Winning The Stay-At-Home Mom Vote (Updated)

From a stay-at-home mom.

I know, I know...my alias is "grannyhelen", which I've used as a tribute to my own great-grandmother. I, myself, am a 40 year old stay-at-home mom of two in a small commuter city.

Wanna win my vote? It won't be as easy as simply nominating a "hockey mom", or even taking down the "maverick" image of John McCain. But women - and particularly mothers - may help decide this election, and it's obvious that the McCain campaign picked Governor Palin to appeal to women like me. In order to put Barack Obama in the White House, Democrats must compete successfully for these votes.

Follow me over the fold for some talking point do's and don'ts of this demographic.

First of all, there are some things that definitely turn off stay-at-home moms:

Don't engage in mommy wars. Ever. All families are different, and women make decisions to either remain in the work place or stay at home for a myriad of reasons. Never make assumptions about either working mothers or stay-at-home mothers. Never place one group as more superior to the other. It's divisive and a distraction from the issues we really care about.

Don't talk about the parenting of your opponent. It makes Obama - and the Democrats - look really, really appealing when they say that a candidate's children should be left alone. And, just for the record, we all talk about the parenting of the candidates anyway, amongst ourselves, in playgroups or venting to our spouses or family. There are a myriad of conversations happening right now among mothers about Sarah Palin's decision to place her unwed, pregnant seventeen-year-old daughter in the national spotlight when she decided to run for Vice President. There are even parents who question bringing a baby to a late night campaign rally instead of hiring a sitter.

Let parents have these conversations amongst themselves. Any politician or campaign who inserts their foot in the middle of these private discussions will look like a bully. No parent likes to be second-guessed on their decisions as a parent, but we're all humans and it's a part of human nature to judge other parents on how they raise their kids. Don't call us out on the inherent contradiction right there by making these issues public.

Now that we have some ground rules established, let's talk about how a campaign can appeal to stay-at-home moms (hint, it's about the kids):

Talk about what type of future you want for your children. Parents sacrifice daily - hourly - for their kids. Some of the sacrifices are financial, some spiritual. If you can inspire parents to sacrifice now so that their kids will have a better future, that's a powerful message. Paint that picture in specifics. How will my kids be better educated? How will they have better jobs? And, most importantly, how can I help? Stay-at-home moms have flexible schedules, and a campaign would do well to think about how to capitalize on that.

Make the attacks about the issues, not the persona. I have a child who has been diagnosed with classic autism. I have another child in Birth-to-Three because he is experiencing a speech delay. When Governor Palin said she would be an advocate for special needs in the White House that was incredibly appealing. But, when I discovered that she had cut funding for special needs by over 60% in Alaska, let's just say that the shine went right off that apple. When I found out that as mayor Sarah Palin tried to get books banned from the local library - and almost fired the city librarian when she refused do so - that really frosted my cookie. Stay-at-home moms spend a lot of time in public libraries, because it's free entertainment for the little ones, and messing around with the librarian is something most of us would not look too favorably on.

Stay-at-home moms don't want other people's agenda's thrust on our kids. So, teaching creationism in schools, banning books, having a "my way or the highway" approach to social issues...all of that undercuts our ability as parents to teach our children our values.

Talk About The Mom-Economy. What do I mean by that? Well, it's issues like equal pay for equal work. It's paid benefits for part-time jobs. It's the price of gas, the cost of daycare and the ability to give your kids healthy foods without busting the family budget. Stay-at-home moms look to make money and cut costs wherever we can. We use Craig's list and garage sales. We write books. We sit at home instead of spending the extra money to drive the car to the next town. We babysit each other's kids and scoop up all of the loose change in the change jar, to cash in at the grocery store when it gets hefty enough.

An extra tax rebate could really help all of us in the Mom-Economy. Talk that one up.

Finally, what appeals to most moms about Barack Obama is his substance and his family. As a parent he has an inherent understanding of the issues affecting both his kids and my kids, and because he's a pragmatist he doesn't give off that vibe that somehow his ideology will start affecting what my kids read and how they are taught. In short, he lets parents be parents, and that is incredibly refreshing.

I hope this helps. I am intently interested in this election because it will directly affect my children, and I'm sure most stay-at-home moms feel the same way. Understanding who we are and how to communicate with us will go a long way to getting our support. Being right on the issues, and having policies that support our kids without conflicting with our parenting decisions will go that much further toward winning our vote.

And we want our vote to be won, with responsible appeals and sound programs. Our kids are counting on us.

UPDATE There's been some discussion in the thread about whether Governor Palin actually cut special needs funding, or whether this money was moved to a different budgetary line item and whether or not funding was actually increased during her tenure in Alaska. The reason why I'm keeping the mention of the special needs funding in this diary is that when you live the life of the parent of special needs kids (I have two), even moving money around in budgets sends up major red flags. I freely admit this could be some paranoia on my part, but I think it's a paranoia that parents of special needs kids probably share. Regardless, this is being discussed in a lot of households right now, and therefore I think it is something that either the McCain campaign - or Governor Palin directly - should address.

Tags: 2008 election, Barack Obama, children, Economy, joe biden, John McCain, moms, Parents, Sarah Palin (all tags)

Comments

81 Comments

Thank you for reading

and stopping by :-)

by grannyhelen 2008-09-09 08:56AM | 0 recs
Re: Winning The Stay-At-Home Mom Vote

Some very good points!

by jsfox 2008-09-09 09:00AM | 0 recs
Thank you :) n/t

by grannyhelen 2008-09-09 09:04AM | 0 recs
Great diary!

Recommended! I particularly like the part about not talking about your opponent's parenting abilities as a campaign tactic, while recognizing there'll be uncountable private conversations about it. Reminds me of my home, where my stay-at-home Mom wife takes off on that subject with me and her friends, but wouldn't dream of using it as a campaign tactic.

by Texas Gray Wolf 2008-09-09 09:06AM | 0 recs
lol - that's funny!

All families are alike in that respect - there's a line between what we can publicly admit to discussing in our private lives.

