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With two women on the ballot, things that should be off-limits

Excuse me, Mary Fallin, did I just hear you say, "Woman up"?

I believe I did.

The next governor of Oklahoma will, for the first time, be a woman. Fallin, a Republican business executive, former lieutenant governor and currently member of Congress, is one possibility. The other is her Democratic opponent, Jari Askins, corporate lawyer, state agency head, judge, state legislator and now lieutenant governor.

Feminist-wise, that's the good news. The bad news came during a debate when Fallin was asked what defines her as a candidate and distinguishes her from her opponent.

"I think my experience is one of the things that sets me apart as a candidate for governor," she answered. Fair enough. Then she added, "First of all, being a mother, having children, raising a family."

Guess who's not married and doesn't have children? You don't need female intuition to know it's Fallin's opponent.

I wouldn't put it first on the list of qualifications, but I can imagine times when the experience of motherhood, of juggling family and career, of real-life encounters with overcrowded classrooms or the impact of modern technology on children, could come in handy to a politician. Certainly, practice settling disputes among quarreling children could be usefully transplanted to a governor handling an unruly state legislature.

When Washington Sen. Patty Murray (D) first billed herself as a "mom in tennis shoes" -- and this was, remember, back in 1992, the post-Anita Hill "Year of the Woman" -- the slogan captured her effort to relate to the concerns of everyday voters.

But especially when two women are on the ballot, a few things ought to be off-limits.

One is hairstyle -- and, yes, I'm talking to you, Carly Fiorina.

Another, and this is more serious, is marital and family status. The unstated premise of Fallin's comment is: "I'm a mom and she's not." And the unstated but barely disguised conclusion is: "And that makes me better and leaves her lacking in a material way."

This put-down packs a far more powerful punch in a woman-on-woman race. If Fallin were running against an unmarried man, the I'm-a-parent-and-you're-not card wouldn't be quite so loaded: A "childless" female candidate tends to be perceived as lacking in an essential way that a man without children is not. And if Askins's opponent were a married father, he would probably be smarter than to bring up her marital and maternal status for fear of the ensuing backlash.

House Speaker-for-the-time-being Nancy Pelosi likes to talk about quieting a room with her mother-of-five voice. I'm going to use my mother-of-two tone: Mary Fallin, you put down that "mommy card" right now.

By Ruth Marcus  | October 27, 2010; 1:16 PM ET
Categories:  Marcus  | Tags:  Ruth Marcus  
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Comments

Devastating Union Official caught on tape discussing actual Voter Fraud...

http://atlasshrugs2000.typepad.com/atlas_shrugs/2010/10/demo-coup-alert-they-are-stealing-the-election.html

Posted by: pauldia | October 27, 2010 3:21 PM | Report abuse

The next governor of Oklahoma will, for the first time, be a woman...and a proud mother.

I'm very pleased that Fallin is proud to be a mother.

Good mothers are the great heroines in our midst.


Posted by: Jerzy | October 27, 2010 3:42 PM | Report abuse

Being a mother is relevant when you must decide on issues that impact familes. For instance to a single person, being able to use your sick leave to take care of sick child may not matter much. But to a working mom it is critical. This sensitization to issues facing mothers is a relevant distinction. Think of it more as crowing about a degree one has from college such as a minor in chemisty...being a mom and stating so points to a set of skills and awareness that others may lack. Because one lacks motherhood skills does not mean one is lacking, it merely means your skill set differs from one who has mothered.

Posted by: Wiggan | October 27, 2010 4:27 PM | Report abuse

"Being a mother is relevant when you must decide on issues that impact familes."

Really? How about empathy and intelligence?

Through your statement, I could draw the following conclusion: a white mother is competent to create and manage policy related to white family dynamics, but is lacking in their ability to create a manage policy related to: minorities, singles, men, etc.

Posted by: BT23 | October 27, 2010 5:04 PM | Report abuse

And the flip side is that, as a mother of 3, maybe Fallin is a little too busy to add such a "big" job to her list. When does this lunacy end? How does such a non-issue come into play when it tells me absolutely nothing about how competent a politician one will be. Am I supposed to assume that each child was wanted and loved or that the condom broke??? It's a slippery slope.

Posted by: flabbergast | October 27, 2010 5:20 PM | Report abuse

In other words, it's okay for democrats to play up motherhood, but not republicans? I'm sorry- your hypocrisy is a disgrace!

