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Sarah Palin Targets Mothers with New Fear-Mongering Video

By carolyncastiglia |

There is probably no other politician who has made as many allusions to animals as Sarah Palin.

She blasted onto the national stage in August 2008 to the tune of Barracuda by Heart (who later asked her not to use their music in her campaign). Yes, McCain’s campaign became her campaign almost immediately, as she drew praise from the right and criticism from the left for her beauty, outgoing personality and G.W.-esque folksy appeal. 

In the acceptance speech for her vice-presidential nomination, Palin quipped, “You know the difference between a hockey mom and a pit bull? Lipstick.” A few weeks later, Obama famously retorted, “You can put lipstick on a pig, but it’s still a pig.”

Now she’s back, doling out animal nicknames again, this time referring to herself – and other conservative female candidates – as Mama Grizzlies. In a new video put out by her political action committee, Palin says,

It seems like it’s kind of a MOM AWAKENING in the last year and a half, where women are rising up and saying, ‘No, we’ve had enough already.’ Because moms kinda just know when something’s wrong. Here in Alaska, I always think of the mama grizzly bears that rise up on their hind legs when somebody’s coming to attack their cubs, to do something ADVERSE toward their cubs. You thought PIT BULLS were tough, well you don’t MESS WITH THE MAMA GRIZZLIES.

The problem is, she doesn’t mention exactly what’s wrong, other than the “policies coming out of D.C. right now.” It’s this very lack of specificity that is meant to incite fear in “Mama Grizzlies,” to get them to stand up on their hind legs, and walk to voting booths this November.  Why?  Because according to Palin, there’s currently a “fundamental transformation of America.”  She says, “A lot of women who are VERY concerned about their kids’ futures say, ‘We don’t like this fundamental transformation, and we’re going to do something about it.” Take a look:

I’m not here to argue politics, but I don’t understand how providing medical care to children is something that mothers should be concerned about.  I understand the financial implications, of course, of providing benefits to members of a society, and the costs of social programs should be considered and discussed.  I think in the case of healthcare, the benefits of maintaining a healthy society come at a very small cost.  What I don’t like about Palin – and this video in particular – is that she doesn’t need facts and she doesn’t want facts.  Dahlia Lithwick at Double X says, “Palin wants us to just feel with her, then follow wherever that takes us.”

You can follow the conversation about Sarah Palin at Double X here.  Most of the women there think Palin, despite her obvious lack of competence on the issues, is a very effective cheerleader for the conservative movement.  So if you’re happy because you just got healthcare and you like the idea of the US joining the rest of the world in offering paid maternity leave, then you better pack up your food and hide it before these Mama Grizzlies sniff you out.  Or better yet, set a bear trap.

Palin ends her video with a final nod to the animal kingdom, calling conservative women pink elephants, which is such a perfect analogy.  This movement is not insignificant, and many people drawn to it are good, honest, hard-working people who really are trying to do right by their children.  (Some of my closest… relatives are Republicans.  Well, all of them, actually.)  They need facts, not fear.  We all do.

Photo: Wikipedia

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About carolyncastiglia



Carolyn Castiglia is a New York-based comedian/writer wowing audiences with her stand-up and freestyle rap. She’s appeared in TONY, The NY Post, The Idiot’s Guide to Jokes and Life & Style. You can find Carolyn’s writing elsewhere online at and The Huffington Post. Read bio and latest posts → Read Carolyn's latest posts →

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50 thoughts on “Sarah Palin Targets Mothers with New Fear-Mongering Video

  1. Peter says:

    Does Sarah Palin know that mama grizzlies EAT their young?

  2. Gretchen Powers says:

    She’s a charlatan. Was she taking care of her gaggle of children as a mom? No. She was in the Governor’s office. Why would anyone listen to a thing she has to say? She can’t even manage her own home, let alone a state or country.

  3. KellyK says:

    And according to this video all the “mama grizzles” are VERY white. Sorry but I didn’t see another race represented in this video. Maybe I missed it? I can’t stomach another look. One time was scary enough.

  4. Mistress_Scorpio says:

    And the Obama retort you cite had nothing to do with Palin. But hey, why let things like facts get in the way of a good meme?

  5. carolyncastiglia says:

    That’s open to interpretation. I know he said it wasn’t an allusion to her, but I think it was. I love Obama – I think it’s hilarious. Not that it’s okay to call anyone a pig (unless you’re divorcing them), and I don’t think he was calling her a pig. But I think the lipstick corollary was intentional.