Thank you :-)

by grannyhelen 2008-09-09 09:14AM | 0 recs
The Special Needs budget thing

I would do more research before talking that one up.  From what I've heard, it came from moving a $5 million program out of the special needs budget into its own category; the actual reduction of the budget was half a percent or so.

Don't quote me on it, just make sure the research is done before you go off on a tear about that astonishingly large change in the budget.

by Dracomicron 2008-09-09 09:17AM | 0 recs
Re: The Special Needs budget thing

I've heard some conflicting reports on that one. The reason why I left it in here as-is, is because I feel it needs some explaining, either from the McCain campaign or - dare I suggest - from Sarah Palin herself.

There's a healthy amount of skepticism among parents of special needs kids when they here stuff like this, even if it's just "money being moved around". Did it affect any programs? Was there an agenda inserted? Was something else cancelled?

It's something I'd actually like to see addressed.

by grannyhelen 2008-09-09 09:22AM | 0 recs
"hear" not "here" - sorry n/t

by grannyhelen 2008-09-09 09:27AM | 0 recs
Re: The Special Needs budget thing

The best attacks are ones that aren't easily disproved by a simple visit to factcheck or snopes.  Here's what factcheck has.  Looks like the special needs thing is not right.  Please edit the diary?  The rest of it is EXCELLENT and thank you.

http://www.factcheck.org/elections-2008/ sliming_palin.html

From factcheck.org

Palin did not cut funding for special needs education in Alaska by 62 percent. She didn't cut it at all. In fact, she tripled per-pupil funding over just three years.

*She did not demand that books be banned from the Wasilla library. Some of the books on a widely circulated list were not even in print at the time. The librarian has said Palin asked a "What if?" question, but the librarian continued in her job through most of Palin's first term.

*She was never a member of the Alaskan Independence Party, a group that wants Alaskans to vote on whether they wish to secede from the United States. She's been registered as a Republican since May 1982.

*Palin never endorsed or supported Pat Buchanan for president. She once wore a Buchanan button as a "courtesy" when he visited Wasilla, but shortly afterward she was appointed to co-chair of the campaign of Steve Forbes in the state.

Palin has not pushed for teaching creationism in Alaska's schools. She has said that students should be allowed to "debate both sides" of the evolution question, but she also said creationism "doesn't have to be part of the curriculum."

by LIsoundview 2008-09-09 10:16AM | 0 recs
Re: The Special Needs budget thing

Again, the reason why I've left in the item about special needs funding is because I feel strongly that the McCain campaign - or Sarah Palin herself - needs to address this. The problem with moving money around in special needs budgets is that it sends red flags to parents of special needs children about the possible impact all of this will have on programs. As I mentioned in the thread, being the parent of two special needs kids makes one slightly paranoia about how funding and agendas affect these programs, and I would like to have an explanation directly from the campaign or Gov Palin on this issue.

The banning books thing doesn't seem to be as cut and dried as the first sentence in FactCheck indicates - from the FactCheck link:

It's true that Palin did raise the issue with Mary Ellen Emmons, Wasilla's librarian, on at least two occasions, three in some versions. Emmons flatly stated her opposition each time. But, as the Mat-Su Valley Frontiersman (Wasilla's local paper) reported at the time, Palin asked general questions about what Emmons would say if Palin requested that a book be banned. According to Emmons, Palin "was asking me how I would deal with her saying a book can't be in the library." Emmons reported that Palin pressed the issue, asking whether Emmons' position would change if residents were picketing the library. Wasilla resident Anne Kilkenny, who was at the meeting, corroborates Emmons' story, telling the Chicago Tribune that "Sarah said to Mary Ellen, 'What would your response be if I asked you to remove some books from the collection?' "

Palin characterized the exchange differently, initially volunteering the episode as an example of discussions with city employees about following her administration's agenda. Palin described her questions to Emmons as "rhetorical," noting that her questions "were asked in the context of professionalism regarding the library policy that is in place in our city." Actually, true rhetorical questions have implied answers (e.g., "Who do you think you are?"), so Palin probably meant to describe her questions as hypothetical or theoretical. We can't read minds, so it is impossible for us to know whether or not Palin may actually have wanted to ban books from the library or whether she simply wanted to know how her new employees would respond to an instruction from their boss. It is worth noting that, in an update, the Frontiersman points out that no book was ever banned from the library's shelves.

Palin initially requested Emmons' resignation, along with those of Wasilla's other department heads, in October 1996. Palin described the requests as a loyalty test and allowed all of them (except one, whose department she was eliminating) to retain their positions. But in January 1997, Palin fired Emmons, along with the police chief. According to the Chicago Tribune, Palin did not list censorship as a reason for Emmons' firing, but said she didn't feel she had Emmons' support. The decision caused "a stir" in the small town, according to a newspaper account at the time. According to a widely circulated e-mail from Kilkenny, "city residents rallied to the defense of the City Librarian and against Palin's attempt at out-and-out censorship, so Palin backed down and withdrew her termination letter."

So it's unclear from me to all of that whether or not she attempted to ban any books, or put pressure on the librarian to ban books. Again, I'm leaving this in there because I feel that this is something the McCain campaign should address.

by grannyhelen 2008-09-09 10:50AM | 0 recs
"paranoid" not "paranoia"

- sorry

by grannyhelen 2008-09-09 10:51AM | 0 recs
Re: The Special Needs budget thing

someone on another blog was saying that arguments are best framed gently because it could result in the argument flipping from offensive to defensive pretty durn quick.

by 12 dogs and a blog 2008-09-09 10:58AM | 0 recs
Re: The Special Needs budget thing

See my update - if anything I think the McCain campaign is only helping themselves by clarifying this issue directly...

by grannyhelen 2008-09-09 11:08AM | 0 recs
Re: The Special Needs budget thing

"...See my update - if anything I think the McCain campaign is only helping themselves by clarifying this issue directly..." granny helen 9-9--08

Yeppers, I agree with you, I just wonder how it is affecting Sen. Obama.

Great to see this diary. I'm happy to see the Dem Party reach out to the at home mom.

