Sarah Palin is my New Role Model

Well, okay no – not really. I abhor her politics and wonder if perhaps she wasn’t raised by the same moose herd she hunts now from the safety of helicopters because I can’t imagine who taught her to speak the way she does. But what I want to ask her,

“Is there any moment in your life for which you haven’t hallucinated an alternate reality?”

Because she seems to have survived a different presidential campaign than everyone else. One where shadowy baseball types control American politics from hidey holes beneath Fenway Park and those liberal media types and bloggers living in their parents’ basements unfairly tarnished her credibility without her help.

The reason she inspires me – just short of a worship that has my husband worried – is her tenacity. Her refusal to just go away like the good little token she was.

Sarah Palin was tapped for the second spot on the Republican ticket for her extra X and her Rapture loving ways. The fact that she was as ambitious as any of her male counterpoints was either overlooked or, more likely, not believed by an RNC that is now resorting to use of their mortal enemy – the liberal media – to neuter her into exile up there in unimportant ole Alaska. How one silences the governor of a state with oil under it remains to be seen but, in the meantime, Sarah is not going quietly into her good night.

And why should she? I sure as hell wouldn’t. Of course, I would have used complete sentences and known the names of the newspapers I read too, but this isn’t about me. Or is it?

Sarah Palin is such a conundrum to women like me. We are peers. We grew up in the shadow of those who chanted the “having it all” mantra, but for us that was a mandate, not a choice. It struck a chord when she said,

“Sometimes, y’know, I consider myself too a feminist – whatever that means!”

I have said that in one form or another myself. And yet, not knowing what feminism is, she is embodying it by “ploughing through the door” that was opened for her when John McCain tapped her as his running mate and not letting them slam it on her as she walks out. Except she isn’t really walking away. She’s not letting anyone have the last word on defining her or telling her what her ambitions or opportunities for the future may be.

Her admission that she asks God to not let her miss open doors might strike some people as simple-minded or right-wing posturing or just plain corny, but when I was a defacto single mom with a terminally ill husband in a nursing home, I often put my blind trust in whatever is directing this universe and asked for similar guidance. And when a door, window or tiny crevice manifested, you can bet I was all over it like spots on a cow or antlers on a moose.

There are a lot of things wrong, in my opinion, with Sarah Palin’s continued presence on the national GOP stage, not the least of which is her affinity for divisive politics and her theocratic leanings, but a woman could do worse than to emulate her ballsy presentation of herself and her refusal to head back to the rear of the bus now that the boys are through using her.


This was an original 50 Something Moms piece.

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