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. Catherine Bangert

    I think Sara Palin is just D.C. needs and I am really tired of the press being so down on her The left wing press is getting very old with there bias reporting and I can not wait for it to bit them

    October 9, 2008 at 7:21 pm |
  2. Sue G

    I love Sarah Palin – I think she is just the type of woman that America needs!

    October 9, 2008 at 7:21 pm |
  3. scully

    I would like my children to have political leaders who can speak English correctly.

    October 9, 2008 at 7:19 pm |
  4. Annette

    I am a highly educated college instructor and I don't see why we think a successful woman has to fit a stereo type like Hillary. I can relate and admire a woman, who is married to the same man, has five children and cares enough about this country to want to help make it successful again.

    I honestly think the criticism is because she has a value system of right and wrong that makes others uncomfortable. Also I would guess there is some jealousy of what she has accomplished. Is she perfect, no and she doesn’t try to be. But name me one politician or individual that has all aspects of their life in perfect working order.

    Try and remember that Bill Clinton and Jimmy Carter were governors before becoming President. Somehow we don’t think a Governor can be Vice-President? How biased is that?

    October 9, 2008 at 7:14 pm |
  5. Steve in WV

    I observed a bizzare interview on Fox. A lady, who is the director of a conservative group promoting Todd Palin as "feminist of the year", said they have a wonderful marriage, "they are Christians and shoot guns". Wierd.

    October 9, 2008 at 7:14 pm |
  6. Barbara

    I'm sick to death of being called a sexist because I don't like Sarah Palin and I feel like I have nothing in common with her. She sure doesn't represent me or my family or friends. The winking is insulting and the "folksy" phrases leave me cold.
    She can't wink at the camera like it was a beauty contest and yell sexist when it doesn't work.

    October 9, 2008 at 7:14 pm |
  7. Ava

    I am also a soccer mom in my 40ties. Like many others, I can't stand Sarah Palin. She is a slop in my face.
    Obama all the way, even more after she was chosen for VP.
    I am very happy to read that most of women feel the same about her.
    What a silly woman!

    October 9, 2008 at 7:14 pm |
  8. Clarence Albuquerque

    Interesting that we are trying to break down distinctions of race and even sex. WWHD... What would Hilary do....? Would she be defining her standing among woman as a noteworthy candidate based on her poll numbers among the strictly female voting population? Why this distinction for Palin?

    October 9, 2008 at 7:13 pm |
  9. Rachel Shanbaum

    As a Jewish women i love Sarah Palin, she is pro-Israel and want the american embassy in Jerusalam, the Jewish capital of the world....I love her and so does every Israeli and Jewish person.

    October 9, 2008 at 7:13 pm |
  10. michelle

    Palin gives me hope, hope that someday I too can be nominated for Vice President. I do not declare myself qualified for the position by any means, but I do read the Economist and Foreign Policy weekly. I actually agree with some of McCains views and I believe he does stand up to his party. But why did he pick her, of all the qualified, intelligent, fabulous women and men to choose from, what possibly compelled him to select her!? I"m baffled, not only by his choice but how so many women in this country are backing her. Wake up people – she is the devil wearing Prada!!!

    October 9, 2008 at 7:13 pm |
  11. Nate Bynum

    So deciding to have a child with Down Syndrome, supporting your teenage child through a pregnancy makes one qualified to be VP of the USA? She's incoherent with critical thought, mangles the English language worse than our current President, has no mastery of the pressing issues that affect our country, engages in race-baiting, attacks the opposition as opposed to explaining her party's views, can't articulate her party's long-held foreign or war policy, and thinks being cutesy, folksy and "mavericky" is appropriate for a female role model in the 21st century.

    And these women think that's okay?

    October 9, 2008 at 7:13 pm |
  12. mark

    These comments have really opened my eyes to the party of "Tolerance".

    October 9, 2008 at 7:13 pm |
  13. kiran from PA

    I can't relate even 1% to Palin and I'm glad. I would say that any decent person would not try to be like Palin, she incites violence I feel like we are in 1930's Germany.

    And I believe it's a federal offense to threaten Obama's life. I find it funny how Obama follows 1940's India and gandhi's peaceful ways while Palin/her audience/McCains follow the 3rd reich.

    October 9, 2008 at 7:12 pm |
  14. Lee MN

    To put it nicely, she is NOT very intelligent .

    October 9, 2008 at 7:12 pm |
  15. M.R. in L.A.

