Open Thread: Should AAUW Endorse Sarah Palin?

September 03, 2008

Since we asked the same question about Hillary Clinton, we couldn’t help but ask the same about the first female Republican nominee for vice president of the United States. We realize that Clinton and Palin aren’t interchangeable, and frankly, if we were about to drop our 126-year tradition of being nonpartisan and endorse someone, we’d probably pick someone whose politics lined up a little more closely with our AAUW Public Policy Program.

So no, we’re not going to endorse her. But Sarah Palin is an interesting choice, and whichever party wins in November, someone is going to make history. It’s the most exciting election in a long time, and that should at least be good for voter turnout.

There’s a lot to say to say about her, and we weren’t sure where to start. So have at it. What do you think of Sarah Palin?

By:   |   September 03, 2008

60 Comments

  1. Kris says:

    Book banning? Forget all the other issues… this issue alone is enough to so “no” to an endorsement.

  2. Ruth Smiley says:

    With so many well-qualified women to choose from–Republications included–why choose Palin? Instead of endorsing Palin, AAUW should point out how her positions differ from those supported by AAUW.

    Ruth

  3. Veronica says:

    Agreed with Ruth…I’d love to see a break down, a quick one!, of Palin’s stances vs AAUW’s goals & mission. Ya know us feminists need our defensive ammunition. :)

  4. mminth says:

    Sarah Palin has burst forth from Alaska and is definitely someone who is not going to leave the public’s awareness any time soon. But I think the Republicans should feel horribly manipulated in this out of the blue choice for vice-president and I think the entire American nation should feel extremely insulted that McCain would take even the slightest chance that this political newbie might possibly become the next PRESIDENT in the event of his death after his – hopefullly not – election. I’m glad she can field dress a moose — a skill she should be proud of as an Alaskan, but not going to be particularly helpful in Washington, except possibly as an interesting new metaphor — I admire her short political career but it is already checkered. She may be at the end of that and can do damage control, as many politicos mostly male but also female have done before her. I might like to hear her speak at a future AAUW convention, but AAUW has no business endorsing her now and in the forseeable future.
    Marsha Miller — blue chick in a red state [Indiana]

  5. Marge says:

    Ruth and Veronica and anyone else wondering how to compare
    Palin’s positions to AAUW public policy issues should review McCain’s voting record on this web site. He has a weak record of voting for bills we support and it is likely her views would be very similar to his.

  6. We also recommend the following websites for a comparison of Gov. Sarah Palin and Sen. Joe Biden:

    (Palin) http://www.votesmart.org/bio.php?can_id=27200
    (Biden) http://www.votesmart.org/bio.php?can_id=532790

    and

    (Palin) http://www.ontheissues.org/Sarah_Palin.htm0
    (Biden) http://www.ontheissues.org/Joe_Biden.htm0

    These are two sources used for AAUW voter guides.

  7. Kathleen says:

    Palin’s snide remarks — especially denigrating community organizing — are appalling enough as it relates to what AAUW is about at the local level. Since she didn’t speak about issues, research is needed, but so far what I’ve found, in addition to book banning, is to instill creation teaching in the schools, and she’s totally against choice in regard to allowing abortion (she does seem to think it could be done to save the life of the mother, but not for anything else – do you really think her daughter made a “choice?”)

    On other issues that we don’t take a position on, she’s a leading voice wanting AK to secede from the nation; she describes the Iraq war as a directive from God (well, I guess George thought so too), Israel deserves what it gets, and on and on…I’m still looking at as many (credible) journalists delving as I can.

  8. lizbolton says:

    Thanks, Kathleen for all that info.

    Anonymous and Abbie–back up your assertions. Why would someone endorse her?

  9. Cindy says:

    You don’t endorse Vice-Presidents so the point is moot.

    However if you could, I wouldn’t. I am sorry she is so conservative. There are many women Republicans that I could agree with but she is not one of them.

    Her daughter’s “choices” both to keep the baby AND marry his father are statistically going to work against her. I pray they don’t. If they were not truly her own choices I am very sorry for her.

  10. Having raised a special needs child, I know it is a full time job of one parent and a good half time job of the working parent. I don’t know how Sarah Palin can be a an example of family values when she is basically putting her child who so needs early intervention on the back burner for someone else to care for. I gave up career options to stay at home with our child and my husband gave up opportunities to progress at his career in order that he could be at home more to help with our daughter. She died at age 12 and we can look back with joy that we put her first and had twelve wonderful years with her. I don’t know how Sarah Palin will feel but I for one do NOT admire her family values. And I despise the banning of books! I’ll be voting for Obama.

  11. Rita Wustner says:

    Sarah Palin is photogenic and well spoken but evidence to date indicates she would not support AAUW on any of our issues.

