Are Feminists Jealous of Sarah Palin?

Published November 02, 2009

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This is a RUSH transcript from "The O'Reilly Factor," October 30, 2009. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.

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LAURA INGRAHAM, GUEST HOST: In the "Personal Story" segment tonight: Sarah Palin obsession in America, raging apparently as the governor gets ready to re-engage on the national stage with the release of her new book. She's still the target for some reason of all sorts of attacks. The author of an upcoming book about the governor says the anti-Palin rhetoric is all about jealousy, but is that true?

Joining us now from New York is Kellyanne Conway, a Republican pollster and president of Women Trend. And here in D.C. is Sally Quinn, a columnist at The Washington Post.

Ladies, great to see you. Sally, every time I host, you're coming in to talk about how the feminists are jealous of Sarah Palin. Admit it right now. Palin is hot. She is pro-life. She shoots. She hunts. She has a big family. And all these feminists are like just seething with jealousy about it.

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SALLY QUINN, THE WASHINGTON POST: Well, of course, she is a feminist. I mean, if you look at all the things you've just said about her, she's a feminist. I mean, she clearly believes in equality for women.

INGRAHAM: And babies in the womb.

QUINN: And most women I know are feminists. So I think it depends on who you call feminist. I think one of the producers was saying the sort of raging crazed pro-choice liberal women. But I have to say that of all the people I know, I don't know a single person who feels jealous about her. I think that most of the people I know who are not Sarah Palin fans just don't like what she has to say.

INGRAHAM: And Kellyanne, I mean, what do you sense about this? Look, a lot of people don't like Palin. Yeah, "We just don't think she was qualified. We don't care for her." I mean, she's kind of a colorful figure and is really a masterful politician, but it stops there.

KELLYANNE CONWAY, REPUBLICAN POLLSTER: Yeah, the qualified stuff is a canard, and it came late after she made many women feel inadequate, Laura. This is a woman who is — her path to power was so unusual for women in power. She didn't have the money or the power or the access of a father, of a husband. She certainly didn't go to an Ivy League school. She was a standout athlete. I think of some of the spinster childless columnists who have attacked this woman for her right to choose…

INGRAHAM: Can you name names?

CONWAY: ...and have five children. There are too many to name and then it would make them relevant on such a great show.

INGRAHAM: Spinster columnists, OK.

CONWAY: But Laura…

INGRAHAM: (INAUDIBLE).

CONWAY: No, there are too many to name actually.

INGRAHAM: OK, got you.

CONWAY: But most of the criticism of her came from females, and we should make that point from the beginning. And the fact is this woman's right to choose was to have five children and help raise a grandchild out of wedlock. She's pro-life. And the feminist movement is rooted in the fact that no matter who you are and what your background is, if you dare think you're going to become president or vice president of the United States as a woman, the calling card cost at the beginning, the cost of admission is that you be pro-choice. And this is a woman who lives her values. I think she makes some women feel inadequate because she has five children, no household help. Not only is she not anti-man, but she has, as we could tell, a supportive husband and father.

INGRAHAM: And cute, too. He's real cute.

CONWAY: ...the extended family. He's cute to go. And look, she lost all her baby weight. It makes some women crazy. They've got 1.3 children and a Pilates schedule they have to keep, and it makes some of them crazy.

INGRAHAM: OK.

CONWAY: I'll admit it.

INGRAHAM: Now Sally, if she were pro-choice and had all the same, you know, other attributes, I think a lot of people on the left probably wouldn't have been writing these columns, wouldn't have criticized her not staying home with her Down Syndrome child and so forth. I mean, if she were more of a liberal Republican, they would have said wow, it's a big tent party. Isn't this fascinating?

QUINN: Well, let me just say first that she has a point about people being jealous about her losing her baby weight. I have to say.

INGRAHAM: OK, we've gotten that out of the way.

CONWAY: But you did too, Sally.

INGRAHAM: I got that.

QUINN: No, I'm crazed about that.

INGRAHAM: Right.

QUINN: And I have to admit it right here.

INGRAHAM: You've always been fit.

QUINN: Yeah.

INGRAHAM: So we're not going to hear that from you.

QUINN: But my feeling is just that people just don't agree with her. And you know, the irony here…

INGRAHAM: Well, the public doesn't really have much of a problem. Sixty-four percent say she's a good role model for women.

QUINN: Right.

INGRAHAM: Fifty-five percent, according to the CNN poll, say she's honest and trustworthy. And, you know, I think most people, the jury's out on whether she's, you know, nationally going to be a force politically. But the other stuff, people kind of like her.

QUINN: Well, I think that in general, the public is feminists. I think most women and most men today are feminists and that they believe in equality for women. And certainly she does. And certainly her family does. So I think all of that is makes sense. I think the irony here is that the criticism, so much of the criticism you're talking about, you know, having the governorship and trying to raise all these children, a Down Syndrome baby, those — the people who normally would be anti-that are her base. These are the Christian right, who believe that a woman's place is in the home. And that criticism I've heard for her and sort of taking on this job with all these children and the Down Syndrome baby of three months and the pregnant daughter was that maybe she should have stayed home at this particular time.

INGRAHAM: But if a conservative guy had told a liberal woman to stay home and take care of the kids, I'm sure Maureen Dowd, Sally Quinn, and the whole elite Washington journalistic establishment would have been down their throats. You don't tell this woman what to do. I imagine you would.

CONWAY: Actually, Sally wrote a piece about that. Sally wrote a piece called, "Palin's Pregnancy Problem." It was kind of mean and it ended up being untrue, that the base did not leave Sarah Palin because her daughter Bristol was going to have this child out of wedlock. The whole crisis pregnancy culture is to embrace young girls who have unexpected pregnancies.

INGRAHAM: Choices also.

CONWAY: And look, I just want to say this, that with Palin, she looks so feminine. She acts like a woman, but governed like a man. She didn't take - she didn't raise taxes and throw all this money into social programs. Instead, she put the governor's jet on eBay, makes her kids' own lunches. And I think if people disagree with her in principle, that's fine. But look, Laura, the people who attack her control the poison keyboards in this country. But the people who love and support her are still pushing babies in strollers and elderly women in wheelchairs just to go see her, just to go buy her book, which is already No. 1 and not even out.

INGRAHAM: What do you make of that, Sally? I mean, this book world, which is a tough world for book publishers, sold, No. 1. The book's not even out.

QUINN: Well, I'm not at all surprised. I mean, every time that I write about her, well, you can see the reaction here, every time I write about her, every time you all talk about her on television, my numbers go up on the Web site. I mean, just skyrocket. I mean…

INGRAHAM: You can forward me some of those e-mails, Sally? I want to know what people are saying to you.

QUINN: I don't think you want to read them.

INGRAHAM: Oh, really? They're nasty towards me.

QUINN: The nicest one would be.

INGRAHAM: Yeah.

QUINN: Well, I don't even want to say, adulteress, I got a call.

INGRAHAM: Oh, lovely. Ladies, thanks.

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