October 9th, 2008
06:00 PM ET

Palin's female fans: Why they can relate

[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2008/images/10/07/art.palin.fl.jpg
caption="Gov. Sarah Palin in Florida on Tuesday"]
Editor's note: Watch Randi Kaye's report tonight on Election Center and AC360° at 8 and 10p ET.

Randi Kaye
AC360° Correspondent

Put ten women in a room and there is no shortage of conversation!

That was the case during a recent visit I made to the home of Tami Nantz.

Tami is a 37-year-old stay-at-home-mom who lives in Florida, a battleground state.

She invited some of her friends over to chat about Sarah Palin for a story I’m working on.

You see, since Palin was named as the V.P. Republican nominee her fan base has really dropped off.

In fact, CNN polls, and many others, show that John McCain has actually lost any gains he made among women voters after Palin was first named to the ticket. Time Magazine’s recent poll shows Barack Obama with a 17 point lead among women.

Women I meet either love her or hate her.

The women we met in Florida are big fans. They call her nomination “brilliant.”

Why is that?

Tami and her friends really relate to Sarah Palin. Like her, they are pro-life and oppose embryonic stem cell research.

They think the fact that Palin chose to go ahead with the birth of her son she knew had Down Syndrome is a “blessing.” One woman told me it shows “with the grace of God” a family can overcome anything.

They believe her support of her teenage daughter’s pregnancy should be commended.

These women are the voters John McCain likely had in mind when he picked Sarah Palin. He was having trouble winning over the conservative base. Not anymore.

These ladies told me they agree with Palin 100% on the issues. They feel like if she had been a part of our gathering that afternoon, they would’ve chatted away like she was “one of the girls.”

But for them it’s really about her conservative beliefs, and less so about the fact that she is a woman.

Never before have conservative women had a strong female conservative voice on the national stage.

In Sarah Palin, they found their champion. She has re-energized them. They say they “get her” and can relate to her feistiness, her winks, and her sarcasm.

The women told me they prayed for her, many of them numerous times, before she debated Joe Biden recently.

They are all members of a Bible Study and deeply religious. They think she’s qualified for the job and is just what Washington needs.

They believe she is a Maverick.

Tami thinks criticism of Palin has been so unfair she started a blog to defend her, called Moms4SarahPalin.

She told me about half the comments on the blog have been negative, even targeted Tami personally, but she’s not giving up.

What do you think? Can you relate to Sarah Palin the way these women do?

Filed under: Barack Obama • John McCain • Randi Kaye • Raw Politics • Sarah Palin
soundoff (236 Responses)
  1. Donna

    I'd certainly dope she wouldn't be compared to Hillary Clinton!!! This lady HAS CLASS!!! She believes in the AMERICAN people, The middle class people and so what if she doesn't have all the knowledge of a VP–BIll Clinton didn't either and he ALSO was 'JUST A GOVERNOR" when he was elected. Give her a break!!!

    October 9, 2008 at 5:18 pm |
  2. Sara

    I am not a mother, so I can't relate to her touting her credentials in that sphere. I am truly appalled by what this woman had done to her daughter, Bristol. Not only did she make a choice that would completely eliminate her daughter's privacy, but she's insisting that her daughter marry that idiotic wife-beater in training. I'll be curious to see if that actually happens once the McCain-Palin ticket is defeated. And make no mistake... this dingbat is going down in flames.

    October 9, 2008 at 5:17 pm |
  3. Pamela Singer

    No, I cannot relate to Sarah Palin. I think she is not a careful thinker and that she is disengenuous. I also think she is ignorant.

    October 9, 2008 at 5:17 pm |
  4. Mike

    It's really simple, my reaction to these mothers.

    Obama-Biden 2008

    Try to get used to it, 'cause many of us have spent 8 years with your party's candidate and see where our country is today.

    COUNTRY FIRST my pale, white, a–.

