Subscribe to blog via RSS

Search Blog

Has Sarah Palin thrown working moms under the bus?

Categories: Career, Making Time, The Juggle

36 comments

The speculation has been rampant since Sarah Palin announced Friday that she will be stepping down as governor of Alaska.

After her time in the national spotlight with Senator John McCain, she didn’t seem interested in running a state, The Asssociated Press suggested. Being governor during a recession — and when there are 15 ethics charges and budgeting squabbles hanging over your head — is a chore, Slate.com quipped. She says she doesn’t want to “embrace Lame Duck status,” even though the next election is 16 months away, Ed Morrissey points out at Hot Air.

But it’s probably best to consider what Palin herself said about her decision: “Life is too short to compromise time and resources. It may be tempting and more comfortable to just keep your head down, plod along… but that’s the worthless, easy path; that’s a quitter’s way out.”

As a working mom who compromises her time and resources daily, I beg to differ.

As Rob Schlesinger at US News & World Report points out, “Political success is about hard work and working hard. And progress is made through compromise.  But in Friday’s speech Palin dismissed hard work and compromise as … the quitter’s way out.”

Working hard, compromising, sacrificing in order to juggle career and family… is for quitters?

If she’s eying a run for the White House in 2012, I don’t see how that will play well with her with her working mom base. Or with anyone else, for that matter — by insisting “It’s about country” (Hmmm… her new slogan?) and then explaining, on her Facebook page, that she’s putting her family first and implying that she ought to be commended for her bravery in doing so, she’s throwing herself, and all working mothers, under the bus. Every one of her detractors who wondered if she’d be able to handle the demands of a high-profile government position while also being a hands-on mom just got their answer, and directly from her: She’s choosing not to.

I’m not saying that women who choose to opt out of the workforce are doing something wrong. Not at all. And I agree with Palin that it’s a difficult, personal decision. But campaigning on your working mom chops, reaching out to working mothers, insisting that you understand what we deal with and vowing to champion us, and then opting out makes it look like you — and, by extension, the rest of us — can’t handle the pressure.

It doesn’t help matters that her announcement came on the eve of Independence Day and right on the heels of a scathing profile in Vanity Fair. Her decision doesn’t show that she can, indeed, govern effectively during a crisis. And playing the “poor little me” card on Facebook isn’t much of a maverick thing to do: “And though it’s honorable for countless others to leave their positions for a higher calling and without finishing a term, of course we know by now, for some reason a different standard applies for the decisions I make. But every American understands what it takes to make a decision because it’s right for all, including your family.”

It is difficult to decide to opt out. And we don’t know for sure what Palin plans to do next. Whatever it is, I hope she doesn’t have to compromise time and resources, since that, apparently, is anathema to her. But I think she’ll have a difficult time finding a “higher calling” that doesn’t require her to do so.



Subscribe to blog via RSS
Share this on:

36 comments so far...

  • OK, lots of bias in this article.

    She’s never implied that working hard is not for her. What she’s saying is that she wants her work to make a difference. And this is something we should all be teaching our daughters. If you have a choice, don’t just plod along; make a difference. Clearly, she has a choice, and she’s making a choice.

    Being governor of Alaska is certainly more glamorous than my job, but it doesn’t leave her free to make a difference in the “lower 48.” Especially when she’s being criticized and sued frivolously over every movement. As governor, a trip to, say, Ohio to give a speech supporting conservative candidates would leave her open to all kinds of accusations - is she abusing Alaska’s resources, is she ignoring her job - so she is constrained. If you’ve ever been to Alaska, you’ll know that it takes a whole day to get there (and another to get back) from anywhere else in the US. And Alaska will pretty much always vote Republican, and they only have one US Representative, so her speeches up there are never going to influence national politics.

    You may be hoping that nobody in the “lower 48″ wants to hear what Palin has to say, but you’d be wrong. The Republican party needs to be energized and she’s one of very few people who can make a big difference in that respect. Many people believe it is extremely important to get enough conservatives or Republicans in the Congress in 2010 to stop the avalanche that Obama has set off and intends to exacerbate. A large percentage of people will be energized by this act by Sarah Palin - just watch.