  6. Gretchen Powers says:

    Yeah, KellyK, they got their token negro in at about 1:03-1:05 :( Just one, though.

  7. jenny tries too hard says:

    @Kelly and GP, Honestly, I don’t understand why race has to come into it all…if more black or brown people agreed with Palin, would you suddenly agree with her? Of course not; if you support mandatory paid maternity leave or higher taxes or whatever, you support regardless of what race of people oppose it, right?

    It looks like this is footage from Palin or Tea Party events, so the “token negro” (hate, hate, hate the term token) was anything but token…I’m pretty sure she (and the Hispanic woman holding the “Annoy Liberals” sign) came on her own to support Palin, and would probably resent being called a “token” because she doesn’t fit in the racial demographic box someone else expects her to. I know I do.

    As far as why Palin and other candidates she’s endorsed recently oppose what they and Obama call a fundamental change—First, I disagree that it’s a fundamental change; I think it’s something we’ve been progressing slowly toward for a long time…and it’s not that anyone wants to see people go without healthcare. If you look at the unintended consequences that have hit the other nations that have similar systems, you may see that the “fear” of a healthcare/maternity leave overhaul is pretty well-founded.

  8. Gretchen Powers says:

    I am only commenting on the production. It’s clear (to me) they made a point to include a black person. I understand what Palin is saying about saddling our children with the bills for entitlements. I don’t know really to what degree I agree or disagree with her. I do know I am not a fan of the woman who tries to look like a feminist and a “mama” but isn’t even bothering to raise her own kids. Who is taking care of Trig while she’s doing all this nonsense? And, would Bristol have gotten pregnant if mom was more hands on in her kids’ lives?

  9. jenny tries too hard says:

    Her husband takes care of Trig, and are you seriously saying that when a 17-year-old girl gets pregnant by her boyfriend, it’s her mother’s fault?

  10. Irishgirl says:

    I just read your piece on maternity leave. Here in Ireland we get paid maternity leave. It’s been 13 years since I have availed of it so I can’t remember the exact details, but it seems that it is far better than in the US. This is why we pay taxes! It is a no-brainer.

    And yes, you are right. Palin is no friend to mothers and their children.

  11. jenny tries too hard says:

    I’m sorry, I sound so ranty on this and I don’t even care that much for Palin (she supported Perry her in Texas, yuck) …but I seriously hate the way that the “bad mom” card is played against women in politics…I don’t think, first of all, that she’s running for Mother of the Year, and I also don’t think that having a career makes her a bad mother to any of her kids or that staying home or taking a career in something other than politics would’ve made her daughter any less likely to be attracted to a hunky douchebag and get pregnant.

  12. Rick Patel says:

    CommentsSarah Palin’s “Mama Grizzlies” video is cute & clever; and her voice-over is dulcet & delightful. She is adorable.

  13. KellyK says:

    @Jenny – I just wish it were about the issues not the “demographic” – I know I am wishing too hard…I wouldn’t use the term token either…I just think it’s a little too obvious…but I don’t care for her AT ALL.
    Fellow Texan here!

  14. Huh? says:

    I’m actually reading her autobiography right now, which is currently referred to in the house as “Why Me No President?” She’s a puzzle, and frankly, I’m concerned that just like GWB managed to motivate a largely untapped (and rabid) socially conservative xtian group, Palin will manage to galvanize the ladies’ auxillary of that same group. She’s seriously gunning for the Quiverfull/homeschool/Guns & Ammo ladies…err, no pun intended (really!) And let’s not even get started on her claiming feminism. Well, a certain type of feminism. One that most feminists wouldn’t acknowledge as feminism.

  15. Huh? says:

    Also: I totally stole the “Why Me No President” from some political blog. I only wish I was that funny.

  16. Pat, Washington state says:

    Comments Whenever it comes to Sarah Palin, everyone should do some fact checking. She’s been proven to be a liar about nearly everything. Her childhood memories change with the audience to which she is speaking – whatever they want to hear is what she says. The latest is when she spoke to the bowlers and said she remembered her dad setting up the pins in the bowling alley in Idaho. Problem? She was only 3 months old when they lived there. Quite a memory, but I’m not buying that one.

