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Hilary Rosen Headshot

Am I "Off Message" on Sarah Palin?

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Warning! This pundit isn't feeling the same way as most of my colleagues about Sarah Palin. She is being attacked for her lack of experience for the job and for whether she should be putting her family first instead of her career. This just isn't that unusual in my book. And the more it goes on, the more uncomfortable I feel with that message.

I am a woman who someone took a chance on several years ago and gave me a job that had only previously been done by old white guys. Experience? How do you get any if no one takes a chance on you? And the decision to take a chance can be instinctive, as John McCain said. Sure it was a gimmick. But would we feel better if it was Tim Pawlenty? What someone does on a small scale can be a good indicator of what they do on a large scale. So suggesting that she would do any worse than the host of guys who have auditioned for the job isn't that compelling an argument to me. And what about the argument that she is a negligent mother who will be distracted from her important role. I am a mother who constantly feels the pressure from others about whether I am fit to be a parent, whether I put my kids first often enough and whether my son with learning disabilities gets enough of my attention. Who has the right to to judge my family?

My grandmother always said "You can't tell time on someone else's clock". Judgments about people's personal lives are better left unsaid and unrealized.

So why then do I think that Sarah Palin would be a terrible vice president? Because I also think that John McCain would be a terrible president.

I don't care about how Sarah Palin or John McCain take care of their families. I care about how their policy choices affect my family and millions of other Americans.

-McCain and Palin get their health insurance paid for by the government (hers in Alaska and his in Washington). Yet they oppose giving the 42 million other Americans the same access to affordable healthcare.

-John McCain's kids don't have to worry about paying for college. Yet, he has opposed every single education support program to help others.

-McCain and Palin say they will stand up to oil companies. Yet the only energy policy they support gives millions of dollars in tax breaks to oil companies to do more drilling and he has opposed every piece of federal legislation to explore alternative fuel sources.

-McCain and Palin say they will revamp how Washington does business. Yet his campaign is filled with lobbyists and she has been in bed with Senator Ted Stevens funneling federal money for useless projects in Alaska for years.

-McCain and Palin have refused to answer very real questions about her potential abuse of power in Alaska when it came to her firing a State Trooper because she was on a revenge kick for her sister costing an officer his job. And McCain and Palin have no solutions for Americans worrying about their jobs in a fragile economy.

-McCain and Palin want us to leave their families alone. Yet they want make rules for our families by eliminating our right to make our own choices over abortion; eliminate our access to family planning education or domestic partner benefits; and our freedom from discrimination. They want to control what our kids learn in school about sex and about science. In short, through the policies they promote and the judges they support, they want the government to be more in control over our private lives than at any time in history.

-McCain and Palin now say their campaign is about change, too. Yet, the only real change they have proposed is a change from a suit to a skirt in the VP's office and one man fighting a misplaced war for another in the Oval Office. That seems to me to be the right reason to oppose them in November. It's not the process or the people, it's what they represent. This unconventional choice of VP by John McCain won't stand up to the hype and result in a win in November because they are the wrong choice for the country.