Questioning Authority: McKay Yancey ’10 on Sarah Palin

Monday, September 15, 2008 - 12:00

Questioning Authority checked in recently with College Republicans president McKay Yancey ‘10 about vice-presidential candidate Sarah Palin. Here’s what Yancey had to say.

QA: Why are people so excited about Sarah Palin?

MY: She epitomizes what the conservative base wants to see in a leader and changes the feel of the conservative movement. She is new and fresh, and the freshness is adding to the excitement. Her commitment to her principles makes her a true conservative, which energizes the party base.

QA: Does the excitement extend beyond the Evangelical community?

MY: Yes. Supporters include women, fiscal conservatives (she vetoed new spending increases and put through tax cuts), and, yes, the pro-life community.

QA: Does the fact that she's from Alaska help her or hurt her? Or both?

MY: It helps her greatly. Alaska has great appeal as the "final frontier," and Americans love that imagery. She also has never been a "Washington Politician" trying to impress those around her. She is not a politician looking for good opinions from her coworkers, but rather a powerful leader seeking positive change.

QA: How does her being the mother of young children, including a baby with Down Syndrome, affect her status as a VP candidate?

MY: The media and the Obama campaign have gone after Palin and her family relentlessly since she was picked for the VP nomination and that has only served to increase her popularity, particularly among women. She has been a governor and a mayor and has raised five children. It doesn't affect her family life any more than it affects Joe Biden's family life when he's vice president. She is a wonderful mother and will continue to be a wonderful mother when she is in the White House.

QA: Will women of all political persuasions, including Hillary supporters, vote for her as a matter of feminist principle?

MY: Women may be drawn to her for her gender, and many may end up voting Republican because she is on the ballot. But John McCain is on the top of the ballot, and he's the one who will be president. Polls show anywhere between 15 and 35 percent of Hillary supporters are now supporting McCain. Ultimately though, Palin brings a new and unforeseen dynamic to the race, and people will be drawn to her because of her personality, affability, and relatability as much as her gender.

The opinions expressed in Questioning Authority do not represent the viewpoints of Mount Holyoke College. The College does not advocate for, endorse, or support political candidates.

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