Thanks,
12 dogs

(have been both an at home and working mom)

by 12 dogs and a blog 2008-09-09 11:36AM | 0 recs
Thank you 12 dogs...

Solidarity :-)

by grannyhelen 2008-09-09 12:01PM | 0 recs
Re: The Special Needs budget thing

Who did you support in the primary?

For later when you have time:
I'm interested in electing a woman to the White House.

I was wondering:

Would love to know what your list of women for the job.

As Democrat, I know that you are familiar with Sen. Clinton, but are you familiar with Gov. Sebelius?

What are you feelings about abortion rights?

by 12 dogs and a blog 2008-09-09 11:42AM | 0 recs
I was an Edwards supporter

b/c I loved him putting poverty front and center in his policy platform. When he dropped out I was agnostic.

Regarding abortion, I might have a very unique perspective: I believe any truly free society must let women make the decision completely on their own regarding whom they chose to procreate with and whether to have children. The question of when a fetus is sentient is literally one that is "above my pay grade", but I doubt that a fertilized egg is sentient. Therefore, it only makes sense to have women make these decisions with their family and the religious/philosophical counselors of their choosing.

My husband is Roman Catholic and pro-life. Truly pro-life, as in no death penalty, affordable health care for all pro-life. But he wouldn't want to legislate his pro-life beliefs regarding when life begins.

I am familiar with Gov Sebelius, and would have had no problems w her being on the ticket. Other Dem women I would have had no problems with include Barbara Boxer and Maxine Waters. Other GOP women McCain could have chosen that would have been more qualified: CT gov Jodi Rell (who cleaned up after John Rowland), Olympia Snow, Kay Bailey Hutchinson.  

So..just random thoughts ;-)

by grannyhelen 2008-09-09 12:00PM | 0 recs
Re: I was an Edwards supporter


Seems like it's my turn to say thank you, Granny Helen. Thank you very much.

I asked alot of questions down stream. As I've been reading diary, I can see that you've been answering alot of my questions through out the blog. No need to repeat. I'm reading so I'll see and ask follow up where you've answered those questions.

I am serious about getting a female in the oval office. These things seem to happen waaaay ahead of primaries. As you remember, Sen. Obama was a speaker at the 2004 DNC. Quite a speech he gave too. It would be good to look at the female candidates who spoke at this year's convention. What is your opinion?

Would be sad to loose the momentum that Sen. Clinton organized for women this primary season.

Would you know who is doing an analysis of the this primary and GE in light of women's issues?

I've heard someone say that Sen. Clinton and Gov.Palin are running like a man. That they wish that Sen. Clinton would have run like a woman. Wonder what that looks like?

When you get a moment. I know that you are busy and this is a tangent to the GE but it's easier to collect information (data) while it's happening than later. Could propose strategy now with the Sen. that could be used later by female candidate.

Do you know who is doing this so we could go participate?

Maybe we could start asking folks now?

LOL Your writing style is familiar. If you are someone I might know but with a different nick, could you let me know?

Thank you again for your time and answers grannyhelen.

Thank you for this diary.

It's very much appreciated.

by 12 dogs and a blog 2008-09-09 12:48PM | 0 recs
Re: I was an Edwards supporter

Hey 12 dogs!

I've been using the alias "grannyhelen" for years...you'd probably recognize me if we had met IRL ;-)

I'd love to see Hil - or indeed any woman - run as a woman. If you're familiar with the nineteenth century concepts of Republican motherhoodism and True Womanhood (or even examining how Elizabeth 1 consolidated her power in England), I think there could be some ways women could succeed in modern American politics by really being women and not men.

Not sure who's doing the post-primary analysis of these things, but am available to aid with it as needed - just let me know :-)

Regarding Hil...also not sure on timeframes here vis a vis her age and what she wants the rest of her life to look like, but I would LUV to see her run for Gov of NY. Sitting here in CT the two states affect each other so much it'd be nice to see a strong gov there.

Regarding who can be "groomed" for the future...I know this isn't immediate but I have been struck by Chelsea Clinton. She has style, grace, charisma and I think the sooner she gets into public office - somewhere, anywhere - the better.

My immediate thoughts ;-)

by grannyhelen 2008-09-09 01:05PM | 0 recs
Woman as president

Hooray for us that collectively the public is fine with a woman in the whitehouse.  You've come a long way baby. (unless using a Virginia Slims catchphrase is unappropriate).

As long as its not a woman for the sake of voting for a woman.  Personally, I want someone who is best qualified for the job.  My last 3 bosses were women, and they were certainly the most qualified for their position.

Life ain't fair, especially politics, and I do think that (unfortunately) underrepresented blocks of people still have to work harder than their white male counterparts to prove themselves.  One day soon though.

So no one should get the kid glove treatment because of their color, age, disability, sex - ok?

by mydailydrunk 2008-09-09 01:18PM | 0 recs
Amen...

...to all of the above ;-)

by grannyhelen 2008-09-09 01:48PM | 0 recs
Re: Woman as president

"...Life ain't fair, especially politics, and I do think that (unfortunately) underrepresented blocks of people still have to work harder than their white male counterparts to prove themselves.  One day soon though.

So no one should get the kid glove treatment because of their color, age, disability, sex - ok?"

Well okay, but after this primary, I don't think you could say Sen. Clinton got kid glove treatment.

If it's okay with you though I still say please and thank you. Especially in this blog where everyone seems to be getting along.

by 12 dogs and a blog 2008-09-11 06:07PM | 0 recs
Re: The Special Needs budget thing

The only thing more boring than Gov. Sebelius speaking would be reading about the IRS in a 1935 edition of the encyclopedia.

I would love to vote for any of the following:  Carol Moseley Braun.  I loved her in 2004, and she got NO traction at all.  Barbara Boxer.  Barbara Mikulski.  Or Hillary.

by LIsoundview 2008-09-12 12:14PM | 0 recs
Re: The Special Needs budget thing

Carol Mosley Braun (Thank you, it bugged the heck out of me that she didn't get more support or exposure for future elections.)

by 12 dogs and a blog 2008-09-12 11:10PM | 0 recs
Re: The Special Needs budget thing

"Figures don't lie, liars figure."

