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Thursday, September 04, 2008

Sarah vs. Hillary - You're Not Going To Like This!

I have been thinking about Sarah Palin and Hillary Clinton - about how they measure up as role models for my daughter - who is about to start applying for college and is thus embarking on her adult life.

Here's what I see:
  1. Two intelligent women. - I have criticized Mrs. Clinton - but I never said she wasn't a smarty pants. After listening to Mrs. Palin, I would have to say she is a smarty pants too.
  2. Two different sets of political convictions. Showing that intelligent people can disagree.
  3. One woman who has sacrificed - at least somewhat - her own political career for the good of her family - whether she meant to or not.
  4. One woman who has sacrificed - at least somewhat - her family for the good of her political career - whether she meant to or not.
  5. A rather good illustration for a girl of the difficulties involved, hard choices to be made and potential outcomes - if you're lucky - of deciding whether you would like to emphasize home and family or career or a mix thereof in your life. (And I say lucky because there are no guarantees - right?)
  6. Two women who care about people and the future of this country. - Argue all you want - but I can sure think of better things to do than run for political office if it were just selfish concerns that motivated those gals.
  7. Two good role models - whatever my daughter decides to do with her life - there are lessons to be learned from both Mrs. Palin and Mrs. Clinton.


PS: Hillary Clinton is meant in #3 and Sarah Palin in #4 - in case you were wondering.


retro audrey said...

very well said :)

Anonymous said...

Caribou Barbie

Daisy said...

Are you kidding, I love this! It's honest and true, and it's what many of us have been thinking all along...

Laura said...

I must disagree with your points 3 and 4...

Hillary Clinton was a lawyer straight out of college, a partner in a high powered law firm and then a very active first lady of Arkansas and the United States (some would even say "co-governor" and "co-president"). She is the product of a different generation, born in the '40s, and therefore wisely saw her husband's political career as a stepping stone to her own. At no time was she a stay-at-home mom, nor did she ever sacrifice career for family.

Sarah Palin, on the other hand, started out in the PTA before running for mayor of her small town. I am hard-pressed to see where Gov. Palin sacrificed family for career, at least any more than did Senator Clinton.

Retro Housewife said...

Hillary Clinton's legal experience is indeed valid experience when aspiring to be president. I was born in the late 60s and I find my husband's job very interesting, but I don't care what anybody says, I would not be qualified to do his job. Ms. Clinton was certainly a stay-at-home mom - while she was First Lady of Arkansas and the US. I don't see that as an insult or something that needs to be defended. She should be proud of that. Her daughter has grown into quite a young lady and is currently attending Stanford. That doesn't happen by accident. Still, she is not the presidential candidate - and she probably would have been if she had a career that didn't involve her husband's resume.

Sarah Palin sacrificed her family for her political career - unless you consider it a good thing for one's daughter to be pregnant at 17 which I don't.

My intention was less to judge either - rather I wanted to point out the little trade-offs one makes in life as a chick-ee-doodle.


Laura said...

You'll get no argument from me about Hillary's legal experience adding to her credentials for president. But that's not at all what I was commenting about.

If you were born in the late sixties you should be old enough to remember Bill Clinton's presidency. Hillary was a groundbreaking first lady, who redefined the role. She was most definitely not a stay-at-home mom. She worked more as an unofficial cabinet member. (Remember health care?)

I'm not saying this is a bad thing...not at all. Just saying that she is and has always been a working career woman. You don't have to take my word for, it's public knowledge.

As far as Gov. Palin's pregnant daughter....well, I don't know if you have children, but I hope none of them ever makes a mistake or gets into trouble, so you won't be accused of sacrificing your family.

Retro Housewife said...

I remember health care and Hillary Clinton. I also remember the outcome which is still with us today in the form of one of the most expensive and ineffective systems in the developed world.

Which really makes my point for me.
- I am not sure what you mean by ground breaking - most First Ladies take up some sort of cause - they just don't usually confuse their position of "wife" with "elected government official".