    October 9, 2008 at 5:17 pm |
  5. jeano

    Palin is a real person... Not perfect, but a real person. OBAMA IS PURELY A FAKE, AND HIS WIFE HAS THE FACE OF A MEAN BULLDOG

    October 9, 2008 at 5:17 pm |
  6. Andrea

    the only way I relate to Sarah Palin is the fact that I have a demanding job and I juggle a family as well. Any similarity ends there. Her world view is so narrow minded, her rhetoric so stultifying and her experience so limited that I am terrified of the possibility of her in the White House.

    October 9, 2008 at 5:17 pm |
  7. lourdes, CA

    I have voted Republican in the past three elections. All my family, a total of 69 all accross the US, have voted Republican in the past elections (this number is increasing this year as we have 11 new registered voters in the family). It has been a family commitment and a tradition.
    No more.
    After Gov. Palin's nomination to the VP candidacy, after listening to her talk, ALL of us are voting for Obama.

    October 9, 2008 at 5:17 pm |
  8. Chris Ann

    I like Sarah Palin and I can relate. I think she is very intelligent and I think she is a great role model for young girls. I would imagine that the women that do not like Palin would prefer the mothers of Britney Spears and Lindsay Lohan to be role models for their children...think about that one. Plus look at Palin's associates and friends, they all are good american people. Now look at some of Obama's acquaintances...could you say the same?

    October 9, 2008 at 5:16 pm |
  9. Juliana

    Whats the diffrence between Palin and Bush? LIPSTICK.

    October 9, 2008 at 5:16 pm |
  10. its a shame

    To Obama Supporters: Why are you so angry? You know your candidate has a double-digit lead, so why keep bashing Sarah Palin like she's the most evil person in the world? She's just a person, you know.

    October 9, 2008 at 5:16 pm |
  11. Dawn

    Sarah Palin's one qualification to the radicals: She wants to overturn Roe V. Wade. They'd elect the very devil himself if he promised to do so.

    October 9, 2008 at 5:16 pm |
  12. Pam L

    I don't want "one of the girls" a heartbeat from the presidency. She's unqualified to be the vice president of our country – period! She doesn't understand the issues facing our country - neither does John McCain for that matter - so all she can do is "go negative" and hope to distract everyone from the fact that we're all going broke. How insulting to smart, savvy, educated women everywhere.

    October 9, 2008 at 5:16 pm |
  13. Ruby Mateos

    I don't see why Carol here, and everybody else, thinks that inspite being a Mayor and Governor of a State, Palin is still inexperienced. I agree, she is no Hillary, but comparing her to Sen Clinton is unfair. I believe she has more executive experience than Obama. Obama is a great speaker, I give him that. But that doesn't make him a good leader!

    October 9, 2008 at 5:16 pm |
  14. Cathy

    I commend these women for their ability to relate to Gov. Palin, however, I am unable to relate at all to her. It is beyond me how these women believe that she is capable of being President of the United States. I don't agree with abortion, and don't think I would ever have one myself, but I do believe that it should be a woman's right to choose. I have often talked with my husband as well as others on this issue and I truly feel that if men had children, morally, abortion would not be the right thing to do, but it would have never be a legal issue that was decided in the court system.

    October 9, 2008 at 5:16 pm |
  15. Juan from L.A

    My mother is conservative and I grew up believing in Christ as my savior...

    The issue here is her hypocrisy, incompetence, and not having the brains or potential for a job such as VP. Simple as that.

    1) Hypocrisy-she is the typical right radicalist with a bible in her hand but a knife in the other to attack you. She has none whatsoever of the Jesus Christ beliefs of helping one another. Look at her. She's an attack dog for the McCain campaign and that's it. In the Bible it quotes God dispisses this type of people who are half-half and he would prefer people that are against him totally

    2) Incompetence-hello its Alaska and just cause you see Russia from your house doesn't make you a foreign policy expert. In the debate it was outrageous how she blatantly didn't answer questions. She is a town mayor of a town of 7,000, and governor for just two years of a state out of the mainstream and whose population is that of Austin, Texas. C'mon now.

    3) Her lack of potential-look at the interviews with Couric and Gibson. Even the kid who asked her about Pakistan and who is a voter (not a gotcha journalist). They are sad interviews and its just grimicing to watch her. This country is in such crisis that they need people capable of leading it and correct way, and she should be far but very far away from these people.

