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An Open Letter to Sarah Palin About Working Mothers

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Dear Sarah,

I hope you don't mind me calling you Sarah. I feel like we know each other so well, what with all the media coverage you've been getting in the last couple of weeks.

I know you're really proud of the working motherhood arrangement you've crafted for yourself. But since the GOP has been holding you up as the shining beacon of model motherhood, I have a few questions for you. I think a few of the other moms I know do, as well. So I hope you don't mind me asking! We could have a quick chat over a cup of coffee, or you could just e-mail me back -- I know you're killer on the Blackberry!

Katha Pollitt at The Nation already has posed some questions to you. And I really do want to know the answers to them. But here are a few others I'm curious about, as well:

1. If you're elected vice president, what are you going to do to help all the other working mothers in America? You know, not all of us have the kind of support system of family and friends you do to take care of our kids, but we still have to work so we can afford food for the table, gas for our cars and the after-school day care arrangements because most of us don't have nannies (we now know you did, at least according to your own words on this video).

2. If after several years of being vice president you discovered that you had been paid less than all the other vice presidents before you, would you be OK with not being able do anything about it? If you're not sure, I know Lilly Ledbetter would be happy to talk with you about that.

3. You say you're going to be an advocate for special needs children, now that you have one of your own. What does that mean, exactly? Will you use the power of being second-in-command to fight for health care coverage that these children need, but many of their families can't afford? Will you make sure that parents get all the information about special needs children and that the federal government will step up to the plate with some dollars to help achieve that? Will you be honest about your son's challenges if he grows up in the spotlight of national politics?

4. When will you be able to tell us where you stand on issues so important to the millions of working mothers in this country? Recently, one story said that you are "unable to say at this time what [your] position is on federal policies relating to job protections and benefits for working mothers." It sure would be nice if you'd let us know sometime in the next 47 days. Sooner rather than later would be great.

5. I know you're a little busy at the moment, but since you're asking so many of us to vote for you, we'd like to hear a little more about these issues and less about that Bridge to Nowhere, though I would like you to be a bit more honest about what you did with the money you didn't spend on that bridge.

6. Oh, one other thing -- I know you say you're against "earmarks" for special pet projects, but that doesn't seem to square with the reports that you asked for over $450 million of them in the last two years. Maybe you could just be straight with us about that one, too.

Feel free to call, e-mail or drop by. I'll put the kettle on and Piper can hang out and play with PunditGirl. I know you think some of these questions are irrelevant, but I think it's fair to ask how your motherhood experiences will impact your potential advice an a McCain administration's policies on FMLA, child-care and fair pay.

I'm not Charlie Gibson, but I know we could have a really lively chat.

Sincerely yours,

PunditMom

Joanne Bamberger writes about a lot of other political goings-on at her place, PunditMom. If you're watching the news shows these days, you can also catch her on CNN, Fox News or CBS!

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