Posted by: surgres | October 27, 2010 5:48 PM | Report abuse

The funny thing is women like Supreme Court Judge Ruth Bader Ginsburg often cite the fact that being a woman gives them greater sensitivity and incite than men on a host of issues. So now that mothers do the same thing concerning motherhood, now Ms. Working Feminist has issues with the practice. Lumping hairstyles and motherhood experience into one group says more about your outlook on motherhood than anything else you said in this whole column.


And by the way, before you make conclusions about men you have no clue about, try getting elected into office as single man versus a married man. How many male single Presidents have we had...I thought so.

Posted by: moebius22 | October 27, 2010 5:57 PM | Report abuse

Would it be fair to say that a woman who has raised children may have some life experience that a woman who did not may lack? I would.

Posted by: j751 | October 27, 2010 6:15 PM | Report abuse

Having a kid radically changes people. It transforms priorities and goals, consuming vast amounts of time in the process... a hairstyle, not so much. To lump experience raising children in with hairstyles as off-limits is ridiculous. Frankly, in this day and age, one would think that being able to successfully manage 3 year olds would be an absolute requirement for any governor.

Posted by: douglascoombs | October 27, 2010 6:15 PM | Report abuse

Here's the deal...Mary Fallin boasts this platform of her "family" values, but something that has not come out in the national media (shocking) is her affair with her highway patrolman-bodyguard when she was the state Lt. Gov. He resigned after admitting an inappropriate relationship. And guess what? SHE WAS MARRIED! That was Oklahoma taxpayer dollars at work! How's that for family values? Both got divorced. She is on marriage number two now. I guess this somehow makes her more qualified? How silly! I'm voting for Jari Askins. I don't care if she's married or has kids. She's a smart woman who can lead this state in an intelligent and ETHICAL manner.

Posted by: Okiegirl1 | October 27, 2010 6:37 PM | Report abuse

That was a low blow by Fallin to all women who aren't mothers. Just because she's a mother doesn't make her better than everyone else. How do we know she was a good mother, since she seems to have spent more time out of the home than in it. And she also had an affair? My goodness. I wonder what her kids thought about that. Being a mother is not always equate to being virtuous.

Posted by: lddoyle2002 | October 27, 2010 6:53 PM | Report abuse

Being a mother is not always equate to being virtuous.
+++++++++

Neither is being a woman, but you reap what you sow.

Posted by: moebius22 | October 27, 2010 6:57 PM | Report abuse

Isn't Fallin (rhymes with Palin?)the one who slept with her bodyguard while Lt. Gov, causing him to resign, all on the taxpayers dollar? I guess that's also an experience her opponent missed out on. Wasn't Fallin also a wife and mother while the hanky-panky was going on? So much for her "family values."

Posted by: nyskinsdiehard | October 27, 2010 7:06 PM | Report abuse

The women who fought for womans rights were not mothers. The women who fought for equal rights, equal pay, rape laws, divorce equality, equal education, battery laws, were young single women.

Posted by: JillCalifornia | October 27, 2010 7:27 PM | Report abuse

"Mary Fallin, you put down that "mommy card" right now."

Nice thought, but too late!

Posted by: patriot17 | October 27, 2010 8:11 PM | Report abuse

The women who fought for womans rights were not mothers. The women who fought for equal rights, equal pay, rape laws, divorce equality, equal education, battery laws, were young single women.

Posted by: JillCalifornia
-----------------------------------------
And that is why they did not mind destroying the American family. 70% of black children in America are born out of wedlock.

Your "single"-handed achievement! Congratulations!

Posted by: rjpal | October 27, 2010 8:20 PM | Report abuse

How does it feel Ms. Marcus to be so judgemental and holier than thou as you are?
I would have thought that having a family is a HUGE part on any woman's life. If she has a family (and of course is on the right, because lefties are allowed to flaunt their families as much as they like in Marcus world) why should she hide her family?? Give us a break.

Posted by: huntyrella | October 27, 2010 8:34 PM | Report abuse

"The women who fought for womans rights were not mothers. The women who fought for equal rights, equal pay, rape laws, divorce equality, equal education, battery laws, were young single women."

Posted by: JillCalifornia

There is no need to try to separate women who fought for their rights by age or by marital/parenthood status. Many different women -- some married, some not; some old, some young; some parents and some not - fought for women's rights. And some of us continue to do so, as we still have not ratified the ERA.

Posted by: marmac5 | October 27, 2010 8:36 PM | Report abuse

The women who fought for womans rights were not mothers. The women who fought for equal rights, equal pay, rape laws, divorce equality, equal education, battery laws, were young single women.

