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America; Safe In the Arms of Motherhood


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  • America; Safe In the Arms of Motherhood

    How can you beat this image of a caring presidential candidate, with child in arms, symbolizing how Palin will take care of America's woes? Simply, a priceless message to all you sheeple.

    Wondering if Obama holding Chelsea in his arms would work as well?


    A new combination of politics and motherhood
    By Jodi Kantor, Kate Zernike and Catrin Einhorn
    Published: September 8, 2008

    Governor Sarah Palin and her family at the Republican convention. She went to extraordinary lengths to ensure that her son Trig's arrival would not hurt her work. (Damon Winter/The New York Times)

    Sarah Palin's baby shower included a surprise guest: her own baby. He had arrived a month early, so on a sunny May day, Palin, the governor of Alaska, rocked her newborn as her closest friends, sisters, even her obstetrician presented her with a potluck meal, presents and a blue-and-white cake.

    Most had learned that Palin was pregnant only a few weeks before. Struggling to accept that her child would be born with Down syndrome and fearful of public criticism of a governor's pregnancy, Palin had concealed the news that she was expecting even from her parents and children until her third trimester.

    But as the governor introduced her son that day, according to a friend, Kristan Cole, she said she had come to regard him as a blessing from God. "Who of us in this room has the perfect child?" said Palin, who declined to be interviewed for this article.

    Since that day, Trig Paxson Van Palin, still only 143 days old, has had an unexpected effect on his mother's political fortunes. Before her son was born, Palin went to extraordinary lengths to ensure that his arrival would not compromise her work. She hid the pregnancy. She traveled to Texas a month before her due date to give an important speech, delivering it even though her amniotic fluid was leaking. Three days after giving birth, she returned to work.

    But with Trig in her arms, Palin has risen higher than ever. Senator John McCain, the Republican nominee for president, says he selected her as his running mate because of her image as a reformer, but she is also making motherhood an explicit part of her appeal, running as a self-proclaimed hockey mom. In just a few months, she has gone from hiding her pregnancy from those closest to her to toting her infant onstage at the Republican National Convention.

    No one has ever tried to combine presidential politics and motherhood in quite the way Palin is doing, and it is no simple task. In the last week, the criticism she feared in Alaska has exploded into a national debate. Voters alternately cheer and fault her balancing act, and although many are thrilled to see a child with special needs in the spotlight, some accuse her of exploiting Trig for political gain.

    But her son has given Palin, 44, a powerful message. He is tangible proof of Palin's anti-abortion convictions, which have rallied social conservatives, and her belief that women can balance family life with ambitious careers. And last Wednesday in St. Paul, Minnesota, she proclaimed herself a guardian of the nation's disabled children.

    "Children with special needs inspire a special love," Palin said, echoing the message she had shared at the shower.

    By last winter, Palin seemed to have everything she had ever wanted. She had raised four children while turning herself into a rising star of the Republican Party of Alaska and then the national one. But then the still-new governor discovered she was pregnant. Piper, the youngest of the Palin brood, was 6. The family had long since given away their crib and high chair.

    A few weeks later, after an amniocentesis - a prenatal test to identify genetic defects - Palin learned the results. Some abortion opponents decline such tests, but as her older sister, Heather Bruce, said, Palin "likes to be prepared." With her husband, Todd, away at his job in the oil fields of the North Slope, Palin told no one for three days, she later said.

    Once they reunited, the Palins struggled to understand what they would face. Children with Down syndrome experience varying degrees of cognitive disability and a higher-than-average risk of hearing loss, hypothyroidism and seizure disorders. About half are born with heart defects, which often require surgery.

    The couple decided to keep quiet about the pregnancy so they could absorb the news, they told people later.

    And there were political factors to consider. "I didn't want Alaskans to fear I would not be able to fulfill my duties," Palin told People magazine last week.

    The governor, thin to begin with, began an elaborate game of fashion-assisted camouflage. When Vogue photographed her, five months pregnant, for a profile in January, she hid in a big green parka. At work, she wore long, loose blazers and artfully draped accessories.

    "All of a sudden she had this penchant for really beautiful scarves," recalled Angelina Burney, who works across the hallway from Palin in Anchorage.

    As Palin's clothes grew tighter, Alaskans began to talk. She told several aides that she was pregnant, and a week or so later, her parents and her children, who called other relatives......


  • #2
    I will now have nightmares now of Chelsea Clinton in Obamas arms.

    "To be yourself in a world that is constantly trying to make you something else is the greatest accomplishment." - Ralph Waldo Emerson


    • #3
      I like when women in authority rely on respect for maternality (that's the Mom-type boss, even if she's not a Mom). The best boss women I've worked for had a knack for managing that (they were all in fact Moms). All of us, no matter how valiant, strong, tough, dominant, or competitive, have experienced a Mom being in charge at some time in our lives.


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