The Chronicle Covers The Conventions

Hofstra’s student newspaper covers the national conventions.

Posts Tagged ‘women

In Shocking Move, McCain Picks Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin For VP

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By Samuel Rubenfeld


DENVER–The candidate running on experience and readiness to be president chose a running mate with the least amount of experience in recent history.

John McCain chose Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin, 44 and a mother of five, to be his running mate, making her the second woman on a ticket for a major party and the first for the GOP. The first was Geraldine Ferraro, then a three-term Democratic Congresswoman from Queens, who was chosen by Walter Mondale in 1984.

The choice defined the battle between the candidates as being over women voters, especially suburban women. “She will be familiar enough with biography and even looks, so that even if they disagree with her ideologically and question her experience, suburban woman will connect with her,” said Lawrence Levy, the executive director of the University’s Center for Suburban Studies. “She could have major impact, but it is a major gamble, too,” referring to what he saw as a large gulf between Palin and Long Island suburban women voters.

Palin is a first-term governor serving since 2006, and before that was the mayor of Wasilla, Alaska (population: 8,471). She married her high school sweetheart Todd in 1988, and of her five kids, one is in the army and the youngest, 5-month-old Trig, suffers from Down’s Syndrome, a genetic disorder.

Palin played high school basketball and was the runner-up in the Miss Alaska beauty pageant in 1984, and a following developed as speculation of her vice president nomination increased, leading to Web sites such as Draft Palin For VP and, or Vice President I’d Like To F—. She has a bachelor’s degree in communications-journalism with a minor in political science from the University of Idaho, and she worked briefly as a sports reporter at local Anchorage TV stations.

She was announced Friday at a rally in Dayton, Ohio, that had more people attending than live in the town where she served as mayor.

“This is a moment when principles and political independence matter a lot more than just the party line,” she said. Referring to McCain at her side, she added: “And this is a man who has always been there to serve his country, not just his party.”

McCain has long-had a history of outside-the-box thinking, and this choice, many see as risky. Palin has a limited resume, especially on foreign affairs, and that could hurt a McCain ticket selling itself as being ready to take on the many challenges facing U.S. foreign policy. has “6 things the pick says about McCain” story on its Web site, and “McCain is desperate” is the first on that list.

Scholars are already questioning her credentials for the job. And she said during a television interview she doesn’t know what the vice president does everyday.

She is a self-styled reformer in a state whose politics make cesspools seem clean. Its senior senator, Ted Stevens, who is both the longest-serving GOP senator and also the face of the “Bridge to Nowhere,” was recently indicted for taking gifts from a company who had business before his committee, and not disclosing those gifts on mandatory disclosure forms.

Palin became a champion of earmark reform when she nixed the idea of the bridge to nowhere even though the money was to come to her own state. “If our state wanted a bridge, I said, we’d build it ourselves,” she said at the rally in Dayton.

But Palin is herself in a bit of trouble within her own state. The Alaska legislature is investigating whether she used improper means to get her ex-brother-in-law fired from his job as a state trooper.

However, the pick has drawn great applause from the Republican grass-roots, and from some notable elites.

It’s unclear how the Democrats will be able to spar with the new running mate. The first response from the Obama campaign was swift and negative. “Today, John McCain put the former mayor of a town of 9,000 with zero foreign policy experience a heartbeat away from the presidency,” said Bill Burton, an Obama campaign spokesman. But the candidates themselves, Obama and his running mate Joe Biden, later put out a softer statement, calling her “an admirable person who will add a compelling new voice to this campaign.”

At the rally in Dayton, she mentioned two other female political powerhouses, Ferraro and Hillary Clinton, and recognized their milestone campaigns as laying the groundwork for Palin to even be considered.

“It was rightly noted in Denver this week that Hillary left 18 million cracks in the highest, hardest glass ceiling in America,” she said. “But it turns out the women of America aren’t finished yet, and we can shatter that glass ceiling once and for all.”

Clinton put out her own statement: “We should all be proud of Gov. Sarah Palin’s historic nomination and I congratulate her and Sen. McCain. While their policies would take America in the wrong direction, Gov. Palin will add an important new voice to the debate.”

(This post has been updated)


Written by chroniclenews

August 30, 2008 at 3:20 pm

Women Honored At New York Delegation Breakfast

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New York's First Lady Michelle Paige Paterson speaking to the state's Democratic delegation at the national convention in Denver. (Samuel Rubenfeld/The Chronicle)

New York's first lady Michelle Paige Paterson speaking to the state delegation Tuesday morning, honoring women on the 88th anniversary of the passage of the 19th Amendment. (Samuel Rubenfeld/The Chronicle)

DENVER–The New York Democratic delegation dedicated its Tuesday morning breakfast to “Women Making History.”

Addressing the delegates, Michelle Paige Paterson, New York’s first lady, thanked Hillary Clinton for putting the cracks in the “glass ceiling,” and spoke about how Michelle Obama’s speech changed the role of women in politics.

“We are also redifining the role of the first lady both in our states and in Washington, and anyone that didn’t know certainly found out last night watching Michelle Obama,” she said.

She addressed the issue of women quitting their jobs to support the family: “If I was the one now serving as Governor, no one would be asking David if he was going to quit his job.”

Caroline Kennedy Schlossberg then spoke to the delegation:

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–Samuel Rubenfeld

Written by chroniclenews

August 26, 2008 at 1:56 pm