    One mind boggling concept – if the McCain/Palin ticket wins the election and Palin has to step up as President, so would Nancy Pelosi step up as VP. Palin/Pelosi – what a team.

  12. Pauline Flanagan Barrett says:

    I did not hear Palin’s speech but heard enough excerpts on Thursday’s radio, and enjoyed her speaking style and use of sarcasm. However, I do not agree with her conservative stands, and naivity towards global issues, and do not trust her as a president should McCain not be able to fulfill his duties.

    It’s too bad that Ann Richards is not still alive to give Palin a proper debating partner. I heard her at an AAUW convention several years ago and thought she deserved a shot at a higher office.

  13. lizbolton says:

    Rita,

    No, Pelosi wouldn’t succeed Palin as VP if McCain was not able to fulfill his duties. The 25th Amendment provides for vice presidential succession. The Speaker moves up to president if both the pres and VP are incapacitated, and the new president nominates his (or her) VP to be confirmed by Congress.
    http://www.law.cornell.edu/constitution/constitution.amendmentxxv.html

  14. Isabel Logan says:

    We cannot recommend Sarah Palin as she has outlined a list of issues that affect women and her position on them does not reflect AAUW’s position on important issues.
    In addition, we are not sure of her ethics as she is under investigation for ethics violations.

    Personal opinion aside: Doesn’t she have a large responsibility to her family at this time????

  15. tempest says:

    While I am not a big fan of Sarah Palin (from the limited amount I have heard and read about her), the issue of her familial responsibilities is beside the point. Haven’t women (and feminist organizations) been fighting for over a century to “have it all”? Now that one woman (my poor opinion of her politics aside) is seeking just that, we are concerned about whether she is taking care of her family and being a good mommy? Why don’t we assume that her husband can fulfill that role? It seems to me that many women are backpedaling on their own argument for equity.

  16. Ruth Wahtera says:

    I am impressed by Sarah Palin’s stage presence and charisma. She is a passionate and persuasive speaker.

    How unfortunate that we disagree on so many issues that critically impact women’s lives.

    I am delighted that the Republicans have chosen a woman for vice presidential nominee. It helps us all.

    I believe we should be more concerned about whether working mothers have access to the services they need to ensure their families are well cared for than about the personal decisions an individual woman makes. Even Sarah Palin.

    Whether it’s money, passion, temperment, or survival that sends women to the workplace, we are there. We need to be there. We have a right to be there. We should support one another, not criticize.

    Let’s find our own voices and become just as passionate and persuasive as Sarah Palin.

  17. NVW6NVM says:

    Hey Hey Ho Ho, Sarah Palin’s got to go. Women let us unite! This Trojan Horse will set women’s rights back 60 years if she is elected in November. Can the McCain campaign be so arrogant as to think that they can offer up any woman and we should be thankful for it? I say the line must be drawn here! We will say “Lata” to all of their propaganda. We will say “Thanks but no thanks” to their offer of a candidate whose experience couldn’t even fill a small lipstick cap. We will say “Nay!” when asked to dump our Hillary for a new untested candidate like Sarah Palin who might be there at just the right time to heal our wounds, but who will never really be able to touch our hearts. Some of us might not be strong enough to do this, but I say “is it not better to wake up on the morning of November 5th with our dignity intact?”

  18. tempest says:

    NVW6NVM, now don’t be afraid to tell us how you really feel. ☺

  19. gigi says:

    Oh how said. Sarah would have been my choice but for her views on creationism, birth control. I’ve been behind women being in office so long and now this! Hillary had her faults but was on the same page at least. Not happy w/BOM either so how I vote will be a mystery probably up until the end. G

  20. Mary Harlan says:

    Sarah Palin supports very little that I do. Aside from the fact McCain has managed to insult every Republican woman on a par with Elizabeth Dole and Olympia Snow. Absolutely disgusting choice.

  21. the key to me – is not her gender; rather her position on social issues critical to our society. what’s her position on equal pay for equal work – don’t know. what’s her position on bias in hiring and education – don’t know. her position on choice – we know – and it’s not an enlightened one.

    I too was a Hillary supporter… and she asked us to support Obama. That’s what we must do!

  22. Barbara says:

    1) It is terrifying to me to think of a person (man or woman) with such extremely limited experience and such conservative views would be only one heartbeat away from the Presidency occupied by a 72-year old man.

    2) It is terrifying to me that this is an example of John McCain’s judgment

    3) It is even more terrifying to me that a large segment of our population thinks this is a good idea.

  23. Pat B. says:

    Please do not endorse Sarah Palin. She does not represent AAUW positions. She is against family planning, insurance to cover birth control pills, let alone morning after pills. I think we need to be very specific about where each party stands on the issues AAUW is concerned about.

