Women Discuss The Palin Factor Polls indicate that John McCain's selection of Sarah Palin as his running mate has boosted his popularity among female voters. Three women — each from a different political party — talk about what Palin's candidacy means for them.

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This is Talk of the Nation. I'm Neal Conan in Washington. Women hold the key to this election, pollsters say, and both presidential campaigns are courting them feverishly. But right now, at least, Republican John McCain has a slight edge. Recent polls show a 10- to 20-point shift toward McCain among white women since he chose Governor Sarah Palin as his running mate. It's called the Palin effect. And while the fervor surrounding her could be short-lived, for the time being, many voters see her as the exciting new face in politics. Today, we'll talk with three women of different political persuasions about gender, identity, feminism, family, issues, and the politics of Sarah Palin.

So, women, we want to hear from you this hour. What does Sarah Palin's candidacy mean to you? Give us a call, 800-989-8255 is the phone number. The email address, talk@npr.org. You can also join the conversation on our blog, that's at npr.org/blogofthenation. Later in the program, econonaut Adam Davidson joins us as the phrase "moral hazard" takes on world-shaking dimensions. But first, women talk Palin and we begin with Katherine Mangu-Ward. She's the associate editor of Reason Magazine, and she recently wrote a series of op-eds in the Los Angeles Times about feminism and politics in the Palin era. She joins us here in Studio 3A. Nice to have you on the program today.

Ms. KATHERINE MANGU-WARD (Associate Editor, Reason Magazine): Thank you for having me.

CONAN: And you describe yourself as a pro-Palin feminist. Some would argue that's a contradiction in terms.

Ms. MANGU-WARD: I don't think so, I mean, I'm a name hyphenated, played with trucks when I was a little kid, pro-choice woman, but those aren't the things that are the most important things about me. And I don't think those are the things that are the most important things about Palin. I'm fascinated by this idea that Palin is somehow required to speak for women on women's issues. There's this double standard there, I think. No one ever says to Joe Biden, you know, Joe, most men would prefer to have their taxes lowered, and you think taxes should be increased. You're a traitor to your gender. There is this strange sense that Sarah Palin doesn't get to be admitted into the women-we-can-be-proud-of club unless she is pro-choice, unless she makes women's issue central to her campaign.

CONAN: Unless, you argue, she's a Democrat.

Ms. MANGU-WARD: Well, there is that phenomenon. I wonder in the age where feminists sort of embrace Bill Clinton after the Paula Jones sexual harassment scandal, and then seem insulted by or troubled by John McCain when he has chosen a woman for his vice president. Maybe being a feminist just means something more like support for the Democratic Party these days, and that's fine. But in that case, we should admit that that's what's going on and say, Sarah Palin is still a strong woman we can be proud of.

CONAN: Let's see if we can get a caller in on the conversation. Again, if you'd like to join us, 800-989-8255, email is talk@npr.org. And let's go to Stephanie(ph), Stephanie with us from Louisburg in North Carolina.

STEPHANIE (Caller): Hi, how are you?

CONAN: I'm very well. Thank you.

STEPHANIE: I feel Sarah Palin is (unintelligible).

CONAN: Oh, Stephanie, I'm afraid we're having problems with your cell phone.

STEPHANIE: People (unintelligible).

CONAN: Oh, Stephanie, I'm sorry, we're losing your call. Get to a better cell and give us another call back if you would please. Thanks very much. Let's go instead to our next guest, Nicole Mason. She's executive director of Women of Color Policy Network at New York University, with us today from our bureau in New York. Nice to have you on the program today.

Ms. NICOLE MASON (Executive Director, Women of Color Policy Network, New York University): Hi, Neal. How are you?

CONAN: I'm well. Thank you. And is Sarah Palin's story one that resonates with you?

Ms. MASON: Not at all. And I think that Sarah Palin's story doesn't resonate with a lot of women in this country, probably the nearly 30 million women of color, African-American and Latino women who do not look like Palin, share her experiences, and most importantly, her viewpoint on important issues like comprehensive sex education for our country's youth, affirmative action, abortion, immigration, affordable housing, or the war in Iraq. I think the McCain campaign has presented a false choice for women: vote gender or vote issues. And I think women have fallen into this trap, and it has become about identity politics rather than the issues.

CONAN: Identity politics. Well, during the Democratic primary, there was a lot of questions about - well, especially for African-American women. Do you choose gender? Do you choose race? In this case, you don't find that to be a choice at all.

