“I am appalled by the Obama campaign’s attempts to belittle Governor Sarah Palin’s experience," said RNC Victory 2008 Chair and senior McCain adviser Carly Fiorina today in a statement. "The facts are that Sarah Palin has made more executive decisions as a Mayor and Governor than Barack Obama has made in his life. Because of Hillary Clinton’s historic run for the Presidency and the treatment she received, American women are more highly tuned than ever to recognize and decry sexism in all its forms. They will not tolerate sexist treatment of Governor Palin.”
Is attacking Palin for inexperience sexist?
The vice presidential running mate has served for two years as governor of a small state, than before that 10 years as a mayor of a small town.
Surely one could argue that the comments about Palin’s pulchritude, the questions about what kind of mother she is — those are comments that could raise an eyebrow if not ire.
Here is the McCain campaign’s backup evidence of chauvinism. I leave it to you to determine which of the following attacks you think are sexist.
Sen. Barack Obama (D-IL):
Obama: “Well, my understanding is that Governor Palin’s town of Wasilla has I think 50 employees. We’ve got 2,500 in this campaign. I think their budget is maybe $12 million a year. You know, we have a budget of about three times that just for the month. So I think that our ability to manage large systems and to execute I think has been made clear over the last couple of years.” (CNN’s “360 With Anderson Cooper,” 9/1/08)
Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-OH):
Brown: “She’s been mayor of a city half the size of Blue Ash and governor of a state with half the population of Hamilton County. … John McCain failed in his first big decision as a potential president. He chose somebody with no experience to be a heartbeat away from being the U.S. president.” (Steve Kemme, “At Picnic, Brown Slams Palin,” The Cincinnati Enquirer, 9/2/08)
Sen. Joe Biden (D-DE):
Biden On Palin: “She’s Good Looking.” “‘From our perspective the whole deal is how does the government help you get back up without getting in the way?’ Biden asked. ‘There’s a gigantic – gigantic — difference between John McCain and Barack Obama, and between me and I suspect my vice presidential opponent. And that is that –’ The crowd laughed. ‘Well there’s obvious differences,’ Biden said, beginning to ham it up. ‘She’s good looking,’ he said, laughing.” (Jake Tapper, “Oh, That Joe! (Number 4 In A Series) — Biden On Difference Between Him And Palin: ‘She’s Good Looking,’” ABC News’ “Political Punch” Blog, blogs.abcnews.com, 8/31/08)
Former Senator And Obama National Co-Chair Tom Daschle (D-SD):
Daschle Attacked Palin As Having “Absolutely No Experience” And Being “Extreme Right Wing.” Daschle: “Three questions: With absolutely no experience, are we ready, if necessary, to place our future in her hands as commander in chief and our premier negotiator with other world leaders? Are we comfortable in having a VP who represents the extreme right wing, including the advocacy of creationism and a denial of any human responsibility in climate change? What happens if Gov. Palin is found to have abused her office in the firing of a police officer?” (“Politico Arena — Palin Edition,” The Politico, 8/31/08)
Obama Spokesman Mark Bubriski:
Obama Spokesman Erroneously Attacked Palin As A Supporter Of A Nazi Sympathizer. “Barack Obama’s campaign, perhaps miffed at all the Democrat-is-weak-on-Israel theme, started striking back at John McCain almost as soon as he tapped Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin to be his running mate. Where the Dems are trying to paint McCain as more financially out of touch with people, they’re strongly suggesting that his Christian conservative running mate is no friend to the Jews. ”Palin was a supporter of [MSNBC analyst] Pat Buchanan, a right-winger or as many Jews call him: a Nazi sympathizer,” Obama spokesman Mark Bubriski wrote in an email.” (Naked Politics Blog, Accessed 9/2/08)