Posted by: JillCalifornia
-----------------------------------------
And that is why they did not mind destroying the American family. 70% of black children in America are born out of wedlock.

Your "single"-handed achievement! Congratulations!

Posted by: rjpal | October 27, 2010 8:20 PM
-------------------------------------------
Cite your sources for your two questionable statements: (1) Single women fighting for women's rights destroyed the American family, and (2) single women fighting for women's rights are somehow responsible for the high rate of babies born to unwed Black mothers.

Posted by: marmac5 | October 27, 2010 8:42 PM | Report abuse

This is hilarious Ms. Marcus coming from a woman who is critical of other women especially republicans and who leans left towards the democrats and who even trashed their own Hillary Clinton. Shall we talk on how Clinton was ridiculed on her hair, her laugh, her pantsuits, her cleavage, her decision to stay with her husband, the claims that she was a racist along with her husband. Shall we talk of how her stature was ridiculed in favor of someone who was a community organizer and who himself stated when elected to the Senate that he would not run for President because he felt you had to be qualified to run and he knew he wasn't?

Please don't give me the motherhood issues out of bounds. When woman tend to be the cattiest and most ferocious in their attacks when describing other women, they should not lay the ground rules for how to debate. As a woman myself, your attacks are ridiculous and the attacks against both Clintons were what made me become an independent rather than a democratic supporter.

Posted by: justmyvoice | October 27, 2010 8:45 PM | Report abuse

Parents need to get over themselves. You're no more special than the rest of us who decide not to have children.

Posted by: bibleburner | October 27, 2010 8:51 PM | Report abuse

Posted by: Wiggan:

Being a mother is relevant when you must decide on issues that impact families. For instance to a single person, being able to use your sick leave to take care of sick child may not matter much.
--------

It does if you have to pick up the slack for the parent who just skipped out and left you to do your work, and theirs too.

It's tiresome hearing how parenthood gives you "more special" insights as if your decision to have your kids automatically trumps anyone who made different life choices. People with no children still have families. Even if they don't, their lives matter as much to them, as yours does to you. It doesn't seem to have crossed your mind that many adults who have no children are often called upon to be care givers for spouses, elderly parents, ants, uncles, etc—they need time off as well. A person without children does have "special" insight into how parents who constantly need to leave early, or take time out during the work day, impact businesses and those without children who get stuck working late to pick up the slack for someone else's kid, as if not being a parent means you don't have obligations of your own to take care of (which by the way, include parking your butt on the sofa to watch TV if that's what you want to do with your time, because your time belongs to you, not someone else's kid).

Being a parent is a choice. Yes, Bristol Palin made choices that resulted in parenthood, her choices led to it, one way or another. No one holds a gun to your head and says, "Breed, or eat lead." Let's be honest. You become a parent because you want it for yourself. You don't do it because you altruistically believe the world just can't get by without the contribution of your seed added to the gene pool along with the other 7 billion people already on the planet. I'm not knocking parenthood. It's a noble thing. Parents need laws that make raising healthy, happy, people who grow up to make positive contribtions to society. Still, parenthood doesn't earn you any special qualifications for a job other than parent, and there's no guarantee of even that.

Every issue that impacts a parent, impacts someone without kids on the other side of the equation—so not being a parent is just as valid a qualification for office, as being one is. Playing the "parent card" to get elected isn't much different than using babies, (or kittens, or puppies) to sell used cars. It aways looks sketchy to see the local auto-dealer lining up all his kids in a row and getting them to wink and mug for the camera. The same goes for politicians. It's a little creepy and it borders on pimping your kids to further your own ambitions. In fact, I'd go so far as to say anyone who has kids and really has a handle on how import their children are, would't think of getting anywhere near politics or exposing their kids to all the public scrutiny and sacrifices they'll have to make, but rarely get to decide about for themselves.

Posted by: grantmh | October 27, 2010 9:02 PM | Report abuse

Posted by: grantmh
It's tiresome hearing how parenthood gives you "more special" insights as if your decision to have your kids automatically trumps anyone who made different life choices. People with no children still have families.
+++++++++

That's what I say when Feminists try to make the case that having children makes women entitled to paid maternity leave and daycare...but alas, when you put this kind of thinking out there, don't be surprised of unintended consequences.

