The Palin Principle
Posted Oct. 3, 2008
Erin Brockman
Freshman math major Clarissa Holtz and junior liberal arts major Tedra Clark learn more about Sarah Palin during lunch time Sept. 24 outside Davenport Dining Hall.

Jennifer Kitzmann
LV Life Editor

Freshman math major Clarissa Holtz and junior liberal arts major Tedra Clark learn more about Sarah Palin during lunch time Sept. 24 outside Davenport Dining Hall

More than three weeks ago, Sen. John McCain chose Gov. Sarah Palin of Alaska to be the first female vice president nominee for the Republican Party.

Since Palin’s first public appearance in Dayton, Ohio, when McCain announced Palin as his vice president, the media have since ridiculed Palin.

Regardless of what many see in the tabloids with remarks like “lipstick on a pig,” and the focus on her daughter’s pregnancy, negative ads are starting to wear thin with some women.

In a survey of more than 500 women by BettyConfidential.

com, 65 percent of women said they have become more interested in the presidential campaign since Palin was added to the Republican ticket and a significant majority of woman admire her, despite political differences they may have.

“I think she will definitely make women more open to vote and be interested politically,” math major Clarissa Holtz said.

If Palin is elected, she will break through the “glass ceiling” as the first female vice president. The real question now is, “What do women really think of Palin?”

“I do think she is capable, has enough life experiences to communicate with real people and relate to what is really happing in the world,” behaviorial science major Allison Medina said.

In a survey on the La Verne campus among black, Hispanic and white women, more Hispanic women approved of Palin and respected her values.

“I see Palin as a woman with family values, who supports women in every situation,” psychology major Elena Flores said. “No matter what is said about her, she does stand for human rights.”

Palin was elected Alaska's first female governor in 2006 on a platform of ethics reform. She has had extensive influence in Alaska politics, having served as mayor of Wasilla and ethics commissioner on the state's Oil and Gas Conservation Commission.

She is known as a “maverick,” who has challenged the influence of big oil companies and used her veto power to cut budgetary spending as governor.

“When I think of the election, I think of my morals and not on gender but the platform that these candidates are running for,” liberal studies major Amanda McCadden said.

Overall, no matter how adamantly women disagree with Palin, the majority still seem to like and admire her.

English major Emily Romo was not for Palin but said she thought Palin was assertive, had a strong personality and would be more appealing to women in this year’s election because of her gender.

“I am still not convinced,” Romo said. “I think Obama has a more humanistic approach, and I hope he wins.”

In the online survey, it was reported that 60 percent of women like Sarah Palin, and 60 percent admire her. However, 83 percent said they would not vote for McCain simply because Palin is a woman.

“I would not vote for someone just because of her gender,” Sherrie Smith, ULV library assistant said.

Given the lack of identity that Palin has with average voters, the task will be for Palin to show who she really is in the next two months and inform people about what she believes in.

“I just don’t think Americans know Palin enough or think she is capable of being vice president,” Medina said.

Beyond all the hype, there are thousands of people behind databases and knocking on doors tallying votes, but in the end it is really all about the numbers.

The women’s vote is still left undecided.

First year law student at ULV, Shelly Chinnery said she thought it was good for women of today.

“I think Palin will open a lot more doors and opportunity for women,” Chinnery said.

However, Chinnery still was not convinced. Just because Palin is a woman did not mean she would vote for her either.

Even though women said they liked Palin, they really did not say what the real reason was why they would not vote for her.

In taking up a survey on campus at ULV, it was important to find out the heart of the matter and what the real reason behind women’s reasons for not voting for Palin.

According to the 20 women in the survey at ULV, the outcome was not about foreign policy, the economy, women’s background, ethnicity or even whether Palin would improve health care.

The biggest concern among women was Palin’s stance on abortion. If they were pro-choice, they simply would not vote for her.

Additionally, even though many women on campus would not comment on Palin, they said they would not vote for her because of her stance on abortion.

Palin has been a steadfast opponent of abortion, giving birth earlier this year to a child she knew would have Down syndrome.

Palin has five children, ranging in age from 18 years to 4 months old.

In the earlier online survey, 45 percent of women felt that Palin’s stance on the issue of abortion would set women back, but 55 percent of women said that they did support her regardless of her beliefs.

Jennifer Kitzmann can be reached at jennifer.kitzmann@laverne.edu.


Erin Brockman
First year law student Shelly Chinnery visits the Wilson Library to find out more information and research on Sarah Palin in the Sept. 16 edition of Newsweek she is researching what Palin’s stance is on human rights, foreign affairs and pro-choice issues.

Erin Brockman
Emily Romo, a senior English studies major, and Amanda McCadden, a sophomore liberal studies major, discuss an article about Palin, Sept. 24 outside Davenport Dining Hall.

 

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