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Would Sarah Palin Be Treated Differently If She Were a Man?

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!)


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Exactly, lilkimbo. That was my point. The double-standard involved in politics has always been around...and it's just fun to point out. Everyone seems to be focusing on Palin's negatives (or perceived and assumed negatives), and nobody seems excited that she took on her own party and the corruption she saw within. As a taxpayer, my main problem with higher taxes and ever higher taxes is that the politicians are wasting MY money on making sure their pockets are lined. Almost everybody in politics does it, and if the McCain/Palin ticket can begin to put a stop to it, I'm stoked.
lilkimbo lilkimbo 9 years
I don't think it's a huge deal that Obama cancelled that portion of his trip, just like I don't think it's a huge deal that Palin cancelled an event. But, if Palin is going to be judged for canceling something, Obama must be judged for canceling something as well, not matter what his reason.
lilkimbo lilkimbo 9 years
Gitsie, we'll have to agree to disagree. A biography of Mitt Romney's accomplishments or even Joe Biden's wouldn't be necessary at this point. Nor have I seen any bios of Biden.
organicsugr organicsugr 9 years
I agree. There's no way a politician would have no idea that an event on a political circuit would be construed as political.
Jude-C Jude-C 9 years
*Sorry for the long post. I just had thought this had been cleared up ages ago.
Jude-C Jude-C 9 years
"Not being allowed to bring cameras and therefore cancelling your trip pretty much spells that out."
For four days, Sen. John McCain and his allies have accused Sen. Barack Obama of snubbing wounded soldiers by canceling a visit to a military hospital because he could not take reporters with him, despite no evidence that the charge is true. The attacks are part of a newly aggressive McCain operation whose aim is to portray the Democratic presidential candidate as a craven politician more interested in his image than in ailing soldiers, a senior McCain adviser said. They come despite repeated pledges by the Republican that he will never question his rival's patriotism. The essence of McCain's allegation is that Obama planned to take a media entourage, including television cameras, to Landstuhl Regional Medical Center in Germany during his week-long foreign trip, and that he canceled the visit when he learned he could not do so. "I know that, according to reports, that he wanted to bring media people and cameras and his campaign staffers," McCain said Monday night on CNN's "Larry King Live." ... In fact, there is no evidence that he planned to take anyone to the American hospital other than a military adviser, whose status as a campaign staff member sparked last-minute concern among Pentagon officials that the visit would be an improper political event. ... McCain spokesman Tucker Bounds said again yesterday that the Republican's version of events is correct, and that Obama canceled the visit because he was not allowed to take reporters and cameras into the hospital. "It is safe to say that, according to press reports, Barack Obama avoided, skipped, canceled the visit because of those reasons," he said. "We're not making a leap here." Asked repeatedly for the "reports," Bounds provided three examples, none of which alleged that Obama had wanted to take members of the media to the hospital. ... A reconstruction of the circumstances surrounding Obama's decision not to visit Landstuhl, based on firsthand reporting from the trip, shows that his campaign never contemplated taking the media with him. The first indication reporters got that Obama was planning, or had planned, to visit the hospital came last Thursday morning, shortly after the entourage arrived in Berlin. On the seats of the media bus were schedules for his stop in Germany and the final entry -- a Friday-morning departure -- indicated that the senator's plane would fly from Berlin to Ramstein Air Base. When a reporter asked spokeswoman Linda Douglass that morning about the trip to Ramstein, she said that the trip had been considered but that Obama was not going to go. At that point, the campaign provided no other information. Later that night, after Obama gave a speech in Berlin, a campaign source spoke about the canceled stop on the condition of anonymity. The official said that the trip was canceled after the Pentagon informed a campaign official that the visit would be considered a campaign event. ... Pentagon concerns about Gration's status triggered the decision not to visit Landstuhl. "We got notice that [Gration] would be treated as a campaign person, and it would therefore be perceived as political because he had endorsed my candidacy but he wasn't on the Senate staff," Obama said. "That triggered then a concern that maybe our visit was going to be perceived as political, and the last thing that I want to do is have injured soldiers and the staff at these wonderful institutions having to sort through whether this is political or not, or get caught in the crossfire between campaigns." Obama's explanation, which came after more than a day of controversy, was the clearest in noting that it was Pentagon concerns about Gration accompanying him to the hospital that forced Obama to reconsider and, ultimately, cancel the visit. [Senior Obama campaign official] Gibbs was asked yesterday about the continuing allegations from McCain that the real reason was a desire to bring a media entourage to the hospital. "That's completely untrue, and I think, honestly, they know it's untrue," Gibbs said.