    And if she does succeed in making a difference and making a positive name for herself, will you be happy (as a working woman / mom of daughters), or will you also interpret that as an attack on working mothers? Really, with all she’s done and accomplished, it’s a shame that professional women embarrass themselves in this way. Disagree all you want with her policy positions, but don’t smear her on the basis that she’s a woman.

    Oh, by the way, I seem to recall that Colin Powell quit his high-profile job, yet millions of people think he should run for president. Go figure.

    SKL  |  July 6th, 2009 at 2:35 am

  • It never occurred to me she was throwing working moms under the bus. I’m not a fan of hers but I just saw it as exercising choice. She’s in a position where she’s deemed herself able to walk away from her job so power to her for exercising her option.

    I can see what you are saying about, well she campaigned on this but now she’s doing that, and in the political arena that’s what it’s all about - catching people breaking promises.

    In the bigger arena of life though we need to afford ourselves the necessity of using current facts to make a decision. I don’t know why she stepped down. But if it is for personal or family reasons, well she owes accountability to her family and should do what’s best for them, rather than try to prove strangers wrong about her ability to handle a job and five kids just because that’s what everyone was talking about 11 months ago. If this is part of a staging for 2012 well again, power to her for staging her run however she wants to do it - even though for me it would be a turn off.

    Overall though, I don’t see it as anything against working mothers.

    Lindsay  |  July 6th, 2009 at 2:56 am

  • So do you think this decision will hurt her chances in the 2012 presidential primaries?

    Robyn  |  July 6th, 2009 at 11:06 am

  • Yeah, I don’t think this decision has one bit of a thing to do with putting her family “first.” It’s so that she can free herself to have time for campaigning. Why not just be honest about that?

    Robyn  |  July 6th, 2009 at 11:08 am

  • I didn’t hear her saying it was mainly about putting her family first (spending more time with family). I heard her say that her family supported her decision to change course. You know how they say, when mama isn’t happy, ain’t nobody happy.

    Isn’t it amazing how bias filters the way the same words reach different ears?

    Bottom line, working moms have no business to belittle other working moms for exercising career choices. Whether it be to slow down, or to expand one’s career, it’s each woman’s business to decide what makes the most sense for her and her family. Let’s not be hypocrites.

    Did you pick up on Biden’s reaction - “I could see how she might have family isses” - no mention of the possibility that this could be a proactive, career-oriented choice. That’s your party, the one that is supposed to champion the empowerment of women - or so you think. If your party doesn’t stop slamming Palin for being both a woman and an individual, you are harming all the girls growing up in this country.

    SKL  |  July 6th, 2009 at 11:31 am

  • SKL: I was hoping you’d weigh in — thank you! Your comments always bring depth and great discussion to the table.

    I think that a lot of people in the “lower 48″ are interested in what Palin has to say — I don’t have the link, but I read that her approval ratings are higher here than they are in Alaska right now — and I’d guess that motiviating her base on a national level has a lot more appeal than slogging along doing what she’s doing. But belittling what so many people have to do — compromise themselves, their time, their resources — doesn’t sit well with me.

    I don’t agree with her politics, but I did admire her as a person, and I think that the way she’s changing course right now, when the economy is awful and her state has issues, does her a disservice. Politically speaking, even some of the people in her camp are shaking their heads (http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20090705/ap_on_el_pr/us_palin_politics) and others didn’t even know of her decision until she announced it (http://www.politico.com/news/stories/0709/24507.html) making it difficult to judge both her higher (political) calling and her viability in it. Logistically speaking, pretty much every one of the reasons she gave for leaving office in Alaska (family issues, legal fees, ethics investigations, public criticism, etc) just get harder when you move to a national stage, not easier.

    Changing course is fine, and oftentimes necessary. Setting new goals is essential. But compromise and hard work are for quitters? How is framing it that way being a positive role model for young women? Would she be saying that if she and McCain had won?