Posted by: moebius22 | October 27, 2010 9:28 PM | Report abuse

I just skimmed the responses but I think Ms. Marcus' point is that being childless means something to women. For many women, being childless is being unfulfilled. It is the loss of a dream. For another woman to pull that card is really mean.

Not too long ago men used having children as a reason women were not suitable for work or politics. Might be nice if women respected each other's choices just a little bit more.

Posted by: arancia12 | October 27, 2010 9:44 PM | Report abuse

moebius22 wrote:

That's what I say when Feminists try to make the case that having children makes women entitled to paid maternity leave and daycare...but alas, when you put this kind of thinking out there, don't be surprised of unintended consequences.

--------

Not what I meant.

It's a difficult decision for a mother (or a father) to make in trying to have a career and be a parent. Unfortunately, it requires a winning lottery ticket now days for a family to have one bread winner, and one stay at home parent. The choice is not career vs. child, it's both parents work, or one sells a kidney to pay the mortgage. We shouldn't create a society in which the decision about having children is dependent on being independently wealthy (lord knows we don't need a future US populated only by little Hiltons, Biebers, and Lohans). The point is that if we have to make laws that adapt to this new reality, we can't say parenthood always gives candidates the advantage. Daycare issues are far from the only important things law makers decide, and even those affect EVERYONE, including non-parents so it REQUIRES candidates without kids be included equally, especially for issues that deal with laws that impact families, because people without kids pay taxes too (more, if you consider they don't get a write off for child dependents).

Posted by: grantmh | October 27, 2010 9:54 PM | Report abuse

I know that's not what you mean grantmh. I was pointing out the fact that many of you want it both ways.

If the sate of child raising was as dire as you say our birth rate would be in the toilet like the European countries that have these type of costly entitlements.

Maybe I shouldn't have to work a full time job while I put myself through college- but that's life. I don't expect other people to pay for my life decisions, even though my getting a college education contributes to society. Where does it end?

Moreover, parents don't suffer for tax write offs when it comes to children. Single people on the other hand could use some love

Posted by: moebius22 | October 27, 2010 10:06 PM | Report abuse

"I wouldn't put it first on the list of qualifications"

Maybe because the results don't show it as one of your strengths?

Posted by: Ombudsman1 | October 27, 2010 10:10 PM | Report abuse

This is hilarious. Thanks for devoting time to a candidate who has ZERO chance of winning...and it has nothing to do with whether she's married or not.

At last check, Askins is down at least 20 points in the poll. She has about as much chance at being Governor of Oklahoma as I do. Once again, liberals are scapegoating anyone and anything possible to explain why they are getting trounced in this election cycle.

Posted by: d-35 | October 27, 2010 10:13 PM | Report abuse

@ moebius22

What costly entitlements? It's not matter of "having it both ways." It it is what it is. We live in a society that requires many or most parents to work. Children don't get sick or need something according to what's convenient to every business owner, yet more and more businesses require people to work longer hours without pay. I rarely hear anyone "demanding" PAID leave. What they usually talk about is unpaid leave, or little bit of flexibility so they can take care of what they need to, and still get in an 8 hour day (or 16 as many slave drivers now require).

The point is it doesn't require that only law makers who've popped a youngin' t legislate fairly about issues that ultimately affect everyone.

Posted by: grantmh | October 27, 2010 10:26 PM | Report abuse

It's not true that unmarried male candidates face no suspicions about their childless status. At least a childless woman is usually considered to be serious about her work. Unmarried men are deemed immature or monkish - think of Jerry Brown through most of his public life. Why else do male politicians parade their families in public view?

Posted by: bosstown_actuary | October 27, 2010 10:31 PM | Report abuse

@ moebius22

What costly entitlements? It's not matter of "having it both ways." It it is what it is. We live in a society that requires many or most parents to work. Children don't get sick or need something according to what's convenient to every business owner, yet more and more businesses require people to work longer hours without pay. I rarely hear anyone "demanding" PAID leave. What they usually talk about is unpaid leave, or little bit of flexibility so they can take care of what they need to, and still get in an 8 hour day (or 16 as many slave drivers now require).

The point is it doesn't require that only law makers who've popped a youngin' t legislate fairly about issues that ultimately affect everyone.

Posted by: grantmh | October 27, 2010 10:31 PM | Report abuse

Someone has to pay for paid leave and daycare. In the end the taxpayer ends up paying for it.

Moreover, Feminists demand payed leave and daycare all the time. I can't recall how many times I have read Op-eds here, the NY Times and elsewhere on the issue.