Regarding special education, there are only HJR29 first read into record 1/15/08 and SJR13, read 1/18/08, and reads as follows:

..."urging the President of the United States and the United States Congress to fulfill the Federal obligation to provide adequate funding for Special Education in the public schools."

Asking for $ from the feds, which is perfectly fine, just don't purport it to be any sort of special initiate on her part.

Line item budgets covering special needs education through Challenge Alaska (to improve quality of life for people with disabilities and the whole community) and the Special Education Service Agency (SESA provides assistance to Alaskan school districts and carry intervention programs serving students with low-incidence disabilities, e.g. blindness, deafness, autism). had the budget increased from FY2007 3.92% and 0.04% respectively.

These are much needed programs and I fully support their necessity, but for someone purporting to be a staunch advocate for special needs, these budgetary increases are, well, I'll let you decide.

My point being is that there is no indication of her promotion or support of special needs programs or education beyond what the state had already allocated and projected.

If I were a governor with a special needs child, I'd certainly be using my status to bring attention to special education and similar issues.  So now that it has been brought to light about Trig, what is she doing?

There simply is no evidence that she was or will be a staunch advocate, except her relation to her son.

No proposed legislation, no advocacy, nothing.  Just because she says she is just don't make it so.

by mydailydrunk 2008-09-09 01:04PM | 0 recs
Re: The Special Needs budget thing

How old is Tri, Mydailydrunk?

by 12 dogs and a blog 2008-09-11 05:33PM | 0 recs
Re: Oh Steve Forbes

Yes, it is.  Because when you attack her about the flat tax & Steve Forbes, it has the virtue of being true.  When you attack her about Buchanan, it's an easily disproved lie, and so makes you, and if you have any position with the Obama campaign, Obama, look like a liar.

Attacking with the truth is always better.

by LIsoundview 2008-09-12 12:10PM | 0 recs
Re: Winning The Stay-At-Home Mom Vote

Great diary but there is a factual error and we need to avoid to appear to be spreading lies:

æSince Gov Palin has taken office, she, along with the Legislature, have reworked the school funding for the State of Alaska.  What have they done for special needs children?  Well, according to an April 2008 report, the legislature and Gov. Palin have increased funding for special needs children by 175%.  That is an increase from $26,900 per student to $73,840 per student.

http://www.edweek.org/ew/articles/2008/0 4/30/35recaps.h27.html

So, to sum it up...her predecessor cut funding by 60% and she increased by 175%."

Seems they reorganized how the money was allocated but actually allocated more. Attacking the mother of a special needs child for this and being proven to wrong will make someone look like about the biggest, most vile SOB to run for office since David Duke. I would back away from this as fast as possible.

by 2maddogs 2008-09-09 09:29AM | 0 recs
Re: Winning The Stay-At-Home Mom Vote

Fair point - but see what I wrote above. As the parent of not one but two special needs children, even something as innocuous as "moving money in the budget" sends out big red warning lights.

My biggest concern is whether this budget allocation or whatever occurred affected any special needs programs, or allowed different agendas to be inserted.

Sorry - living this stuff makes one slightly paranoid. Anywho, it is something I would like to see the McCain campaign or Palin herself explain.

by grannyhelen 2008-09-09 09:34AM | 0 recs
Re: Winning The Stay-At-Home Mom Vote

Correct me if I am wrong about the special needs funding timeline, but she authorized the funding increase only after she knew about her son having Downs?

So, the question for Gov. Palin would be, "What, if any support did you provide prior to learning of YOUR child's eventual needs?"

Is this indicative of her governing style - if it doesn't affect me, I DON'T CARE.

----------
This is from a person whose parents have been working with special needs programs (designing, teaching, grant writing) since 1977 in Arkansas and Maine.  They have great admiration for both Clintons for their support of special needs programs when money was verrrrry tight for ALL education initiatives.

by mydailydrunk 2008-09-09 11:31AM | 0 recs
Re: Winning The Stay-At-Home Mom Vote

Another good question, and that I'd like Gov Palin to address directly.

by grannyhelen 2008-09-09 11:37AM | 0 recs
Re: Winning The Stay-At-Home Mom Vote

What is their opinion on Sen. Obama's record in respect to special needs?

What to they anticipate Sen. Obama's educational policy will look like?

by 12 dogs and a blog 2008-09-09 11:45AM | 0 recs
Re: parents opinion

You'd have to ask them yourself. ;)

The salient point was to underline Gov. Palin's purported support of an issue with absolutely nothing to back her statements.

She's going around saying that she's going to be a "friend" of special needs, when in the past, as governor, mayor, PTA mom, has done nothing to support her statement.  Its simply disingenuous.

by mydailydrunk 2008-09-09 03:08PM | 0 recs
Re: parents opinion

"...You'd have to ask them yourself. ;)

The salient point was to underline Gov. Palin's purported support of an issue with absolutely nothing to back her statements.

She's going around saying that she's going to be a "friend" of special needs, when in the past, as governor, mayor, PTA mom, has done nothing to support her statement.  Its simply disingenuous."

----------
mydailydrunk.

I'm asking you what you know about Sen.Obama, Sen. McCain, and Sen. Biden's record on the issue of special needs for a reason. You seem to be quoting alot of information about Gov.Palin. I was thinking that you would have equal knowledge about the three Senators. Gov. Palin's child is very young.

I imagine she is now VERY aware of the challenges of raising a special needs child. Don't you? If you don't know what your own candidates views are on the subject AND their voting record you kind of look like you're picking on a mother of a special needs child.

What you may think is tough politics looks meanspirited to me. I may have missunderstood. Could you clarify for me please?

In addition, I wonder if you are you a parent of a special needs child?

(I'm sorry if I've missed this in a previous post.)

by 12 dogs and a blog 2008-09-11 05:46PM | 0 recs
Re: Winning The Stay-At-Home Mom Vote

What is their opinion with respect to Sen. Biden's support in general in the area of education and more specifically in the area of special needs?

(voting and sponsoring legislation)

Same for Sen. McCain.