    I have great difficulty relating to anyone who shows disdain for intelligence and education – the kind of mindset GW Bush and Sarah Palin embody.

    October 9, 2008 at 7:11 pm |
  16. Danielle

    No I can't. I wish people would stop inferring that only Republicans keep children who are born with Down Syndrome. I have a child who was born with Down Syndrome and I am not a Republican. I don't believe that lovng your children unconditionally is an exclusively Republican OR female trait. I hope people are voting on more than these cumbersome social issues because if you haven't noticed our economy is collapsing.

    October 9, 2008 at 7:10 pm |
  17. james

    My fiancee relates more to Tina Fey imitating Sarah Palin than Sarah Palin herself. Strange huh?

    October 9, 2008 at 7:10 pm |
  18. Rebecca Olson

    Sarah Palin terrifies me.

    My sister has Down Syndrome and I wonder how in the hell Sarah Palin intends to demonstrate good mothering and "family values" while at the same time being the vice president. I can tell you first hand that she will either be a terrible mother or a terrible vice president, because she won't have the time or strength to do both.

    And it's not just her baby, it's her daughter's baby. If I had a child unwed and at 17 I would certainly want and need my mother's help in raising the baby.

    So Sarah Palin will be meeting with foreign diplomats...caring for her special needs infant...and caring for her daughter and her newborn granddaughter when exactly?

    oh and also, she's a homophobic religious zealot.

    October 9, 2008 at 7:10 pm |
  19. MGC

    Relate to Sarah Palin? Ha! Don't make me laugh! She's so ignorant, it's extremely scary. She needs to take a look at Hilary Clinton and take some notes. What in the hell was mccain thinking?!

    October 9, 2008 at 7:10 pm |
  20. Robin

    No, I can't relate to Sarah Palin. I'm a woman and I have worked hard to achieve what I have achieved and I'm mad that this woman, who, at best, is intellectually average and uninformed, is in the position she's in. I fear that her nomination as VP will set back the progess women have made in the workforce by years, if not decades. I want a leader who is smarter than me, works harder than me, and cares about the country more than me. Unfortunately she doesn't qualify in any of these categories.

    October 9, 2008 at 7:08 pm |
  21. barnj30

    Sarah Palin is a threat to liberal women because she is not one of them. She is unacceptable because she doesn't fit into the mold of the successful female politician they only want.

    Go Sarah. Men and Women support you.

    October 9, 2008 at 7:08 pm |
  22. Johnny B Goode

    Yeah, because she is pro-life that equals being fit to be Vice President....it amazes me how dumb some people are

    October 9, 2008 at 7:07 pm |
  23. Mary Carmichael

    Yes, I relate to Sarah Palin. She has good character, has integrity, and is intelligent. One reason so many women do relate to her is because she is personable and makes you feel like you could sit down and chat with her. I admire her husband who supports her in the VP nomination as he did when she was Governor and Mayor. I am very happy to support McCain/Palin.

    October 9, 2008 at 7:06 pm |
  24. Myra

    "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."

    Im sure if she was part of the middle class like a lot of us who are currently suffering, she would have not had her little boy. She is financially stable and has the ability to hire anyone to care for her children.

    October 9, 2008 at 7:06 pm |
  25. Phillip

    Palin has said nothing of substance since she arrived on the national scene 6 weeks ago. She feels like she's out of the 1950s, and something that antiquated is SO not what this country needs. A vote for McCain and Palin is a vote for the U.S. to continue its downward plunge into religious fanaticism and general ignorance started with George W Bush.

    October 9, 2008 at 7:05 pm |
  26. Renee

    My heart aches for Sarah Palin. She is being used by John McCain and is in so far over her head and she doesn't even know it. She is a fine person, but is in no way qualified to be a VP.

    We need to get back to picking qualified candidates. Bush has pretty much destroyed this country and all in the name of Christianity.

    October 9, 2008 at 7:04 pm |
  27. Patricia Fairman

    Sarah Palin is no choice for Vice President of the United Sates. What was John McCain thinking? I just shake my head in disbelief...

    October 9, 2008 at 7:04 pm |
  28. Maria A Valdez

    I don't doubt that Sara Palin does a good job as a govenor, but I just think it's not her time yet. She needs more experience if she wants to get to the White house. IShe represents the working women of America but not a vice-president. I would like someone smarter than me to represent our country, not just an ordinary working woman.