I'm pretty much done with this discussion, but Feminists don't seem to realize that if you argue for the primacy of women based on gender(an accident of birth)you should not be surprised if some women get it in their heads that their ability to procreate makes them more entitled than a man- or another woman. I'm willing to take a guess that Ruth Marcus(like many of her ilk)doesn't mind the former.

Posted by: moebius22 | October 27, 2010 10:41 PM | Report abuse

This column contridicts itself. On the one hand, Marcus seems to say if your opponent is a man, it's OK to play the "mommy card." But if it is a woman, particularly a woman who is a Democrat, it's wrong? I think if the roles were reversed and the Democrat played the "mommy card" it would be OK by Marcus.

Whatever signficant thing a candidate has done in his or her life, they should be free to talk about. Childrearing is certainly significant and helps a person, mother or father, develop certain skills. It's OK to mention it, and even be proud of it. It doesn't put down the other candidate just because you include that important experience, whether or not your competitor is male or female.

So this childess woman says to Marcus in her best "I live in a quiet house" voice - Try being less hyprocritical. Republican moms have as much right to be proud as Democrat moms and include their childrearing experience on their political resume. It's not just for "moms in tennis shoes."

Posted by: comstockwriter | October 27, 2010 10:57 PM | Report abuse

How is this a column?????
What's next.......a mean girls redux......

Posted by: merley1 | October 27, 2010 11:26 PM | Report abuse

The fact that you have rules for us when women are involved shows you have a long way to go. I look at a person, not a color, race, gender.
Plus being a mom ROCKS and if you do it well, you know you ROCK. If you don't, maybe you don't want to bring it up.'

Posted by: dcjayhawk2 | October 28, 2010 6:00 AM | Report abuse

I am a 72 year old man and I feel that a woman being a mother makes Her better qualified to hold office.I think Marcus would have a different veiw if Fallin was a democrat.

Posted by: rfholmes6 | October 28, 2010 8:25 AM | Report abuse

I think being a mother would be an asset in holding political office so I think it is relavent.I am a 72 year old male and in my life I have observed that mothers have a better understanding of human nature and are more compasionate.

Posted by: rfholmes6 | October 28, 2010 8:45 AM | Report abuse

"Would it be fair to say that a woman who has raised children may have some life experience that a woman who did not may lack? I would." ...

Would it be fair to say that a woman who has always supported herself financially and managed a home on her own, may have some life experience that a woman who did not may lack? I would. But I've never seen being single being flaunted as a plus for public office.


Posted by: bailey13 | October 28, 2010 11:04 AM | Report abuse

So Mom is throwing her family into the mix? By bringing the hubby and kids into the discussion like this, it opens them up to scrutiny. After all, if she claims raising a family as an attribute, wouldn't it be rigth to decide just how well her child rearing is? I mean, are the kids little brats? Or do they sit quietly in their seats, speaking only when spoken too? What about the hubby? Is he faithful? If not, doesn't that call into question Mom's ability to keep the home inviting? Maybe as governor, all the single people of the state will feel threatened? I could go on and on about this one. What about her opponents ability to work late into the night on state issues, as opposed ot running home to some crisis involving little Johhny scraping his knee? Maybe her opponent can drink like a fish, and still function. I find that a better attribute than being able to wipe some kids nose while stirring the soup pot.

Posted by: dougw3 | October 28, 2010 11:55 AM | Report abuse

Good old "Mattress Mary," playing the good wife and mother card. Oh, the irony.

Posted by: lizgwiz | October 28, 2010 12:37 PM | Report abuse

Thank you Ms. Marcus for calling out the "mommy card." Every "card", the race card, the gender card, needs to be put down. It is never necessary for anyone including mothers to define their experiences as superior to another's. Their experiences constitute their world view, nothing more, nothing less. And absolutely no one "lacks" what another does not have. We all have our own experiences and with those experiences, and a concern for a larger community, we engage the world. No male president has ever had the experience of being female, yet he is still fit to lead. And no mother has ever had the experience of being a father, yet she is still fit to lead. I hope that all people, especially mothers, would teach respect for all points of view and how we all contribute to the public sphere. I absolutely would teach my children no less.

Posted by: kmbd | October 28, 2010 3:08 PM | Report abuse

Thank you Ms. Marcus for calling out the "mommy card." All "cards," the race card, the gender card, need to be put down. It is never necessary for anyone to define their life experiences as superior to another's. One's life experiences are their own, nothing more, nothing less. We all have our experiences and with a concern for the larger community, engage the world. A male president has never had the experience of being female, yet he is fit to lead. A mother has never had the experience of being a father, yet she is fit to lead. I hope that all people could respect the life experiences and contributions to the public sphere that all people can make. As a mother, I would absolutely teach my children no less.