Ms. MASON: I really don't find it to be a choice at all, and even during the primary season, I was really confused about this whole notion of choosing race over gender. I think that gender cannot be the only decision for black women just like race can't. It's really about the issues. And when we looked at - during the primary, when we were looking at Hillary versus Barack, we were thinking, I think, many of us were thinking about who would be the best person to put forth in November, you know, with regard to the issues. And I think that's what we need to be thinking about now as we head into the November election.

CONAN: And let's bring a third voice into the conversation, Beth Tweddle, who identifies herself as a Republican, works in sales. She's a mother of three and joins us here in Studio 3A. And Beth, nice to have you on Talk of the Nation today.

Ms. BETH TWEDDLE (Salesperson, Mother, Republican): Thanks for having me.

CONAN: And does Sarah Palin's story speak to you?

Ms. TWEDDLE: Absolutely, without question. I have found this - it is a phenomenon, and it's amazing in the sense that someone who is genuine and is real running for this type of office is viewed as a phenomenon. I think that's a sad commentary on how we view our political figures, if someone that - that does come forth as real and genuine. And to me, Sarah Palin is the closest thing to a real person that we've had run for this level of executive office in generations. And that is why folks can - folks, meaning, women with - that are working, working moms can say, I get what she's feeling. I get what she's saying. And more importantly, we all know that she's had to work twice as hard to get where she is.

CONAN: And do you take offense at those who wonder: Can she be the mother of five, especially with a newborn baby, and do the demanding job of vice president?

Ms. TWEDDLE: I - yeah, I am offended just because people do it every day, and again you didn't ask Pelosi that question, and you don't ask Biden that question, so it shouldn't be an issue. For us, it isn't.

CONAN: Let's see if we can go back to the phones. And Tanya(ph) is with us, Tanya calling us from Miami in Florida.

TANYA (Caller): Hi, yeah, I am a Republican. And I was going to vote for Ron Paul originally. I do not feel that women, just because they are women, we should vote for them. And after I saw Sarah Palin, I do respect her in the sense that she is, you know, very intelligent. She has gotten to where she's gotten to, but so has Barack Obama. And I feel that, you know, as - you know, they both speak very well. I mean, they both caught me in that sense that they're very good orators. They're both very smart. They both have gotten to where they've gotten to. But for some reason, I feel that Barack Obama has really, you know, taken lead because, I mean, there's things that she even said, like, for example, when she said, what does a vice president do? So things like that that she says has really just completely turned me off on her ticket.

CONAN: Katherine Mangu-Ward, could you - if she was supporting Ron Paul she might has some Libertarian leanings. Can you appeal to your sister here?

Ms. MANGU-WARD: Sure, I guess, you know, the thing I'd emphasize here is again, which issues are most important to you. And for me, the issues that are most important don't happen to be the social issues where I disagree with Sarah Palin, although these are issues where Sarah Palin and Ron Paul have some surprising common ground. But these are - it's just a question of which part of Sarah Palin's body is the most important part. Is it her brain or is it her uterus? And for those who want to talk about, you know, what all of the Palin women are doing with their uteri, that's one topic. But I actually think a great thing about this caller is that she's simply saying, I'm looking at all the candidates, I'm looking at where they stand on the issues, I'm looking at the question of experience. And I think that's great.

As it happens, I also like the feminist superwoman aspect of Sarah Palin. I mean, we're talking about someone here who is breast-feeding in the Alaska governor's office secretly during conference calls. And when she's too busy, she hands off her kids to her essentially stay-at-home husband. If that's not having it all, I don't what is, and while I do think the issues are the most important thing, I also must admit Sarah Palin has made me like the McCain ticket a little bit more just purely for the feminist role model that she provides. And I think that's legitimate as well.

CONAN: And Nicole Mason, are you among those who - though you oppose her on the issues - counting those cracks in the glass ceiling?

Ms. MASON: I think Sarah Palin is an extraordinary woman. She has managed to juggle family and a career. You know, at the same time, I don't think we need to be sidetracked. I mean, she's running for, you know, she's on the McCain ticket for vice president. She is not running for mother of the year. Now, I think we just need to be clear about that. And so, you know, and be thinking about where she stands on important issues like the war, like the economy, affordable housing. And I have to go back to point about, you know, yes, she appeals to a particular demographic, particularly evangelicals, which is a key voting bloc for the Republican Party. But what about the women that can't identify with Sarah Palin's experiences? What about the, like I said, the 30 million women out there who have a hard time being able to identify with Palin? What do we say to them?