Gov. Palin seems to be already underdiscussion.

by 12 dogs and a blog 2008-09-09 11:48AM | 0 recs
Re: Winning The Stay-At-Home Mom Vote

Nice diary.  I agree with a lot of what you have to say.  I think mom's really hate war for the most part.   I think it is time to make the war, and McCain love of war, and eagerness for new wars, to be brought front and center in this campaign.

by RichardFlatts 2008-09-09 09:29AM | 0 recs
More "not Alex" ads...

...that was effective.

by grannyhelen 2008-09-09 09:35AM | 0 recs
great diary
well thought out.  I agree with the first part of your diary.  When my husband and I heard of Sarah Palin's daughter and young son, we were turned off and have discussed her parenting choices at length.  While we'd be considered "progressive" in most of our views, some of her choices as a "mommy" have given us pause, however, seeing it talked about on the news and blogs is overkill and without merit.
I'm more interested in hearing about her record as governor or mayor.  
We spend a LOT of time at the library and I was personally horrified that she discussed the banning of books, like most people.  Another choice that scares me is her "right wing" church.  It is extreme and wouldn't want my child exposed to some of the things they preach there (pray away the gay... come on).  
Anyway, what I've been trying to say... great post.  Exactly the kinds of discussions I've been hearing as a stay at home mom and wife.
by IndianaMommy 2008-09-09 09:40AM | 0 recs
Re: great diary

How would you handle critical comments Rev. Wright in relation to Sen. Obama?

by 12 dogs and a blog 2008-09-09 10:54AM | 0 recs
Re: great diary

Honestly, I think Obama's reaction to Wright was political, it's unfortunate and my immediate reaction to the footage was that I (in a way) agreed with what the reverend was saying- but to admit that seems to get a fire in the belly of pretty much any scared white person (even though I'm white.)

 However, my inlaws attend an Assemblies of God church, and their views are right on my doorstep, while Wright seems more detached, possibly because I've only ever seen what has been "handpicked" for the newscast.  I know what your "average" Assemblies of God congregate is like, and they honestly scare me because they TRULY believe what they say and appear so easily brainwashed by whatever the preachers say.  My mother in law believes deep in her soul that Hurricane Katrina was God's wrath for allowing homosexuals to live in New Orleans.  She BELIEVES that GWB is fulfilling prophecy.  She BELIEVES that if Obama is elected that God will "take his hand off America", but if John McCain is elected, he'll "keep is hand ON America".  

by IndianaMommy 2008-09-11 08:49AM | 0 recs
Re: great diary

Indiana Mommy,

I was asking about Rev. Wright because of the following in your statement above:

"...Another choice that scares me is her "right wing" church.  It is extreme and wouldn't want my child exposed to some of the things they preach there (pray away the gay..."

I live in a RedState where religious topics are part of the political discourse.

How would you handle the following comment?

"...Yes, but Sen. Obama's preacher is also very much immersed in the political discussion from the pulpit. He is mixing God with politics too. What about the separation of church and state?..."

Or

"...When our preacher wanted to discuss politics from the pulpit, our church was threated with taking away our tax exempt status. We were told it was against the law to talk about religion as part of our daily worship service. Yet Rev. Wright seems to not face that same situation..."

I'm not attacking your personal beliefs but since you brought up personal experiences, I thought you might have suggestions on a way to answer these two concerns.

Thank you for responding to my query. I look forward to your response.

by 12 dogs and a blog 2008-09-11 06:02PM | 0 recs
Re: great diary

I don't disagree with the first comment.  I believe strongly that church and state should be separated, however, in the RECENT remarks made my Rev. Wright (during primary season) he was not speaking as a representative of the United Church of Christ or Obama's church specifically or even the Senator, but rather as a citizen who had become the center of media attention.  Further, personally, I disagree with what he said and the manner he said them.  My husband's niece's husband (got that? :) is an Assemblies of God preacher and I know for fact he preaches politics from the pulpit and has no remorse for doing so.  I wonder how enforced this tax-exempt status is?  Especially with the likes of Rick Warren, Pat Robertson, et al.  While I definitely disagree with what THEY preach, I am equally against more progressive preachers discussing politics in church.  Simply because I am an Obama supporter, does not mean I must support (or defend) people like Rev. Wright, who Obama himself, has rejected.

I live in a red state as well, and while my family (mother, father, step mom, sister, etc.) are quite progressive, my in laws are the opposite.  My husband attended "bible college" in the Assemblies of God faith (again Sarah Palin's church) with intentions of preaching or becoming a missionary and was so turned off at the things he was learning, he left he school and the church and has never returned.  I respect him for what he did, being the only member of his family to question his faith and their teachings- he said he just couldn't reconcile what he was being taught with what he knew in his heart (and mind) to be true.  This was long before he met me, but he can still quote scripture and name verses and is eloquent giving grace on holidays.  In a way, his experience has shaped and cemented is faith, though not in the way the church intended.  Personally, I am agnostic, though I love to talk about the Bible with my husband and debate theology.  

I am sorry for the delay in this response, your questions were thoughtful and I wanted to be sure my answer was thoughtful as well.  (Not to mention I have a sick 3 year old and newborn- not fun- all while packing for a 10 day car trip sigh)

by IndianaMommy 2008-09-12 04:05PM | 0 recs
Re: great diary

Indiana mommy. Sick three year old and cartrip. Oh my. My thoughts are with you. I hope that your little one gets over their illness soon. I'm glad that it's a car trip and not an airplane ride. You'll have alittle more control over the trip than if you flew. No worries about the time of reply. Completely understand.

by 12 dogs and a blog 2008-09-12 11:18PM | 0 recs
Re: Winning The Stay-At-Home Mom Vote

This one very insightful diary.  Thank you.

by lockewasright 2008-09-09 09:49AM | 0 recs
Re: Winning The Stay-At-Home Mom Vote

I think what you mean to say is that because you are a woman, you will vote for any woman who's nominated, just like how real ducks will be drawn to decoys. It's science.

