Politics & Society

The Word on Sarah Palin ... From A 'Mocha Mom'

Sarah Palin

Presumptive Republican vice-presidential nominee Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin waits to be introduced at a rally at T.R. Hughes Ballpark August 31, 2008 in O'Fallon, Missouri. Getty Images hide caption

itoggle caption Getty Images

So with the latest news of the family drama surrounding John McCain's vice presidential pick, Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin, we also wanted to get buy-in from our Mocha Moms. Jolene Ivey, co-founder of the Mocha Moms, was unable to participate in today's conversation, but she did want to share her thoughts.

Take it away, Jolene ...

Thanks, Lee. Jolene Ivey, here ...

I was in the airport in Denver, on the way home from the Democratic Convention, still on an emotional high, when I first heard that John McCain had chosen Alaska Governor Sarah Palin as his running mate. I'm a committed Barack Obama supporter, and am actually afraid about our country continuing our current course, so there's no one McCain could have chosen who would have persuaded me to vote for him. I was curious, though.

Turns out, Gov. Palin and I have a lot in common. We're both mothers of five children. We're both in elective office. I'm 3 years older than she is, but we're both in our 40's. And from what I've heard, she's very independent and determined to do what she thinks is right. Having been accused of having those qualities myself, I appreciate them in others.

But there the similarities end. Sarah Palin and I could probably have a lovely chat over tea about motherhood, but on policy, it would be a strained conversation. As a state delegate, I'm extremely aware of how our everyday lives are affected by government policies, and the ones that Gov. Palin supports don't make common sense.

She's anti-choice, which I understand, but disagree with. And abstinence-only education obviously doesn't work. Sarah Palin doesn't need to look any further than her pregnant 17 year old daughter to see that.

And want to waste some money? How about that "Bridge to Nowhere," Ketchikan's Gravina Island bridge in Alaska? Palin supported it while she was running for governor. She's singing a new tune today.

Sullying the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge with drilling for oil is okay with Palin, which isn't surprising since she also doesn't believe human behavior contributes to global warming — not exactly the kind of ideas that lead the government to be good stewards of the environment.

She also believes in creationism, which baffles me totally. Would she work to get evolution struck from our science curriculum?

I'm afraid John McCain may be a male chauvinist. Going with a woman made sense. But of all the extremely qualified women in the political world he could have tapped, why pick one who admitted herself —quite recently— that she doesn't even know what the vice president does?! Seems he doesn't want a true equal. Just someone who can get him in office, then go away.

That's unless, of course, that most important function of the vice president should unfortunately come to pass, and Sarah Palin becomes our president. In that case, I hope she can figure out what the president does. But let's not put her — or us — in that position. Please.

— Jolene Ivey



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I am thrilled to have Sarah Palin on the Republican ticket. I am so glad she has the ideals and convictions that she has. I feel sorry for you that you are educated but don't know God's truth about "Creation" and "Abortion". I hope that you do know the truth about Jesus.

Sent by Sandy Petree | 9:50 AM | 9-2-2008

On Sarah Palin's pregnant daughter.
The republican's are bragging that she has made the right "choice" to keep the child. The operative word is choice,she had one. They also claim "it's not anyone's business, it's a private matter as to how they will handle it". At the same time they fight for anti-choice government interference in these "private matters"?

Sent by Tom Krall | 10:04 AM | 9-2-2008

I am concerned about McCain's choice of Palin on many levels. Although she is obviously a smart, capable woman and a canny political operator, I have to ask myself what kind of world does she envision for the rest of us? That thought really scares me! Here is a woman who has had little real experience running a state with a smaller population than most good sized American cities, shows little tolerance for those who disagree with her, and seems incredibly superficial. Do I really want a truly conservative, un-sympathetic hockey mom one heartbeat from running my country? No.

Sent by BJ Zamora | 10:25 AM | 9-2-2008

This is where I have difficulty. All of us are human. Many young women find themselves in out-of-wedlock pregnancies. Their reasons are as varied as they are. The effort to prevent such pregnancies should be holistic, not judgmental. I find it interesting that suddenly a tone of tolerance creeps into the conservative-backed RNC, now that they find out the Vice-Presidential choice has an unmarried daughter. What I heard in the 'Family-Values' rhetoric of the conservatives was anything but tolerance. Why isn't it a sign of degradation of these Family Values now that McCain's choice is wrestling with this same issue?

