I am not threatened by strong, confident and beautiful, yet loving women like Sarah Palin, thanks to an equally confident, strong, beautiful and good woman who I admire in my personal life.. someone who has never shied away from a challenge, who has understood that integrity comes first no matter the cost, and who I have a close (and complex) relationship with based on trust, my mother. I wonder how many women critical of Sarah or her supporters can say that.~IM
By Isabel Matos
Two years ago today I met Governor Sarah Palin for the very first time. It was at the New Orleans Investment Conference. It was a day I will never forget.
The story I never told was about the woman who sat behind me at the event. She annoyed me to the point where I ended up moving from the seat I had secured which was just a few feet away from the lectern where Sarah was about to speak.
I got their early and was smack in the center of the room, first row. The guests started trickling in after the panel Sarah was on which I had missed because there was not a minute to lose. Had I not spent the time getting ready in the hotel room, I would have missed the window of opportunity I had to think about what I would say to her once we met. That one-on-one with her was my focus and the sole reason for my trip there. When the picture was finally taken it was time to sit down and enjoy the keynote. Please keep in mind I had not had anything to eat since my flight that morning. All I had was a little box of raisins to save me from being a voracious boar on the premises if provoked. I was seated in a perfect position in the room but all the woman who sat behind did was complain about Sarah once she found out I was her enthusiastic supporter which I was proud to show.
“I like Sarah but she needs more experience.”
“Sarah needs to, you know.. read more books, too.”
“If Sarah wants to be taken seriously she needs to do learn more foreign policy…” “Sarah dresses trashy. She needs to look more Conservative.. like Jeb Bush. Jeb Bush is a real Conservative” (I didn’t know Jeb Bush dressed in women’s clothes) “Sarah is great, but .. but..”
I was ready to pop her. It was the first such confrontation I had in real time with a “concerned” Palin supporter in our party. I wasn’t about to lose my cool in a room full of over five hundred guests. The thought of the risk of it being covered on the news was too great so I found a new seat. Once I settled in it (further off to the right, still in the first row) I was able to concentrate on positioning my camera and enjoying the speech which was fabulous. Sarah flirted shamelessly at the mention of Todd’s name (something else women are jealous of, unjustly so.. who wouldn’t be happy for someone who is in a happy marriage no matter the politics; it’s unconscionable not to be) rubbing her foot on the back of her calf at one point.
The point of the story is, I did not like that woman. She claimed to be Republican but did and said everything you would expect from a grumpy next door neighbor who had never had a pleasant exchange with kind women all her life. There is no war on women by the right on women like there is from the left against women from the right. There just isn’t. Theirs is far worse but there is still a war by women against women on our side even if it pales in comparison and this is a great opportunity for me to address it based on what has been bothering me a bit.
We are ALL supposed to in this community, lead by example. More than any other movement out there, we should take the time to think about how our actions are not isolated. They affect us all, and Sarah in particular. That being said, taking the high road does not mean taking nonsense or disrespect from colleagues who are supposed to be in your corner if you are doing the right thing. Why mention this?
I am about to expose a WOMAN who happens to be a FAKE conservative. She is one of many (I am sure) in the state of Texas. She is posing as a Republican to garner support for an agenda that is not ours, amnesty. The fact that she is a woman or a Latina does not matter either. H.e.r. a.c.t.i.o.n.s. do. A rhino is a rhino regardless of race, gender, creed or office held. They are political animals. Their actions are deceptive and corrupt. It is all fair game. IF and when a politician is guilty of wrong-doing, I can’t help but want to see them exposed, but the first reaction people have when they hear the truth about something that does not fit their narrative is to kill the messenger. While I have faith in our efforts to overcome this, I don’t see how comments by women against women help the cause. If we can’t get it right on our side, it’s not worth the trouble to do so.
Below is the video of the conference in its entirety. The separate clips are finally together. I had a 15-minute limit on YouTube and some comments during transitions were missed. All in all, I got the entire speech in. The conference was during Hurricane Sandy. One publisher who used my tapes had to do so on the remaining power left in their own phones. Needless to say, task accomplished.
It was a thrilling time encapsulating many of our hopes and fears as it was just before the November 2012 election. I can’t help but realize, thanks to Sarah’s leadership, how far we’ve come since then. As they say, “today is the tomorrow we worried about yesterday” and here we are. Sarah has not failed us. She has been there every step of the way. She has made unbelievable strides as a politician, but she was always great. (Sarah, you don’t need to get better. You’re already amazing.)
Sarah has not changed since we first met her in 2008 or allowed the immature, vicious attempts at character assassination change her message. It has been fortified, in fact, for which we should be grateful. But she would not be able to do what she does if she didn’t know we had her back. We owe it to her and her family.
Thank you, Sarah. Because it was the theme folded into this article, thank you in particular for the way you have shown how we should treat each other as women. Even though we don’t always get it right, the message is loud and clear. Like sisters.