John McCain has made an interesting choice in Sarah Palin as his running mate. Now, we're about to find out the country's position on whether women can balance work and family. Palin, a former beauty queen, has proved she's competent as a politician. She's won over the voters in Alaska to become governor. But 'm confident that regardless of Palin's accomplishments, being the mother of five will be a big strike against her. The naysayers will ask, How can she raise five kids and help run the country? Her supporters will ask the same thing.
The truth is, unlike Hillary, Palin's kids need mommy in a big way. They are Track, 19; Bristol 17; Willow 14; Piper, 7, and baby Trig, 4 months old and born with Down Syndrome. After her recent pregnancy, Palin proved herself Pro-Life, then returned to the office three days after giving birth. Did that raise eyebrows? If it didn't in the past, it will now. As the first female running mate on a Republican presidential ticket, Palin will once again be reminded of what she likely already knows: even in the year 2008, the rules are different for men and women, for fathers and mothers.
Voters will ask the first question out of my mouth: Does her husband work? The answer is he does. He's a commercial fisherman. Outside the fishing season, he works for BP energy corporation at an oil field on Alaska's North Slope. The next question will be: who takes care of her children? Regardless of the answer, the country wants it to be mommy. And, the reality is, it is mommy. Even if it isn't. Most working mothers know that when a kid gets sick or acts up in school, mom is the one who gets the call. When little Trig takes his first steps, mom gets the call. Mom wants the call. Can Palin take the call when she's in the White House?
With Palin, McCain chose youth. He chose smarts. He chose competence. He also chose a mother in the throes of raising kids. Is the country ready for that? I doubt it.
Do you think Palin's family responsibilities will hurt her chances making it to the White House? Did McCain make a wise choice?