Sarah Palin and Brooklyn: Imperfect together

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What if Republican Vice Presidential candidate Sarah Palin called up Smartmom and demanded a meeting? It would make sense given that both are working moms often accused of exploiting their families for the sake of their careers.

If this did happen, Smartmom would almost certainly want to meet up at Connecticut Muffin on Seventh Avenue after drop off — what better place for a working mother (even one running for vice president) — to meet other working moms (mama a mama).

Chances are, Palin would probably seem like any other multi-tasking Park Slope mother sipping iced coffee, checking her Blackberry and overseeing little Trig Paxson Van Palin in a Bill and Ted stroller — except for the men in dark suits talking into their lapels (her Secret Service detail).

And what if her daughter Piper started throwing pieces of bran muffin at the pigeons like a typical Park Slope 7-year-old?

“Stop playing with that mangy little bird. I guess it’s a good thing I didn’t bring my rifle,” Palin might say.

Dressed in a business suit, funky eyeglasses and power high heels, Palin would no doubt look like any other ambitious Park Slope working mom on her way to the law firm or corporate office — except for the fact that she happens to be a pro-life, anti-gay, fundamentalist Christian who supports the war in Iraq, believes in the death penalty, gun control and creationism and, as governor, did little to change a school system with the lowest high-school graduation rate in the country.

Still, Smartmom and Sarah have quite a bit in common. Both are outspoken about being working mothers and love to tell the world about their children. Both firmly believe that motherhood and the PTA prepares you for just about anything (but not, Smartmom adds, everything).

Like Smartmom, Palin believes that being a mom shouldn’t get in the way of a woman’s goals and ambitions. But that’s easy to say. Not every woman has the resources or the stamina for the double life of a working mother. Nor can everyone afford to pay for a great babysitter, daycare, and someone to help clean the house — those things that make working life less taxing.

Smartmom found herself wondering what her mommy friends would say if they saw Palin sitting at Connecticut Muffin. So she asked them.

Warm & Funny, a widow who lost her firefighter husband on 9-11, e-mailed with this: “Facing a cafe full of stroller moms is probably a lot more harrowing than shooting a wolf point-blank from a helicopter.

“Looking around at all the exhausted moms, clearly Palin understands the sacrifice and commitment it takes to raise a healthy, secure child,” Warm & Funny added. “So I am confused why she would ask someone without resources, a husband and money to have a child even if she was raped or the victim of incest.”

Smartmom’s pal, Wisegal, a working writer with a special-needs kid, had this to say: “Most experts agree that children — especially children with disabilities — ought to nurse their children for at least a year. I guess that means that Palin will be pumping on the campaign bus and carrying your youngest from state to state for three months?”

Opera Diva, a successful opera singer, voice teacher and mother of a 13-year-old boy, said that she’s right to be proud of her daughter’s decision. “Thank God she lives in a free country where she still has the right to choose,” Opera Diva said.

If Palin came to Park Slope, the land of Obama posters and buttons, Smartmom would also want to show her some of the area’s great public schools (where education is valued above all else), the Food Co-op (where organic food, green politics and Socialist values co-exist reasonably), the Community Bookstore, which carries many of the books Palin wanted to ban as governor, and Babeland, the sex toys for women shop near Flatbush Avenue, where, well, you know.

Smartmom would want to show off the small town feeling of Park Slope and all of its interesting and opinionated citizens. However, if Palin was hoping to snag a few undecided voters on Seventh Avenue she’d be in for a surprise.

Clearly, she’s no fool, but maybe she doesn’t understand just how different the Park Slope doctrine is from, say, the Bush doctrine.

Smartmom tried to imagine sitting with Palin at the green plastic table in front of her apartment building sipping Chardonnay at the end of the day. Parker could play with Mrs. Kravitz’s son over by the garbage pails while Trig slept in her lap.

Mrs. Kravitz once donated a kidney to her husband and is a strong believer in stem cell research, something that Palin opposes. She said she’d surely ask the governor why she’s against something that could help save lives.

In her fantasy, Smartmom imagined the limousine that would come to take Palin, Trig and Parker away. And she imagines how glad she would be to see her go because Sarah Palin isn’t the kind of mom that Smartmom likes to hang out with.

Not only is she anti-choice, anti-gay and anti-everything that Smartmom believes in, she displays a mean, disdainful attitude toward people she disagrees with.

And if John McCain believes that he’s going to get even one vote from the women who supported Hillary Clinton, he’s got something else coming.

Now Hillary is someone Smartmom would love to have coffee with at Connecticut Muffin. Whaddya say, Senator?

Louise Crawford, a Park Slope mom, also operates “Only the Blog Knows Brooklyn.”
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Reader Feedback

John from PH says:
Who really cares what your self indulged personality thinks of Sarah Palin. I can not wait and see what the Downtown Brooklyn area is going to look like when the media appointed "Messiah Obama" is not elected president. The liberals in this city are going to be walking zombies. HAHA!
Sept. 17, 2008, 9:27 am
DW from PS says:
Writing in the third person is annoying, but this takes the cake!
Sept. 17, 2008, 10:35 am from Carroll Gardens says:
i am responding to smartmom's art. about s.palin.
why is it that smartmom harbors such hate for sarah palin. i would understand it if she says palin is not what i stand for and i would never vote for such a ticket. differences of opinion do occur. what an infantile article. Talking about "displaying a mean, disdainful attitude toward people she disagrees with". indeed!
Sept. 24, 2008, 8:56 pm
Angela from Park Slope says:
Smartmom can have Hillary, I'll take coffee with Palin any day. I guess intolerance and ignorance are two things Smartmom is teaching her kids.
Sept. 29, 2008, 3:19 pm
Donna from Windsor Terrace says:
Great column, Smartmom!
Oct. 26, 2008, 8:10 pm

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