    (For those who haven’t seen Facebook post or read the entire transcript of her speech, I’ve linked to them above. Please click through.)

    Again, thanks for making this a good discussion, SKL! I appreciate your input.

    Lindsay: Good point about campaigns and promises — thank you. The Guardian published this article today, and it offers up a few more possible explainations: http://www.guardian.co.uk/news/blog/2009/jul/06/sarah-palin-what-next

    Lylah  |  July 6th, 2009 at 12:04 pm

  • Robyn: If you click through to the transcript of her speech and to the Facebook post, you’ll see that there were many other explainations she offered up. I found some of them to be contradictory (is it for the country or for your family?) and others didn’t make sense to me (the legal bills and criticism get tougher, not easier, on a national level), but it’s worth reading through.

    Lylah  |  July 6th, 2009 at 12:06 pm

  • She never said hard work is for quitters. As for compromise, if she in fact used that word (I didn’t see it, it looked like your interpretation / application to your own life), it can have multiple connotations. I once got in a big argument for saying (intending to be positive) that I compromise a lot “with” my partners; one took it to mean I compromise myself “for” my partners.

    Let’s be honest with ourselves. Ms. Palin is not stupid. She has never been a slacker and has no desire to be. Nor does she desire others to be. She believes in working for a purpose, that’s all.

    SKL  |  July 6th, 2009 at 12:24 pm

  • Fascinating and gutsy post. Governor (soon to be ex) Palin is a public figure, and therefore anything she does will be under the microscope by both supporters and detracters. I find her to be offensive and even rude. This step, dropping out of the “lame duck” portion of her term, is rude to Alaskans. All those who voted for her expected her to serve the entire term. This is a slap in the face to her constituents, no matter what her motivation. She has had more support networks than the typical working mother, and I can’t believe she’s dropping out of the governor’s office to be a SAHM. There must be more to this decision.

    Daisy  |  July 6th, 2009 at 1:04 pm

  • I think that Governor Palin’s decision hurts women, period (mother or not, working or at home). Being governor is not just a job that one should simply be able to “opt out” of. Millions of dollars are spent in the electoral process. There were other candidates against whom she ran who would have finished out at least a term. Many other peoples’ livelihoods are dependent on this person. Now, the State of Alaska has to go through a transition that will be costly. Is this really what the voters voted for?

    This is different from the Colin Powell situation (and any other appointee) who, although very important, is really an employee of the executive. Governor Palin IS the executive. I can surely respect her decision not to run again (for whatever reason). Indeed, if I were an Alaskan, I would be grateful that she announced the decision now because others can plan their campaigns. However, I can’t respect a decision to resign short of some sort of devastating personal issue. Why weren’t these things thought through when she decided to run?

    I think this looks bad for women in general. True or not, Governor Palin is one of very few women with high-profile political careers (in contrast to Colin Powell). As a result, even though unfair, the perception that she has flaked out will ripple to others.

    Pat  |  July 6th, 2009 at 2:16 pm

  • I agree with Lylah wholeheartedly. And if I were an Alaskan, I’d be furious. There’s something very important about keeping one’s commitment, especially when it is as serious, high-profile, and important as running a state for the entire term for which one was elected. The “victim” attitude in her Facebook statement just makes her look childish and even more foolish.

    Shannon  |  July 6th, 2009 at 2:18 pm

  • Sarah Palin is a blithering idiot and a quitter. This is fine; the blithering idiots and quitters need representation, too.
    SKL complains there’s “lots of bias in this article.” That’s just code for, “If you disagree with my hero, you’re bias and I don’t have to listen to you.
    Sarah Palin is a blithering idiot and a quitter. This is fine; the blithering idiots and quitters need representation, too.

