There’s Still Something About Sarah

By Jonann Brady

Sep 17, 2008 1:28pm

I’m still thinking about what George Will said on "This Week," as regards Charlie Gibson asking Sarah Palin about juggling the Vice Presidency and 5 children, and then asking whether that was a sexist question. George Will suggested that was not only inappropriate, but illegal if she were applying for a "normal" job. Perhaps. And I’m sure I would not want to hear that question were I applying to a sales job or at another TV station.

But politics is different. And certainly the job of vice president is far different. We’re voting for someone to help run our country. And when the candidate calls herself a "hockey mom," and the campaign pushes that aspect of her identity to try to appeal to voters, it’s a perfectly legitimate question. I think it’s fair to assume she’d have a bit less ability to control her life and schedule in the White House than she has in the Governor’s mansion.

That said, I don’t think there’s any question that she can do both, or that any woman who choses to can manage both. How well is another question–the answer based on smarts and talent as much as number of children. But I just don’t think there’s any point these days in shoving issues like this under the rug. It’s one of the first things that occurred to so many of us who are her age and who have young children–how will she do it? And although I do understand George’s point, I guess I’d argue first that politics is a different business, one in which the boundaries around personal lives were long ago removed. And second, that we’re also well beyond the days when people have to hide their children, or pretend that these struggles don’t exit. It’s healthy for all of us to just have the discussion.


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