ABSTRACT

Palin was framed by the campaign and media as a “hockey mom,” drawing on maternal traditions used by women in politics, and transforming them to appeal to diverse groups in the electorate (such as working moms, social conservatives, and white blue-collar workers). By asking voters to understand her as “just your average hockey mom,” the Palin campaign invited working women to see her as representing their gendered views and experiences. Her staunch pro-life position, demonstrated not only in her own decision to give birth to Trig but also in the views she expressed about her daughter’s unwed pregnancy, underscored a commitment to mothering as one of women’s primary roles, appealing to conservatives. Importantly, Palin described herself as a “hockey mom”—evoking a pit bull-with-lipstick toughness with a more working-class appeal than the suburban soccer mom. Through these narratives, voters could relate to Sarah Palin as an everymom, admire her as a supermom, applaud her maternal values, or judge her parenting choices, even while reinforcing her conservative, white, working-class appeal.