    CBY  |  July 6th, 2009 at 2:55 pm

  • I guess I don’t understand why she would decide to quit rather than simply state she wasn’t seeking a second term.
    If she weren’t seeking another term, especially if the lieutenant governor was ready to step into the limelight, she could cede things to him while maintaining position.
    I just don’t see how Alaskans wouldn’t see this as her abandoning them as she seeks fame & fortune in the Lower 48.
    To me, it makes her less attractive as a candidate for higher office, not more.

    Mich  |  July 6th, 2009 at 3:49 pm

  • If I were Alaskan and I didn’t like her, this would make me happy. For obvious reasons. I might have to find something else to whine about, but I’d deal with it.

    If I were Alaskan and I did like her, this would make me happy. I’d be happy that she’s going to do something more far-reaching than dodging bullets in Juneau. Unless I had reason to believe her lieutenant governor wasn’t going to continue the policies that the two ran on.

    As for wasting Alaskan resources, it sounds like this would do just the opposite. No more millions spent on frivolous probes, no more paying for Palin’s allegedly extravagant expenses. It’s not like the whole administration is changing over.

    I just can’t get over this attitude that quitting a job - any job - is damaging to one’s gender group. Also, why we are holding women (or, more accurately, “this” woman) to a standard we wouldn’t hold men to? Maybe it wasn’t a smart move, maybe it was - it will play out one way or the other - but what does it have to do with gender? Are we saying working women aren’t allowed to have mobile careers? Why on earth not? As a woman who has also made a choice to significantly change careers so that mine more closely matches my ideals, priorities, and personality, I feel that is the absolute right thing to do if you can swing it - regardless of your gender.

    And as for commitment to Alaskans - if I were Palin, I’d be flipping them off right now for the crappy treatment they’ve given her since the democrats started stirring the shit up there. When she took office, it wasn’t like that at all. She could actually go to work and get things done. It is no longer the job she signed up for, and it’s because of Alaskan constituents themselves - so they have no business to gripe, except at each other. I’ll bet most of her supporters are understanding.

    SKL  |  July 6th, 2009 at 3:56 pm

  • As long as we’re on the subject and Biden’s name was already brought up, where was the outrage for Joe Biden putting his kids on hold while running as a single parent for the Senate way back when? Why was Obama not questioned about his children when he was running for office?
    Here you have a women who, despite the best hopes of the far left, carried her State handidly while running for Governor. A woman belittled as a simpleton because she doesn’t have an Ivy League shingle hanging on her wall. A woman who, let’s face it, if she had a ‘D’ after her name, would probably already be in talks for a movie on Lifetime. The lies, the innuendos, the outright cheapshots she’s had to endure would have made most politicians pack it in quite sometime ago.
    If the Governor of Alaska had been a man and decided to opt out in the same way…..would we be discussing the downfall of working men/husbands?

    Brian  |  July 6th, 2009 at 4:35 pm

  • SKL: Never, ever said she was stupid. And, if you click through the link to the transcript of her speech (or to the video), you’ll see that the line about compromise is a direct quote from her.

    Daisy: Thank you for reading! I agree with you about the expectations people have when it comes to elected officials (that they are committed to serving out their full terms). I know that Palin isn’t the first to bow out mid-term, but I don’t recall other governors, male or female, who has given the same collection of reasons she has.

    Pat: I see your point. It’s kind of one of the reasons why Hillary stuck it out instead of dropping out of the presidential race, isn’t it? Perception does come into play for Palin more than it would for a male governor, whether that’s fair or not.

    Lylah  |  July 6th, 2009 at 4:50 pm

  • I haven’t read the comments yet, but I am sure they will be very interesting. Just having read your piece, though, the words “Life is too short to compromise time and resources” kind of make me laugh. They’re good enough for a sound bite, sure. But honestly? I don’t know a responsible parent alive who doesn’t compromise both time and resources. I mean, isn’t that the definition of adulthood?

    I am not making a political statement here at all; I think all politicians do this kind of thing. Too bad we are so used to it that we accept what they say even when they aren’t saying anything.

    Just me  |  July 6th, 2009 at 4:57 pm

  • Shannon: Thank you for reading and commenting!