I am not accusing Sarah Palin of sacrificing her family - It is an observation. There are trade offs in life whether you care to acknowledge them or not. I do have children - and I was once 17 myself and I know from my own experience that the house with the working/off in Europe somewhere parents was where the party was.

It is certainly no guarantee to be a stay at home mother - but there is no substitute for the day-to-day interaction with one's children that it affords when it comes to noticing potential problems and having the time to deal with them.

Or do you consider being Governor of Alaska a part time job?

I am curious as to when you were born because you seem to have a very low opinion of women. I know you will disagree with me there, but why to you italicize "in the PTA" as if it were something to sneer at? Why are you afraid of giving Hillary Clinton credit for doing a good job raising her daughter? Why not acknowledge the fact that perhaps if Ms. Palin was home more her 17 year old daughter might not be preggers?

Getting pregnant at 17 isn't a mistake. It is a life altering situation. A mistake is staying out an hour past curfew or forgetting to call home when you said you would. There were probably a series of mistakes before the ultimate disaster.

Everybody these days wants rights - but there are responsibilities attached to those rights. Own them.


Laura said...

Low opinion of women? My goodness, you misunderstood me completely! I apologize if I have not expressed my self clearly.

The only point I've been trying to make is that I disagree with your observation that Gov. Palin sacrificed family for career and Sen. Clinton sacrificed career for family, especially your belief that Sen. Clinton was a stay-at-home mom. Just trying to clear up what seems to be a misunderstanding of both women's situations.

Sen. Clinton was never a stay-at-home mom. If you google for her comments about "staying home baking cookies" I'm sure you'll find video of her explaining how she always worked. And her daughter is a fine young woman. No argument there.

The reason I italicized "in the PTA" was because most people, myself included, would consider running the PTA to be a sign of a very involved parent. It was meant for emphasis of my point that I don't believe she sacrificed career for family. I can't imagine how that could have come across as "sneering".

I am an admirer of both women, and I hate to see the "mommy wars" that are going on right now, with Palin being attacked for being a working mother.

I see I can't change your judgmental attitude about the governor's 17 year old child's unfortunate situation. But if you want to talk about "owning responsibilities", well, that's exactly what I would call her decision to have her child.

Retro Housewife said...

Sorry, I misunderstood.

I am not attacking Ms. Palin. I like her. I didn't say she was a bad person. I am merely pointing out that there are trade offs in life and that as of September 2008, it is not possible to be in 2 places at once.

I am more interested in describing the way things really are than passing judgment - although sometimes I can't help myself.

You have to start with the facts before you can make smart choices. My generation was led to believe that everything would be hunky dory with a career mom and the little ones would somehow raise themselves. There I call BS.


Retro Housewife said...

Oh, and PS - The daughter will own her decision - that is clear. I meant Ms. Palin owning her responsibility to her kids. There are more little ones.


Retro Housewife said...

PPS. About getting pregnant at 17 - I am judgmental, yes you bet your bottom dollar I am. I would not want that for my daughter - who is 17 as well btw. - She is about to graduate from high school and is looking forward to a great senior year and then college after that.

I would feel horrible if she were to miss out on that - yes - I am judgmental - I think that sounds a lot better than accidentally getting knocked up at 17.

My hope for my daughter is that she gets an education and a husband before children. In that order. I think that is BETTER. So I guess I am very judgmental after all. Who knew?


Laura said...

Well...surprise! It seems like we're both on the same side of things. :)

You are quite right in judging Bristol Palin's situation as far from ideal. The problem comes when you try to judge the quality of parenting based on the child's decisions/mistakes. I had two very loving, involved parents and a stay-at-home mother. I went to college, got married, had two children, and am about to celebrate my 29th wedding anniversary. My older sister, however, got pregnant at 19 and has been divorced for the past 15 years. Same parents, very different situations.

Well, thanks for an interesting discussion,