The Post Where PunditMom Defends Sarah Palin

Wed, November 12, 2008

Moms & Politics

No, I did not suffer a severe head injury or have a GOP epiphany since yesterday. My progressive bona fides are very much intact, thanks (I am the Goddess of All Things Liberal, after all!).

But as I was thinking about all the appearances Sarah Palin has had in the media since the Republicans’ defeat last week, and the heat she’s been taking for it (my own included), I wondered why we would expect her to fade into the Alaskan woodwork.

If anyone of us had an unexpected opportunity to move our careers or our personal and professional brands forward, wouldn’t we grab it?

Palin has won the political profile lottery in a way few politicians ever do, no matter where they are from or how long they’ve been on the scene. Skilled politicos know how to seize the moment and move forward when others say their success is unlikely — can you say “Barack Obama.”

WAIT! Before you think I’ve lost all my marbles, I’m not comparing Palin and Obama in any sort of substantive way. So many Democrats and Republicans alike have agreed that Palin just doesn’t have the experience, know-how or gravitas to move onto the big stage, even with that oh-so-famous “executive experience.”

But that doesn’t stop people from trying. It never has. And it certainly doesn’t stop them from succeeding. As proof of that, I only need to say two words — George Bush.

What Palin does have is a sense of opportunity, something that doesn’t generally come to girls or women naturally in our society. She’s got some serious chutzpah, something I wish I had more of. For better or worse, without a dose of that even qualified women have a tough time getting ahead in any career, especially politics.

Palin has taken charge of this moment that is unlikely to come again and she’s making the most the notoriety that was offered her.

I have to say, if I were in her shoes, I’d do the same thing. When it comes to promotion of women in high profile situations, whether it’s corporate or national politics, none of the men who are still running the show are going to do it for us. Women have to do it for themselves.

So on this one, I have to give Sarah Palin a pass from my usual criticism. I don’t want her anywhere near the White House, but I totally get what she’s trying to do for herself and her career.

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24 Responses to “The Post Where PunditMom Defends Sarah Palin”

  1. Magpie Says:

    I know what you’re saying. And yes, she’s tooting her own damned horn.

  2. ilinap Says:

    Wow, I feel like I don’t even know you anymore!

    I see what you’re saying but I don’t give Palin as much of a pass. I still think she needs to settle down and show us some substance instead of riding this wave. She’s too power hungry for me. I can’t say that I would actually move forward as she has. After the ordeal of campaigning I’d rather settle in at home and spend some time with my family. Plus, doesn’t she have a job and a state to tend to?

  3. bloggingmom67 Says:

    I see what you’re saying, and I agree with you.

    I haven’t become a Palin fan either, and I don’t think she has the experience or knowledge for a national office.

    But I think you’re right. She ends up in the limelight and she’s working it. Lots of folks do that — deserving or not. Who really is deserving anyway?

  4. Miss Britt Says:

    I totally get what you’re saying.

    And I ALMOST have a little more respect for her because at least now that she’s talking about herself as opposed to The Big Bad World she doesn’t sound like a complete moron all the time.

    The fault is not hers for making the most of her time in the spotlight.

    The fault is those who continue to listen to her.

  5. gloria Says:

    …Not to mention a special-needs infant.

    I am not critical of her exploiting the opportunity for career enhancement, but of her having so little self-awareness that she puts all her effort in forward motion rather than substantive self-improvement. Many men do this too, so many that we rarely bother to question it – take Dan Quail. Seeing a woman doing it, a woman patently not ready for greater things, makes me cringe.

  6. Annie Says:

    She is deluded with visions of her own grandeur – and makes me think of that old proverb, ‘empty vessels make most noise’.

    Having read today that she would be honored to serve in Obama’s administration and in the same breath justifies her remarks during the campaign by saying she still has concerns to Obama’s ties to ‘unrepentant domestic terrorists’ it’s amazing she hasn’t got the worst case of whip lash going speaking so much out of both sides of her face!

    Then again, perhaps brass necks are not prone to whiplash?

    I do understand what you’re driving at – but hope and pray that she never gains the traction that Bush did. I have to have faith that the American electorate approach any election involving Palin with the ‘once bitten, twice shy’ approach.

    And with that, you have my apologies for blogging in your comments section! :)

  7. Mom101 Says:

    I think it’s a media issue, not a Palin issue.

    It’s the same complaint I had when Britany Spears was on 100 times a day. And yes, I’m totally comparing them.

    If Palin wants to be taken seriously as a political figure she should spend her time doing newsworthy things that don’t involve buying LV bags on someone else’s dime. Otherwise she’s just another celebrity.

  8. WMW Says:

    I don’t blame her either, I guess, but it’s ironic how she has probably done more interviews since the campaign than during it. Would a press conference then have killed her? …Okay, maybe it would have!

  9. Defiantmuse Says:

    oh, J. (sigh) I hate to say it, but….I agree.

    Although I often question how and why she keeps pursuing things that are obviously beyond her, it is clear that at the end of the day people are giving her their attention (whether she is deserving of it or not) and why wouldn’t she use that to her advantage.

  10. anniegirl1138 Says:

    I completely agree. I have been watching the media trying to pummel her into submission of late (Olberman and Maddow in particular did offensive out of context snippets that made me very angry) and I think Palin has probably come out on top a bit.

    I would do pretty much what she has done. I would force the anon sources to name themselves or not dignify the charges and I would defend my role and worship my top ticket running mate.