    CBY: Thank you for reading but please, no need for personal attacks. I appreciate the comments from people who disagree with what I wrote… everyone agreeing doesn’t make for a great discussion, right?

    Mich: That was my initial thought, too. Also: Her term isn’t up for nearly a year and a half. US News & World Report has an interesting post today about how the “lame duck” reasoning could play out: http://www.usnews.com/blogs/robert-schlesinger/2009/07/06/sarah-palins-lame-duck-resignation-logic-eliminates-a-2012-run-for-president.html

    SKL: I think that if Jodi Rell (R governor of Conn.) or Linda Lingle (R of Hawaii) had done resigned in this way, instead of Palin, the reaction would be the same. That said… Palin, Rell, and Lingle are the only female republican governors in the US. Their decisions are more heavily scrutinized because there are so few women at that level.

    Lylah  |  July 6th, 2009 at 5:08 pm

  • Brian: You make an excellent point about Biden and Obama — thank you. Speaking to your other point: I think that if a male governor resigned, and gave the exact same speach and reasoning that Palin did, and posted the same explaination on his Facebook page, analysts would be saying that he had just killed his career. I don’t think we’d be talking about the downfall of working fathers or husbands, though, because there are so very many male governors who are fathers out there. There are only three female republican governors — well, two now. And neither of those two have put their families on a national stage and talked about working motherhood and insisted that their motherhood wouldn’t impact their high-profile political jobs, and then, a few months later, resigned.

    Just me: The comments are interesting — read them and weigh in! And that quote from her speech struck me the same way.

    Lylah  |  July 6th, 2009 at 5:12 pm

  • IMHO, Palin is totally delusional if she thinks that quitting her post 18 months from the end is going to garner her favor in the GOP or any party for that matter. She was elected by the people of Alaska as their governor and has a contract and duty to fulfill to THEM first. Had she been elected VP or given some sort of national post, i.e. Cabinet, senatorial, etc, that would necessitate her leaving her post, that would be 1 thing. However, to simply QUIT because she’s ‘done what she wanted to do in a shorter period of time than the 4 years, BALONEY.

    She has NO concept of the reality of national politics. She got a VERY rude awakening last year and if she thinks it would be any better in 2012, she’s in for another rude awakeing. The parties have LOOOOOOOOG memories, and one of the things a lot of people do NOT like is a quitter, particularly one with such a rambling, implosible reason. I’m in Va. and our governor is also the head of the DNC and will continue as head of the DNC when he goes out in January. Had he resigned as governor to take the post, it would have totally understandable.

    One simply does NOT quit a post such as hers because she’s bored or thinks she can do better out of office. If that be the case, she could bloody well see her term thru and THEN do whatever she wanted.

    I was never ever impressed with her. She has no concept of the realities of national or international politics. Quite frankly, I find her to be too much of a redneck to occupy anything remotely that would have to do with international policies. IMHO, she was an embarrassment a year ago and if the GOP panders to her, they deserve what they get and the result of it.

    JD  |  July 6th, 2009 at 7:15 pm

  • Can anyone, man or woman, say they could have taken the crap she did and still smile everyday?

    Palin made a comment about what the VP does in the Senate. It landed in every single paper. Biden said something similair, and he’s in the friggin Senate, it was ignored.

    They actually started discussing that her baby was really her daughters in some sort of bizzare conspiracy coverup. Then they floated the idea that she was somehow responsible for his condition because she ‘worked’.

    A comedian said ‘I can see Russia from my back porch’. Overnight it was attributed to Palin, and some still believe she said it. These are just a sample, a very tiny fraction of the stuff that was spread.

    Before anyone even gets the wrong idea, I wanted Hillary.

    Brian  |  July 6th, 2009 at 7:43 pm

  • Note to Brian: actually, Sarah Palin DID make a comment about being just across the water from Russia (I can’t recall whether she actually used the words “my backyard”–she may have–but either the meaning was the same), and that such proximity equated to knowledge of foreign relations in her case. It was part of her cringe-worthy interview by Katie Couric. Not that that has anything to do with her latest behavior.

