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A Heartbeat Away

There have been lots of questions about Sarah Palin's experience. She's been governor for less than two years. Would she be able to run the country if John McCain (aged 72 as of today) were to die or become incapacitated? That's a legitimate concern. But what I'm also wondering is: would she be able to run the country effectively as a mother of five children, two of whom are really young: seven years old and four months? (And, the four-month-old baby has Down Syndrome.)

I know I could not do my job if I didn't have help with my two small children. My husband gets them up, feeds them breakfast and takes them to school every morning because I'm here before dawn, preparing for the show. And still I wonder—would I be better at my job if I didn't have kids? (And the opposite, too: would I be a better mother if I didn't have a job?)

I'd like to know how Sarah Palin handles being Governor and a mom. Does her husband take care of the children? Does she have full-time help? Does she skip meetings, stint on reading a policy brief, or forgo traveling to spend time with her kids?

It's also interesting that these questions have never come up for Barack Obama, who has two young girls. No one wonders (at least I haven't) whether he'd be less effective as president because he's a father.

What do you think?



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I have been trying all day to get someone to understand my resentment at McCain's choice of Veep. If this is pandering to the female vote, I am insulted as should be all women. I don't offer my support to a candidate based on his or her physical organs! So Gov. Palin has the same genitalia as me. Does this man think I supported Hilary for that reason/ I supported her because she is diametrically opposed to all that Gov. Palin and Senator Mc Cain believe in. Help me Lord does the GOP think it's that easy to get a women? Must explain their high school years.

Sent by mary | 11:23 PM | 8-29-2008

Macain's selection of a woman to attract Hillary's supporters and his ideological base was hastily crafted to neuteralize the rising popularity of his opponent. What he overlooked creates more concerns over his judgemental calls than the bruised feelings of party echelons whose latent oppositions find it hard to understand the logic behind his scorn for experience in loco his choice. To many it is an example of how politicians tell electorates one thing and do a different thing just to win.

Sent by le103433 | 7:23 AM | 8-30-2008

As a business owner, and mother of three, I can tell you that the answer to both of your questions about parenting any mother will tell you it is a very hard balance. And at any given moment, one has a higher priority than the other and has to take the priority . I was an expert in my field, and felt no one was more qualified, than I for the job. (not the case with Sarah Palin, she had said she wasn't sure what the Vice President even did all day.) That said, I had the luxury of having an office first in my home, and then on the same property later, so my children always had access to me as they got older. I also had my husband to help with many things. We were always both here and on hand for them.

My job was STRESSFULL in nature, long hours, and usually I had no other support staff...just me, I always felt that something was suffering, and absolutely felt I could have been much more effective at my career, and taken more seriously in business, if kids weren't' heard in the background etc. OR if I could concentrate, without the interruptions, and there were many with 3 children. I can assure you, I always had this quilt and yearned to have more "quality time" with my children..This is called "mommy guilt" and every mother tortures themselves with it!! at any juncture, If my children needed me, I put them first, over my business every time as it should be. It is a motherly instinct. I am sure that Ms. Palin has done the same. There is nothing more important to a mother than their babies, as it should be. Careers are great at any level, but in a mothers heart, we all know this. To put this almost totally unprepared and unsuspecting mother of 5 (one being a special needs infant, into this position seems to not only lack judgement by McCain, it proves to be a "politcal gain" move and "photo op" not a decision that was made in our Countrys' best interest. Her accepting it will affect a family that was certainly NOT PREPARED, for this change in their lives, or ever Expected for this to happen. Parading a woman and her special needs child around for political gain to win this election is an insult to the woman of this country and a all time low for this party. I didn't think we could go lower than they have, but they did. It is also a huge risk to this country at delicate times. Considering McCains age and high risk health situation. This woman could very realistically be our PRESIDENT. I can assure you that my success, business skills, and "executive experience" would not have in any way prepared me to be Vice President of the free world, or the PRESIDENT, and handle such a responsibility with 3 children, much less 5 children, one of which is an infant with special needs. I am proud however, that I can cradle a phone to my head, a baby in my arms, type on the computer, breast feed, and hit the fax machine send button with my toe all at the same time!!!!, but I hardly think that that is a qualification for Vice President/or President. Yet I would challenge George Bush, Dick Cheney or John McCain to do that. I wish this women much luck but really feel very sad for her, that it looks like this bunch is using her and her children to win an election, and all under a banner that says Country FIRST. Many women I have talked to are angry and will change their vote.

Sent by N. Smith | 11:47 AM | 8-31-2008

Governor Palin exhibits excellent qualities, and provides a role model for all follow. Her credentials are impressive when compared to Senator Obama. Both elected to public office, as well as active in their communities. There are five distinguishing facts that set the two apart though, her children. She is the Mother of 5 Children, and has viewed each Child as a gift. When her family (notice I did not say the Womans choice alone), to carry their fifth child to term speaks volumes. I would challenge Senator Obama to carry a child for 9 Months, give birth, all while governing an entire state.

Sent by Pat | 9:11 AM | 9-1-2008

Concerning the pregnancy of Gov. Palin's unwed 17 year old daughter Bristol, I am disturbed by Gov. Palin and Mr. Palin putting her political advancement above the damage to their daughter in the media. Bristol Palin is 5 months pregnant, and now the whole world knows it! What parents set their child up for that kind of public outting? Will they proudly take Bristol on the nation wide bus tour through her 3rd trimester to add to the public specticle? When will Bristol and Levi be on Oprah or Fox News happily accepting this world-wide public exposure? I am amazed and ashamed that a parent would put his or her pregnant 17 year old child in the bright light of the media to further his or her career. And I wonder where are the teen father Levi's parents in all of this. The unborn baby is their grandchild too ... how much concern was shown to their family and its privacy?

Sent by Anne Greene | 12:56 PM | 9-2-2008

Being governor of AK is one thing, VP of the United States quite another. Yes, it's interesting to wonder how a woman can do both -- mother to five and simultaneously focus on a demanding career. (Goodness knows I couldn't do it!). But what I wonder about is how a parent in this situation can put her family through the "fishbowl" of national level political campaigning and public office. Yes, it's the political opportunity of a lifetime for Palin -- but do you really want every shred of your family's personal life on the front page. Is accepting McCain's offer really in the best interets of other members of the Palin family? I'm not particularly interested in details of the Palin's personal life, (and agree her daughter's pregnancy should be "off-limits") but this all just isn't sitting right with me. If there was ever a time a family needed two parents to be present in the home, this may be it. Until McCain called...
Finally, I got to say it: I am dismayed with our Republican nominee. He's chosen political expediency over good judgment with his recent pick. It's a sell-out to "special interests" and makes me really fear a McCain administration. And for him to continualy play the "inexperience" card so much regarding Obama. Very sad...

Sent by B Craighead | 3:25 PM | 9-2-2008

Palin may be qualified, may be dynamic, may be an extraordinary person, she may be all those things. But I am so dumbfounded and annoyed by hearing people from both sides of the aisle talking about how 'regular' these people are. The number one thing that I hear people talking about Palin is how regular she is. Haven't we already had 8 years with a guy who people wanted to have a non-alcholic beer with? Shouldn't the most important job in our government go to someone who is exceptional, better than us, in the respect of competence?

Isn't that putting our country first behind our ego?

Sent by Kerry | 3:19 PM | 9-3-2008

I have no problem beleiving that Ms. Palin could do the job of President should Mr. McCain die in office, she will have the current administration's "experienced" handlers ready and willing to step "right" in and help her out in making those "tough decisions".
Therein lies the biggest problem with this ticket.

Sent by Russell | 11:03 AM | 9-4-2008