    October 9, 2008 at 5:16 pm |
  16. Sam in Atlanta

    No doubt Sarah Palin is fit to be the president of the local PTA, you must be insane to to think she could lead a nation. I've no idea how shallow you can be even to consider Palin for VP.

    October 9, 2008 at 5:16 pm |
  17. FERN

    It is unbelievable the horrid remarks about Sara Palin. She is an
    inspiration to all women to be everything they can be. She is extremely feminine, loves her family, embraces tragedy, loves her husband. In her politics, she makes it clear that she will work for the people. She doesn't exalt herself, but talks about how she has exalted the American people because they are the ones she serves.

    October 9, 2008 at 5:16 pm |
  18. dave

    wow, so much for NOW, I guess you have to be liberal female full of putrid vitriol to be a real modern woman.

    October 9, 2008 at 5:15 pm |
  19. Jared

    It's crazy how liberal CNN is. There isn't a single supporter of Palin. Several very nasty comments about her ability to be a mother, and how "she's a trashy redneck".

    She's every bit as "experienced" as Obama! I like Obama, and I think he'd be a good President. But, I like Sarah Palin too... she'd be a very good Vice President. I actually wish Obama had picked someone with more likability than the idiot Joe Biden.

    Anyhow, as far as relating to her goes. Yes, I can. She's a loving mother, trying to make a difference.

    October 9, 2008 at 5:15 pm |
  20. Kathie OConnor Roscoe, IL

    Sarah Palan should scare the hell out of most women when they finally realize that she is against the right to an abortion. She is against national health insurance. Not many of my lady friends has ever shot a gun, let alone shoot a moose. We are not Joe Six Packs.
    Sarah Palan appears to be a female Dick Cheney – except she has a better shot.

    October 9, 2008 at 5:15 pm |
  21. Gayle Thompson

    Ouch! All those negative comments hurt.
    I am 33 year old female, and I must be retarded. Sarah Palin is the best person that could be called upon.
    Her ability to sort out the Alaska money grabbers, taking on the big oil Company and winning shows me great fortitude. She has my vote, and many of my neighbors. God Bless Her. She is a true Patriot, that loves America..

    October 9, 2008 at 5:15 pm |
  22. Patricia G, Houston, TX

    You are kidding me...! She is so out of touch it is incredible that anyone supports her. As a woman I am also against abortion...I am however PRO CHOICE! that is a decision that should be made by the woman not the government. There are women that would DIE because of the backlash this would cause?

    She is not the brightest bulb in the pack...she is not informed and comes across as quite frankly STUPID! not a leader at all...it boggles my mind why/how she was even elected to be a mayor let alone Governor...note to self research her opponents...they must have really been something ...else!

    October 9, 2008 at 5:15 pm |
  23. Brian

    The question should be, how does Palin relate to us?

    A power-hungry woman who will step over anyone she needs to, to climb the ladder? I don't have anything in common with that.

    October 9, 2008 at 5:14 pm |
  24. Karolina Bedacht

    Sarah Palin will single handedly undo what women have suffered for over many generations. The rights to their own bodies not to mention religion and politics are dangerous. She is unqualified to be vice president and I question her ability to be governor of Alaska. Her ideals represent a misogynistic era and one I want nothing to do with. I do not feel she will represent out country or women’s rights well on any level. Stay at home moms are lucky they can have that freedom – us working women have more important issues on our hands than praying for a debate – I’m trying to get health care for my family, put food on the table, and figure out how to pay my energy bills – to name a few. We have bigger fish to fry than her personal decision to have a baby with Down ’s syndrome or whether or not her daughter is a teenage mother. Give me break, has anyone noticed that we are bringing our young men and women home from Iraq in pieces, not only mentally but physically. Is Sarah Palin and these stay at home moms going to bake cookies and hope it makes it all better? Doubtful. Wake up people our country is in a tailspin because of ultra-conservative views and mismanagement of our nation’s resources – I pray to be protected from people who are more interested in my personal business than the great good of society and our world. If these are Christian values I am very afraid for my children and the world they are inheriting.

