Local Political Women On Palin As Vice Presidential Candidate

Three local Knoxville female politicians share their opinions of the new face representing politics and women.

Republican presidential candidate, Sen. John McCain, Ariz., left, introduces his vice presidential running mate, Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin, at a campaign stop in Washington, Pa. Saturday, Aug. 30, 2008. (AP Photo/Keith Srakocic)

Sarah Palin stepped into the lives of Americans as a fresh young face along side Republican Presidential Candidate John McCain.

Almost immediately questions started to arise, who is this Governor of Alaska?

Working in politics in Alaska for 16 years, 44-year-old Sarah Palin got her start in her local city politics.

So Volunteer TV Reporter Heather Haley sat down with 3 local Knoxville Female Politicians to get their opinions of the new face representing politics and women.

Three different generations of women in Knox county politics: one retired, one veteran, and one new-comer; but all with hope for the future of women and a new generation of government.

Knoxville City Council Member Barbara Pelot says "I think it's very exciting and I think it's exciting for women in general."

Republican Mary Lou Horner is a former county commissioner, and has faith in Palin as a strong woman in politics.

"We need women that will just absolutely get in there and say this is what we need to do, and this is how we need to do it and we're going to do it." says Horner.

But Horner and current Knoxville City Council Member Barbara Pelot feel Palin is receiving more scrutiny about her political and private lives than a man would.

Horner says "I think they look for things that are wrong with women in order to say, oh no I don't think we need them. " and Pelot says "I think Ms. Palin has managed to handle that very appropriately as a mother and yet she's a public figure and when you're a public figure nothing is really off limits, unfortunately."

But Democrat 40-year-old Amy Broyles, who recently entered the political arena as a new Knox County Commissioner, feels Palin's critiques are not because of her gender.

Broyles says "I think the intense media scrutiny focused on her right now has more to do with the fact that she's such an unknown rather than her gender."

All 3 women feel Palin's personal and family life should be left private, and that the focus should be on what she can bring to the political table.

Horner says "Only look at what that person stands for themselves and what they would be able to do for us."

Palin is now the second woman to run for Vice President on a major-party ticket and the first Republican woman to do so.


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