    The reason people go after Sarah Palin as a bad mother is because she doesn’t do the things the good mothers do. She doesn’t spend much time with any of her children except Piper, who never seemed to be in school last year. Trig, a special needs baby who was supposedly premature was hauled all over the country, in all kinds of weather, and exposed to germs from all sorts of people. As for her older children, perhaps they wouldn’t have been in trouble with the police for drugs and alcohol and vandalism. And yes, at 17, if Bristol had a mother who had spent more time with her and talked to her about the consequences of unprotected sex, she might not be an unwed teen mom.

    I would love to vote for a strong woman for just about any office, but Sarah Palin is not strong, she’s just a loud-mouth who isn’t equipped to run for any public office. Every time she’s had a job, she quit before the job was finished. Is that really someone people should take seriously? Absolutely not!

  17. Mistress_Scorpio says:

    Carolyn, “lipstick on a pig” is more of a common saying than Palin’s pitbull/lipstick quote. Obama supporter or not, the mere mention of lipstick does not a coralllary make. It’s not hilarious, it’s sexist, and just because your “interpretation” puts Palin on the receiving end, doesn’t make it right. Also, can you get through a day without mentioning your divorce? Seriously.
    @GP: she’s of Indian descent, not black and just because you once dated a black guy doesn’t give you right to call anyone “negro,” token or otherwise. Especially when they aren’t. And don’t pretend to be surprised that politicians place faces to appear more diverse, or that any race is such a monolith that it doesn’t have people who diverge from the narrative of “norm.”
    @JTTH: agreed on the “bad mom” meme being thrown at Palin, it’s not fair or right, and I will admit to being guilty of it myself. I still think she is a craven publicity seeking and intellectually bereft dipshit, whose popularity appeals to a demographic of equally intellectually bereft and falsely aggrieved people, but that’s just my take.

  18. Lynn says:

    I don’t know where Peter gets his info about female grizzles eating their young. I do believe that is a false statement.
    As for Gretchen and a couple of others accusing Sarah Palin of neglecting her own family in favor of participating in a movement to try and prevent a socialist nation for our children is grandchildren is beyond me. Isn’t her husband capable of doing tending to his family. He is one of two parents. The fact that her daughter had a baby so young does not make her a failure as a parent. Many young people get pregnant every year. That does not make parents failures. There is no book that comes with parenthood. We all do the best we know how.
    And finally,Kelly, throwing out the proverbial “race” card. So what if there are no blacks in the video. There are many Americans. Are you aware that well over 90% (some polls showed 96%) of Blacks voted for Obama. Why is that? Some would say race is the reason. Does it really matter if there are any blacks etc. in the video. Obviously, they choose not to be there. What matters is that a group of Americans, no matter what their race, are vehemently opposed to the direction that this county is headed.

  19. Zyxomma says:

    Someone should tell Sarah Pay-me that “mama grizzlies” are properly called sows. Let’s see how she and her followers enjoy being called mama sows.

  20. Gretchen Powers says:

    I wasn’t surprised nor was I pretending to be surprised and I’ll thank you not to tell me how or what to say. Seriously, who TF are you? Besides, the woman in that video is not of “Indian” descent. Get real. And, it is my opinion that in this video, she is “token”. They included a shot of a brown person in order to look diverse.

  21. KellyK says:

    It’s an appeal to white women. I find that small minded. Maybe she will appeal to another group next week. or purple elephants or lions and tigers.

  22. jenny tries too hard says:

    No one told me or my decidedly non-white family that it’s an appeal to white women exclusively, Kelly…I don’t care much for Palin personally but the Tea Party movement that the “Mama Grizzly” thing seems associated with is pretty racially diverse here in San Antonio. Yes, the majority across the nation is white…because the majority of the population is white.

    And Gretchen, honestly, no one is happy with Republicans on race apparently…if they didn’t include a “brown person” it’d be called evidence that conservatives are monochromatic and/or racist, even though black, Asian, Hispanic people abound in conservative circles; since they did include a “brown person” she’s a token. She’s not, and they’re not practicing tokenism by including her. She’s a person who came to an event and they’re showing a reasonably honest picture of the attendees who (I’m assuming) agreed to be photographed.

  23. Gretchen Powers says:

    alright, alright! she’s not a token. I still don’t like Sarah Palin.