CONAN: And you don't see her reaching out to you at all?

Ms. MASON: At all.

CONAN: All right.

Ms. MASON: I don't see the campaign - McCain campaign, reaching out to African-American, Latino, Asian-American women, Native-American women at all, or addressing their issues and concerns in real and concrete ways.

CONAN: Tanya, thanks very much for the call.

TANYA: Thank you.

CONAN: Here's an email from Catherine in Saint Louis, Missouri. Palin often labeled as being a superwoman or supermom - as she just was here on this program a moment ago - having a demanding career, raising a family and pursuing her interests. Isn't this label misleading and the discussions of whether she should pursue her career or raise the kids meaningless, since she doesn't do it all alone. In fact, she has extensive help from her husband and parents who cook, shop, pay bills, babysit, and drive the kids to their various activities. This is the type of support that most working mothers don't have. Except for the role reversal, is she any different from any other traditional male politician raising kids? Beth Tweddle, I wonder what you think about that as a working mother who raises kids too.

Ms. TWEDDLE: Right. I almost have to be insulted again. And I find that the whole issue of can she or can't he, it goes back to the connection of being a real person. Here is someone that has done it all. She's proving that she can govern. She's proven that she is a mother and yes, she does have a great team. But I guess I almost have to categorize in - the Wal-Mart mom that came up and that, in itself, I thought, why is she even defined that way? I went to find out about this phenomenon myself because I was questioning myself. Why am I so excited about what she's done? And again, it goes back to, look what she's accomplished. She is reaching out to folks, in my mind, because she has to do what we do every single day. She is the closest person that walks the same walk that I do and my friends walk, and that's why we're very excited by her accomplishments.

CONAN: Beth Tweddle also with us, Nicole Mason, executive director of Women of Color Policy Network at NYU, and Katherine Mangu-Ward of Reason Magazine. We'd like you to joins us. Women, we want to hear from you today. What about Sarah Palin, how does her candidacy resound with you? Give us a call 800-898-825. Email is talk@npr. org. Stay with us, I'm Neal Conan, it's the Talk of the Nation from NPR News.

(Soundbite of music)

CONAN: This is Talk of the Nation. I am Neal Conan in Washington. Sarah Palin has turned conventional political wisdom on its head, as Newsweek reported last week. Republican women who long been loathe to vote for mothers of small children are suddenly defending the rights of women to work outside the home, and some Democratic women are threatening to defect to the Republicans because Palin is on the ticket. Our focus today is on women voters. What does Sarah Palin's candidacy mean to you, 800-989-8255. Email, talk@npr.org. You can also join the conversation on our blog at npr.org/blogofthenation.

Our guests are Katherine Mangu-Ward, associate editor at Reason Magazine, who describes herself as a pro-Palin feminist, Nicole Mason, executive director at the Women of Color Policy Network at NYU, she supported Hillary Clinton and says she does not identify with Sarah Palin, and also with us, Beth Tweddle, who is a self-identified Republican, works in sales, and is the mother of three who was interested, probably going to vote for John McCain and now is really going to vote for McCain-Palin. If you'd like the conversation,give us a call, 800-989-8255. Email, talk@npr.org. And Beth Tweddle, I wanted to ask you about that - you're part of this phenomenon, as I suggested. It's not that you weren't going to vote - against John McCain, it's now you are much more excited.

Ms. TWEDDLE: Exactly. Attending the rally in Fairfax, being one of 23,000 people just going there to find out why I think the way I do. I am looking around the folks that were there in line with us, it was entire families. My friends were there. They're all incredibly high-speed women that if they haven't started their own business and are still working in that business, they had executive jobs with large companies and now, if they've chosen to do the real job, being a mom at home. They're either doing both or doing that singly. So it is exciting being part of that and find out why.

CONAN: Are you old enough to remember Geraldine Ferraro?

Ms. TWEDDLE: Yes, I am. My mother voted for Shirley Chisholm, so I am old enough to remember that, too. But Geraldine Ferraro, I was very excited. I was younger - a lot younger than I am now.

CONAN: We all were.

Ms. TWEDDLE: Yeah, but I remember, wow, this is great, look at her.