    If she wasn’t a viable threat within her party, the media would not be bothering with her. And why do I feel that if she were a guy, they wouldn’t be doing this?

    She is bugging the heck out of someone and the media beating the dead clothes horse is proof.

  11. Kelley Irish Says:

    I agree you have to give Sarah credit for not taking the critism laying down. For heavens sake I am sick of hearing about the clothes they bought her-The republican party can afford to at least give her the darn clothing.

    While I do not aree with her political views-I am glad to see she is fighting back against the boys club.

  12. impromptublogger Says:

    She would be better off staying where she is currently. A couple of us were talking at work, and they felt if she took over Stevens’ Senate seat she’d be eaten alive by the more senior senators.

  13. Myg Says:

    I totally agree with you here. I swing back and forth between wanting to punch Sarah Palin in the face for being so obtuse, and then identifying with her and even (gag) admiring her a bit for her relentless drive.

    Another gag-worthy aside: I was thinking today if Obama *did* offer her some sort of role in the administration (one where she couldn’t do much damage, if such a role exists), and she accepted, it would be like driving a wooden stake into the heart of the wingnutosphere of this country. I don’t know if I could actually support such a move but gosh, I’d really like to see the Rush-Hannity segment of politics crawl off and die.

  14. Mr Lady Says:

    I get your point, for sure, I just wish she’d show a more professional level of respect and humility. The fact that she keeps barreling forward calling him Barack instead of the title he deserves, that she’s still showing NO humility, is a constant insult to women everywhere.

    I would do the same thing as her, too, I’d just hope I’d show more class about it.

  15. judy in ky Says:

    I don’t mind her ambition, but I thought she could be a lot less “snarky” about it. She said some awful things during the campaign and stirred up a lot of hate at rallies. Because of that, I can’t feel sorry for her.

  16. Tracee Says:

    I don’t like her politics much but I dig Sarah Palin. I’m watching her on Larry King right now.

    She’s got presence. She’s got personal power. She’s not letting THEM tell her what to do or say. She’s gracious under pressure.

    Oh and if WE Democrats don’t get some GIRL POWER to put up there in 2016 . . . .

    I think most of the criticism about Sarah Palin’s experience is just “mean girl” jealousy. Women who don’t give other women slack.

    This from people who voted for Barack Obama instead of Hillary? Me thinks this election wasn’t about “experience” if it were we would have seen a McCain-Hillary race.

    Oh, and n 8 years she has plenty of time to get “experience.” Look at the experience Barack Obama got in 8 years.

  17. Mauigirl Says:

    I see what you’re saying but I’d respect her efforts a lot more if she admitted she does need more experience and said she was going to go ahead and get it. It would indicate she has self-awareness and isn’t completely obtuse. She also needs to practice her ad hoc speaking style…she needs some work!

  18. Dee Says:

    I am tired of her. If there was ever a case of over exposure this is it.

    Has anyone realized that she no longer employs the foksy you betcha, golly, doggone phrases not to mentions the winks and other cute gestures?

    Just confirms to me how terribly condescending this woman is.

  19. Holly Says:

    I don’t feel sorry for her at all. She brought this on herself.

    That said, she .should. take advantage of the opportunities in front of her…if…she has thought them through, and that is a mighty big if I think.

    If she were smart, she would stay in Alaska for the next 4 years and immerse herself in political blogs, newspapers, and any way of keeping herself appraised of the way the world is turning. I don’t see that happening.

  20. Anonymous Says:

    Palin will become President in 2012. It is GOD’s WORD and WILL because GOD HERSELF SAID SO! GOD HERSELF will see to it that it happens. Palin is GOD’s CHOSEN ONE, GOD INCARNATE and the LIVING EMBODIMENT OF GOD HERSELF!

  21. Mother Jones, RN Says:

    I’m old enough to remember Andy Warhol saying that in the future, everyone will get 15 minutes of fame. Now people want more, and Palin is working it just like everyone else. God help us.


  22. Maia Says:

    I’d agree with you 100% — if she were a senator or representative who didn’t need to be at the office right now. Unfortunately, Sarah Palin has a 365-day-a-year job — that she’s not doing right now. I didn’t vote for her in 2006, but I got her and she’s my governor — and she’s been AWOL since August 29. Once the campaign ended, she made a quick stop in the AK, then headed back out to pursue her ambitions. Meanwhile, no progress has been made on her much-touted (non-existent) gasline, and rural Alaska is buckling under energy costs that would make the average American’s head spin. Personally, I’d like her to get back here and do the job she was hired to do. If Wolf Blitzer and Matt Lauer want to talk to her, they can hop a plane. Alaska’s not going anywhere (well, except for the dozens of Native villages that are going to have to relocate in years to come due to coastal erosion caused by global warming).

  23. Joe Says:

    I admire the honestly and lack of partisanship in your post. I see the comments are leaning from “getting it” to reproaching her to detesting her. Well, get used to Sarah. She is rumored to being given a $7MM advance in a book deal and is “in demand” outside of Alaska. Anyone outside of the Obama echo chamber knows that she is a force in her party and will not be painted into a social conservative corner either.

    She will get coaching [voice, diction] and she brush up on her policy creds and so she should. However, she will carefully craft and build an image and expand her considerable “base” in the months and years to come.


  1. [...] as I have to remind some who’ve accused me of being a closet Republican, I’m no political fan of Palin. But when people dismiss her out of hand, I keep thinking one thing — remember the last [...]

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