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Archive for July 7th, 2012

Bristol Palin Reflects on Her Book Signing and the CPAC 2012 Convention

Posted by Dr. Fay on July 7, 2012

Earlier this week, Bristol gave us some interesting  insights into the CPAC 2012 conference from the viewpoint of a Palin daughter:

On Second Thought: Episode 5, Ms. Palin Goes to Washington

July 5, 2012 By Bristol Palin 138 Comments

This was the scene before Mom came out to speak at CPAC.

Trust me, it’s crazy to see your life on television. That’s why every week, I’m going to do a blog posts called “On Second Thought.” These posts are where I will go over the episodes of my Lifetime show as I process the issues presented now that I’ve seen them aired.  I hope you’ll join me for these weekly posts – which will undoubtedly be part-confession, part-explanation, and part-celebration of my life right now!

Episode Five, Air Date: July 3, 2012

Washington, DC is not my type of place. I don’t love being up to my neck in politics, and it’s hard not to be in the nation’s capital.  However, it was worth flying down to do a book signing and to see Mom speak.

As many of you know, “Not Afraid of Life” came out last year.  (It hit the New York Times best sellers list!!) That meant, I spent much time at book stores around the country signing copies of my books and meeting fans.  I met people who voted for my mom in 2008, who voted for me on Dancing with the Stars, and who generally loved all things Palin.  I don’t thank you guys enough, but I do appreciate all of you who’ve stuck by me throughout all the drama.  You’re the best, and I loved meeting some of you face to face.

The booksigning in Washington was a little more nerve wracking than normal.  As soon as we got into DC, we saw Occupy Wall Street had set up protests outside our hotel.  They were screaming, yelling, and trying to get inside to disrupt the events.  Since the book signing was pretty close to the hotel, would they follow us? Thankfully, we had a wonderful – and gigantic! – security guard and no one caused trouble.  Once again, I was happy to meet so many fans in person.

I’d never attended the American Conservative Union’s CPAC, but it apparently is the most energetic conference of the year.  There were thousands of people there, yelling for their candidates.  This was before the Republicans had selected a nominee, so groups of supporters could be seen at the conference shouting each other down.  “Santorum!” one group would shout, only to be shouted down by another group shouting, “Romney!”  It was really crazy.

Of course, Mom wasn’t running for anything, but excitement seems to follow her. After our book signing, we went back to the hotel and got ready for Mom’s speech.  As you may have noticed during her 2008 Vice Presidential run, she loves to interact with people.  She shakes hands, hugs babies, and talks to everyone.  Willow and I don’t necessarily love this about her, especially when Occupy Wall Street was looming in everyone’s minds.  Would they get inside?  Would the police be able to keep them out?

As we settled into our seats, the room was completely packed, with lines of people snaking around the hallways as they waited to get in.  All of the other candidates had given speeches before Mom, but no one can captivate an audience quite like she can.  It’s hard to tell from the footage that Lifetime captured just how loud the room was.  They must’ve only had a microphone on Mom, but the audience was absolutely deafening as they clapped and yelled for her.  She had more standing ovations than I could count!

Then, an activist for Occupy Wall Street interrupted her speech.  I couldn’t tell what the protester screamed, but I could tell he was not yelling “Amen!” When the activist interrupted her, everyone went crazy, shouting “USA! USA!” They weren’t about to let him be able to steal the spotlight.

Mom handled it with her usual charm, and I was so proud of her.  She really has an amazing gift.  I might not have recognized it as she was nagging me to keep my dirty clothes off the floor of my room when I was a kid, but in a room the size of that auditorium?  It’s undeniable.  She can energize an audience like no one else.

Mainly, of course, she’s just mom to me.

When we got back to the room, Willow and I surprised her with a cake.  We knew we’d celebrate later with our family, but we wanted her to know that we remembered her birthday.  Our time with Mom in the hotel room provided some of the most memorable lines of the show so far:

Willow: I’d never want to live in DC.

Mom: Why?

Willow: Liberals!

And then, when Mom told her that she needed to “give hairdressers a good name,” she said, “I got into one of the top beauty schools!”

I love this episode, because it showed us for really what we are.  A typical American family, which finds itself in the most unique circumstances imaginable.

That’s why it’s always exciting to be a Palin!

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Study: Gender Stereotypes in Media Coverage of Palin in 2008 Election Could Have Affected Voter Decisions

Posted by Dr. Fay on July 7, 2012

Scientific validation of what we already knew to be true.  From an article by Stacy Forster at University of Wisconsin – Madison News:

News coverage of Palin, then the Republican governor of Alaska, not only significantly outweighed that received by Biden, then a U.S. senator from Delaware, was markedly different in substance and across media, according to a new study of media coverage of the vice presidential candidates.

Coverage of Palin was more likely to include references to her family, physical appearance and social issues, particularly in newspapers and by political blogs, while coverage of Biden dealt more with foreign policy and the economy.

“Each of these differences could have had important influences on public opinion formation and the public’s voting decisions in this particular race,” write Leticia Bode, a former graduate student at the University of Wisconsin-Madison who is now an assistant professor at Georgetown University, and Valerie M. Hennings, an assistant professor at Iowa State University, in the study published in the journal Politics & Policy. She conducted the research while at UW-Madison.

“Without an examination of vice presidential contests, our understanding of the intersection of political communication and the experience of women as political candidates is incomplete,” Bode and Hennings write. “If gender stereotypes in media coverage have the ability to negatively affect women candidates, this calls into question the American political system’s ability to produce elected representatives in a fair and democratic manner.”

Bode and Hennings tested three theories: The amount of coverage Palin received was greater than Biden; gender stereotypes would be reflected in the substance of coverage and emerge on such issues as family, electability, policy issues and physical appearance; and the amount and substance of coverage Palin and Biden received would differ across media.