    And to SKL, I would DEFINITELY hold a male politician to this same standard (i.e., that it is inexcusable to quit one’s governorship with 16 months left in the term for which one was elected). It’s unconscionable, either way! She was elected to complete a job: govern for a 4-year term. Unless there is some completely understandable back-story going on that no reasonable person would object to—i.e., a seriously ill family member who needs care, or some such–it is shocking that any elected official would simply say, “I’m done” prior to serving out her–OR his–term.

    Shannon  |  July 6th, 2009 at 8:08 pm

  • The more this “argument” gets explained, the more it makes no sense to me.

    “Life is too short to compromise time and resources” means she doesn’t CHOOSE to when given the choice. I don’t either! Nobody should! That has absolutely nothing to do with whether or not she compromises with people as a negotiating strategy. The only possible way to read your disagreement with this statement is to hear you saying “all women should slog for no purpose whether they have to or not.” Or, “because lots of women slog for no greater purpose, everyone should pretend that’s a great thing.” No, it’s not! It’s unhealthy. You don’t want it for your daughters. Why can’t we call a spade a spade? If you don’t want to show up at work tomorrow, you should be examining what you do want to do and working toward that goal. Not modeling the behavior of a miserable slave.

    You said of female Republican governors: “Their decisions are more heavily scrutinized because there are so few women at that level.” But why do you think this is acceptable? I mean, it’s your article we’re talking about. There were many things Hillary did that I wouldn’t want to reflect on all women, yet I never heard a single journalist complain that she “threw women under the bus.” There haven’t been very many women who ever came close to the position she was in a little more than a year ago. None, in fact. So why didn’t you write an attack article every time she did something surprising, unpopular, or unwise in somebody’s opinion? There is just no logic to your basic premise. And frankly I’m getting more and more disappointed the more you insist that it is right to discriminate against Palin because she is a woman - Republican or otherwise.

    By the way, if it’s true that her actions reflect on any group of women, wouldn’t it be on Republican women? Are Republican women mobbing to lynch her?

    SKL  |  July 6th, 2009 at 10:39 pm

  • The more I read the comments, the more I think people here don’t know the meaning of the word “compromise” in the context of Palin’s sentence. Like, don’t compromise your values. Not, don’t compromise with negotiating partners.

    I’m glad there is a lot of interest in this topic, but I do feel that people are jumping at completely irrelevant things and even willfully misinterpreting them just to be oppositional. There are plenty of real policy issues to disagree on in Palin’s ideology. We could actually have an intelligent discussion about real stuff instead of incoherently shooting into the air.

    SKL  |  July 6th, 2009 at 10:44 pm

  • SKL,
    IMHO, there is NO room for compromise here. She ran for the office of Governor. She did not step down to take a higher post. She just up and QUIT.

    I’m bored, I’m not in the mood, I can’t do anymore, I’ve already done everything I wanted….yada yada yada.

    BALONEY!

    I don’t care whether you’re male, female, or a zombie; Dem or Repub.

    You don’t just up and QUIT

    JD  |  July 7th, 2009 at 1:08 am

  • Sorry, somehow the send button got pushed before I finished my train of thought.

    I digress…….

    You don’t just up and QUIT a post such as hers, regardless of who or what you are, without a damn good reason, i.e. the cheater in SC, whose wife, I might add, I totally admire. (She needs to throw his ass out, feet first, imho. Now THAT is male stupidity at its highest).

    The “brass tacks” as they say are these - nobody, and I’m talking both sides, likes a quitter. That is political death. While her “message” might strike a chord with a minority, it does not with the mainstream. And let’s face it, the mainstream is that for a reason - it’s the majority, not the minority. Both sides have people like her and both have their pros and cons. But, in the end, their messages are too polarizing to be of any great value.

