Watching Sarah Palin accept the Republican nomination for vice president, all I could think was that I am so grateful my mother did not run for president or VP while I was a baby. This is hardly good judgment on Palin's part.
Such a sentiment is surely anti-feminist of me. Women, including mothers, should be allowed and encouraged to pursue high-powered careers. And having a mother who works is the best way to teach one's children that women should be financially independent and treated equally in the workforce.
But running on a national ticket months after your child was born? Let alone a son who has Downs Syndrome and therefore under the best of circumstances is going to need every last bit of attention. How can one possibly be an involved and nurturing parent while campaigning in such a heated race?
You can be a great mother and work. But you can't be a great mother and work 80 hours a week. There is no way you are a great mother if you are not there.
I also feel for Sasha and Malia. Barack Obama talks about his life being affected by the absence of his father, and he publicly stresses the importance of dads being involved in raising their children. And yet, it's hard to imagine that he has been such a super dad these past 19 months. No, while he has been out campaigning, the primary responsibility for raising his children has fallen to Michelle -- who has had to sacrifice some of her career ambition -- and their extended family.
Palin and Obama have the right to run for office, no matter how old their children are. And who takes the kids to the doctor's office and baseball practice is a family matter that only they and their spouses can decide. But what does this say about either of them as people?
Republicans claim they know something about family values because Palin is against abortion. But running for VP is not much different from putting her child up for adoption for a few months. And if McCain passes away while in office, Palin will have virtually given away her child for the next four to eight years. I know very little about Sarah Palin, and she might be a smart and strong leader. But I do know that she does not have the kind of family values I believe in.
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