Balancing Motherhood and Governing?

Governor Sarah Palin’s candidacy has provoked much discussion about women who try to balance a career with motherhood (the topic of my previous post). In today’s New York Times, there’s a story describing a little bit about how Palin tries to do it:

‘Many high-powered parents separate work and children; Ms. Palin takes a wholly different approach. “She’s the mom and the governor, and they’re not separate,” Ms. Cole said. Around the governor’s offices, it was not uncommon to get on the elevator and discover Piper, smothering her puppy with kisses.

‘”She’ll be with Piper or Trig, then she’s got a press conference or negotiations about the natural gas pipeline or a bill to sign, and it’s all business,” Ms. Burney, who works across the hall, said. “She just says, ‘Mommy’s got to do this press conference.’ ”

‘Ms. Palin installed a travel crib in her Anchorage office and a baby swing in her Juneau one. For much of the summer, she carried Trig in a sling as she signed bills and sat through hearings, even nursing him unseen during conference calls.

‘Todd Palin took a leave from his job as an oil field production operator, and campaign aides said he was doing the same now.’

Here’s the rest:

“Fusing Politics and Motherhood in a New Way” – by Jodi Kantor, Kate Zernike, and Catrin Einhorn (New York Times)

32 Responses to Balancing Motherhood and Governing?

  1. Adam Omelianchuk September 9, 2008 at 8:13 am #

    I think Palin represents the variety of conservative feminism that advocates for the workplace to adjust to, and even be a space for motherhood. They are the type that has fought for longer maternity leaves and so forth.

  2. Don September 9, 2008 at 9:19 am #

    The polling swing among white women has been dramatic, it is a new thing in US politics to be carrying your own baby at the covention.

    Hillary was one version of breaking the glass ceiling, but make no mistake, Palin is another. And Palin is so obviously a mother and motherly and loves being one. She is in so many ways, the anti-Hillary.

  3. Hudson September 9, 2008 at 10:29 am #

    By the way, I read in a post a while back (A Visit to Palin’s Church) an email from a “fellow resident of Wasilla” posted by Paul. Here’s an article from newsweek regarding that email, and others like it:

    http://www.newsweek.com/id/157986

  4. Paul September 9, 2008 at 12:25 pm #

    “Hillary was one version of breaking the glass ceiling, but make no mistake, Palin is another. And Palin is so obviously a mother and motherly and loves being one. She is in so many ways, the anti-Hillary.”

    Hillary doesn’t love being a mother?

    That’s a pretty crass thing to say without quotes to back it up.

  5. Don September 9, 2008 at 12:52 pm #

    Who said Hillary does not love being a mother except you in asking the question?

    Hillary had 1 daughter and I am sure she loves her. Sarah had 5 and chose to keep a special needs child.

    I have not seen any pics of Hillary carrying her baby daughter; but Sarah brings her new baby to work and was carrying him on the stage of the convention.

    It is the contrast that I was pointing out, it is not an absolute contrast, it is relative.

  6. Paul September 9, 2008 at 1:17 pm #

    Don,

    The inference from your statement is an easy one to make.

    And did we really expect Hilary to be carrying around her 28 year old daughter on the campaign trail?

    I will grant you that excluding all of the easily uncovered lies and misstatements made by or about Palin that she is the perfect woman to have the first real chance at winning executive office in the US.

    But I don’t think that makes her the anti-Hilary. I think her constant blurring of what’s fact and what’s fiction makes her the anti-Hilary.

  7. Jason September 9, 2008 at 1:25 pm #

    Ah, yes…that bastion of honesty and integrity…Hillary Clinton.

    What specific lies has Palin told, Paul?

    Or do you just say that because MSNBC/CNN said it?

  8. Paul September 9, 2008 at 1:43 pm #

    Okay, Jason, you asked:

    1) Personal Chef not fired, simply transferred.

    2) plane not sold on e-bay, plane sold via aviation broker at a loss to tax payers.

    2a) plane was not governor’s personal jet, also served to fly Alaska inmates to prisons in coniguous 48 because Alaska had no room for prisoners.

    3) Was for the bridge to nowhere, even in the gubernatorial debates. Was only against it after cost overruns made it impossible. Not to mention, took all of the earmark money for the bridge and spent it on other infrastructure projects.

    4) As mayor of Wasilla, asked for $27 million in earmarks.

    Want me to keep going?

    She’s running as a maverick reformer who hasn’t reformed anything!