I noticed you mentioned some issues and stuff, like the economy. That's a mistake. Those are only meant to distract you. Doesn't the governor have a lovely family? Her children might even be the same ages as yours. You wouldn't vote against your own children, would you?

by Johnny Gentle Famous Crooner 2008-09-09 09:55AM | 0 recs
lol - too funny ;-) n/t

by grannyhelen 2008-09-09 10:53AM | 0 recs
Re: Winning The Stay-At-Home Mom Vote

LOL Not tonight Johnny Gentle Famous Crooner,

I really do have a headache. :D

by 12 dogs and a blog 2008-09-11 06:03PM | 0 recs
Is this

on Dkos?

I found that you also cross posted it at Progressive Blue (formally known as EENR).
http://www.eenrblog.com/showDiary.do?dia ryId=2512

by kevin22262 2008-09-09 09:59AM | 0 recs
Yes, earlier today...

but that's like holding up a sign for five minutes on a subway platform during rush hour.

by grannyhelen 2008-09-09 10:54AM | 0 recs
Re: Yes, earlier today...

Do you have the link?

by kevin22262 2008-09-09 12:36PM | 0 recs
by grannyhelen 2008-09-09 12:51PM | 0 recs
I agree with a lot of what you say

I'm also a mother of two... in an urban area and I own my own company, so I juggle work and family.

I disagree with Sarah Palin on virtually every political issue and I regard her agenda with a high level of dread. I'd never in a million years be attracted to the McCain/Palin ticket. I'm a hardcore liberal Democrat and my kids and their future NEED a Democrat in the White House.

Yet I find myself absolutely repulsed by the slams against Sarah Palin as a working mother, as a parent, as a strong woman/career woman etc. I have come to her defense MANY times among friends and family who insist on gleefully bashing her. Personally I cannot help but applaud her and her accomplishments as a woman in a man's world. I welcome her emergence as a high-level female candidate. I also feel like I am in reverso-world where the GOP VP candidate is talking about breastpumps while Democrats feel the need to fit Michelle Obama into a more palatable, softer First Lady image. Sigh.

Slightly in defense of Palin... you are alarmed at Palin's record on Special Ed funding and think that it renders her pledge to fight for special children null-and-void or disingenuous. I disagree. I think that life experience plays a huge role here in terms of advocacy and understanding / empathy. For example, my children were conceived through IVF... after a long slog of ectopic pregnancies and a late second trimester pregnancy loss. Prior to that I had absolutely no awareness or understanding of infertility issues, prematurity, preterm labor, stillbirth etc. Now that I have lived it, I am an advocate, a volunteer for Resolve and give a slew of money to the March of Dimes etc. Don't jump to the conclusion that she is not sincere. Her son is brand new, she IS now walking in the shoes of someone with a special needs child... she wasn't when the budgets in question were passed etc.

by twinmom 2008-09-09 11:30AM | 0 recs
Let's just say I'm skeptical...

...regarding the money shuffle and any possible agendas behind it. Trying to be open minded, but highly skeptical (which is why I'd like to see her directly address this).

Solidarity to a fellow mom! I fought to get a room at work where I could pump in privacy with the door locked. I eventually left due to a confluence of issues, not the least of which had to do with paying more in daycare than our mortgage.

That's part of what I was trying to convey (and hopefully succeeded in some degree). Don't question the parenting. Don't get into the mommy wars...

...but do - as I do - question the policies. As a parent of special needs kids I can tell you that McCain's (remember that guy? ;-) ) insistence on school vouchers scares me, because what that does is pull a lot of the kids away from the public schools that my kids would otherwise be integrated with. There's no incentive for private schools to take on special needs kids, which is one of my biggest objections to a vouchers system.

Maybe Gov Palin will experience this one, too, as her baby starts pre-K. I hope so.

by grannyhelen 2008-09-09 11:46AM | 0 recs
Re: Winning The Stay-At-Home Mom Vote (Updated)

Hi ya! Glad to see this diary. I'm a mom too.

Have been a working and a stay at home mom.

The talk today was about Sen. Obama's education platform including discussion about the use of Charter Schools and vouchers and the effect these two types of schools would have.

I know that this is an issue in  which moms have in common, regardless of your political affiliation. Especially important if Sen. Obama is working to get the Independent and cross over Republican mom.

I am very interested in your opinion as a stay at home mom and as a mom of a special needs child.

A few other questions too.

I was wondering what was your educational background and work experience? Do you plan to go back to school or are you currently in school?

How long have you been out of the workforce or are you part time? Do you plan to reenter the work force? When?

What has your experience been with the mommy track? How do you think government should handle this issue?

What do you think will be Sen. Obama's educational policy? I'm especially interested if you are or plan to be in the educational field.

For example, President's educational policy was "Goals 2000".  President Bushes educational policy was "No Child Left Behind"
   In general, how would you change these educational policies to reflect the reality of children?  

Are you satisfied with the educational opportunities for your children?

by 12 dogs and a blog 2008-09-09 11:30AM | 0 recs
Hello to 12 dogs!

1. Charter schools OK, vouchers bad in my book (see above in the thread - I basically feel that vouchers are at cross purposes with special ed/special needs). What is vitally important in special needs is early intervention, the earlier the better. And it needs to be at home b/c if you're a 1 car family like us - or if gas prices are an issue - then you can't really get your child from A to B without some type of transportation assistance.

Also, more support for parents in dealing with these issues would be nice. There's a hump you have to get over and - as nice as some of the Birth to Three folks are - sometimes they don't understand that for you all of this is new and more often than not slightly traumatic when you first discover your child has special needs.

2. Educational background: bachelor's degree fine arts. Employment prospects: working on a book (have the first chapter written - woo hoo!). Will see how that goes. Cross your fingers for me ;-) No plans of going back for a masters or doctorate.

3. Out of the workforce 1 year. If the book works out then maybe I can make it a viable lifestyle. Know a few other moms in the area who do things like this - independent contractor work, creative work, etc.

4. How should govt handle the mommy track. Wow. How about making childcare more affordable. That would be a big help. Add some additional incentives for business to allow employees to work from home or flex.