They performed a content analysis that included coverage from Aug. 16 to Nov. 11, 2008, the period just before the Democratic National Convention to the week after the general election. News coverage mentioning the candidates was gleaned from the New York Times, the Washington Post and USA Today; transcripts from the three major broadcast networks’ evening broadcasts, as well as the equivalent periods on CNN and Fox News; and entries on nearly 400 political blogs.

The research showed that the vice presidential race in 2008 was in itself unique because of the attention it received. Discussion about McCain selecting Palin accounted for 7 percent of all television election coverage of the 2008 campaign, while the debate between Palin and Biden was the most-watched vice presidential debate in U.S. history, attracting nearly 70 million viewers.

In addition, the authors said, the race was especially novel because of Palin’s selection as the first woman on a Republican presidential ticket.

The high level of interest in her candidacy was reflected in the volume of coverage that went her way. The authors found that the average number of stories a day in overall coverage was 36 for Palin, compared with 14.9 for Biden. On television, Palin was the subject of 8.8 stories a day compared with 4.6 for Biden; in newspapers, it was 15 compared with 8.2 stories a day, and on political blogs, 14.2 compared with 3.2 stories a day.

In that coverage, the authors found evidence of gender stereotypes, with stories mentioning her family, physical appearance and positions on social issues; this trend was more pronounced on television. However, on issues that might be considered “women’s issues,” such as health care or education, Biden received more coverage.

“Each of these differences could have had important influences on public opinion formation and the public’s voting decisions in this particular race,” the authors write. “If future research finds similar differences in coverage in other races, the implications could significantly affect the election process, particularly for female candidates.”

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Romney Campaign “Hires Palin Basher” – That Is No Way To Win 3 Million Palin Supporters

Posted by M.Joseph Sheppard At Palin4President2016 on July 7, 2012

Sarah Palin has over 3 million followers on Facebook. Her last 6 endorsed candidates have won, some against all the odds, like Deb Fischer in Nebraska. There are grumblings about the Romney team lacking the guts to take on president Obama like AT THIS LINK. 

So what does team Romney do? Well, according to Stacy Drake at Conservatives4Palin, they hire someone to run their operation who said, according to Drake’s research, of  Palin  during the recent primary  campaign:

[Y]ou’re using a presidential campaign as a vehicle to build a little bit more of a profile as a celebrity, or somebody who’s going to be on TV- somebody’s who’s going to be selling books and giving speeches.”

This alienation of Palin’s mass support is just nutty. Well, good luck to Team Romney as this spreads to her millions of admirers who felt she was given a bum rap, not only by the left but, and especially, was stabbed in the back by the GOP establishment.

Habitual Palin-Basher to Get “Bigger Role” In Romney Campaign

From the New York Times (emphasis):
Kevin Madden, a Republican communications expert with long ties to Mitt Romney, will become a more frequent and visible spokesman for the presidential campaign, a source close to the decision said on Friday.

The increased responsibilities for Mr. Madden came in the wake of criticism from nervous Republicans about Mr. Romney’s campaign team.The Wall Street Journal said in an editorial that the campaign “looks confused in addition to being politically dumb.”

[…]
Mr. Madden was Mr. Romney’s press secretary during the 2008 campaign, appearing frequently on television and serving as the primary foil for the cadre of national political reporters following the candidate.
You will recall that Kevin Madden complained about Governor Palin during an interview with CNN, before the 2008 election had even taken place, in October of that year, saying:

“Look, that is why people who have done this before, people who have run national campaigns, always tend to look at prospective V.P. candidates, and they’re the ones that are nationally vetted, the ones that have been governors on the scene for a long time, the ones that have been — gone through the scrutiny of the national press corps in Washington.”

Amanda Carpenter noted at the time:
Former Romney Spokesman Kevin Madden was particularly harsh on Palin in an interview on CNN. His criticism of Palin is especially noteworthy because we’re only days from the election.
In a spot with Campbell Brown Madden said Palin’s wardrobe flap showed how “unseasoned” Palin is.
Also, according to Erick Erickson (pre anti-Palin era), from October 2008:
When I was in St. Paul for the Republican Convention, I heard more than a dozen people say acolytes of Mitt Romney were feeding all the stories to the media portraying Palin in a negative light.
In fact, I heard that one of the biggest pushers of anti-Palin stories, including encouraging reporters to pursue the “Trooper-gate” story was Romney spokeshack Kevin Madden.

I did not blog on it at the time because I perceived it to be people trying to finish off Romney. It likewise seemed clear to me that if this was going on, it was people loyal to Romney who were still hoping for his come back and not Romney himself.

In 2011, Madden took a shot at Governor Palin, telling CBS News:

 [Y]ou’re using a presidential campaign as a vehicle to build a little bit more of a profile as a celebrity, or somebody who’s going to be on TV- somebody’s who’s going to be selling books and giving speeches.

Keep in mind that this was FIVE months before Governor Palin made her final decision not to seek the presidency. Governor Palin was still in the process of contemplating a run at that point. To suggest that she was using the presidential election to boost her profile, is to not understand how large her profile is. Madden was obviously trying to “poison the well” by suggesting to Republican voters that her motives for mulling a White House bid were insincere. It was an underhanded thing to do.
So, what are the odds that many of the “anonymous” attacks against Governor Palin from team Romney, actually came directly from Kevin Madden? If you look at his history of on-air statements, and his reputation, it’s not a very far-fetched notion.
The Romney campaign is trying to give off the appearance that they are getting their camp in order to settle the stomachs of GOP donors. Perhaps elevating an individual, who is known to many base Conservatives an an under-handed, trash-talking opportunist,  isn’t the best way to go about that. In fact, you might consider that a “politically dumb” move.

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