    The media refuses to cover the issues. It should be revealing Sarah Palin’s lack of expertise in national and international affairs. I think the most important qualities of President and VP (very likely to become President) are:

    1. Vast knowledge of and able to use wisdom and judgment in national (economic) and international affairs,
    2. Able to choose good people to all posts
    3. Ability to inspire the people.

    I would like AAUW to let our members know why she would NOT be capable as VP. Did she know the difference between Shia and Sunni before she was chosen? Could she converse intelligently on various factions in Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan and Israel? She even asked “What does a VP do?”

  24. L. Carol Newnam says:

    I’m always delighted to see women running for high office — but this woman’s nomination is the height of condescention. She doesn’t support a woman’s right to choose, doesn’t think global warming exists or is caused by man and talked of banning books. Please, lets look for a candidate that supports our issues. Palin isn’t it.

  25. Barbara says:

    It is extremely important to get back to a discussion of the issues and the philosophical views of the Presidential and Vice Presidential candidates and their Vice Presidential choices. The reality of the health and ages of Obama and of McCain are factors entering into the importance of their Vice Presidential candidates. The free world depends on wise leadership from the USA.

    Obama went through the entire Democratic primary contest, proving himself to be knowledgeable and sensitive to the challenges facing this country and the world. John McCain has changed many of his positions on Guantanamo, torture, and his views on 90% of the issues are in agreement with George W. Bush.

    One does not endorse any candidate on the basis of gender, race, or sexual preference. But one does endorse a candidate with whom one agrees with on issues on the Iraq war, taxes, environment (drill or not to drill), education, rights of women, and so on.

    In my opinion Sarah Palin does not represent my views on any of these issues and would be in close proximity to the Oval Office. She is a smart, attractive woman. However, we do not need a pit bull with lipstick dealing with delicate international relationships and world-shaking decisions.

  26. margaret carlson says:

    Marge Carlson

    Since when do we endorse the policy of shooting wolves from the air with an ak47, or taking the polar bear off the “endangered species” list so we can drill for oil? How about supporting the “bridge to nowhere”, then opposing it because it cost too much money? By the way, what happened to the money? Why would we ever support the poster lady for the failed “abstinence only” program? How rational is it to fly for 8 hours, then drive for two hours after your “water has broken” all in the name of campaigning? How smart is it to put your “Downs Syndrome” baby in the care of your five year old? Do we really want to take on the image of a “pitbull with lipstick”. If even half these blog bits are truthful, we should be worried—-really worried!

  27. Janet Heinicke says:

    It is arrogant and manipulative for McCain and his advisors to think that women will vote for a woman vice presidential candidate only because she is female. Women certainly know enough to discern the issues which are real and which are important today; Palin’s ability to shoot a rifle, dress a moose, or even have a family of five are not the issues with which the American public is faced!

    Palin’s views are frightening and suggest that McCain and his advisors think women , (perhaps in the role of “traditional little woman” ), don’t actually care about a president and a party that led us into a war based on manipulated facts. I think women care a lot a war in which 4000 young men and women have died( not to mention many many innocent people of Iraq); I think that women care about trampling on the rights to fair trial,and the use of torture for prisoners in Guatanamo.

    I am sure women care about pay equity and the opportunity to find a decent job and access to health care ARE issues women care about.

    The use of a relatively inexperienced governor as a vp candidate, primarily to “attract” women voters underestimates both the wit and the wisdom of women everywhere.

  28. Donna says:

    What about the embarassment and humiliation forced on a 17 year old child? This equates to child abuse.

    And, thank you Beckie for some common sense. Women are NOT asking to have it all. They are simply asking for equality!

  29. Jean Jack says:

    No to Sarah Palin. In addition to not supporting AAUW issues, Palin is a threat to positive environmental progress.
    Those who have half a brain know global warming is real, energy has to be produced from other than fossils fuels, and we should protect the animals we share the planet with.
    I don’t see how anyone can seriously vote for Sarah Palin.
    I sure won’t.

  30. Alice Huebner says:

    “What a breath of fresh air” as someone else said! Can you begin to imagine how much better use of taxpayer’s money can be made by “shaking up Washington”? In the field of education alone, we at the local level can do so much of a better job of allocating money!

    While you and I might not agree with all her previous experiences, we can certainly see her family values and the role model she can play for all women, young children and their families. What a talented woman for all of us to observe and support!

  31. Karen Jackle says:

    If the role of the VP is to monitor the status of the President’s heartbeat, then McCain’s choice can do that but we need to find out what her role would be in the Republican administration as VP as we already know the Republican platform does not support AAUW issues.