CONAN: Now, let's get another caller on the line. This is Loretta. Loretta with us from Hillsborough in North Carolina.

LORETTA (Caller): Yes. I have the exact opposite point of view. I think that as a mother of five children and having children so young, I think it would be horrible to have her on the ticket. Because I think that at that age, the age of her children, is when a mother's influence is so important. And I can't imagine voting for someone who would be running for office at that time in her life.

CONAN: Do you speak from experience, Loretta?

LORETTA: I do. I have two children, one 14 and one 17.

CONAN: And why is someone's parental skills or parental role important when you are voting for president or vice president?

LORETTA: Well, I think that it's just that it shows something about your character, in my opinion. I mean, I know other people have different opinions on that. But I think it really does speak to your character when those formative years when your children's ideology, when they're learning, is so important that you would not be concentrating on that. I just find that appalling.

CONAN: And Katherine Mangu-Ward, I wonder what you think?

Ms. MANGU-WARD: Certainly Sarah Palin is not the first person whose family has been a huge part of their campaign. I mean, we only need to go back a couple of weeks to the Democratic Convention where we saw Joe Biden introduced with this touching, well-made video about his commitment to his family and his particularly difficult decision he had to make as a suddenly single parent. I guess there's a certain minimum standard that you can give people in terms of character assessment. If they're good parents, they're probably not incredibly horrible people, which with politicians is, you know, a decent bar to aspire to in a lot of cases. So...

CONAN: And some, though, say if that was the bar, Ronald Reagan would never have been elected.

Ms. MANGU-WARD: Well, true. And this is where we get back to a topic that I think, mercifully, is where we're shifting in this discussion, which is just the issues. And where they stand - where any candidates stands on policy. But in terms of parenting being central to the campaign, you are looking for a little bit of evidence that someone is a decent human being. And I think the word that Nicole keeps using is, do we identify with Sarah Palin and that's, I think, a very loaded word. We just had two callers who both put themselves in Sarah Palin's shoes and would have made different decisions. So you can identify with Sarah Palin and not like her, or you can not identify with her and like her. I mean, I've never hunted a moose. I don't have any kids. I don't know what it's like to be Sarah Palin. But I think her stances such as we know them so far on the issues are pretty good. And I am willing to accept that.

CONAN: And Nicole Mason, obviously you disagree.

Ms. MASON: Yes, and I think more important, I mean, I think her views - with regard to her character, excuse me, you know, I think it's important that we understand and know a little bit about - more about Sarah Palin's character. And we are all getting - we're just getting to know her. But I think more telling about her character is her views on important issues. And with regards to being to identify with Sarah Palin, you know, you're absolutely right. I've never hunted moose. I've never lived in Alaska. And you know, I've haven't done a lot of things that - I haven't raised five children. I do not raise five children. But what is true is that there needs to be some identification with Sarah Palin on very important issues and issues important to my community and to me. We need to be aligned with her values and her perspective on what's good for the country, it needs to be aligned with my own and those of my community. And so when I talk about being able to identify with Palin, it's not only about gender identification, but it is also about being able to identify with her positions and viewpoints on issues like, again, affirmative action. You know, her views on how to, you know, how to recover our economy, the environment, health care - these are the things I want to know about Sarah Palin.

CONAN: And when you say she must be aligned if she was to win your vote, your support obviously, I think she's entitled to disagree with you.

Ms. MASON: Yes, yes. If Sarah Palin wanted to win my support, this is where we would have to be aligned. Now again, I admire Palin's confidence and her ability to hold the second most important post in the free world. And I think she is a strong and capable woman, but I don't think that's the point here. I think the point is whether or not she's able to represent the needs and concerns of a broad range of Americans.

CONAN: Loretta, who are going to vote for?


CONAN: OK. Thanks very much for the call.


CONAN: Bye-bye. Here's an email from Steph in Cincinnati. Just because Palin is a woman and from outside Washington, D.C., doesn't mean she is for women or different from those in D.C. It all gets down to the issues, which haven't been getting much talk since Palin was introduced as the GOP VP nominee. What do you guest think of Palin on the issues rather than the woman phenomenon? Well, I think we just heard Nicole Mason on that, and I think we've heard Katherine Mangu-Ward on that as well. Why don't we turn to Beth Tweddle?