  9. Don September 9, 2008 at 1:54 pm #

    She said she PUT it on ebay, which was true, but it did not get the price they wanted, so they sold it thru a broker.

    She was anti-corruption in both parties in AK. So Palin has SOME credentials for being for change, when you compare that with Obama who just talks it but is a product of the Chicago political machine.

  10. Jason September 9, 2008 at 2:10 pm #

    1. Did she actually say she “fired” the chef or did she say she got rid of her?

    2. Don dealt with the plane and e-bay.

    3. Umm, how is that a lie? It looks like a politician changing their mind. Not a great thing, but it happens. Kind of like Obama and the war and surge, but let’s not bring that up.

    4. Is that a lie? So what?

    I guess you can see lies where you want to see lies. Just admit, you are so anti-anything conservative that you’ll shill for the left while overlooking some of the left’s problems.

    Sadly, all politicians are politicians. They’re all a little fuzzy and wishywashy at times.

    Certainly you don’t think Obama is not, right? Certainly you don’t think “Mr. Change” has actually changed anything, right? I mean, he doesn’t even vote anything other than “present”. He’s lying about his relationship with organizations and his former pastor….just for political gain.

    Don’t be so inconsistent (and unfair to Palin).

  11. Jeff Bailey September 9, 2008 at 2:12 pm #

    Well obviously Sarah Palin is one of the worst people to appear on the American scene in years. I’m sure her popularity rating in Alaska is phoney too. As a matter of fact, there’s no difference in her and Muslim fundamentalists:
    http://www.salon.com/opinion/feature/2008/09/09/palin_fundamentalist/

    Keep it up and McCain may just win after all.

  12. Paul September 9, 2008 at 2:40 pm #

    Jason,

    I am hardly a “shill” for the left.

    However, the more that there is nothing about how McCain can’t bring himself to vote for an updating of the GI Bill, and the more that there is nothing about Palin’s inconsistencies, the more that I’m gonna make sure you hear all about them.

    As for your points:

    1) Palin has said that she got rid of the chef. Which is playing three card monte with the truth. Short of saying that Palin reassigned the chef, it is a lie.

    2) Fair enough on the plane. But don’t talk about how you were the cool mom that put the plane on ebay. Say that you spent government money on an aviation broker to get rid of a plane that served a very clear purpose to the Alaskan government.

    3) Palin’s quotes have been that she was against the Bridge to Nowhere and that she told the feds that if Alaska wanted a Bridge to Nowhere, they’d pay for it themselves. That’s VASTLY different from “I was totally for the Bridge to Nowhere up until I realized that it wasn’t going to happen.”

    4) You can’t run as a reformer AND as someone that asked for one of the biggest per capita earmarks in the entire country at the same time.

    If Palin was going to run as the Stifler’s Mom of American Politics who sometimes gets it right, then fine.

    But to run as some sort of Maverick? That is nothing but a big ol’ silver platter of bull pucks.

  13. Nathan September 9, 2008 at 2:46 pm #

    And Obama is the epitome of “Change” That is why he picked a Nixonian era Senator for his Veep and why he hangs out with Chicago thugs who have been terrorizing citizens for decades.

    But Hey! He can stop the rise of the Oceans… So He Has That going for Him..

  14. Paul September 9, 2008 at 2:53 pm #

    Nathan (and Don for that matter),

    before talking about how the Chicago political system is terrorizing Chicago citizens, you might want to ask a Chicago citizen.

    Even the Republicans and Libertarians I know in my fair town think Daley is great, and have nothing but wonderful things to say about their aldermen.

    If only all politicians were as big of thugs as Daley, Vrdolyak and Tunney. We might actually get something done in this country!

    (psst…if you want to talk about thugs in Chicago government that have been terrorizing citizens, you likely mean to talk about the Cook County Board, which is a seperate entity from “Chicago politics” per se, and likely, Obama had little contact with them)

    And, for the last time, I am not pro-Obama. I am not voting for the guy. However, McCain is an even bigger tool, and I can’t see for a second how his presidency won’t have an even worse impact on our country than Obama’s would.

  15. Jeff Bailey September 9, 2008 at 2:57 pm #

    Wait a minute Nathan! I almost voted for Biden in the primaries……but admittedly only for the selfish reason that I’ve always wanted to use the phrase, “Plagerizer-in-Chief”.

    Sorry. I had to confess that.

  16. Paul September 9, 2008 at 3:05 pm #

    Jeff,

    I just wish that Mark Foley and Larry Craig would run as Pres and VP so that we could change the name of the Grand Old Party to the Gay Old Party.