    It saddens me that a captivating woman from a small state was chosen to bring a more conservative spin on the Republican ticket. Portraying her as a pitbull against corruption and waste is not realistic because what can the role of a VP have – how would she have the authority to do more than make noise?

    Voting is not in many cases based on issues but on personalities so we need to focus on identifying the issues and communicating where and how an approach could be different. Using the Action Alerts and links to send letters when we do identify issues is a valid way to be heard.

  32. Helene Hemmendinger says:

    It was a very cynical decision by John McCain and if the way that he chose his vice president is indicitive of how he makes decisions, he doesn”t deserve to be president. To think that he considers himself patriotic and would do this to our country is unforgivable. This woman would be one heartbeat away from the presidency. She is the Clarence Thomas of Governors. She is putting her own ambition above the needs of her children. She made a choice to have these children and she has an ongoing responsbility to them ..You don’t make a spectacle of a seventeen-year-old’s pregnancy if you are truly concerned for her welfare. A special needs child is a full-time job, not to be put on siblings. Just any woman won’t do. She has to be a qualified woman. So much for how John McCain values women.

  33. Cathy Speer says:

    I know that AAUW does not endorse candidates for office. It is a basic tenet of our organization. However, Sarah Palin scares me to death. Admittedly a good speaker with all bad ideas.

  34. No to endorsement.
    Her political and personal views are extreme and contrary to the AAUW mission.
    She lied about her accomplishments while in office – She did not sell the jet on ebay – (McCain said for a profit.) The truth is it was sold to a private party at a loss. Plans were already made to sell the jet.
    She is not a good role model for our daughters. Hillary and many other women are much better candidates.
    McCain showed poor judgement when selecting Sarah Palin. Due to McCain’s age it is possible that she could become president and that is scary.

  35. Rosa says:

    The comments on Sarah Palin indicate that most of us know very little about her. We do know that her positions are generally not those of AAUW but, what do we know about her ethics? This is the CRUCIAL part when deciding whether to support the McCain-Palin ticket. Remember, she is one heart beat away from the presidency. I strongly suggest you visit It’s a letter written by a resident of Wasilla, Alaska, who offers a viewpoint about Sarah Palin. It’s a must-read for anyone considering voting for the Republican ticket.

  36. Jois Hofmann says:

    Before AAUW endorses any candidate let’s be sure they support our policies.
    Certainly this candidate misses on a number of AAUW issues.

  37. Judie Lynne says:

    The woman who has been affectionately called “Caribou Barbie” seems to be the perfectly-conceived candidate of the far right. It’s almost as if they carefully selected her piece by piece to reflect all the important issues this constituency of the Republican Party represents. To call this simple pandering neglects the more obvious rejection of voter’s, especially women voter’s, intelligence and discernment. Also factoring into this equation is her vicious and scathing attack on Obama, without referencing any specific policy or acknowledgment of the significant problems this country faces. I amazed that anyone would remain undecided after witnessing the events of the past week, whatever her politics may be.

  38. Bonnie says:

    Think Supreme Court. It’s likely the next president will have to name at least one new justice. Who serves for life. I hear some conservatives think Roberts and Alito are not conservative enough! I shudder to think who McCain-Palin would name. If we value women’s rights, then this ticket must be defeated.

  39. Sonya Bertini says:

    I assure you that if AAUW endorses Sarah Palin, a self proclaimed “pitbull with lipstick”, I will lose all respect for this organization and cancel my membership. She is an ill prepared, sarcastic, self-righteous human being. Her record proves that she does not respect or support the environment. Her beliefs prove that she does not respect or support most things that are included in the AAUW mission statement. I cannot believe there would even be a consideration to endorse this frightening candidate.

  40. Marsha Koch says:

    While AAUW has worked long and hard for women to have opportunities such as the one given Sarah Pailin, that alone is not enough to warrant endorsing her. We must endorse candidates on the issues, not gender.

    Sarah reminds me of the popular kid in high school who is elected president of the class based on his looks and personality. Sadly, there are many in this country who will vote for Sarah based on the same thing.

    I, too, shudder to think about the results of the McCain/Pailin ticket winning. It will be a giant step backward for women.

  41. Cherryl says:

    I hope to live long enough to see a QUALIFIED woman run for president or vice-president of our United States. Sarah Palin was apparently selected as the Republican Party VP candidate because she passed all the litmus tests to satisfy the extreme right: She supports banning books, teaching creationism in public schools, public funding of abstinance only sex education in public schools, having the government decide when an abortion is necessary, and an energy policy of drill, drill and drill some more for oil, without regard to what future generations will need to live on planet earth. In fact it was announced this week that this year every man, woman and child in Alaska is going to get more than $3,000 as their share of the oil drilling revenue. No wonder she wants more oil drilled! Her family of seven is going to have quite a windfall.
    Her “qualifications” are pretty thin: Mayor of a very small town – one that had an administrator to run the town; Governor for about 20 months – where she is already embroiled in an ethics/abuse of power investigation. The Republicans would have had a grand time laughing about Pres. Bill Clinton if he would have run on his “military experience” by having been Governor of Arkansas and as such the Commander in Chief of the National Guard.
    Since her selection, Sarah Palin has not granted an interview with any of the media. Rick Davis, McCain’s Campaign Manager said today (September 7, 2008) that Sarah Palin will meet with the press for an interview “. . .If and when we are ready.” I think this says a lot about her – she is too naive and uninformed about the ISSUES and they are afraid to let her talk to the press.

