July 12 2010
Sarah Palin's new "grizzly bear" video is getting mixed reactions. It's clear that the appeal is to women, maybe even especially to women who are married with children. But married moms are already the most likely subset of women to vote conservatively. Check out John Lott's book Freedomnomics for more.
I've read liberal critics describe the ad as "vague." First of all, aren't most political ads vague? And isn't Obama the king of vague? I didn't find the ad vague at all, especially at the end, when Palin points out that the "ETA" for her "pink elephants" is November 2, 2010. The message here is clearly pointing toward the polls at mid-term time.
Liberals will also point out that the ad features mostly older, mostly white women. Now this is actually a good point. I'm afraid that the real flaw with the ad is that its appeal is to women who already support the conservative cause. The genius behind the Obama campaign in 2008 was its appeal to people who aren't liberals.
The ad ends with Palin's voice saying, "Lotta women, coming together." I do wish that women would come together behind the conservative cause, but not just married moms. The right should be reaching out to the parts of female-dom that feel isolated by conservatives. I'm talking about young singles, minority women, and divorcées.
I appreciate the latest Palin video, but conservative women are much more diverse than depicted in the ad. The values of a free marketplace, personal liberty, and small government can appeal to any woman (or man!), regardless of whether or not she has kids.