    Nice way to recycle Michele Malkin’s posts, though.

  17. Nathan September 9, 2008 at 3:12 pm #

    Paul,

    You are not the only person living in Chicago and you can have Daley all you want. My friends paint an opposite picture.

    I really don’t care whether you are pro-Obama, anti-McCain or in-between, one of those two will win.

    “However, McCain is an even bigger tool, and I can’t see for a second how his presidency won’t have an even worse impact on our country than Obama’s would.”

    That statement veers you into Obama’s camp; but as you have said in earlier forums, Illinois is already Blue. But, your continuing efforts in these forums to only speak ill of McCain/Palin while not speaking accurately about Obama/Biden (unless I have simply missed it) belies your “I’m not pro-Obama” statement.

  18. Jason September 9, 2008 at 3:36 pm #

    You can say all day long that you are not pro-Obama…but almost every comment you make is spent attacking McCain/Palin.

    But where is the even-handed criticism of Obama??

    You posture yourself as being the expert of Chicago politics…you have no criticism of Obama at all??

    Come on. You’re the MSNBC of Denny’s blog. 🙂

  19. Jeff Bailey September 9, 2008 at 3:36 pm #

    If you can recycle Daily Kos, I can recycle Malkin.

  20. Paul September 9, 2008 at 3:41 pm #

    Nathan,

    Great! Congratulations. Your friends are clearly in the minority and should move to DuPage County. I will sell them my condo on the cheap. Then they can deal with all of the Republican corruption that they can handle, super high property taxes legislated from the party of lower taxes, and town regulations that would make Stalin blush.

    I’ll gladly take aldermen that are willing to get involved, a mayor that fights for what is right for his citizens and proximety to some of the best polish food this side of poland.

    As for wondering why I pile on McCain/Palin without saying squat about Obama/Biden:

    1) Most of the objections to Obama are coming from positions that have nothing to do with his campaign, like…

    a) He has a racist pastor: I’ve spoken my piece about Wright, but I’ll say it again…you be a black guy on the South Side of Chicago, and let’s see how you react.

    b) He dealt with Chicago politicians: news flash — that tends to happen when you live in Chicago.

    c) He went to a muslim school as a grade school: okay. how much choice did you have in what school YOU went to when you were 10?

    d) People keep claiming that he’s going to raise taxes on EVERYONE. Sorry, Just saw the economic reports yesterday. Up to $150K, Obama’s tax cuts would result in less taxes than McCain, and for families making under $100K, the difference was HUGE.

    2) Have you taken a look around here, man? It’s not like Obama needs any more people kicking him around these parts. If anything, I’m the voice of reason, reminding people that BOTH candidates are ABSOLUTELY awful, and we’re screwed no matter what.

    And I haven’t spoken inaccurately about Obama/Biden, I just haven’t said much about them either way.

  21. Paul September 9, 2008 at 3:45 pm #

    Jason,

    I’m attacking McCain and Palin because I think that they suck. Period.

    I simply don’t think that Obama is ready for the presidency.

    Big difference.

    Had your party done the right thing and nominated Huckabee, I would have been out there campaigning for him myself.

  22. Jason September 9, 2008 at 3:51 pm #

    I think the Wright issue is definitely an issue, for several reasons.

    1) I’m not ready to give Wright a pass just because he’s from the southside of Chicago. That does not justify the statements or positions he holds. He is a rabid racist. What’s worse is he’s doing this in the name of Christ and the gospel…based on his preaching I am not convinced he knows either. Christians need to be intolerant of this distortion of the Gospel. For any Christian to write off heresy as “can you blame him?” is simply sad, and worse yet, it is sinful.

    2) I do not believe that one can hold the views that Wright holds and that it does not filter down to those whom call you their greatest spiritual influence.
    That said, is it a big deal if our President holds the views Wright holds? Uh yeah. I find it hard to believe that Obama is telling the truth about his own beliefs. if this is what is taught repeatedly, anti-American racist rhetoric, why would Obama stay there for so long as a member if it REALLY disgusted you and you REALLY disagreed with him?

    BTW, do you not see some of Wright’s beliefs in Michelle Obama’s comments about the US? I think Obama is hiding his views.

    I just don’t see how some can say this is a non-issue.

  23. Jason September 9, 2008 at 3:54 pm #

    Side note: Obama’s tax plan is absurd. He’s going to raise taxes on small businesses meaning that small businesses will actually have to lay people off and therefore creating MORE of a problem.

