Many people think John McCain chose Sarah Palin simply because she is a woman, who also happens to appeal to the evangelical base. Citizen attended the Women and the Republican Party panel today in St. Paul and the question came up: would John McCain have chosen Palin if she was a man? One panel member responded, "I think the experience and issues takes a back seat because she (is) a woman."
Palin's gender may have influenced her selection, and it may influence the reaction to her. Perhaps if Sarah were a man, critics would not consider her family obligations — including five children, a son with Down syndrome, a pregnant teenage daughter — when assessing her ability to lead. It's a hypothetical exercise to figure out how gender matters here, but we do know that sensationalized coverage of politicians' personal lives has been used to assess male leaders, too. Remember Bill Clinton?
While you may agree with many of the poll choices below, which do you think most accurately describes how Palin's gender factors into the race? (And stay tuned: Citizen's trying to see Palin address the Republican Coalition for Life right now!)