    Palin, in some respects, reminds me of a candidate of Governor that we had 4 years ago; coincidentially, he was a Repub. His accent was very thick Southwest Virginia twang. Needless to say, it didn’t play that well to the rest of the state. While he was quite intelligent, he came across, unfortunately, as a bit of a country bumpkin. And I’m originally from the area he’s from, so I know how I was first preceived until I lost a vast majority of my mountainese accent. (30+ years of living in civilization helps too.) Palin, unfortunately, comes across as an undereducated hick. And quite frankly, that’s NOT who I want in DC.

    Politics is NOT a child’s game. It’s NOT played by children. It’s a nasty game, but it’s also a game of diplomacy and smoozing the right people with the right tone and the right words.

    And she definitely ain’t got the talent nor the ability to play with the adults.

    JD  |  July 7th, 2009 at 1:24 am

  • JD, I think the question was whether she threw working moms under the bus.

    I think reasonable people can differ over whether she made a wise personal decision, and over whether she would make a good president. But that’s got nothing to do with her gender or mine.

    As far as whether her position is mainstream or not, this is something the press has distorted to the point where many Americans have been fooled. There are far more Americans who consider themselves conservative than liberal - as proven by a very recent poll (I don’t have the citation but you can google it). The majority respond better to the conservative ideology than to Obama’s in particular. The most visible press leans liberal, and now with increasing influence and “bailouts” by the Obama administration, it is less and less independent, but that doesn’t mean people aren’t still open to - even hungry for - conservative viewpoints.

    Palin may or may not be ready to be President. I personally see her having a strong role rallying the conservative-minded “silent majority” back to political relevance ahead of the 2010 elections - by bypassing the press and its bias, and talking directly to the people. She is very good at this. Maybe she would make a good president someday, maybe not, but either way, she can make a bigger difference now if she is free to throw herself into it.

    Alaskans threw her under the bus big time, so I find it hard to feel sorry for them or to judge her for walking away.

    SKL  |  July 7th, 2009 at 5:25 am

  • SKL,
    As for the working mom, no, I don’t believe she threw working moms under the bus. There have been at least 2 other working moms (Repubs, btw) who were Governors and did quite well, if memory serves me. In this incidence, she just made herself look stupid, not those of us who are working moms and finish what they start.

    As for ideology, I would disagree slightly. While there are those “hungry” for a conservative POV, as was evidenced in the last election, it’s the type of extreme conservatism that we do NOT need and the majority does not want. Extremism on both sides is the worst of both. And to borrow a phrase, you can dress it anyway you want, but garbage is still garbage.

    JD  |  July 7th, 2009 at 6:53 am

  • There is a difference between resigning from a job and not fulfilling a contract. If there is no specific contract, and employment is “at will,” then either party is free to withdraw at any time for any reason. However, when a contract is in place, it is expected that parties will fulfill their contracts. When one party fails to fulfill the contract, or “quits,” there are generally consequences. Without a compelling reason for choosing not to fulfill the contract, I believe most people view that action unfavorably.

    Wouldn’t election to a post, and acceptance thereof, be considered more of contractual employment than “at will?” And, therefore, wouldn’t resigning that post (outside of a compelling reason, not simply to seek other employment) be viewed more as “quitting” and therefore in a negative light?

    I know that if my governor, much as I dislike him, were to decide to resign so that he could do something that he viewed as more valuable to him rather than finishing out his term, I would be royally pissed.

    Robyn  |  July 7th, 2009 at 11:45 am

  • Here’s where I agree with you, SKL. Her actions have no far-reaching or even short-reaching implications or consequences for women in general or even for working women. She does not represent the whole.

    Robyn  |  July 7th, 2009 at 11:54 am

  • Wow! What a topic…okay here are my thoughts on this.