    October 9, 2008 at 5:14 pm |
  25. LaToya

    I cannot relate to Palin on any of the issues. I don't doubt that she is a very hardworking and dedicated worker because I know how life was for my mother to raise kids and work a full time job. But when it comes to the issues, she does not speak for all women. I also don't think that she is qualified to be VP, she seems to be out of touch with what is going on in the rest of the world (outside of Alaska).

    October 9, 2008 at 5:13 pm |
  26. Lydia

    Why is it that Obama, McCain and Biden have "supporters" while Palin and Hillary Clinton have "fans"? CNN, you're better than that. Conservatives accuse the media of being liberal, however, you all continue to be sexist.

    October 9, 2008 at 5:13 pm |
  27. Renee Cox

    Sarah Palin is scary precisely because of what she doesn't know. She is the perfect empty vessel for neocons and other hatemongers. It is truly frightening the way she incited crowds to shout hateful words towards Senator Obama. She is not curious about the world around her or self-reflective in any way. It is truly embarrassing that she is the Republican nominee for vice-president, and a perfect example of putting self interest and party interest over America. So much for country first!

    October 9, 2008 at 5:13 pm |
  28. Trisha

    No, I cannot relate to Sarah Palin in any capacity. I was offended that Senator McCain could choose such a running mate and expect the women voters to "swoon" just because she is female. She does NOT reflect the values that I am trying to instill in my young daughters.

    October 9, 2008 at 5:13 pm |
  29. CAGJ

    Solidarity brings people together even people with diferent ideas and values. One can see that solidarity among the afro-americans who are supporting Mr. Barack Hussein Obama. I think that not all of the more than 95% of afro-americans that support him, agree with his ideas and policies, but by solidarity they are ready to vote for him. From what I read in the press and in the comments, this is acceptable and no body considers it as a racist atitude. Why is it TABOO for women to support Mrs Palin in a show of solidarity just because she is a women?... Or why is racism when white persons choose in a mojority to vote for a white candidate?...

    October 9, 2008 at 5:13 pm |
  30. kevin

    It's nice to like Sarah Palin, you may like her values, but she is totally inadequate for the job of Vice-President. International affairs makes election politics look like child's play.

    October 9, 2008 at 5:13 pm |
  31. Michael

    Most of you are cold, cruel and apparently lacking in any compassion. It amazes me that people use this forum to say whatever they want with no fear of retribution. The things that are written here, 99.9% percent would never, ever say directly to someone else because you would have to hear their side, and actually debate.

    You are talking about another human being!! What is wrong with all of you? Whether you like Sarah Palin or not why do have to insult and write such mean spirited words?

    You can express your opinion without being cruel and vicious. However I am sure all of you know that and have just chosen to take the low road.

    October 9, 2008 at 5:13 pm |
  32. Good Conservative Dad

    Why are you asking dem women if they can relate? You already know they can't. Just another make-fun-of-conservatives-media-bash opportunity. Unfair and unbalanced, to be sure.

    October 9, 2008 at 5:12 pm |
  33. Penny

    Typical hate and venom from liberals.....

    October 9, 2008 at 5:12 pm |
  34. Lucy

    Sure I can relate to her. There are things about her that remind me of msyelf. Which is why I absolutely think it is ridiculous that she is the VP nominee.

    October 9, 2008 at 5:12 pm |
  35. Tucker

    To debate about her qualifications is one thing, however, it is crazy to say that she will take women back to the stone ages. Palin is a perfect example of women getting an equal position. Rather than celebrating that a woman has received the nomination to the second highest position in our country, she is bashed for her personal views. She has made great strides for everyone who follows her, regardless of their party affiliation. It would be important to note that in this day of equality, the oppressive Republicans, not the liberal Democrats are the ones who are living out a belief in equal rights. It is really a "stone age" where a woman can be our vice president. Or perhaps the right wing really is for the advancement of all people. Only time will tell.

    October 9, 2008 at 5:12 pm |
  36. Monica

    Certainly there are moms out there who can relate to Palin. I know some of them myself. The problem is that those people are not in the majority and most people are either simply more moderate or completely opposed to Palin's strict social conservative agenda. When you are going for swing voters, you can't use someone who is as constricting as Palin. A swing voter would rather go with a liberal because it gives them more choices rather than a conservative who wants to dictate more of their personal life.

