Readers' views: Hockey mom for VP?

Commend Palin, but Dems are better for families I read with interest the News Tribune's stories about the nomination of Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin, including the article featuring responses from "average hockey moms," none of whom were Democrats ("N...

Commend Palin, but Dems are better for families

I read with interest the News Tribune's stories about the nomination of Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin, including the article featuring responses from "average hockey moms," none of whom were Democrats ("Northland moms weigh in on Palin," Aug. 31).

I wondered what it takes to be a hockey mom in the Duluth area so, not being a mom, let alone one of the hockey variety, I did a little online research of the cost to a family for one child to play hockey. The list of required, reasonably priced equipment came out to about $650. (It could be less with a visit to a good swap meet.) Average monthly fees to play came to about $100, for at least six months. Counting extras such as those nifty team jackets, outings, gas to transport a child-player, and the time to do it added another $2,000-plus, conservatively estimating.

I applaud moms who invest the time, money and energy to provide the sport for their kids. And I wonder about those who could only dream of it.

I applaud Palin's courage and commitment in birthing and cherishing a Down syndrome baby. And blessed indeed is her son, cherished by two parents with excellent incomes, allowing them to live their values and raise him.


I wonder about moms who may be single or unable to find a job with enough income to provide for a special-needs baby or who may also have four other children and struggle to feed them.

I share Palin's belief that all children have a right to life. I would add that all children have a right to a good life -- with enough food, housing, education and health care.

And I think that Barack Obama and Joe Biden are far more likely to help the U.S. become a country that provides those necessities for every child.

Barbara Weller


Hockey mom? Who cares? Cover the issues

For those of us who pay attention, the past week or so was interesting. The Democratic National Convention ended, Hurricane Gustav approached the Gulf Coast, Vladimir Putin flexed his substantial muscles, and the Republican National Convention opened right here in Minnesota.

I was exceedingly disappointed to see the front page of the Sunday, Aug. 31 News Tribune, which boldly compared Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin with local hockey moms ("Northland moms weigh in on Palin"). Besides wondering why such a story would ever be on the front page of the only local newspaper in Duluth, I felt quite sure Palin did not expect to be taken literally when she described herself as an average working mother. She was doing what candidates do: attempting to find common ground with prospective voters. Since when must women describe themselves in terms of which sports their children play?


While Palin's idea of good government is far different from mine, I would like to see more respect for her candidacy. The News Tribune would do better by impartially outlining her platform and previous accomplishments. That would help inform people about what type of vice president she likely would be.

Cate Edlebeck


PTA experience isn't enough to lead troubled world

In response to the article asking whether Sarah Palin is "just like us" ("Northland moms weigh in on Palin," Aug. 31), I implore Minnesota women to look past the "hockey-mom" image of the Republican vice presidential candidate and investigate her other qualifications (including foreign policy experience, of which she has none).Those, arguably, are more critical for the position.

I was disappointed in the News Tribune for not really highlighting the political opinions of the Northland moms featured, while instead focusing on issues of raising a family. I was very disappointed to see that not one woman interviewed seriously questioned her political experience to be the leader of one of the most influential countries in the world. There also was no one questioning what was glaringly obvious to me: The Republican Party seems to be pandering to those voters wanting to see a woman in the election by placing an under-qualified woman in the vice presidential position. As a woman, I'm insulted by that. I want to see females shattering the glass ceiling based on their merit, not just because they're women.

Yes, what Palin has accomplished while raising a family is impressive, and she is possibly more accessible and inspiring to everyday women than Hillary Clinton. But can we please focus on what is really important? Does she have the qualifications to be the next in line as the leader of the most powerful country in the world? She may be able to masterfully lead a family and the PTA with excellent organization and management skills, but do these abilities, among many others, allow her the capability to step in and become president?

Christie Berkseth



We need experience,

not someone like us

I don't know about anyone else, but I think our country has had enough of a leader in the executive branch who is just like us. After eight years of a president billed as someone to have a beer with, we don't need a hockey mom as vice president. Look where that sort of candidate has gotten us.

There's nothing wrong with being a hockey mom, some of my best friends are hockey moms, and when my daughter was younger I spent years as a soccer mom. But I'd rather have someone a whole lot smarter, experienced and dedicated than me running our country.

Barack Obama and Joe Biden have those characteristics and have my vote in the upcoming election.

Susan M. Streitz


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