Also, remember that there are women out there who are trying to start up their own businesses while they're at home with their kids, or like me they're trying to make it as writers or graphic design artists or choreographers. Universal health care really helps with these options, as does more generous tax credits for dependents. Some type of public daycare would also help as it would give women like me a few hours out of the day to try to work on projects like this without worrying about the little ones. Even half days, or odd/even days, would help.

5. NCLB was a disaster, frankly, as it forces schools to teach to the test. When you get into areas of special ed there are things that children need to have as a part of their day that aren't test driven. For instance, my daughter has high visual skills and loves art. She needs to be encouraged to develop this skill that she excells in, in addition to working on the other areas that she needs to shore up. NCLB doesn't allow enough flexibility for things like this, imo, because it forces teacher to just teach to the test (and what about the visual arts does one test in elementary school?).

I would have different metrics than the ones used in NCLB and develop the concept of teaching to the "whole child". We should be tracking children as individuals and not necessarily as "special ed track" and on the other side of the spectrum "gifted" track. The metric should be whether the school can see the areas that a child excells in and can challenge them (instead of just letting it ride), in addition to whether it can also see the areas a child has a deficit in and develop a plan to shore it up.

Summer school, I think, is a vital component of this, and I would like to see more funding for a longer duration of summer school, even if it's only half days. Our child was enrolled in a "summer camp" that was outsourced in addition to 4 weeks of summer school - while the school was great the camp wasn't as good as it could have been due to issues of familiarity and transition.

Anywho...

We are OK living in Connnecticut, because there are good programs here for children with autism. Even so, we still had to hire an educational advocate to help us negotiate things with the school board. My parents live in Nebraska and my mom is involved in childhood ed there, and she says there's just not the same services available for autism there.

So...

I would like to see the federal government attempt to do some type of standardization, but not in the way it's doing it NCLB. What about a program that examines good schools, takes best practices and tries to implement them in school districts that have problems? What about reworking the funding for schools systems away from a property tax base and over to a needs based (although that would probably be really hard to do politically, I think it would help overall).

And, the biggest thing in the area of autism is diagnosis and consistency. At least in the area of diagnosis I think there could be some federal guidelines that could help out there as well.

Sorry if this is long winded - I appreciate you asking :)

by grannyhelen 2008-09-09 12:40PM | 0 recs
Why not just "Winning the Mom Vote"?

I agree with your general premise about how to go after women's votes, but why the "Stay-At-Home" in your title, especially when your diary then goes on to say "Don't engage in mommy wars"? All of the things you mention apply to working women too (and in some cases even more).

by LakersFan 2008-09-09 11:34AM | 0 recs
Re: Why not just "Winning the Mom Vote"?

This is an interesting question when crafting message.

The same could also be said about parenting being a mom issue.

Is it?

Or is it a parent issue.

What about the stay at home dad or co parents?

What about blended families?

Thanks LakersFan for bring this up.

by 12 dogs and a blog 2008-09-09 11:55AM | 0 recs
Re: Why not just "Winning the Mom Vote"?

What about parenting rights for same sex couples? Adoption too?

by 12 dogs and a blog 2008-09-09 11:57AM | 0 recs
Re: Why not just "Winning the Mom Vote"?

Excellent points.

by LakersFan 2008-09-09 03:00PM | 0 recs
Re: Why not just "Winning the Mom Vote"?

Simply because I am a stay at home mom and it was a stylistic choice.

As I said, though, I really don't support the "mommy wars" and think it would be a cross-purposes messaging wise.

by grannyhelen 2008-09-09 12:45PM | 0 recs
Re: Why not just "Winning the Mom Vote"?

No worries grannyhelen. Non at all. It reads well your diary. It encourages discussions on the broader issues of concern to all families.

Nice.

Were you here during the primaries?

by 12 dogs and a blog 2008-09-09 12:57PM | 0 recs
Re: Why not just "Winning the Mom Vote"?

Have to go. Will be back later to night or early tomorrow to reply. 12 dogs.

by 12 dogs and a blog 2008-09-09 12:59PM | 0 recs
Re: Why not just "Winning the Mom Vote"?

Have rec'd this diary. For encouraging the conversation about the issues. Nice, friendly atmosphere in which to discuss a big plus.

Thank you, 12 dogs.

by 12 dogs and a blog 2008-09-09 01:03PM | 0 recs
Re: Why not just "Winning the Mom Vote"?

Thanks 12 dogs...was around here for a bit around the end of the primaries, and then took some time off.

See you around - thank you for stopping by ;-)

by grannyhelen 2008-09-09 01:09PM | 0 recs
Re: Winning The Stay-At-Home Mom Vote (Updated)

Very nice diary.  I have a conservative friend whose oldest has a minor speech problem.  Might be no big deal, but here in NYC there is government-funded speech therapy available, so he took advantage of it.  "Big government ain't so bad after all, eh?" I said to him.  I'm confident that a liberal set up that program, because it's what we do.

Your comment about the "mommy wars" also rings very true to me.  My wife is an avid consumer of mommy blogs, and I know that people talk about these issues incessantly among themselves.  Yet you're right, it's foolish for any politician to try and seize one side of the discussion for political reasons, it comes off badly.  The irony is that it's the Republicans, the ones who have been so judgmental of family decisions over the years, who are suddenly all up in arms in defense of a woman's right to make whatever lifestyle choices she pleases.  I wish I could feel confident that they will continue to adhere to this position once Palin's candidacy is over, but I have my doubts.

by Steve M 2008-09-09 12:59PM | 0 recs
Re: Winning The Stay-At-Home Mom Vote (Updated)

Thanks, Steve. State funded programs like the one you mentioned are a very big deal - sometimes that makes all the difference.

Glad to see it helped your friend (even if he wouldn't have voted for the type of politician who probably pushed for it ;-) )

by grannyhelen 2008-09-09 01:14PM | 0 recs
Moms rock!

Donna is a stay at home Mom, a job that gets less respect and more rewards than any other.  We just piled birthday presents on her, the kids were amazingly cute (how do that *do* that?), Donna is happy and therefore the world is allowed to continue its diurnal rotation.  Perhaps any husband (or wife) could say similar things about their spouse, but there is something incredibly grounded about a parent who sees the world entirely through the prism of their family.  "Lofty rhetoric my butt, I got kids to raise here!"

