Saturday, August 30

A Historic Day For Motherhood

Guest Blogger: Jeff Porter, Obama Supporter

John McCain has selected Alaska Governor Sarah Palin as his choice for Vice President. Who is Sarah Palin? In many ways, she's an impressive figure.

Palin, 44, is a first-term governor of Alaska, taking office on December 4, 2006. She is the youngest person and the first woman to hold the office. As governor, she signed two major pieces of legislation -- an overhaul of the state's ethics laws and a competitive process to construct a gas pipeline. Under her leadership, Alaska invested $5 billion in state savings, overhauled education funding, and implemented the Senior Benefits Program that provides support for low-income older Alaskans. She created Alaska’s Petroleum Systems Integrity Office to provide oversight and maintenance of oil and gas equipment, facilities and infrastructure, and the Climate Change Subcabinet to prepare a climate change strategy for Alaska. Alaskans like her. She has an 80-90% approval rating.

Before governor, she was the mayor of Wasilla, Alaska, population 6,715, located about an hour's drive north of Anchorage, and served on the Wasilla City Council.

Her personal story is quite interesting. She is an avid fisherwoman and lifetime member of the NRA. She has 5 kids - Track, Bristol, Willow, Piper and Trig, a 4-month old with downs syndrome. She won the Miss Wasilla beauty pageant, then finished second in the Miss Alaska pageant. Her husband is Todd Palin, a lifelong Alaskan and four-time champion of the Iron Dog, the world's longest snowmachine race. Governor Palin has a bachelor of science degree in journalism from the University of Idaho. Her religious affiliation is Assemblies of God and she enjoys hunting, fishing, running (she runs marathons) and plays flute.

On the issues, she is anti-abortion rights, pro-gun rights, supports the teaching of creationism in public schools, opposes same-sex-marriage, and has a strong record of ethics reform. She is considered a fiscal conservative and is credited with slashing millions of dollars in state spending. She initially supported the infamous "Bridge to Nowhere", but cancelled the project when some federal funding was lost. She supports responsible drilling in Alaska's ANWR and helped pass a tax increase on oil company profits. She also has expressed skepticism about man-made global warming. Her views on immigration, trade, foreign policy and national security issues are unclear, but I'm sure we'll learn much more in the coming weeks.

One final note of interest. Palin is currently under investigation for potential abuse of power related to the firing of the state's former public safety commissioner Walt Monegan. It is alleged that Palin pressured Monegan to fire a state trooper who was going through a messy divorce with Palin's sister. It's hard to imagine McCain selecting Palin without fully vetting this issue, but the investigation will continue.

Overall, Palin is a fascinating choice. McCain's age and health is sure to become a bigger issue in the campaign with Palin on the ticket. She complements McCain's reform/maverick message and should appeal to religious conservatives on the social issues. It remains to be seen if she pulls broader support from women, especially pro-abortion rights women.

Palin is obviously a strong modern woman and not afraid to go up against the "big boys." Democrats should be careful to not underestimate her. This campaign just got a lot more interesting. The media must be in heaven right now.


Phyllis@Aimless Conversation said...

I'm still not sure about McCain...but, she's outstanding! Talk about shaking up the race. I can hardly wait for the debates now (esp the VP one. Biden (who can be a bully and is known for his insensitive remarks) against Palin, a spitfire of a woman (nicknamed Sarah Barracuda, but also won Miss Congeniality). Should be very interesting.

Anonymous said...

interesting that you phrase it "anti-abortion" jeff. i like to see it as "pro-life" and i'll tell you why.... i could have legally aborted my first child on the day he was born because he wasn't a "real life" only a blob of tissue..... well as, ahem, luck would have it, i chose to go ahead and let him be born early without freaking out about it and trust that God in His infinite wisdom actually knew what He was doing. guess what? that "blob of tissue" is a ridiculously intelligent 4 th grader that runs circles around my own intellect (and i'm a pretty smart cookie). THAT'S why life is important. he is physically perfect... didn't even spend time in the nicu! and i could have legally aborted him because he wasn't viable they said!!!!! i have since gone on to lose 3 babies before birth... and i grieve over every one. i understand that sometimes people get raped and it is emotionally devastating (last statistic i heard was about 3% of all abortions are for this ...not a big number though a horrific experience for those women who do have to endure it) and every rare once in a while the pregnancy threatens the mothers life. exceptional circumstances. do we have the right to "chose" when it's merely inconvenient? i'm sorry... there are too many moms out there like me who would give ANYTHING to have our lost babies back. there are too many moms-and dads- who can't have children and will gladly take the babies you don't want. in many states if you shoot a deer that is pregnant the penalty is doubled because you took two lives out of season.... why is a human life less important?

this is a hot button for me.

i'm glad she's running for office. most of her children are older, she only has one really young child and any mother that has successfully raised children as she has (some of her's are older teens and adults) can handle multi-tasking! i'm sure her salary is big enough to have a nanny in the wings.

ok- i'll quit ranting. jeff, be more sensitive to moms if you're going to guest blog. if i'm anti-abortion then that makes you anti-life. one of my babies had a heart beat at 4.5 weeks! and i saw it before it quit beating.

Anonymous said...


Just a note of correction. My phrasing is "anti-abortion rights" and "pro-abortion rights," which is what the debate is about. Pro-life and pro-choice are terminologies created by activists to manipulate and distort the issue. With all due respect, I stand by my wording.



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