  42. Kerry says:

    I have difficulty with the Republican platform since it is totally anti-abortion as are the candidates. Being pro-choice is not the same as being pro-abortion. Being pro-choice means that you trust a woman to make decisions about her own body without government interference. Being pro-choice means you do not relegate women to second class citizenship, governed totally by others, living by the dictates of others. Being pro-choice means that should a woman decide that an abortion is appropriate, that procedure will take place in a clean, safe, & legal place, performed by a licensed practitioner, not in a dirty, back-alley location by an untrained abortionist where the woman is put at great risk for infection, perforated uterus, or death. Being pro-choice means our women have a right to life; many women have died at the hands of illegal abortionists, friends who thought they could help, or by their own hand, trying something that caused them to bleed to death in a desperate attempt to rid their bodies of an unwanted fetus. Women had abortions before they were legal & will continue to do so; we need to keep them safe & legal but also provide sound education in all our schools about how the human body really works & about birth control.

    Since Sarah Palin & John McCain are against abortion for any reason except saving the life of the mother, since she is anti-gay, anti-sex education (but wants creationism taught in the schools [every culture has had its own idea of how the earth was formed & how life began; which idea shall we teach?]), & she is for excluding certain books from the library, there is NO WAY that I could support her. We’ve already had one president who was no scholar; McCain graduated near the bottom of his class. He voted with George W 90% of the time & has been a Washington, DC insider for 26 years, but now he says he will be the change agent we need. What was he doing for the last 26years?

    Vote Obama/Biden. We need REAL change.

  43. Sonya, rest assured, AAUW does not and will not endorse candiates in elections. As pointed out in an earlier post,

    “While AAUW does advocate for legislation and takes political positions on priority issues as outlined in our member-endorsed Public Policy Program, our Policy on Candidates for Public Office [...] has always been one of nonpartisanship. We do not endorse candidates in partisan elections, nor do our branches and affiliates endorse in partisan circumstances.”

    AAUW will be releasing voter guides, though, about candidate positions on AAUW priority issues. Voter guides for the presidential race and select Senate races will be available this week. Additional guides for select House and gubernatorial races will be added soon.

  44. ctemfl says:

    Greetings:
    As some of the posts suggest we are voting for a president not the vice-president. This is a team though, so should we not review judgement and how decisions are made ? Go to the Anchorage newspaper to get facts on Palin’s decisions and ethics. I have worked in community organizing and city government for 35 years and have never heard of a mayor sending out loyalty letters, is that not a subtle threat. Gov. Palin stood in front of how many millions and stated she sold the jet on e-bay, or gave the illusion that the pipeline that is being built by a Canadian firm is already on the ground. Was this ethical? Her sarcastic remark about community organizers and then McCain asking for all of the citizens, patriots to get out and get involved. Where is the communication, is that team dynamics? As one journalist said McCain had since March to decide and he waited til the end moment? What judgement is this? The issues are in the Republican platform and do not match many of AAUW’s position. As women who are involved in AAUW in the many issues that concern the quality of life for all, let us not as individuals let someone else decide our future. Voting is an important tool towards change.

  45. Mardelle says:

    I have enjoyed my affiliation with AAUW, but, after reading the above comments on Sarah Palin, perhaps it is time for me to drop out of AAUW. I am a Conservative. I have lived long enough to experience what Liberalism has done to the life values and expectations of many of our younger generations. I have worked in Social Welfare and have experienced how governmental hand-out programs breed repetitive generations of dependency. Abuses abound in all sides of politics. Likewise, there is good on both sides.

    I enjoy my friends in AAUW, but am becoming more and more uncomfortable with the political pressures.

  46. Carolyn says:

    I’m truly sorry that Mardelle feels as she does. I have been an AAUW member since 1961 (and was a Republican who waved a flag for Nixon instead of going to a football game!), but I absolutely cannot bear the thought that Sarah Palin advocates censorship! This is such an ignorant position. Do not endorse her!

