Elaine Lafferty, former editor of Ms. Magazine and current Democrat, wrote an article about her up close and personal experiences with Sarah Palin. And she concludes: “Sarah Palin is very smart.” Lafferty has been working as a consultant for the McCain campaign, and she recently had the opportunity to travel with Palin and get a good idea what she’s all about. Here are some of Lafferty’s observations:
Now by “smart,” I don’t refer to a person who is wily or calculating or nimble in the way of certain talented athletes who we admire but suspect don’t really have serious brains in their skulls. I mean, instead, a mind that is thoughtful, curious, with a discernable pattern of associative thinking and insight. Palin asks questions, and probes linkages and logic that bring to mind a quirky law professor I once had. Palin is more than a “quick study”; I’d heard rumors around the campaign of her photographic memory and, frankly, I watched it in action. She sees. She processes. She questions, and only then, she acts. What is often called her “confidence” is actually a rarity in national politics: I saw a woman who knows exactly who she is.
[ . . . ]
For the sin of being a Christian personally opposed to abortion, Palin is being pilloried by the inside-the-Beltway Democrat feminist establishment. (Yes, she is anti-abortion. And yes, instead of buying organic New Zealand lamb at Whole Foods, she joins other Alaskans in hunting for food. That’s it. She is not a right-wing nut, and all the rest of the Internet drivel—the book banning at the Library, the rape kits decision—is nonsense. I digress.)
[ . . . ]
Look, I am obviously personally pro-choice, and I disagree with McCain and Palin on that and a few other issues. But like many other Democrats, including Lynn Rothschild, I’m tired of the Democratic Party taking women for granted. I also happen to believe Sarah Palin supports women’s rights, deeply and passionately.
Lafferty was in the audience in Henderson, NV, last week when Gov. Palin gave her women’s rights speech. Along with Ms. Lafferty, other prominent Democrat women were there to support and endorse the McCain-Palin ticket.
It’s an excellent speech, which addresses the questions raised by many about the GOP ticket and women’s rights. It’s likely that most women who subscribe to the outdated brand of feminism (i.e., those who think feminism=abortion rights) will not be satisfied that McCain-Palin understand the challenges of women today. As Lafferty says in her article, your not a feminist unless they say you are. But those of us who embrace contemporary feminism, as espoused by people like Gov. Palin, reject that foolishness and look forward to seeing what kind of changes can be brought about by politicians who truly get it.
[A transcript of the speech can be found here.]