    October 9, 2008 at 5:34 pm |
  29. Amber

    To all of you who cannot relate to Sarah Palin because she lacks experience, look at the person you are voting for president. He not only lacks experience he has NO experience.

    October 9, 2008 at 5:33 pm |
  30. Daisy

    Absoooooooooooolutely Noooooooooot..... I came from a very racially divided country during the apartheid regime and she sends chills down my spine. The things I hear from her is dejavou for me. She DIVIDES NOT UNITES. For a so called Christian woman, she sure has a lot of hate and pompous to accept a Sherrif to address Senator Obama by his middle name. It seems like peoples middle name excites the Republican crowd instead of issues. What a bunch of wacks. She is dividing this nation just like the glaciers in Alaska...... what a airhead.


    October 9, 2008 at 5:32 pm |
  31. usarioclave

    Palin inexperienced? She has more experience than Obama. If Palin is inexperienced, Obama is an infant.

    October 9, 2008 at 5:31 pm |
  32. T.L. Foster

    Yep, you bet I do! She's wonderful, beautiful, smart, capable....all the things you wish that she wasn't. But, you can't find anything wrong with her, so you want to trash her and try to pick out anything you can find, no matter how trivial, to say against her. She's getting the same kind of trash treatment that our dear President Bush has received all during his term. Whether you agree with a candidate or not, where is your respect for individuals? We live in a country where there are many different peoples & views. We're supposed to be tolerant of each other. We're supposed to support each other despite our disagreements, in a respectful way. Furthermore, nobody wants to give her a chance to speak. Why? Because everybody KNOWS she is perfect for the position of Vice President. She has boosted McCain's popularity despite what polls say, and she knocked stinky B.O. out of the limelight. Yep, she's great! I support her 100%!!!

    October 9, 2008 at 5:31 pm |
  33. Gia

    I can't imagine how ANY thinking person (woman or man) could POSSIBLY think that Sarah Palin is anywhere near being qualified for being Vice President and potentially President of the United States. I am a woman and would be very happy to have a woman in the White House, even a mother with several children from infant to teenage in ages. That's not the issue. She does not have the knowledge, experience, temperment, or mindset necessary for this position. Many women do. This is an insult to those women, as well as an insult to the intelligence of the voting public.

    October 9, 2008 at 5:31 pm |
  34. Krista, Maryland

    I was a McCain/Palin supporter until the VP debate. I must say, when Palin accepted the nomination I was imagining what it would be like to have my parents sitting in the audience if I were nominated as VP of the United States. It made me believe there was no longer a glass ceiling.

    After her completely unprofessional performance at the VP debate, I immediately became an Obama supporter. She refused to answer the questions (because she didn’t know the answers) and she was not even using proper English. I am assuming she CAN speak properly and this was just a stab at grabbing the attention of the uneducated women out there in US. I went to college, I am struggling to pay for my school loans, I make decent money as a middle class citizen but I am struggling and not ONCE did I feel like she was talking to me. As a professional, educated woman, I was proud to see a woman on center stage. But – as an educated woman I quickly realized that she is nothing but a bible beating, quick-tongued redneck that I could never relate to, and I would be embarrassed to have her sitting next me at any business function – let alone be the face of our country! She has set women back further by her stupidity and lack of professionalism. With all of the intelligent, seasoned and polished women in this country, why in the WORLD did McCain pick Palin?

    October 9, 2008 at 5:30 pm |
  35. Anita

    Nothing about Sarah Palin appeals to me. Not only do I find her politics archaic, but her rhetoric on the campaign has been divisive and has even incited hateful remarks, which she has tolerated. I can't understand how Palin can stand beside John McCain after he's voted against equal pay for women. It seems to me that McCain's choice of Palin was his first major choice as candidate McCain showed poor judgment. Enlightened women will choose Barack Obama.

