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In the month that has passed since Senator John McCain made the bold decision to choose Alaska’s Gov. Sarah Palin to be his Vice-Presidential nominee, the Governor has been subject to constant sexist commentary, particularly with regard to her family.
It is no secret that Gov. Palin’s 17-year old daughter is pregnant, a fact that the Governor did not hide from Senator McCain, as many speculated. It is also no secret that Governor Palin and her husband Todd are the parents of five children, the youngest being six months old, and a special needs child, having been born with Downs Syndrome.
Campbell Brown, in a heated exchange with McCain spokesman Tucker Bounds, openly criticized Gov. Palin for accepting Sen. McCain’s offer with a pregnant teenage daughter, thrusting Bristol Palin into the spotlight. She further stated, to the denigration of working women, that as a mother of five, and the mother of a special needs child, she should not be pursuing the office of the Vice President.
Several high-profile television journalists (I use the term loosely), such as Campbell Brown, Soledad O’Brien, and Katie Couric, are all women who are also working mothers. The nature of the news industry is such that these women can be making changes to their schedules at any time. Katie Couric’s late husband, Joe Monaghan, died of colon cancer, and she was, overnight, a single mother of two girls, 6 and 2 at the time. Financially secure, Couric opted to continue her career instead of settling into the “at-home” Mom role. All of these women are the recipients of the benefits of the feminist movement.
Yet, they have gone on the attack of Sarah Palin. I say that Gov. Palin is owed an apology for the sexist comments, particularly by these women, because no such comments were ever directed at the Democrat’s Vice-Presidential candidate in 1992. Sen. Al Gore and his wife Tipper have —- 4 children!! I do not recall anyone saying that he was wrong to pursue the 2nd highest political office simply because he had 5 children. The Gores are no different than the Palins with regard to their families. As in any family situation, the parents establish their roles in how the family structure will be handled. Working parents everywhere balance their work schedules, doctors appointments, hockey and soccer games, school functions, etc. There will be no difference in how the Palins handle their homelife at the Naval Observatory to how the Gores handled their homelife at the same residence.
So, Campbell Brown, when you critique the Vice-Presidential Debate on Thursday, please leave your sexist rhetoric off-camera!