Photobucket

You hit the nail on the head.  Thanks for a great diary!

-chris

by chrisblask 2008-09-09 01:13PM | 0 recs
What a great photo!

Thanks for posting it, and for the kind words :-)

by grannyhelen 2008-09-09 01:17PM | 0 recs
Thanks, we like her. :~)

The kids are OK, too.

-chris

by chrisblask 2008-09-09 01:55PM | 0 recs
Re: Thanks, we like her. :~)

Chrisblask,
Well now I see where you get your good sense from. Kind regards to family. As for the cute power of kids? Who knows.

If only we could bottle up the kindness and cuteness of kids and send it around the world.

World would be a better place.

12 dogs

by 12 dogs and a blog 2008-09-11 06:35PM | 0 recs
Re: Winning The Stay-At-Home Mom Vote (Updated)

Though I'm not a Mom, much less a stay-at-home Mom,I can related to some of the points you raise as a father of three toddlers, one of whom has special needs (Down syndrome).  Overall this is a wonderful diary.  Thanks for contributing it.

Having said that, I share with others disappointment in your inclusion of the falso special education rumor.  Education Week -- hardly a conservative source -- makes clear that the change in budgeting was completing innocuous:

The difference in funding, however, is because the Alaska Challenge Youth Academy moved to a budget line item of its own. In the fiscal 2009 budget, you can see that the academy alone has a budget of $6,082,100. When you add that to the $3,156,000 that is being spent on all the other projects, it adds up to $9,238,100--an approximately 12 percent INCREASE in spending on all those particular programs, put together, since fiscal 2007.

This is above and beyond the 175% increase in special ed funding from 2008-2011.

I suggest that your insistence that this "raises red flags" and "deserves explanation" without any evidence that there is wrongdoing is inappropriate.  I haven't heard any special education group in Alaska complaining about this rebudgeting.

Any attacks made on Palin will be more effective if not so easily refuted.  I participate in special ed listservs and a lot of the parents there are livid that Palin is being attacked with false rumors about cutting special ed funding when she hasn't really done so.

by markjay 2008-09-09 01:42PM | 0 recs
Re: Winning The Stay-At-Home Mom Vote (Updated)

She DECREASED funding to SESA according to the FY2008 budget.  SESA would be the agency who would help children with autism and Down's.  Alaska challenge is a whole different horse.

http://www.gov.state.ak.us/omb/08_OMB/bu dget/EED/comp2735.pdf

by mydailydrunk 2008-09-09 01:57PM | 0 recs
Re: Winning The Stay-At-Home Mom Vote (Updated)

"...Any attacks made on Palin will be more effective if not so easily refuted.  I participate in special ed listservs and a lot of the parents there are livid that Palin is being attacked with false rumors about cutting special ed funding when she hasn't really done so..."

markjay  Sep09,08

-----------

markjay,

Would you mind listing some of the listserv so that we could read this too. I'd be interested in reading about what folks in Alaska has to say about her record on this issue..

Thanks.

by 12 dogs and a blog 2008-09-11 06:40PM | 0 recs
From a former stay at home mom

they're all good points.

And don't sweat Palin's individual record (or lack of one) on some of these key issues. The GOP has a terrible record on all of these issues and you should use that brush to tar her reputation.  

She's not a reformer, she's supported her party and will continue to do so on all of these cuts and many more to programs important to moms and women in general.  GOP elected officials pretty much vote in lockstep and Palin has been and will be the same.  

by Betsy McCall 2008-09-09 03:57PM | 0 recs
Re: From a former stay at home mom

too true - and thank you for the reminder on the general track record (or lack thereof) in the GOP on family issues like these.

by grannyhelen 2008-09-09 04:01PM | 0 recs
The "reform" message is such a scam

The GOP has very, very few members who dissent from the party line. A few are allowed to do so when it will help their chances for reelection and if their vote will have no actual impact on legislation.  Its a con game they've been playing for years.

Palin will do as she's told, if, Koresh forbid, she's elected.  

by Betsy McCall 2008-09-09 04:04PM | 0 recs
Re: The "reform" message is such a scam

Koresh forbid...too. darn. funny.

Honestly, I don't see how folks are buying this stuff. Sorta makes me wonder if Obama's negatives aren't higher than folks have been letting on and they've been trying to find an excuse to give the nice lady on the phone why they won't vote for him.

by grannyhelen 2008-09-09 04:20PM | 0 recs
Re: The "reform" message is such a scam

Craven political opportunism at its most revolting form.

If this could give you renewed optimism, remember these polls are not counting first time voters for anything.  They're based on the assumption that there are an equal number of Dem and Rep. voters, so they call 1000 people and base the number of responses with the premise that there are 500 of each.  Their models aren't using a weighted average.

So I keep saying to myself everytime I want to smash my head in with a hammer.

Hope it helps.

by mydailydrunk 2008-09-09 08:22PM | 0 recs
Re: The "reform" message is such a scam

DK also had a diary up last night about the pollsters changing the ratios of dems, indies and GOPers, so hopefully that's affecting things as well...

by grannyhelen 2008-09-10 04:02AM | 0 recs
Re: Winning The Stay-At-Home Mom Vote (Updated)

I was far more conservative when I was a stay-at-home mom.  This was during the Reagan era (didn't vote for him!) so there was a nationwide veering to the Right.  However, I experienced a shift in my own political priorities during that time.

I was far more concerned about "local" and "security" issues than before or since.  And for some bizarre inexplicable reason I became almost hostile towards progressive social issues driven by my aggressive "us first" mindset.  That period really stands out for me as unique in my political priorities and world view.

by GRO 2008-09-10 05:28AM | 0 recs
Re: Winning The Stay-At-Home Mom Vote (Updated)

Wow - I've actually gotten more economically liberal than I was before staying at home.

Kinda funny how kids will change your outlook ;-)

by grannyhelen 2008-09-10 07:09AM | 0 recs

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