  47. leciaimbery says:

    Mardelle, AAUW is absolutely, positively nonpartisan. From our very beginnings, the members have decided that we should take political positions on many issues – pay equity, Title IX, the Family and Medical Leave Act – these are political positions. AAUW’s strength is that we work on them in a nonpartisan fashion, with members from both political parties. AAUW is proud of and committed to our bipartisanship membership, and in order to accurately represent them, we don’t support any particular party. We will continue to work with legislators on both sides of the aisle to advance equity for women and girls.

    Please also remember that this blog is an open forum, so those that are posting responses are not all AAUW members. Whether they are or not, AAUW is glad to see the number of responses this blog received, no matter which side of the debate you are on. That’s what AAUW’s Voter Education Campaign is all about – we don’t tell women how to vote, we simply encourage them to get involved in the political process, which impacts their lives and the lives of the people they love.

  48. Lynn Fountain says:

    Clearly, it is against the policy of AAUW to endorse any candidate; thus, the leading question is purely hypothetical. However, I believe that AAUW is missing a critical opportunity at this juncture in time.

    AAUW could take a stance on the treatment of Palin (or Clinton) by the media. Much of the coverage of Palin is clearly sexist, suggesting that a woman with a family cannot hold high politcal office. Indeed, women have been some of the most vocal critics of Palin on this single point. The articles on Palin’s hair, glasses, fashion, etc. are purely demeaning and ignore more substantive issues. AAUW could put forth a position statement that ALL candidates be judged on their positions on issues and their past experience. (And most of the comments on this blog have indeed addressed Palin’s stances on issues of interest to AAUW.)

    If AAUW is truly non-partisan, we should demand the same respect for Palin’s candidacy as we did for Senator Clinton’s bid for the Democratic nomination. I think that AAUW could take such a stance while clearly not endorsing Palin’s positions on controversial issues.

    As a side note to Mardelle, please do not leave AAUW. You are not the only conservative in the organization. AAUW is weakened if it cannot be welcoming to people from across the political spectrum. Our public policy stances need to be informed by all of our members.

  49. Marian says:

    No, AAUW should not change its policy to endorse anyone. When you compare the AAUW policies with Sarah Palin’s positions on issues, she does not agree with our positions.
    So IF WE DID did endorse candidates, she would not receive our endorsement. Though I have read much about her, I will let the AAUW positions, Fact Check, the National Broadcasting System, other mainline media not political ads help me understand the candidates’ positions.

    As far as the media being sexist or racist, I think examples of that can be found, but I also believe most ethical reporters strive to seek the truth. A free press is an important component of our democracy.

  50. Sylvia says:

    I am glad that AAUW does not endorse any candidate because I would not like to see our values compromised in any way. It doesn’t matter what party we endorse, it is our desire to use our energy to create a level playing field.

    I must say that the fact that we do push for equality has allowed a woman candidate to come forth. Ironically, the candidate is not part of our philosophic endeavors. However, we should be pleased that she got there because of us. It might not be the one we want, but it was the one we got.

    I see hope here. Maybe the democrats will stop being the “old boy network” and stop ignoring all the talented women in their midst. They did in 2008. I am saddened that they didn’t see a candidate in their ranks who was extremely competent.

    As a woman in her 90′s said to me, “Keep on truckin…”

  51. Celeste says:

    No WAY, No How, NO PALIN!

    She is an insult to human race. Her speech last week was full of malicious jabs at the hundreds of thousands us of who devote our lives (while working full-time, caring for a spouse, and/or tending to a family) to the betterment of our community.

    If we were to elect McCain/Palin we’re looking into the abyss and jumping in. I’m not jumping. Seriously, anyone who would vote for that ticket needs to sell their house and move out of the country (oh wait, good luck selling your house after 8 years of “Bushenomics” –a less filling, more taxing version of “Reaganomics”).

    SERIOUSLY do not cast one vote for these two “change artists” …con-artists is more like it.

  52. Cindy says:

    I don’t believe Palin is receiving sexist coverage.

    I would feel equally uncomfortable with a man with five kids, one of them special needs and one pregnant, running for office. I felt very strongly that Edwards should have dropped out of the race when his wife’s cancer reoccured. If a women CHOOSES to have 5 kids then she has some responsibility toward them and so does the father – it’s a team effort. Both are needed.

    We have had articles about Obama’s suit in our paper and all of us have heard about the expensive haircuts of the men. THe women candidates have more interesting clothing perhaps than the men’s. The cleavage comment aobut Hillary was out of line but I don’t remember seeing anything like that about Sarah.

  53. Karen says:

    I think AAUW is making a big mistake in having what some might see as knee jerk reaction to Gov Palin. One truth is that you now have no other opportunities to see a woman in highest offices for likely 8-16 years if McCain wins. This may be the woman you have to work with for that time.

