Hillary backers come to defense of Palin

POLITICO; by Jonathan Martin; September 9, 2008

The leaders of a women’s political organization that launched earlier this year to support Hillary Clinton are speaking out against what they say are examples of media sexism toward Sarah Palin and urging members to tell the press corps “to back off.”

WomenCount, a group co-founded by top Hillary fundraiser Susie Tompkins Buell, posted a lengthy item on their blog decrying questions over whether Palin can, as a mother of five, juggle her family responsibilities and still be vice president.

“The very notion that Sarah Palin should not have accepted this nomination because she is a mother with demanding challenges underscores just how far we have to go,” wrote Rosemary Camposano, the group’s communications director.

She added: “It will be good for America to watch Sarah Palin on the campaign trail – bouncing from parenting to politics. That’s how most women function – multi-tasking, leaning on friends and family, and waking up each morning and doing it all again.”

The group notes, however, that they do not approve of Palin’s politics.  “We cannot pretend that Governor Palin meets any standard of progressive politics or social values,” Camposano writes.

Unlike other feminist organizations which have taken up against Palin because of her conservative views, however, WomenCount says they’ll “work to stamp out sexism when we see it on the campaign trail.”

“To paraphrase the words of one blogger who said it best over the weekend: We will defend Sarah Palin against misogynist smears not because we like her or support her, but because that’s how feminism works.”

WomenCount was founded earlier this year by Buell, once the head of Esprit and now a full-time philanthropist and activist, when Clinton was urged by some to quit the race.   The group pushed back against such sentiments and has since contributed to other female candidates.   They’ve also yet to endorse Obama   

Clinton herself took to the campaign trail in Florida yesterday on Obama’s behalf and urged voters to support the Democratic ticket.  But, prompted by one spectator, she declined to take after Palin.

“You know what? I don’t think that’s what this election is about,” Clinton said at a rally in Kissimmee.  “This election is about the differences between us and the Republican Party,”


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