    October 9, 2008 at 5:11 pm |
  37. S Callahan

    Well, I am deeply religious...Jesus is the center of my life...and I don't see where lying, deciet, cunningness, manipulation fit in the Bible context..maybe it's me..but I just can't relate to Ms. Palin. I think it is high time that Christians take a little responsiblity for their faith and not let the wolf in sheeps clothing decieve them.

    October 9, 2008 at 5:11 pm |
  38. Romie

    The question "can you relate to her" is just ridiculous.... She's not running for the office of your best friend, she's running for Vice President. What would make someone a good pal and what makes him or her fit for office are TOTALLY different. The ignorance of conflating the two just goes to show how stuck American's are on cult of personality, rather than focusing on policy or character.

    October 9, 2008 at 5:10 pm |
  39. That's just beautiful

    Beautiful, Beautiful I tell you!! I didn't read were anyone of them said she has the ability to be VP or Pres., relating is one thing. Hockey mom, mother of however many, conservative, etc. NOT ONE of them spoke about her qualifications for the 2nd highest office in the free world.

    I love my mom DEARLY but I don't want my mom as VP if she isn't qualified for the job. HAS NOTHING TO DO WITH HERE BEING A WOMAN!!

    October 9, 2008 at 5:10 pm |
  40. M. Jerome

    I recommend any woman considering voting for McCain because of his running mate read "Your Whiteness is Showing" by Tim Wise. In essence, he says that if you vote for Sarah Palin's ticket because she is a woman, then you're a racist, because a vote for Obama/Biden is a much more pro-woman vote than McCain/Palin could ever hope of being.

    October 9, 2008 at 5:09 pm |
  41. sowgenerously

    AC, just wondering if you've met with any non-Christian but pro-Palin groups of women, Christian anti-Palin groups, or any women's groups that are anti-Palin? I think you heard a very distinctive voice in that group of women and they most likely do not represent the majority of female voters.

    October 9, 2008 at 5:09 pm |
  42. Pat M CA.

    I agree with every comment in this article. There is no need to add any more–the women have said it all. Sarah Palin is NOT QUALIFIED for the position of VP and/or President–God Forbid.

    What a disgrace in this political race to have someone like her spewing hatred and revenge for the world to hear. This is frightening to think what could happen, given the people who are supporting her.

    I pray that we have enough intellingent people who realize she was the wrong choice and support Obama–he has class, intelligence and cares about where his country is going.. Lastly he as a wife who is equally classy and will be a respectatable First Lady.

    October 9, 2008 at 5:09 pm |
  43. Tricia

    Can't even come close to relating to her. Since her VP nomination, we here in Alaska have found out more then our local papers were reporting. She uses private email to avoid Freedom of Information requests. She's charging the State $ to stay in her own bed.

    She can't blink! Ambition without Thought.

    October 9, 2008 at 5:08 pm |
  44. Dexter

    I fully support Sarah. She is all-American without a Muslim background. Why do you think Obama wouldn't support our troops.

    October 9, 2008 at 5:08 pm |
  45. Robin Gentle Anderson

    Wow, there are some really angry women answering this question. WOW. I think Palin is awesome. It appears that people are holding it against her that she is intelligent and isn't hard on the eyes. I don't agree with everything she says but I must say, if she can accomplish a fraction of what she did for the economics in Alaska at the White House, it would be a heck of alot better than most. Clinton while at the helm, was too busy with Monica which helped fuel the monster that hit us after Bush went into office. I don't agree with the Wolf issue. Never would. I think if Obama becomes president, we will see the rising of the Anti-Christ..we would be in a huge civil war in our country for so many reasons. His dubious ties, his pantering, his hatred for America (yeah, I can see thru the smoking mirrors and my ears can hear beyond the double speak). We need CHANGE but not from someone who is hellbent of destroying what my father, uncles, grandfathers, nephews, brother all went to the various wars to PROTECT!! I can relate to her much more than I can relate to Obama or Biden.