    October 9, 2008 at 5:30 pm |
  36. Megan

    I can absolutely relate with Sarah Palin. She comes from a middle class family, she played sports, she went to college and went through indecision when it came to her career, yet still came into the position of power as Governor of Alaska. I can relate to Sarah Palin in that... the way people can't relate to her, they can't relate to me. I grew up poor and have managed to make my way up to the middle class and pride myself on hard work. I learned to fend for myself (hunting/fishing/cooking what I killed) and never question what I knew was right and wrong, not something taught, but something in my heart. Yes, that might sound corny and "illogical," but it's the truth. The problem with today's society and media is the fact that nothing is black and white any longer, it's all grey for the sake of being politically incorrect. I'm considerably younger than Sarah Palin, but someday I hope I can be as accomplished as she is. The more people attack her (unfounded attacks, might I add), the stronger she becomes in my eyes, she hasn't broken despite every media outlet putting this woman down. She came a long way from Wasilla, AK and she's not going down without a fight. I don't care if the popular opinion doesn't vote her into the White House, but her convictions and the fact that she stands up for is what we need. Sarah is the only true person in this race that will tell it to you like it is and not beat around the bush – Obama, Biden and McCain all pander to the people. Sarah's opinion/views and beliefs may not be popular, but at least she's not covering it up. To me, discernment is imperative when it comes to my vote for the next President and Vice President and Obama just hasn't shown me this (neither have the American people), he has made poor decisions in his time in the Senate and even poorer decisions in people that he associates with and those that advise him. McCain and Palin's histories read like an open book, but Obama has some lost college years in there. Maybe if he'd open those up I could trust him more and listen to his socialist agenda in a more positive light. Rest assured, even if this happens and he comes out squeaky clean (which he won't.)... I will not vote a Socialist into office of my country.

    October 9, 2008 at 5:30 pm |
  37. Pam

    Absolutely I relate to Sarah Palin. She is smart. She is funny. She wears several different hats – as all working moms do. She has it together. Just because Katie Couric asks a stupid question does not mean Palin has to answer it. As she said in the debate, she may not answer it the way that Biden and the moderator wanted – but her own way. I like that.

    October 9, 2008 at 5:30 pm |
  38. Ellie

    Sarah Palin is a woman who is not merely a "woman's candidate". Sarah Palin understands that this life is not all about the "me" factor. There is a terrible irony to the Post-Moderist me philosophy people out there who also support Obama - a socialist. (I know people don't like to hear the word "socialist," but from time to time it's important to call things what they ARE, rather than what we WANT them to be.) Obama is a socialist, and the post-moderists who support him do not understand that in supporting his socialist philosophies it will only be a matter of short time before their "me-ist" utopia will be shattered by the utilitarian fact that "me" just doesn't work for "us". Sarah Palin gets all that - she doesn't have to say it in those words, but she gets it. Call her what you will - I chose to call her the answer to a true democracy in trouble. She will be our President in either 2012 or 2106. That is, once people have their post-moderist utopian world shattered by the fact that socialism doesn't work.

    October 9, 2008 at 5:30 pm |
  39. Julie

    I have never before replied to any of these blogs, but have too now. I was seriously thinking of voting for John McCain until he chose Sarah Palin. Does that choice signify his leadership and caring for our country? At the convention, I was appalled to see her 4 month old baby on stage at midnight no less, carried around by her pregnant 17 year old daughter. What kind of mother uses her children that way? It's understandable that she wouldn't be too knowledgeable on foreign policy, and the nuances of national government but she tries to overcome that lack by attacking, attacking. It is further appalling (and perhaps criminal) that she is stirring up the more violent of our citizens to do who knows what. Again, I repeat – what was he thinking??!!

    October 9, 2008 at 5:29 pm |
  40. David

    So it looks like the only people that can relate to Palin are the deeply religious. Country first, huh? No, religion first.

    October 9, 2008 at 5:27 pm |
  41. Janelle

    I think we are fooling ourselves into believing this woman would make a good V.P. During the debate last week she could not state any facts or pronounce anyones name. What policies would she enact if she were to become President? What changes would she make? No I don't want to hear what it's like to raise a family and what a good mother she is....WHEW! I know tons of good mothers who balance their careers and family but that doesn't mean they should run for V.P. I need to hear more about what they plan to do and less of what Obama hasn't done.

    Republicans this a battle you won't win!

    October 9, 2008 at 5:27 pm |
  42. Kim

    I love Sarah Palin. I wish that she was running for president over McCain!

    I can absolutely relate to her!

    October 9, 2008 at 5:27 pm |
  43. Kevin

    As a former Hillary supporter, and current McCain supporter, I find Sarah Palin's nomination to be truly brilliant, as well. For those, who say that she is inexperienced, keep in mind that she is running for VP. Your presidential pick has leses experience as she does. I would that you are all pots calling the kettle black, but I'm certain that would be misconstrued as a back-handed racial comment.

    October 9, 2008 at 5:26 pm |
  44. joey Latterman

    How can anyone with a working mind be for Palin? She is an interesting, energetic woman but that doesn't make her a professional to lead the country. She's an embarrassment!