Posted by: kmbd | October 28, 2010 3:17 PM | Report abuse

Thank you Ms. Marcus for calling out the "mommy card." All "cards," the race card, the gender card, need to be put down. It is never necessary for anyone to define their life experiences as superior to another's. One's life experiences are their own, nothing more, nothing less. We all have our experiences and with a concern for the larger community, engage the world. A male president has never had the experience of being female, yet he is fit to lead. A mother has never had the experience of being a father, yet she is fit to lead. I hope that all people could respect the life experiences and contributions to the public sphere that all people can make. As a mother, I would absolutely teach my children no less.

Posted by: kmbd | October 28, 2010 3:18 PM | Report abuse

Oh for god's sake, for those who can't see beyond their nose, the point is that no woman ought be defined by her uterus. Also, that another woman ought know - and do - better than to get down in the gender gutter already overflowing with men.

Posted by: streetnoise | October 28, 2010 3:31 PM | Report abuse

Thank you Ms. Marcus for calling out the "mommy card." All "cards," the race card, the gender card, need to be put down. It is never necessary for anyone to define their life experiences as superior to another's. One's life experiences are their own, nothing more, nothing less. We all have our experiences and with a concern for the larger community, we engage the world. A male president has never had the experience of being female, yet he is fit to lead. A mother has never had the experience of being a father, yet she is fit to lead. I hope that all people could respect the life experiences and contributions to the public sphere that all people can make. As a mother, I would absolutely teach my children no less.

Posted by: kmbd | October 28, 2010 4:28 PM | Report abuse

It's not my recollection that Mary Fallin raised her children. Rather she had an affair, got divorced and her husband was given custody of the children. I would say that her idea of what it meant to raise children was more that of a peripherally-involved aunt. She was ambitious and only cared about climbing the next wrung of the political ladder. Espousing the image of "hardworking mother", I guess, is an attempt to get up to that next step on the ladder. Her most recent husband (married just last fall) already had four grown children.

It's perplexing that she would be so stupid to bring up something that would gather so much public scrutiny. I guess she was thinking that the news media wouldn't bother to investigate her past very well and, in many ways, that is correct. However, it would have only taken some minor sleuthing on the part of media to find out about her past (because it's widely known and in court proceedings) and the little part she had in "raising" children. Mary, of all people, is the least likely candidate in "raising" children and implying she had to juggle her family and career. I'm pretty sure her ex-husband is fuming over her comments right now.

Posted by: katekelly1 | October 29, 2010 10:11 AM | Report abuse

It seems to me that an implied extension of Ms. Marcus' point that it should be "off limits" to play the "mother card" against a childless female opponent is that it just might gain votes for such out-of-bounds play. I'd be very surprised if Ms. Fallin did not consider this "vote winning" possibility when she made her comment. Wouldn't it follow that Ms. Marcus would also criticize any voter who would so unfairly / irresponsibly? let their vote be influenced by the "mother card", "the ethnicity card," "the race card," the co-religionist card," "the gender card," or any other card that is based on one's personal background or non-public life experiences? In other words, why doesn't Ms. Marcus state that the "mother card" to be "off-limits" because [at least some "voters" or perhaps "too many"] voters can be trusted to properly evaluate a candidate's playing of this "card"?

On the other hand, I suppose it is also possible that Ms. Fallin made her comment - at least in part - becase she believes it is a primary point of self definition and life experience (whether or not she actually lives according to this belief - politicians are certainly at greater risk of self-delusion regarding how their behavior actually squares with their beliefs).

Not all that uncommon I think. Consider the place of priority then-Senator Clinton gave when she defined herself at the begining of her 2008 address to the delegates at the Democratic National Convention: "I am honored to be here tonight. A PROUD MOTHER. A proud Democrat. A proud American. And a proud supporter of Barack Obama [my EMPHASIS added]."

By the way, how far would Ms. Marcus carry her point regarding Ms. Fallin's "off limits" play of the "mother card"? Must she abandon: any inclusion of her children is the standard "family photo" that seeminly must be included in all campaign literature? any presence of her children on a podium or at a campaign event? Why must an opponent's personal background limit the way a candidate can define herself?

Posted by: branboy | October 29, 2010 6:49 PM | Report abuse

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