The woman behind the woman


Sarah Palin has avoided the media since she was tabbed for the #2 spot with John McCain, shortly before the Republican National Convention in St. Paul.

Now, a “truth squad” has been formed with Republican women to — as the press release stated — “counter recent attacks on Governor Sarah Palin, her family, her friends and her record of accomplishment. The Palin Truth Squad will set the record straight against Internet and liberal smears of Governor Palin.”

Two Minnesotans are on the squad, 6th District congresswoman Michele Bachmann and state Rep. Laura Brod.

The group is headed by former Massachusetts Gov. Jane Swift, who has had her run-ins with the media over her role not only as a state official, but as a mother. Whatever scrutiny Gov. Palin has gotten in the dual role, Swift got first.

She used state employees to babysit her kids, and used a state helicopter to ferry her home to see her sick daughter (she lived in Williamstown, about as far as you can live from Boston and still be in Massachusetts).

Eventually, though, Swift gave up. Mitt Romney was in the process of putting together an organization to run for governor, and Swift announced her intention not to seek re-election in the face of the pending challenge.

Time Magazine said the move saved her political career.

The Boston Globe, in a profile last year, said she is “alternately viewed as the victim of the merciless Boston media, a symbol of the failed promise of feminism, or an accidental leader who stumbled bullheadedly to her political demise.”

Well off the political radar, but only slightly less intriguing than Gov. Palin, Swift is staging the comeback of the original Governor Mom.

  • Michelle Meyer

    When are you going to stop tabloiding and start acting like a news station? Can we please talk about the issues instead of the hairdos? The media continues to act shamefully, running like sheep to the next best gossip story instead of working toward solid investigations. It’s embarrassing.

  • Bob Collins

    //Can we please talk about the issues

    Like the economy? See the first hour of Midmorning today.

    Like energy? See the second hour of Midday today.

    The future of Iraq? That’s tomorrow on MM.

    Charter school funding? An energy bill? Police response-criticism during the RNC? That was All Things Considered tonight.

    What issue subjects would you like me to pass along to the editors that you’re not hearing?

  • Alison

    Careful, Bob. You’re up against the right and the ‘just because we said it it’s true’ strategy. If they say NPR/MPR doesn’t cover issues and say it often enough people will believe it.

    By the way, Michelle, it’s about time the media starts calling Palin and the McCain campaign on their contradicting statements and attack setups. It started with the making a statement about Palin’s daughter and then blaming the media for covering the statement that the campaign itself made. It continues every time Palin talks about being opposed to the Alaska bridge to nowhere, another half (and I’m being generous with half) truth. You want to talk embarrassing, candidates lying often enough to trick people into believing something true is embarrassing.

  • kathryn

    Can you blame the Repubs for not cooperating with the press? The press has yet to say anything positive about Sarah Palin or her family. I have heard demeaning comments about Sarah’s home town, town hall and the church she has served. What person in Alaska would even agree to talk to the media after what the press has said about their govenor, state and Alaskan citizens? Last week I heard a Minneapolis morning radio talk show with a husband /wife team opened thier lines to callers questioning Sarah Palin’s judgement regarding the amount of time she took getting to the hospital after her water broke. Onother morning host from the same station had Sarah Palin’s stars charted and became irratated when the person reading Sarah’s star chart couldn’t find anything negative. I’m sure if there was a discussion about the Palin family choice of toilet paper the Palin family would be wrong. If the Dems want to see themselves in the White house this fall they need to encourage the press to start showing respect in their coverage of the Repubs. Otherwise Cinderella and Prince Charming will be voted in for another 8 more republican years. America loves a good underdog-especially one that looks good in lipstick. And Sarah looks great too.

  • Elizabeth T.

    //If the Dems want to see themselves in the White house this fall they need to encourage the press to start showing respect in their coverage of the Repubs.//

    Ms. Kathryn: I submit that the purpose of the media is to state facts in an order which makes the bigger picture understandable.

    Which press are the Dems supposed to persuade? The ones who love her anyway? Or the ones who despise her anyway?

    Would anyone sincerely say “if the republicans want to win, they need to persuade the media to be “respectful” of Obama”? God, I’d love to hear that! ๐Ÿ™‚

    There is *no* obligation to be respectful to a person (which I get the feeling often means “be nice to”). There is an obligation to be objective, not nice.

    There is no monolithic “media”. I quite confidently assure you that Fox, Limbaugh, etc. are not questioning anything about Palin or McCaine.

    If Palin starts claiming that Charmin is wonderful, it’s fair game. If she harps on and on and on about being a ‘hockey mom’, then her attendance and behaviour there is fair game. (Her hockey-playing child, however, isn’t.)

    Any party who wants the White House has only one method: go get more people to vote for your candidate.

  • Elizabeth T.

    a brief retraction re: respect.

    what I wrote didn’t quite come across as what I meant.

    Yes, we should be respectful to others. We should respect their self-professed sincerity until proven otherwise.

    I intended to mean that “respect” for a person is no reason to withhold anything that is true & directly relevant to the media coverage of something appropriate (daughter preggers = no; drill now now now = yes)

    I apologize that I misstated my meaning.

  • GregS

    Would anyone sincerely say “if the republicans want to win, they need to persuade the media to be “respectful” of Obama”? God, I’d love to hear that! ๐Ÿ™‚

    How about if the press stopped fawning over Obama and began to treat Palin with human dignity?

    What I fear is that the press has given Obama the greenlight to be as corrupt as he wants to be without the fear of consequence.

    Look at the Jim Johnson affair.

    Mr. Johnson ia the guy who Obama picked to vet his vice president and the man who was/is slated to rewrite the nation’s healthcare system. He is the same jerk who engineered the largest excessive compensation scheme in human history – the $1 Billion gift to HealthPartners Steve McGuire..

    The Liberal activist and press went ballistic over McGuire’s pay package but were stony silent on the matter of Johnson’s association with Obama.

    It took FOXNEWS to crack the story open.

    Frankly I am concerned that a politician from Chicago gets this kind of deference from the press.

  • bsimon

    “Frankly I am concerned that a politician from Chicago gets this kind of deference from the press.”

    Stereotype much?

    If we’re going on stereotypes, Republicans from Alaska aren’t exactly ‘clean as a whistle’.

  • justsayingisall

    Republicans from Alaska aren’t exactly ‘clean as a whistle’.

    The difference being, of course, that they go to jail.

  • Jennifer B

    One thing that jumped out at me immediately…how is Michele Bachmann qualified to be part of a “truth squad”??

    This is the same woman who claimed to have seen a map of “the Iraq State of Islam”. This is also the woman who claimed that drilling would bring gas prices back down to $2 and less even though studies have found that the drop would more likely be in the range of around 5 cents/gallon (give or take a few).

    Couple that with her seemingly teenage-like infatuation with George W. Bush and she isn’t exactly the picture of credibility.

  • tomtom

    Thanks for the info Bob. We need to get at the heart of who Palin is. Enough with the whining and faux-feminist posturing you hypocrites.

  • JohnnyZoom

    >>”truth squad”

    Bad title ladies. Whenever I see this, my eyes roll and I think, yeah right.

    It’s right up there with “independent councel”. Try to keep a straight face on that one.

    But nothing beats “nothing could be further than the truth”. Whenever I hear this, it’s a good sign I can take what they’re referring to as gospel.

  • GregS

    “Stereotype much?” – bsimon

    Not at all, having a later-convicted influence peddler help buy your $million-mansion is vintage Chicago-style politics.

    If Mr. Obama wants to avoid stereotyping as a “Chicago-style” poltician, then perhaps he should avoid Chicage-style political behavior.