I Wasn’t Looking To Vote For a Woman

The Republican National Convention wrapped up in my state of Minnesota last night, and I’ve regained my enthusiasm for the political season ahead after the never-ending primaries. I say very little about political issues at my website, trying to focus my writing more on the principles behind what we face.

Inevitably, politics comes down to people sometimes more than principles, and I’ve discovered how antagonistic we can become over our preferences of people. I don’t really want to stir that pot very often. I’ve been posting recipes on Friday, so maybe I can stir a little today.

The choice of Alaska Governor Sarah Palin as the Republican candidate for vice president is refreshing. I wasn’t that excited about John McCain as the Republican presidential candidate, but that’s changing with his choice of a running mate. She interests me for two reasons—she’s a conservative woman and she seems more real than any other candidate I’ve seen.

Often in my demographic I feel clumped into a women’s voting block that has nothing to do with my own political and social philosophy. Rarely is there a face for the kind of woman I want to see. Sarah Palin hits close to my mark with conservative principles, but even more impressive to me is that she retains femininity in leadership.

I’m not embarrassed to admit that I believe femininity is an asset in leadership. Listen to her speech at the convention and watch how she delivered it. Here’s one example I liked:

No one expects us to agree on everything. But we are expected to govern with integrity, good will, clear convictions, and … a servant’s heart. I pledge to all Americans that I will carry myself in this spirit as vice president of the United States.

Her tone of voice, her choice of words and her mannerisms flow from her nurturing and feminine perspective. That complementary role has been diminished by the contrast of some women who want to compete with a man’s approach rather than embrace their own. When I saw Sarah Palin alongside John McCain, I pictured the partnership of male and female influences and how that can enhance the governing of our country at this time.

While much has been said about her age, her experience, and her family,  I believe the circumstances of her background are her asset. They show she is a real person with a perspective closer to the average citizen than most. When I listen to her story, it makes me think she would listen to me. She said,

I had the privilege of living most of my life in a small town. I was just your average hockey mom and signed up for the PTA because I wanted to make my kids’ public education better.When I ran for City Council, I didn’t need focus groups and voter profiles because I knew those voters, and knew their families, too.

But here’s a little news flash for all those reporters and commentators: I’m not going to Washington to seek their good opinion. I’m going to Washington to serve the people of this country. Americans expect us to go to Washington for the right reasons, and not just to mingle with the right people.

In this way, Sarah Palin shows an average American can turn citizenship into leadership. Her example encourages me to do the same in my own way.  While I didn’t go looking for someone who fit my demographic, I am pleased to finally have the choice.

Listen or read the transcript of Sarah Palin’s acceptance speech at the Republican National Convention.


  1. Karin
    Sep 5, 2008

    I too wasn’t looking forrward to voting on a ticket with a woman on it, but after listening to Sarah’s speech that night, I’m totally sold! She’s a dynamic woman with leadership capabilities along with not compromising her family responsibilties. I was totally impressed with her! I agree with what you said about how an average citizenship can turn into leadership. I also loved it when she said that we won’t always agree but we are expected to govern with integrity, good will, clear convictions…and a servants heart!! That’s what it’s all about!

  2. kristi
    Sep 5, 2008

    While there are no circumstances that would ever exist for me to vote for McCain/Palin (their politics are the polar opposite of my own) I do admire a woman who is able to balance a demanding job with her family life in a way that at least appears to be working.

    She didn’t write her own speech, though (most politicians don’t). It was written by a Bush speechwriter.

    One other point: in 2000, people liked George Bush because he seemed approachable, an “everyman” if you will. He was someone average people could see themselves having a beer with. It seems many are viewing Palin in much the same way. For me, I want the leader of this country and his VP to be more than ordinary, refreshing, and approachable. I want him or her to have the knowledge, skills, and experience needed to repair all the damage that’s been done in the past 8 years. Much as she seems like a decent human being, I just don’t see these qualities in Palin.

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