Sent by diedra m knox | 10:45 AM | 9-2-2008

My problem with the issue...The republicans are attempting to make gender political issue...And like pigs at the trough most voters are eating it up...What does it say about McCain that he would even chose a candidate that is in the midst of an ethics investigation. The fact that there is an investigation implies that something out of the ordinary took place. What does it say about McCain's opinion of a womens intelligence when he selects an unqualified women over any number of qualified republican women that have served at the national level. I just don't believe that women are that shallow. I hope that voters wake up and realize that the republican party thrives on the ignorance of the voting public. I hope that women look closely at this pick and make an informed decision and not one that is based simply on gender.


Sent by Glenn | 11:16 AM | 9-2-2008

Compliment before criticism: I'm glad John McCain picked a woman to be his running mate especially being the first time with the Republican party.

But I find it condescending that just because she's a woman, most women would flock to her without questioning what her positions are on issues and the level of her experience for the second highest office in the land.

Obviously, I'm not the kind of woman John McCain is looking to impress with this pick. I stand on the opposite end of most of the issues Palin advocates. For example: She wants abstinence-only education in schools. How in the world would you propose such theory to teenagers who's hormones are raging?

And should I remind Gov. Palin that Alaska leads the nation in sexually transmitted diseases among teenagers in the country.

Then little foreign policy experience. That is a big No-No for someone like me.

Also, she's an absolute pro-lifer even in life-altering events in one's life. I commend her for the decision she's made in her life but don't make it the case for every woman who thinks she has to go a different route.

Sent by Moji | 11:48 AM | 9-2-2008

My problem with Sarah Palin also has to do with her positions on issues that are important to all families. I don't care about her daughter so much as I care about all our daughters, as well as our sons,and the debt and disarray that we will leave them with another four years of the same sort of Republican administration we have seen in the last eight.

Sent by Shelby Vargo | 12:02 PM | 9-2-2008

Sarah may be able to take her baby to work with her and nurse during a meeting as Governor of Alaska - a state with a population of 626,000 people. It is a different story being the VP of the United States. No CEO in any corporation would do such a thing. I think a woman with children is certainly capable of being the VP or president of the US, but I do question the judgment and "family first" priority of a new mother with a newborn having special needs.

When it comes down to it, where will her allegiance be? With the MILLIONS of people relying upon her to lead the country, or with her children, whether they be pregnant, sick or whatever the issue? Will she be in the Middle East brokering a peace deal and suddenly have to fly home to attend to the health care needs of her infant son? She would be a cruel, heartless mother if she did no less, but she will be an ineffective, laughable joke of a world leader if she places her family priorities ahead of her country.

Sent by MagikJack | 12:56 PM | 9-2-2008

The choice of Sarah Palin as VP running mate by John McCain is astonishingly condescending to the entire voting public and I sincerely hope that this trite act is seen as such specifically by those who I consider to be the object of this joke; disenfranchised Hillary supporters. If Hillary Clinton was your first choice and John McCain is your second, I dare say I suspect a tinge of racism. Should I be impressed that Ms. Palin was elected mayor of a small town in Alaska? That is on par with me being elected mayor of my apartment when one considers the many serious challenges our nation faces on the political horizon. Governor of Alaska? Terrific, I ask though, how much gun and gang violence plagues Alaska? Illegal drug warfare? Homelessness? Run-down schools? Not exactly an accurate representation of the problems facing much of America today, to say nothing of Alaska's demographic homogeneity. And one more thing, what makes Ms. Palin so sure that she can convince America and the world that her "Christian" values should be adhered to when she wasn't able to convince those in her own family? As an African-American woman who had the privilege of being the first in my family to attend college, I wonder how I would have been viewed if I was to have gotten pregnant at 17. Surely as another statistic, somehow I doubt this will be the case for Bristol Palin. Ms. Palin does not speak for me, and although we may have anatomical similarities, that is all we have in common.

Sent by Nicole | 2:09 PM | 9-2-2008

I think that either party could nominate a *monitor lizard* for Vice President, and the party faithful would babble on about what a wonderful choice it was.

Sent by Leslie Rod | 2:19 PM | 9-2-2008

The selection of Sarah Palin was clearly an attempt to pander to the extreme right-wing of the Republican party. Where are the voices of pro-choice Republican women and men? Their have been squashed so everyone will fall in step with the party line. The future of the Supreme Court hangs in the balance with the election of the next President. We can not allow Palin and McCain to be the "deciders" on such an important issue.