Ms. TWEDDLE: Well, the single most important issue I think facing every American, and it's a bipartisan issue, is this house of cards is that we call an economy. And when you have someone that is willing to put their state's checkbook online and say, this is how I'm spending the money. This is who I am holding accountable for spending your money. If you can bring any of that to Washington, D.C., and be able to say, this is the people's money, I want you to not only use it wisely, but make sure it goes as far as it can. That directly affects all of us whether you're a man, woman, whatever your gender, creed. To me, that's the most singular important issue in front of every single American right now, and I think she's directly addressed that in her performance in Alaska.

CONAN: And let's get Victoria on the line. Victoria with us from Denver in Colorado.

VICTORIA (Caller): Hi, I just wanted to say that I've been a very left Democrat my whole life, and I am voting the McCain-Palin ticket because of Sarah Palin's position.

CONAN: And which one in particular?

VICTORIA: Well, specifically her willingness and pro-drilling Alaska position. I think it's really important for us as a nation to say look, we need to be willing to drill our own land before and now instead of drilling other people's land in other countries.

CONAN: This even though Senator McCain is opposed to drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge.

VICTORIA: Not anymore.

CONAN: Yes, he is.

VICTORIA: I think he sees that it's really a better idea to say OK, we need American oil, and American oil is worth something.

CONAN: No. He hasn't said that yet. He is in favor of drilling in other places, but not there yet, at least, that's according to Governor Palin's most recent interview. Nicole Mason, we earlier asked Katherine Mangu-Ward to bring a Libertarian back into the fold. What would you say to Victoria to try to sway her?

Ms. MASON: I say Victoria, you know, your position on drilling is fine with regard to why you're voting for Palin, but I would ask you to think about the other issues that are important here, which is poverty. I don't hear Palin talking about poverty. Black women and Latinos are nearly as twice as likely to be poor than white women and in terms of equal pay, all women across the board aren't making as much as their male counterparts. You know, I don't hear her talking about HIV-AIDS. I don't hear her talking about education. I don't hear her talking about immigration or affordable housing or even affordable child care. What are her positions on these important issues? Yes, I think it's really important that we, you know, loosen our dependence on foreign oil. But what about our domestic issues? And as a Democrat, I'm wondering about how, you know, how you feel about Palin on those other issues?

CONAN: Victoria?

VICTORIA: Well, I think that - I think you have great points, first of all. However, I'm really interested in the fact that oil is a domestic issue. It's a very, very serious issue, and we have to pay attention to it. And it has everything to do with every trickle-down effect of our American economy. And when you say that she doesn't have positions on education, on women, on this and that, I think she has very strong positions on those things, and she's very interested in empowering people. She wants tax cuts to happen. She wants to empower poor people. I don't think she's interested in just an old boy's club of let's get the rich to be richer. I think she's very much pro-people and pro-women. And yes, she is anti-abortion. And I think that maybe right now in our history, we have to look at that because there are so many women getting abortions as birth control.

CONAN: Victoria, thanks very much for the call, appreciate it.

VICTORIA: Thank you.

CONAN: So long. Let's go now to Cara(ph). Cara with us from Charlottesville in Virginia.

CARA (Caller): Yes, hi, Neal. I just want to say that I'm a registered independent voter, was leaning towards McCain. And because of Sarah Palin, I am not voting for the McCain-Palin ticket. I just think that family has been shoved down my throat. I am 37, not married, no kids, don't want them, come from a big family. I think there is just anybody - she's a creationist. I have a real hard time with that. Like the experience issue was a huge deal for me and why I was leaning towards McCain, and she just totally swung me back the other way, and I'm like - I don't - I'm not thrilled with Obama, but I will vote for him just because I just do not care for her. I just do not think she should have nuclear codes. I just don't think she can handle it.

CONAN: And so that's - you're intending to vote for Senator Obama?

CARA: Yeah, yes I will.

CONAN: It sounds like you're not altogether that thrilled by it.

CARA: Yeah, I'm not. But it's more the fact that there's - she's way too inexperienced. I mean, she seems like a lovely lady, I will buy Avon from her, but I am not voting for her.

CONAN: OK, Cara. Thanks very much for the call, appreciate it.

CARA: Thank you.

