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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?