Sent by Helen | 3:09 PM | 9-2-2008

One thing stricks me as very odd concerning Gov. Palin...why would anyone say they are "proud to become grandparents" when their 17 year old had unprotected sex (could have killed her)and got pregnant? I understand being supportive but proud?

Sent by Sabrena | 3:23 PM | 9-2-2008

The question I have for everyone who is so thrilled by Senator McCain's choice of Sarah Palin is this: Do you really think that 72 year old, ex- Navy fighter pilot would seek or take advice from a 44 year old woman from Alaska if he won the election? I do not think that McCain will give his vice president any say so in his administration. Her job if he is elected will be check everyday to see if he is alive then she can take care of her family. Mccain supports Bush's policies but he is diffently not Bush.

Sent by Carolyn Matthews | 3:49 PM | 9-2-2008

I applaud Sarah for keeping her Down Syndrome child. I question why she got pregnant in the first place, with 4 children already. 44 year old women have a 1 in 40 chance of having a Down Syndrome child. Was the pregnancy intentional, or an "oops"?

Sent by Karen in Bloomington | 5:16 PM | 9-2-2008

I am really tired of all this talk about Sarah Palin's executive experience and her knowledge of "getting things done". Get real! While new executives often make some changes based on their objectives and preferences, most mayoral and gubernatorial offices have well established operations, procedures and continuing staff in place. Anyone who has ever worked in a large, complex organization knows that the vast majority of operations remain the same, even when there are changes in the executive office. Elevating executive experience over legislative experience has little merit and is particularly troubling, as it reflects an authoritarian, autocratic view of leadership that is of little use in the national and/or international political landscape.

Lastly, while I want to respect the Palin family's privacy regarding their daughter's pregnancy, I can't help but wonder what impact Ms. Palin thought that the ensuing public discourse would have on her daughter once it became public.

Sent by LAW | 7:56 PM | 9-2-2008

I have great concern for a woman that I feel is blinded by ambition. As a Mother of three, my young children were always my first concern. There is no way this woman can juggle the responsibility of a young family of 5, one with special needs, a grand child, and the demands of the second highest office in the country. Further, if she were to handle it one would have to ask at what cost. There will surely be times when the family or the job would suffer. The choice she has made is unfortunate. It's unfortunate for that poor little infant that needs a Mother's love and attention more than anything else right now that she has chosen career over the quality of his life (speaking of the care that only a loving Mother can provide). And John McCain should feel ashamed, because he made the selection for all the wrong reasons. Neither of them are considering the effects this will have on the Palin family.

Sent by Rose | 7:58 PM | 9-2-2008


Sent by VICK | 7:58 PM | 9-2-2008

So many thoughts about the Gov. Palin pick. I look forward to the day when a woman on either ticket is a non-issue and I believe that in many ways after this election we will have arrived at that place. BUT choosing someone who's voting record is antithetical to the issues that affect the lives of women is not an affirmative choice of running mate it is a cynical political strategy.
If Sen. McCain was really interested in picking the most qualified person to be his running mate why not choose one of the thousands of women from around the country who have expertise in areas of foreign policy, the economy, or health care. Instead the Republican Party nudged McCain into choosing someone (he met once to twice) who fits an ideological framework that suits running for office and not governing.
For my money Gov. Palin is this season's equivalent of the Clarence Thomas choice. It smacks of cultural tone deafness. It's all so 1987.
And now we have this carnival surrounding the pregnant daughter.
Like race, sexism is in the air. I can't imagine this level of scrutiny attending the daughter of a male pick (except Obama of course.) On the other hand it does seem a bit like chickens coming home. One of the first things Gov. Palin tells us about herself is that she's a "soccer mom of 12." That puts her family front and center.
Is it use the family for good but spare them the bad?
It's the Republican's double standards and moral superiority that I find so galling.
All this aside I say let's move on and away from the GOTCHA politics. After all, it isn't as if we don't have problems to solve.

Sent by Raul | 1:50 AM | 9-3-2008

Check out Blackbottom.com. I'm not here to judge but if information is out there it needs to be known. I'm letting you all be the judge and please someone need to investigate if it's true before election time

Sent by G P | 6:23 PM | 9-8-2008