    Here are a few topics to google:

    Title IX issues. Palin is on record(although Charlie Gibson edited her comments out) saying that she is a product of Title IX and cannot imagine where she’d be without those opportunities.

    She is a working Mom who we don’t have on record yet about equal pay. JOhn McCain supports equal pay but not unlimited time to file claims. He does not support the Lilly Ledbetter issue because a conservative would be anti trial lawyer and therefore anti unlimited time limits to file suit. That does not mean he is against equal pay. It means he(and likely she) might want to look at a shorter time period for filing than what has been suggested. That is cutting off your nose to spite your face to say he or she is against that crucial issue. You would likely have a Pres McCain who is more than open to any feminist issues she would bring forward as she would likely be responsible for him winning(and thus women in general by extension would be the group he would be most indebted to). Women stand to have tremendous power in a McCain administration.

    Her record on abortion is not at all like her personal views. That is another big mistake for thinking women. She has every right to advocate for life and responsibility. She is also on record more than enough times saying she wishes states could vote on this issue so they could express their opinion on how the issue should be handled. This is right in line with her anti federal stance on most things. If it’s not in article 1-3 of the Consatitution she probably thinks the fed government shouldn’t get involfed. That is not that radical and is actually more likely to let women make legilative progress in things that matter to them. To affect change at the state level is a lot less daunting than at the fed level in my opinion. Different places have different issues that people want dealt with first.

    She is highly likely to make huge changes in things like special ed, childcare, fathers rights as she is intimately involved in these issues and again, as I stated before she will have the political capital to spend after bringing McCain into office with the support of so many women and families.

    John McCain lines up with many many issues that are important to AAUW. He is campaigning on a more conservative platform than he is ever likely to implement because he has to. Even conservatives know that. I do not believe a Barack Obama will feel the need to make womens issues a priority once elected in the way that a McCain/Palin ticket would be set up to do. I also believ that electing McCain(who is very unlikely to run for a second term) is the only way to allow for a Hillary or other Dem woman to have a viable chance to run against the Republicans in 2012. If Obama wins, he would run for a second term and unless he had really blown it,,would win against another Dem. Thats a long time until womens issues become truly front and center.

    I would urge women not to be so knee jerk on the life issue. Count it as a plus that this woman wants to stick to her own personal ideals and is able to make room for far different views in governing.

    Women may have to start somewhere and I believe that although people may have disagreements with a Plain worldview it is irrational to think women would not benefit in countless ways from her election. Her being VP to a truly moderate Republican is also an opportunity to change the basic foundational ideas of the Republican party and move them to the left. It is more likely than not a Palin VP would have to move to the center or better to do well and to be able to try for a Presidential run later if that became realistic.

    Women will likely get nothing life changing under an Obama/Biden ticket. It could be revolutionary to see a Palin in office. Women will not get everything under anybody but the gamble is very good on getting a lot with this woman havign McCains ear.

    She is not a book banner or a supporter of taking evolution out of schools or an abstience only sex ed. She just isn’t. Do some reasearch yourselves and see this is a persoanlly conservative woman who has governed from the center always.

    This is the last good chance for womens issues to be pushed through for quite some time. I’d be careful not to alienate this woman, because if she wins AAUW will want to have the ability to have her see things your way. Being part of irrational attacks on her will make that impossible later.

    Seize this opportunity or at least position yourselves to benefit if she ends up in office.

    That’s my two cents…

  54. jeanne lese says:

    Have you considered the real impact of McCain/Palin? You should. It goes far beyond gender. With McCain’s age (72) and medical history (3 melanomas are only the beginning), if the Republicans win, she is a heartbeat away from power. And with her lack of preparation for this job compared to Biden, that’s much too close for me.

    Basically, in November you will be voting for change or more of the same. “Palin [and McCain] reinforce[s] the overall message of the reactionary right, which has been in play since 1980, that social justice is liberal-radical, that minorities and immigrants, being different from ‘us’ pure American types, can be ignored, that progressivism takes too much effort and globalism is a foreign threat. The radical right marches under the banners of ‘I’m all right, Jack,’ and ‘Why change? Everything’s OK as it is.’ ” (Deepak Chopra)

    If this makes sense to you, I invite you to read the rest of this artilce below. Then ask yourself: are you happy with the status quo (economy, health care, pay equity, the wars — Iraq, Afghanistan, with Pakistan, Iran, possibly Georgia on the horizon)? Then vote accordingly — fear or forward.

    Obama and The Palin Effect

    Sometimes politics has the uncanny effect of mirroring the national psyche even when nobody intended to do that. This is perfectly illustrated by the rousing effect that Gov. Sarah Palin had on the Republican convention in Minneapolis this week. On the surface, she outdoes former Vice President Dan Quayle as an unlikely choice, given her negligent parochial expertise in the complex affairs of governing. Her state of Alaska has less than 700,000 residents, which reduces the job of governor to the scale of running one-tenth of New York City. By comparison, Rudy Giuliani is a towering international figure. Palin’s pluck has been admired, and her forthrightness, but her real appeal goes deeper.

