Hudson GOP leaders praise Palin as McCain VP pick
by Amy Sara Clark/The Jersey Journal, August 29, 2008
Several Hudson County
Republicans embraced Sen. John McCain's choice of Sarah Palin as
his running mate, saying the 44-year-old Alaska governor would
energize the campaign and perhaps even attract Democratic and
independent women voters to the ticket.
"It's a good choice," said Debra Cuseglio, vice chair of Hudson
County's Republican Party. "Half the country are women.
Don't you think we should be represented by a woman also?
It's about time."
State Republican leaders have said that by choosing Palin -- who
has a history of challenging Alaska's GOP hierarchy -- McCain
will cement his own maverick status.
"I think she got fed up with things she saw as inefficient and
wasteful, and worked really hard to correct some of those
things. She definitely takes the party in a new
direction," said Irene Asbury, a Jersey City attorney who is
serving as a delegate to the Republican National Convention next
Area Republicans said adding Palin to the ticket might also
bring in disgruntled supporters of Sen. Hillary Clinton, even
some who disagree with her on abortion.
"She's a woman that is pro-life but I'm pretty sure that she
understands women's issues better than a man," said Jose Arango,
chairman of Hudson County's Republican Party.
But adding a pro-life woman to the ticket is unlikely to attract
Clinton supporters, said Ann Graham, former co-chair of Hoboken
for Hillary and vice-chair of the Hudson County Democratic
"If Sen. McCain believes that putting a woman who is
conservative and antithetical to all the issues that Hillary
believes in is going to attract former Hillary supporters, I
think that's gravely in error," she said.
Even if Palin had been pro-choice, her addition to the
Republican ticket is unlikely to attract more women voters, said
Ruth Mandel, director of Rutgers University's Eagleton Institute
"I think he is trying to appeal to women, but we don't have any
precedent that would suggest that women would be influenced by
gender," she said. "The consistent pattern has been that
women have preferred the Democrat. ... It's a partisan vote, not
a gender vote."
But even if Palin doesn't bring in women voters from the
Democrats, she's sure to energize the ones the Republicans
already have, as well as feminists of every political stripe,
said Christine Carmody-Arey, a women's studies professor at New
Jersey City University and former president of the New Jersey
Chapter of the National Organization of Women.
"I think that would have a positive effect on conservative women
who will be ready to work for the candidate," she said.
"It reminds me of when Walter Mondale made the decision to
choose Geraldine Ferraro as a running mate in 1984. Oh my God,
people were crying ... the enthusiasm, the emotions. It
was another step in the long road for women in America to be
represented in political office."