    October 9, 2008 at 5:07 pm |
  46. Pauline.. Canada

    It would be an embarrasement to announce that I had even the slightest bit of respect for Sarah Palin. I listened to Michelle Obama last night and also flipped to Sarah Palin at one account, and I could not believe the difference in the professionalism. Listening to Michelle was a learning experience, but Palin was discusting. She should not be allowed to talk on national televison let alone run for VP of the country. Our children should not listen to the hate and sarcasm that comes out of her mouth. She is a deceitful women and will damage anyone and anything in her way to get on top of her soap box. When the truth comes out on Troopergate, she may fall flat on her face..and that is excatly where she belongs for being so arrogant and stupid.She will put women back 20 years if she gets close to the button.. Is that what the American Women Want.? As a Canadian Women I feel very sorry for the women of America if they put her in control of their future.

    October 9, 2008 at 5:06 pm |
  47. Kate

    I can relate to Sarah Palin because I am a mother and a woman... and so is she. That is where the connection begins and ends.
    I cannot relate to her on any political or philosophical level. I disagree with her on almost every major issue from the environment to Equal-Pay-for-Women legislation.
    Have her over for a dinner party? Sure. Send her to a foreign country as a representative of the USA? No way!
    When it comes to who can best run the country, I don't need to see myself reflected in the candidates' faces. In fact, I DON'T WANT my president or VP to be "just like me". I don't want a hockey mom or Joe Six pack. I want someone better than the local yokel getting drunk and shooting off his mouth in our town bar!
    Yes, I think the President and VP should be elite, educated, cultured, traveled and highly intellectual. Why should I trust my precious freedoms and the future of my children to someone who is no smarter than I am? Or worse: someone who might be dumber than I am?
    My problem with Palin is not that she's from a small town and has not traveled all over the world or that she doesn't have all the answers to tough questions. My issue is that she has never really put any deep thought into the questions at all.
    She an McCain don't stop and think; they react. They don't have the slightest curiosity or insight to try and figure out problems, and they act like that is a good thing. "I don't care about the cause. I care about fixing the problem." Huh? They are so lacking in self awareness that it's scary.
    "More of the same" is not just a slogan to me. They have the George W Bush-like qualities of anti-intellectualism, fear of logic, disdain for thoughtfulness. When a person never contemplates their mistakes or tries to uncover the causes of problems, they are doomed to repeat them over and over.
    Palin lists her "readiness and confidence" as qualifications for the VP position. Confidence combined with ignorance is a deadly combination. And I for one don't find it comforting that the nuclear codes could be in the hands of a pit bull in lipstick who doesn't blink. (shudder)

    October 9, 2008 at 4:59 pm |
  48. Alexander

    What is Randi Kaye talking about? How can this journalist state that women can relate to Palin? Other than the fact that Palin is a woman and a Mother, but other than that how can they relate? Palin doesn't have to worry about health care, have to worry about house mortgages, have to worry about the cost of school expenses. so how does she relate to the average woman. To assume her gender is the evidence of how Palin relates to women is an insult to women everywhere.

    October 9, 2008 at 4:58 pm |
  49. Susan

    We don't need to "relate" to our political leaders. First and foremost, we need political leaders who understand government and politics *better* than us. While Palin is certainly likable to many, she is inexperienced, unfamiliar with foreign policy and national issues and focused too closely on the niche issues of the religious right. Yes, people should vote according to their values, but abortion is not the number one problem plaguing our country right now. Issues such as education, foreign policy, the economy, health care, etc. are vastly more important, and in these areas Palin is inexperienced and will take our country in the wrong direction.

    October 9, 2008 at 4:54 pm |
  50. mari allen

    I don't know where you found all these negative comments about Sarah Palin. If you take any cross section of Americans, you will find at least a 60/40 split.

    Or do you eliminate all the comments in her favor? We'll see if this gets posted or not.

    Barak Hussein Obama is a Socialist/Marxist/Communist running for the New Party out of Chicago. Look it up!

    I would rather have a Hockey Mom in the white house than someone who hates everything this country stands for - like the Constitution!!!

    Wake up people. Do your own homework - don't rely on CNN

    October 9, 2008 at 4:52 pm |
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