    October 9, 2008 at 5:26 pm |
  45. Joni Winkler

    Sarah Palin is the furthest thing from a "woman I can relate to" as you could possibly be. I'm sure she's a blast to have at a coffee klatch or cocktail party, but that's not who I want sitting down with world leaders, or leading congress. She is so inarticulate it makes your head spin. Even from a "messaging" standpoint, she is laughable – any self-respecting media trainer can tell you they would be fired if the result of your work with a client was anywhere near the quality of even 2 minutes of Sarah Palin's interviews with Katie...or even the "friendly" Fox interviews she did recently! She is a joke and we should all be embarrassed that this woman could ever be considered for the office of VP....

    October 9, 2008 at 5:26 pm |
  46. Kim

    This entry won't be posted: I'm a 40 year-old GA woman and I AM for Palin.

    I grew up believing a woman's reach was bound only by her commitment and her investment.

    Palin started at the bottom, held responsible positions and was *elected* to positions of steadily increasing power. She started a family, proved herself able and committed herself to community service. She didn't talk about changes she wanted to see, she made it her life and managed the changes herself.

    Why are people criticizing a woman who committed and succeeded? She isn't an empty political schemer, famous for marrying a success, but was *elected to* govern and has managed a multi-billion dollar budget.

    It's hard to stomach the small-minded braying of frustrated groupies whose *candidate* LOST, and who are furious that anyone should offer a more credible candidate of the same gender.

    What they tell little girls is: you can be anything you want to be...
    What they don't tell little girls is: ...but God help you if you succeed, because those who didn't win or who didn't give up their life for their dream, and those who want to ride coat-tails will *eviscerate* you for your success. They will say your pride in achievement is narcissistic and they will say your rise was murky and they will say your success is stolen.

    How vicious. And if you want to see narcissism in action, cue Obama.

    October 9, 2008 at 5:26 pm |
  47. Lian Yu, Virginia

    I am a protestant and a believer of Bible, and do not relate to Sarah Palin. Opposition to abortion alone does not represent Christ-like characters. Where do you see humility and integrity in her? She seems incapable of seeing her own shortcoming and I think that's a form of pride and arrogance. I don't think one can claim to have Christian values while bearing false witness against her neighbor like she has on campagin trail while attacking Barack Obama's character with baseless accusations.

    October 9, 2008 at 5:26 pm |
  48. Michele

    I can definitely relate to her. A mom, wife, independant woman. I don't agree with every issue but she is a role model for our daughters. Most women don't relate because they are insecure and not willing to support other women. So they look for something wrong with another woman and attack it. I see the catfights in these blogs and I say come on ...stand up and promote strong, independant thinking women like Hillary and Sarah. Smart, strong and beautiful inside and out....we are women.

    October 9, 2008 at 5:26 pm |
  49. Wilson Samuel

    I'm a person of faith, and regularly attend church and read bible. However being religious and having faith is just one thing and running the WORLD LEADER (i.e. VP of USA) is a totally different thing.

    We need some one more knowledgeable than Ms Palin.

    Coming to her Biblical faith, I condemn her that she has "SACRIFICED" her children for her own "SELFISH" career esp Bristol, who is a an UNWED mom (or going to be).

    Bible clearly tells that, its FAMILY first, esp when she has a special need child, if his own mother is not taking care of him, I strongly believe that Ms Palin is deprving her child of his very right!

    Secondly regarding Bristol, she is already "astrayed" (as per Bible Sex before Marriage is Fornication) and to make the matter more evident she is now pregnant!!

    Now there are two babies in the family, and she is running around the country talking about being a "common woman" and claims to have a "conservative" background... I will never ever vote for such a woman who is so selfish!!!!

    October 9, 2008 at 5:26 pm |
  50. Gina

    I am a conservative Christian woman and I can relate to Sarah Palin's position on social issues. In fact, it was those same social issues that prompted me to vote for Bush twice. But enough is enough. Our economy and the reputation of our country are at stake in this next election. Barack is honest about his faith, and is prepared to take this country in a new direction. It is clear that Sarah Palin has spent relatively little time thinking about global issues or the economy and is unprepared for the vice presidency. Though it might be interesting to have her as my Bible Study leader, I feel that God calls me to be responsible with my vote, and I need to vote for the candidate that is qualified to bring about change to our country, whose plans involve doing far more for the poor and uninsured, and who has tried to run a mature campaign.

    October 9, 2008 at 5:26 pm |
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