Monday, November 16, 2009

Gwen Ifill on Palin: Don't Underestimate the Gender Factor

Yesterday, on ABC’s This Week with George Stephanopoulos, the male pundits prayed that Sarah Palin will go away. The men wondered aloud: Why are we talking about Sarah Palin? There are so many important issues to talk about.

The testy pundits insisted that they were talking about a joke, someone of no consequence, someone who will never ever be a serious contender for the nation's top job. But the men kept talking about her. Only the token woman Gwen Ifill had a different viewpoint:

David Books: Yeah, she's a joke. I mean, I just can't take her seriously. We've got serious problems in the country. . . The idea that this potential talk show host is considered seriously for the Republican nomination, believe me, it will never happen. Republican primary voters just are not going to elect a talk show host.

Bob Woodward: I agree with David on this. You talk to Republicans and they say they voted for Obama because Sarah Palin was John McCain's pick.

Gwen Ifill: As the girl at the table, I feel like I can say you cannot underestimate the degree to which women will be drawn to her story. And that's who she's speaking to. These are people who are ignored, who nobody counts into their thinking, it's why she's appealing to Hillary Clinton. It's why -- when she made her own announcement, she used the term glass ceiling back in the summer. Don't underestimate that factor.