CONAN: We're talking with Katherine Mangu-Ward, associate editor at Reason Magazine, Nicole Mason, executive director, Women of Color Policy Network at NYU, and with Beth Tweddle, who works in sales, is the mother of three and votes Republican. You're listening to Talk of the Nation from NPR News. And we've heard you all responding to other callers, I'd like to get a conversation in these last few minutes before we leave this subject. Amongst the three women who have gathered here, you're all smart, articulate people. Beth Tweddle, what have you heard from the other people that you've been talking to, listening to this last half hour that interests you, that made you think, well, you know maybe they've got a point?

Ms. TWEDDLE: Well, I am really interested. I'm going to delve more deeply into Palin's different philosophies on the issues that the lovely person in New York has been speaking of because I try to view all of us as being on the same team as Americans, and I want to find out where are her gaps in affecting all facets of American women here and all American families. So that is a perspective that I'd like to learn more about.

CONAN: Nicole Mason.

Ms. MASON: Well, like I said, I mean, I think Palin is a strong and capable woman. And I think that, you know, Palin was a decent choice for the GOP. I think in listening to this conversation, I think it's really layered. I think it is about identity, it is about gender, and whether or not the difference a woman makes in this position, in the outcome of the election. So I'm looking forward to having these discussions. I'm looking at the intersections of race, class, gender and other markers of difference in relationship to the outcome of the election as well as the issues.

CONAN: Mm hmm. Katherine Mangu-Ward?

Ms. MANGU-WARD: I'm heartened that people want to talk more about issues. As a Libertarian, I've sort of given up hope that there's going to be a politician who speaks for me in some grand identity sense. But one thing I do like about Palin, and I think people are catching onto this, is that she's a little bit subversive in the Libertarian direction. She is a pot-smoker, admitted, she wants to drill.

CONAN: So was Senator Obama.

Ms. MANGU-WARD: She wants to drill where McCain doesn't. She's actually a little, you know, softer on contraception than a lot of Republicans are. She is great on taxes, she is great on trade. And I wonder if that - and of course, she's famous for busting up Republicans in her own state. So I guess my hope is that people will see that aspect of Sarah Palin, that substantive, and it seems to me that our discussion here, people are getting ready to talk about the issues. And I think things will go well for my side such as it is because Palin is a Republican with dare, I say, a little smidge of hope for Libertarians. And I'm not going to go more than smidge.

CONAN: I want to get back to a point Nicole Mason was making earlier, that she doesn't think Sarah Palin is at all reaching out toward or addressing the issues of minority women. Do you agree with her? And if so, does that concern you?

Ms. MASON: It doesn't concern me, which is maybe not the right thing to say. But the Republican Party historically has done absolutely abysmally with minorities. They know it; they're trying to improve in a variety of categories. But Sarah Palin's not the person who's going to win those people over. I mean, you can't ask her to do all things for all people. She's rallied the base, she's maybe won a few Hillary voters. Women like her. Moose-hunting Alaskans are probably not going to win blue America, Hispanics, and black women or men for that matter.

CONAN: But she's running for vice president of the United States, and not for governor of Alaska again.

Ms. MASON: That's true, but that's her identity. That's what she's selling, and I wonder if we're asking too much of her to do all things for all people.

CONAN: Beth Tweddle?

Ms. TWEDDLE: And Nicole, what credibility would she have in speaking to you directly in any other substance other than asking you what would you like to see her do or see her address?

Ms. MASON: My - I'm sorry. My question is, whose job is it? Is Palin representing - she should be representing a small segment of women or should be representing all women in the whole entire country, as well as McCain. I'm not asking anything of Palin that I'm not asking of McCain. And I'm just - I just throw out the question, whose job is it to represent the needs of Americans?

Ms. MASON: But it's interesting...

CONAN: And we're going to have to leave that question hanging there and address it another time. And thank you all very much for being with us today. We appreciate the conversation. The last voice you heard was that of Nicole Mason, executive director of Women of Color Policy Network at NYU, with us from our bureau in New York. Thank you very much for your time today. And Katherine Mangu-Ward was with us here in Studio 3A, associate director of Reason Magazine and wrote a series of op-eds in the L.A. Times about feminism and politics in the Palin era. Thank you very much for being with us.

Ms. MANGU-WARD: Thank you very much.

CONAN: And also our thanks to Beth Tweddle, who works in Centerville, Virginia, and a mother of three, works in sales. Appreciate your time today. We know you're busy.

Ms. TWEDDLE: Thank you. Thank you.

CONAN: Coming up, we're going to be talking about what else, the economy. The econonaut Adam Davidson joins us. This is NPR News.

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