Story posted September 24, 2008
DeAlva Stanwood Alexander Professor of Government Christian Potholm and Visiting Assistant Professor of Government Richard Skinner write about the great hope that Republican vice-presidential nominee Gov. Sarah Palin inspires in some Americans and the almost apocalyptic fear she strikes in the hearts of others in a guest column published in the September 24, 2008, edition of the Bangor Daily News.
Potholm and Skinner write of the deeply resonant chord Palin strikes with many women who feel they have not received the recognition and appreciation of feminists, the media and society as a whole.
"Some see her as the epitome of a very successful, even model woman, balancing family and career and staying true to her most private and fundamental beliefs even when faced with a special needs child," reads the op-ed piece. "They see her as providing true gender diversity in the public arena."
They also note that others say Palin threatens the almost sacred feminist paradigm monolith currently in vogue and claim she is not even "a real woman."
"A true woman, they say, could not be pro-life, pro-gun ownership, pro-oil drilling and pro-military. In fact, some assert she cannot hold these views and still claim to be a woman."
Potholm and Skinner point out that whether Palin inspires awe, fear or something in between, her outsider views lie very much in the American political tradition, and the authors remind readers of other politicians, such as Ronald Reagan and George W. Bush, who have cast themselves as Western outsiders to Eastern power.