    Moreover, he cannot answer straight questions about his tax plan…which shows me h has no idea what he’s talking about, he’s just the mouthpiece for the Dems.

  24. Nathan September 9, 2008 at 3:55 pm #

    The majority of your points have not been pushed in this forum (as far as I know); especially about his muslim school background.

    But, if you think association with Rev. Wright does not have a bearing on his candidacy you are living in wonderland. And to argue that he associated with Wright simply because he is black is a back-handed racist statement. Anyone can rise above ethnic-biases, but he embraced Wright for years.

    As for taxes, if you want to believe that raising taxes on those above a certain pay-grade will not trickle back down to all, then you hold to an economic understanding that is different from those who believe that less taxes equal more revenue. That is fine, but argue it that way, not that his taxes will only affect those making above 150k…

    Give me something other than his rhetoric. Look at his record of legislation. It’s empty! He is living on his rhetoric alone.

  25. Paul September 9, 2008 at 4:17 pm #

    Jason is right about everything, so I will not address his comments.

    Nathan, however…

    1) the muslim thing came up early in the campaign, and thankfully, Denny was wise enough to try to keep it at bay.

    2) I never said any such thing as that Obama only hung with Wright because he’s black. However, the average white guy across America saw Wright, what, five times, and three of those times were taken ridiculously far afield of context? We don’t know what his average week to week sermons were all about, and to say that only churches that swing left get off message every once in a while is a BIIIIIIGGGGGG stretch. I’ve been to some VERY conservative churches in my day that have gotten way off message for varying reasons. However, to your credit, claiming that AIDS was a product of the US government was never one of those reasons.

    3) As for taxes, what I am suddenly concerned with is two pronged:

    a) what kind of tax relief does the sub 100K set get?

    b) what kind of tax relief does small business get?

    I was shocked to find out that the US has the second highest business taxes in the entire world? Yikes.

    I agree with the idea that business needs capitol to operate. However, to think that the richest 1% should be getting away with a maximum rate of 35% is absurd (let’s face it, anyone with any economic sense is investing, giving to charity and non profits, owns property and in no way is actually paying 35%)

    Frankly, it doesn’t look like EITHER candidate is going to do much about escalating business taxes.

    And as for rhetoric, the “military” candidate refusing to vote for an update to the GI Bill that would give veterans more choices for schooling when they come home from serving our country?

    Yeah, let’s talk empty rhetoric, shall we? Both campaigns are filled with it.

  26. Lydia September 9, 2008 at 5:03 pm #

    So, back to the topic of the post. How is Obama going to balance fatherhood and governing? :o)

  27. Jeff Bailey September 9, 2008 at 5:18 pm #

    Wonder how Robert Kennedy had planned on doing it with his many children?

  28. Paul September 9, 2008 at 5:26 pm #

    Or you could do it the way that Reagan did it and just alienate most of them.

    That seems easier than dealing with them on a day to day basis.

  29. Brian (Another) September 9, 2008 at 5:29 pm #

    Lydia:

    Funny you mention that (good point, I’d say). A buddy and I were discussing the presidential race. It occurred to me that it would be very very difficult balance for a Christian man (two men are running for pres) to be that immersed in the political machine. It seems that one’s dedication to that job would cause a great difficulty in trying to balance staying in the word, personal prayer time, etc. I laughed at the thought of the Pres. in a small group bible study (queue the funny George Bush or Bill Clinton voice making a theological point……please, no expansion on that thought……).

    Not saying it’s an impossible balance, but one that personally, I don’t imagine I could possibly perform as easy as I am brought down just by my 40+ hour job here. God bless those who can, for sure!

  30. Lydia September 9, 2008 at 6:05 pm #

    John McCain’s family lived in AZ. Cindy did the family business. Of course they had ‘homes’ elsewhere, too. Perhaps they got together on weekends at the beach condo or Mtn retreat? :o) Does this disqualify him by CBMW standards? Or, is it all ok if one is rich because lifestyle gets a bit murkey when you have jets, multiple homes, etc.

    Ever wonder what 1st Century Christians would do with the vote? Would they vote for Nero or Caligula? My guess is they would not pay too much attention as they would be too busy with the gospel. Besides, God is Sovereign over it all.

  31. Jeff Bailey September 9, 2008 at 8:12 pm #

    Sorry you chose to miss my point Paul but whatever.

  32. Paul September 9, 2008 at 9:17 pm #

    Jeff,

    all of your other posts today have been slap downs of Republicans. What should make anyone think that this one was any different?

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