    1) I happen to be one of those people that admire Sarah Palin for her gumption, her strength and her passion to try to be a part of US History, which to me she did.
    2) We don’t really know all the reasons behind the fact of why she’s leaving the position, all we have are assumptions and her reasons (whatever they are)
    3) I don’t think that her leaving office is “throwing working mothers under the bus” at all! I think that this is her own personal decision. I think working mothers can come to their own decisions, and everyone else (especially with this not so lovely economy of ours) can make their own decisions as well. I mean, if I leave my temp job, just because it pays the bills, doesn’t mean that I’m throwing other working women under the bus, it just means that I’ve found something better that I would like to try to do with my life.
    4) Do note that I grew up with Democratic views all my life, for crying out loud, my dad is a very liberal retired Superior Court Judge, does that make me Democrat? It did, until I did my own research, got my own ideas and took my own vote that counted…which by the way makes me a very proud American mom.

    Gia Saulnier  |  July 7th, 2009 at 3:09 pm

  • So, a few things. First of all, throwing the inconvient (whatever that may be) under the bus is Sarah Palin’s specialiality. It has been for her entire “career”.
    Secondly, it is WAY easier to be a celebrity with a 10 million dollar book deal than it is to get beat up by the legislature over refusing to accept energy money.
    Thirdly, being on the Wasilla City Counsil, or as the mayor of a town of 4,000 were never really “full time” jobs and they all came with a lot of ‘parenting assistance” like taxpayer funded staff to watch your kids so you can go on and on about how you’ve never hired a nanny.
    Sarah Palin was never the working mom that everyday working moms are. She was never the juggler. She can haul her baby/kids around with her and be in the office two days after giving birth because there is always some staffer to whisk away diapers and babies who aren’t sleeping.
    She has 600,000 ‘friends’ on facebook. That is more people, right there, than live (not to mention Vote) in Alaska. She is not bailing on her responsibilities as a favor to Alaskans. She’s doing so because now she has ‘friends’ and no more use for constituents. Sad.
    Finally, I think that by and large working moms have seen right through her pretty quickly from the start. We are not her base and we don’t really have time for her bull.

    NotCarol  |  July 7th, 2009 at 6:51 pm

  • NotCarol,
    Considering you’re in the thick of things up there, you definitely bring a more realistic POV to the subject matter than those of us in the lower 48. It’s interesting to hear the POV of those who are really living with this situation.

    JD  |  July 7th, 2009 at 7:43 pm

  • I completely disagree. By putting her family first I believe Palin was trying to protect her family from the torment of the media, a factor that most working mothers do not have to address. If anything she should be admired for making the sacrifice of stepping down in order to protect her family from the media frenzy around her.

    I don’t think abandoning the state during a crisis was her objective. Instead, I think she is stepping out of the limelight momentarily to prepare to fight a greater crisis four years down the road to repair the mess made due to the irresponsibility of the current administration.

    Bianca  |  July 7th, 2009 at 10:08 pm

  • In Massachusetts we had two Republican (male) governors who left their posts to pursue ambassadorial positions. They were widely seen as not fulfilling their obligations to the job they were elected to and not really caring about their constituency.

    Mitt Romney stayed, but spent the bulk of his time outside of Massachusetts, belittling his constituents. Resigning might have been the more honorable thing for him to do.

    While the GOP is trying to paint this as a shrewd move on her part, it looks cowardly and should she actually try to pursue 2012, it will hurt her campaign.

    It’s not clear to me that Palin is resigning for the sake of her family. As so often happens with her, it’s hard to understand what the heck she said.

    I can think of one thing that would support the idea that this resignation was for the benefit of her family and why it would not be a slight against working mothers for her to say so. There have been, and will continue to be other mothers in political office. She is the first to use her children to support her political positions.

    Hopefully, she will be the last.

    Lisse  |  July 8th, 2009 at 12:06 am

  • I am more tired now than ever of reading about this woman as if she represents me just because she is high profile working mom. She does not represent me (personally, politically or otherwise) as a person, a woman or a working mom. My personal preference and hope is that this move was indeed for her family and not a sign of her entrance into the national spotlight.

    Brenda  |  July 8th, 2009 at 12:55 pm

Work Life Balance Stories

Check out our best tips for balancing work and home life.

Quick & Easy recipes

Browse our favorite quick and easy recipes, perfect for busy moms.

Ask & Answer Questions

What working moms are talking about on our question board!