Governor Palin must have been using reverse psychology when she asked that her joke about Michelle Obama promoting breastfeeding because of skyrocketing milk prices not be the “main takeaway” from the event. As I sat in the media room and wrote my original story, the room was abuzz with precisely that. It was the sound bite the press were so desperately seeking. Gov. Palin dropped a bucket of chum from the stern of the LIA boat, and the fish came in schools. Of course, the press – especially radio and TV – always wants new sound bites. They live for it. Many reporters don’t like covering Gov. Palin’s speeches, because she is consistent with what she says and is always on message, so their desperation for a quotable quote grows even stronger. It’s interesting what you hear sitting in a press room.
In the days that followed, Gov. Palin’s joke has spun off three memes. The first BS meme is that she has changed her position on breastfeeding; the second is that she was attacking Michelle Obama; and the third that she somehow does not know that babies cannot drink cow’s milk.
Let’s address the second one first. Gov. Palin was using humor. This was not an attack on Michelle Obama. In fact, breastfeeding is probably the one subject the two women agree upon! In October 2008, Gov. Palin issued a beautiful proclamation declaring October as “Breastfeeding Awareness Month,” in which she wrote:
WHEREAS, breastfeeding is recognized as an unequalled means of providing food for infants.
WHEREAS, breastfeeding forms the most basic bond between mother and baby and is a foundation for lifelong health and wellness.
WHEREAS, breastfeeding can offer children protection against serious health conditions throughout their lives, including obesity, diabetes and high blood pressure. Breastfeeding also saves lives by reducing the incidence of life-threatening cancers in women and preventing premature death in infants.
Gov. Palin didn’t just write these words. The Mama Grizzly lived them. In Going Rogue, she writes about nursing her daughter Willow, who she carried in a Snugli while cutting an audio advertisement for a radio station. Here is what then Wasilla City Councilwoman Palin said, on Page 67 of Going Rogue:
While I served on the council a local politician asked me to cut a radio ad for his campaign. I liked his conservative message and said I’d help. Into the KMBQ radio studio, I bought my hungry, grumpy baby in a Snugli, and the only way to calm Willow was to inconspicuously nurse her while we rolled tape. I acted like I didn’t see the shocked look on the politician’s face as he turned red and pretended it didn’t bother him at all.
Gov. Palin performed this most beautiful act of a mother’s act of love in a man’s world, while recording audio and never missing a beat. For this reason, the North Star Group since its establishment has been pleased to sell Snugli and baby feeding products.
Gov. Palin has not changed her position on breastfeeding – or any other other issue.
Having brought five children into this world, Gov. Palin knows very well that a baby cannot be fed cow’s milk. Her very act of motherhood destroys this BS meme. For those who elect to use baby formula, its prices have skyrocketed along with all other food products. The joke was apropos.
Gov. Palin used humor to help people understand an otherwise dry and boring subject. Her audience loved it and laughed for several seconds. They got it. But, the boobs who covered the joke tried to turn her sweet milk into poison.
Gov. Palin has also been giving Bristol some “flight instruction” in assigning her research work. Bristol’s time to fly solo will come and she’ll smash a few glass ceilings of her own with a sonic boom…