    She is the reverse of Barack Obama, in essence his shadow, deriding his idealism and exhorting people to obey their worst impulses. In psychological terms the shadow is that part of the psyche that hides out of sight, countering our aspirations, virtue, and vision with qualities we are ashamed to face: anger, fear, revenge, violence, selfishness, and suspicion of ‘the other.’ For millions of Americans, Obama triggers those feelings, but they don’t want to express them. He is calling for us to reach for our higher selves, and frankly, that stirs up hidden reactions of an unsavory kind. (Just to be perfectly clear, I am not making a verbal play out of the fact that Sen. Obama is black. The shadow is a metaphor widely in use before his arrival on the scene.)

    I recognize that psychological analysis of politics is usually not welcome by the public, but I believe such a perspective can be helpful here to understand Palin’s message. In her acceptance speech Gov. Palin sent a rousing call to those who want to celebrate their resistance to change and a higher vision.

    Look at what she stands for:

    –Small town values — a denial of America’s global role, a return to petty, small-minded parochialism.

    –Ignorance of world affairs — a repudiation of the need to repair America’s image abroad.

    –Family values — a code for walling out anybody who makes a claim for social justice. Such strangers, being outside the family, don’t need to be heeded.

    –Rigid stands on guns and abortion — a scornful repudiation that these issues can be negotiated with those who disagree.

    –Patriotism — the usual fallback in a failed war.

    –’Reform’ — an italicized term, since in addition to cleaning out corruption and excessive spending, one also throws out anyone who doesn’t fit your ideology.

    Palin reinforces the overall message of the reactionary right, which has been in play since 1980, that social justice is liberal-radical, that minorities and immigrants, being different from ‘us’ pure American types, can be ignored, that progressivism takes too much effort and globalism is a foreign threat. The radical right marches under the banners of ‘I’m all right, Jack,’ and ‘Why change? Everything’s OK as it is.’ The irony, of course, is that Gov. Palin is a woman and a reactionary at the same time. She can add mom to apple pie on her resume, while blithely reversing forty years of feminist progress. The irony is superficial; there are millions of women who stand on the side of conservatism, however obviously they are voting against their own good. The Republicans have won multiple national elections by raising shadow issues based on fear, rejection, hostility to change, and narrow-mindedness.

    Obama’s call for higher ideals in politics can’t be seen in a vacuum. The shadow is real; it was bound to respond. Not just conservatives possess a shadow — we all do. So what comes next is a contest between the two forces of progress and inertia. Will the shadow win again, or has its furtive appeal become exhausted? No one can predict. The best thing about Gov. Palin is that she brought this conflict to light, which makes the upcoming debate honest. It would be a shame to elect another Reagan, whose smiling persona was a stalking horse for the reactionary forces that have brought us to the demoralized state we are in. We deserve to see what we are getting, without disguise.

    From: Deepak Chopra | Posted: Friday, September 5th, 2008
    http://deepakchopra.com/2008/09/04/blog-obama-and-the-palin-effect/

  55. Penney says:

    The thought of Sarah Palin as Vice-President and probably President of this country gives me cold chills! After reading her record as Wasilla mayor and knowing she murders wolves from the air (how brave is that!) I hardly think she qualifies for any role in our government. Too bad we could not have a woman candidate who is credible, intelligent, and has a positive record for the needs of our communities and country.

  56. Barbara says:

    I was considering joining your organization. After reading the majority of the 57 comments here, I realize that this organization is definitely not for me. Most of you sound like arrogant liberals with compromised university educations. McCain/Palin did not win, and like 56 million other Americans I feel our country will suffer from that decision.

  57. Jean says:

    Barbara,
    Please take a little more time to get to know AAUW. It may not be for you, but you will find Republicans, Democrats, and Independents in our membership. We take positions on issues, not on partisan candidates. We had representation at both major political conventions this summer.

    Our country has had good (and not so good) leaders from both parties, and we have an amazing record for nonviolent leadership change.

    Look for a branch near your home, and get to know the individual members. You may find that we’re not all arrogant liberals.

  58. jeanne lese says:

    Barbara,
    I’m with Jean in hoping that you will take another look at AAUW. Every branch includes members from both major parties. We tend to be women who freely express a diversity of opinion. I’m sure a few of us have “compromised university educations” but certainly not all. And there is tremendous difference between branches. I hope you will visit a branch close to home, and if you don’t like it, visit another. One size does not fit all!

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