care of our kids, but we still have to work so we can afford food for the table, gas for our cars and the after-school day care arrangements because most of us don’t have nannies (we now know you did, at least according to your own words on this video).

2. If after several years of being vice president you discovered that you had been paid less than all the other vice presidents before you, would you be OK with not being able do anything about it? If you’re not sure, I know Lilly Ledbetter would be happy to talk with you about that.

3. You say you’re going to be an advocate for special needs children, now that you have one of your own. What does that mean, exactly? Will you use the power of being second-in-command for fight for health care coverage that these children need, but many of their families can’t afford? Will you make sure that parents get all the information about special needs children and that the federal government will step up to the plate with some dollars to help achieve that? Will you be honest about your son’s challenges if he grows up in the spotlight of national politics?

4. When will you be able to tell us where you stand on issues so important to the millions of working mothers in this country? Recently, one story said that you are “unable to say at this time what [your] position is on federal policies relating to job protections and benefits for working mothers.” It sure would be nice if you’d let us know sometime in the next 49 days. Sooner rather than later would be great.

5. I know you’re a little busy at the moment, but since you’re asking so many of us to vote for you, we’d like to hear a little more about these issues and less about that Bridge to Nowhere, though I would like you to be a bit more honest about what you did with the money you didn’t spend on that bridge.

6. Oh, one other thing — I know you say you’re against “earmarks” for special pet projects, but that doesn’t seem to square with the reports that you asked for over $450 million of them in the last two years. Maybe you could just be straight with us about that one, too.

Feel free to call, E-mail or drop by. I’ll put the kettle on and Piper can hang out and play with PunditGirl. I know you think some of these questions are irrelevant, but I think it’s fair to ask how your motherhood experiences will impact your potential advice an a McCain administration’s policies on FMLA, child-care and fair pay.

I’m not Charlie Gibson, but I know we could have a really lively chat.

Sincerely yours,


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19 Responses to “An Open Letter to Sarah Palin About Working Mothers”

  1. Maia Says:

    So… are you a sexist, jealous member of the media elite? Because I can’t think of any other reason you’d want to know the answers to these irrelevant questions…

    Seriously, though, excellent post. I don’t even have kids and I’d like to know the answers to these questions.

  2. bloggingmom67 Says:


    Love your questions. I have the same ones, particularly about health care and the bridge to nowhere mess.

    Thanks for keeping the dialogue going.

  3. judy in ky Says:

    I doubt if she would agree to answer any of those questions. She will just keep talking about “lipstick” and shooting moose. It seems that’s all a lot of people want to hear anyway. How can we get through to these people?

  4. Vintage Mommy Says:

    You go, PunditMom! I’m so enjoying this blog as well as Momocrats.

  5. Sue Says:

    I’d love to know if Trigg’s early intervention and education will be provided by the DC public school system, from where most people I know who have kids with special needs move away to get actual services in the suburbs. I think she should visit a special needs classroom before she moves here.

  6. teri Says:

    Dear PunditMom,

    How do you explain the deliberate misquote you attributed to Gov. Palin in question #4? To quote the MSNBC article, your very own reference, “A spokeswoman for the McCain-Palin campaign said she was unable to say at this time what Palin’s position is on federal policies relating to job protections and benefits for working mothers.” Let’s repeat that, a SPOKESWOMAN said this, but it’s easier to misleadingly attribute it to Palin to serve your purposes, eh? There’s a big difference between a spokeswoman and the candidate herself not knowing the issue. And you added the [your] to deliberately deceive the reader.

    You say you’d love to have a lively chat with Gov. Palin, but how is that possible if you’re not bringing honesty to the table? Are you truly interested in creating a dialogue between women, or are you just about regurgitating DNC talking points?

    I’d really love to know your defense of your actions. Sooner rather than later would be great.

  7. PunditMom Says:

    Teri, If you’re familiar with politics, “spokes” people don’t say anything they aren’t permitted to say. If that wasn’t Sarah Palin’s message, the spokesperson would not have said it.

    Really, now, there is no deception here. And I believe I bring a lot more honesty to the table than Sarah Palin does — I don’t fib about $400+ million, among other things.

  8. Teri Says:

    Thanks for the quick reply. Yes, in fact, I am familiar with politics, having been quite involved in my previous, pre-kids life. In fact, I once had a job crafting words for a President, so I definitely have a clear frame of reference here.

    I am surprised that you so easily explain away your action. You deliberately attributed a quote to her that she did not say in order to make her look ignorant. That is deception, no question. Just ask Joe Biden how important it is to correctly cite your sources.

    I’d love to engage in a serious dialogue about the issues, but waving away deliberate misquotes won’t get us anywhere. It smacks of demagoguery.

  9. Amy@UWM Says:

    It would be nice to hear her position on any issue. Education? Health care? The economy? Anything? Bueller?

  10. PunditMom Says:

    There was no misrepresentation. Period. Want a serious dialogue? This is a serious one.

  11. teri Says:

    No misrepresentation? You honestly believe that? What you did is the very definition of misrepresentation. To quote you yourself, “just because you say the sky is green doesn’t make it green.” Just because the facts don’t work in your favor, doesn’t render them untrue. Making things up does not bolster your argument, it only makes you look disingenuous. And that’s the polite word for it. If Sarah Palin is a fibber, you are right there with her.

    And to amy@uwm, if you google “palin on the issues” you will find a non-partisan, non-profit call that provides a wealth of information on all of the candidates. Pops right up there, first on the list. Really not that hard to find. I assume you’re not really looking for answers.

    Take off the rose colored glasses, PunditMom, and you will recognize that you have compromised your credibility. But stay true to your ideals, such as they are.

  12. midlife mommy Says:

    Terri, do you have a blog? That would be an interesting read, given your background.

  13. Karen Says:

    Good questions, PunditMom. Too bad we’re unlikely to get any good answers. Sigh.

  14. Karen Says:

    Btw, I went to the website Teri suggested. Nothing written there does anything to allay my fears about Palin. She is NOT well-informed on many issues, nor does she have clear feelings on a number of them.

  15. Anonymous Says:

    Really??? Maybe your husband can call out Obama’s flaming inconsistencies father to father like and all. Oh wait, men don’t play like that – just women folk.

  16. ilinap Says:

    What the hell is in Anonymous’ bloomers?

    I say rock on, Pundit Mom! I too am dying to know the answers to these questions.

  17. Anonymous Says:


    You sound jealous to me. In fact the one common theme I find among liberals is jealousy of anyone who makes it on their own without government help. Your questions sound bitter and shrill to me.

    I think a gun totin’, moose guttin’/eatin’ woman is just who we need in the Whitehouse with one change – she should be on the top of the ticket.


    A gun ownin’, deer guttin’/eatin’, self made, middle class guy.

  18. Mary Says:

    It’s not jealousy. Just a recognition of the fact that not everyone can do everything by themselves. Sometimes we do need a little help.

    And most importantly, it’s a desire to talk about ISSUES. I am tired of the political maneuvering – focusing on the folksy talk and soundbites rather than actually stating a position. Answers are important.

  19. Melinda R. Says:

    Thank goodness Sarah Palin isn’t VPOTUS. Amen?

    Melinda R.
    Wasilla, Alaska

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