Washington Post
organicsugr organicsugr 9 years
"The trip was canceled to prevent the perception of politicizing the troops." Exactly! Not being allowed to bring cameras and therefore cancelling your trip pretty much spells that out.
Jude-C Jude-C 9 years
CHOOCHOO, the cancellation of his trip to Landstuhl Regional Medical Center in Germany to visit wounded troops has been extensively discussed and checked into. The trip was canceled to prevent the perception of politicizing the troops. He met with many other soldiers, wounded and otherwise, during his trip and at home.
gitsie123 gitsie123 9 years
If he was so well known, a biography wouldn't have been necessary. I think they do that for everyone. It doesn't matter how well known that person is.
Cassandra57 Cassandra57 9 years
I, for one, will freely admit that McCain wasn't my first (or second, or third) choice. The Palin selection is completely out of left field. I like her folksy, down-to-earth approach and I love the "theater" of the whole choice. Other than that, I'm watching closely. Bottom line, though, I think this will be like the last couple of elections: The Republicans may not win it, but I think the Democrats will lose it. I'm absolutely not being partisan to note that the much-touted "outsider" and "agent of change" negated his message when he chose an long-term, inside-the-Beltway guy as his running mate. I would vote for a house-cleaning, return-to-American-values person no matter what letter came after his/name.
kastarte2 kastarte2 9 years
"The media is making itself the enemy." I agree GS. They are also making her the victim and the underdog. People will want to rally to her defense. They'll want to be on her side.
Whoa! She canceled something? BO canceled a trip to see wounded soldiers. Is anyone checking into why? ;-) Does her canceling something have anything to do with her policies, or is this another standard by which she has to measure higher than the man?
Great-Sommelier Great-Sommelier 9 years
The media is making itself the enemy.
lilkimbo lilkimbo 9 years
And there is also reason to think that this is being handled well. You can find reason for just about any assertion.
lilkimbo lilkimbo 9 years
Steph, I will agree with you if a month has passed with no interviews. I just don't think we should be saying that Palin is "making the media an enemy" by not granting a lot of interviews over a five day period during the convention and during which there was a hurricane. Do we even have any evidence that anyone from the media unsuccessfully tried to secure an interview?
stephley stephley 9 years
Suit yourself, we'll see what happens - but there is reason to think that this is not being handled well. Making the media the enemy will get them some mileage, but they could lose control of the message surrounding Palin.
lilkimbo lilkimbo 9 years
I saw that she cancelled her appearance at the Right to Life meeting; that's the only one I've heard or read of. And, it's not unusual for someone to be scheduled to speak at a smaller, "special interest" meeting at a convention an later not speak after becoming a VP nominee.
lilkimbo lilkimbo 9 years
Guilty, what events did she cancel? Many events were cancelled on the first day.
lilkimbo lilkimbo 9 years
Well, I am younger than you, so I cannot claim your extensive experience, but I don't see how your experience makes your knowledge or argument any greater than the fact that my knowledge came from reading archives. And I also don't see how the fact that someone who was announced less than a week has given only one major interview means that McCain doesn't want her to be liked. Also, I was just speaking with my mother on this, and she also has extensive experience and she doesn't see how the way Palin is being handled is different from any other VP candidate in the past. She was announced five days ago! I urge anyone to find evidence of VP candidates sitting down to do extensive interviews within five days of their selection.
guiltypleasure31 guiltypleasure31 9 years
it's not just interviews, she's canceled events she was scheduled to attend with delegates and various groups at the convention. the first event she attended was a walk through for her speech today. that is at least a little unusual for a nominated candidate at a party convention. i want to hear more from her than just a scripted speech that some speech writers handed to her.
stephley stephley 9 years
Then don't have her do an interview, let people draw their own conclusions from the rumors and what there is of a record. Personally, I don't care if people know her or not. In the past, presidential candidates have cared about whether people liked or were interested in their running mate - this I know more from experience, not so much reading archives. As far as Palin goes, maybe it's better to keep her a mystery or at least keep her quiet so others can claim she's a victim of bad press.
lilkimbo lilkimbo 9 years
It's required that an interview be given a week earlier because of one video? What an odd standard.
stephley stephley 9 years
When most of the country doesn't know who they are, but have seen video of them asking what the vice president does.
lilkimbo lilkimbo 9 years
Seriously, this is silly, since when are politicians expected to give interviews during their own party's convention?
lilkimbo lilkimbo 9 years
If he was so well known, a biography wouldn't have been necessary.
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