  24. Mistress_Scorpio says:

    “the Tea Party movement that the “Mama Grizzly” thing seems associated with is pretty racially diverse here in San Antonio. Yes, the majority across the nation is white…because the majority of the population is white.”
    @JTTH: I wouldn’t go that far. The Tea Parties in San Antonio may be pretty racially diverse, but nationwide it has repeatedly and consistently attracted a pretty ugly element in terms of racist activity.
    @Gritch: you’re beneath addressing further.
    @Lynn: I had wondered when someone was going to come out with the tired “race card” trope. Bonus points for the ‘blacks only vote for blacks’ percentages. One day when you’re feeling curious, compare those numbers to how blacks skew Democratic in their voting patterns.

  25. Gretchen Powers says:

    @Mistress_Scorpio…you are a Bully. Indeed. Big. Tall. Bully. OK, you win. You seek my out on every thread I post and directly get on me about something I say. Again, I ask, who are you? Enjoy your victory. I hope you savor your small, lame power on the web, cause it seems you have little else.

  26. Mistress_Scorpio says:

    I don’t have an awesome web portfolio overusing squares, rules and drop shadows, or a jiggly thigh tree pose FB photo or an overinflated sense of victimhood, no. Maybe if I had all of those, my web victory wouldn’t be so bitter.

  27. fishingmamma says:

    I don’t care if the one non-white in the video is a token or not. I don’t like the video, her screetchy complaints are making my ears bleed. She lies. She has not been a parent to her children. The oldest had to join the military to avoid jail time. The second was pregnant before she got out of high school. The third was involved in a wild drunken party and vandalism of a private home. The fourth is never in school. I can hardly wait to see how this disaster of a family treats number five.
    And this woman has the unmitigated gall to be spouting off about family values.
    To repeat an often-used quote “That woman is an idiot!”

  28. JBoogie says:

    I have to admit–I’m not much on ol’ Sarah. And this video? Just seems like another ploy from her to grab a vulnerable group. The fear factor of saying “Your kids are in danger!” is enough to make any mom stand up and take notice, but like Carolyn said, moms need facts. I’m way more scared of my kids and kid’s kids dealing with the energy crisis than I am of them having higher taxes. I’m way more anxious about overpopulation and deforestation issues than I am about free healthcare. What do you say to those things Sarah?? “Drill, baby, drill”? The people and animals living in the Gulf are collectively giving you the finger.

  29. Linda says:

    She absolutely makes me taste bile, and that’s all I’m going to say about it.

  30. Gretchen Powers says:

    @Mistress_Scorpio, you’re out of control and far out of line. When have I ever personally attacked individuals on these threads? I am admittedly strong-worded about generalities and ideas…parenting styles, practices, behaviors. I do not attack specific people. I do not bring specific people or their lives in such an unrelated manner. Shit comes back to you. Not from me–I’m no threat-maker like others on Babble have been. It comes back to you from the universe. And you, pregnant, too. What a damn shame.

  31. jenny tries too hard says:

    Gretchen, you’ve called Scorpio, specifically a call girl on more than one occasion, told her “you suck” and called other posters fat. So, yeah, you have brought specific people and their lives up in an unrelated manner. Doesn’t mean you can’t still (the eternal optimist speaking here) try again to be civil (the apologies were a good start) but it does mean you can’t claim that particular high horse.

  32. Mistress_Scorpio says:

    Gritch, just yesterday you claimed you would hit me if you ever met me! Knock yourself out reinventing history. Sarah Palin’s got nothing on you.

  33. [...] Read the original here: Sarah Palin Targets Mothers with New Fear-Mongering Video … [...]

  34. Republican says:

    [...] Conservative Women!'NewsBusters (blog)Palin's New Video: Unveiling Brand SarahTIME (blog)Babble (blog) -Politico (blog) -The Tennesseanall 339 news [...]

  35. Gretchen Powers says:

    “reinventing history” misinterpreting history, twisting history…you clearly have the market on that…I already said, you “win”…in this venue, yay for you!!! you, and others, like jenny are clearly more interested in things other than reality and honesty, so enjoy…

  36. Mytwocents says:

    GP: you’ve been out of control on these boards for a long time. I’ve seen you insult plenty of people on a personal level. You are particularly vicious with working mothers and seem to think that you are perfect. When someone doesn’t agree with you, it’s because we’re all fat, lazy, bad parents who would rather drive Escalades than stay home with our babies. Everyday I come on here with the hope that you will go away. Do we even have to mention your comments about Katie Garanju? If anyone should be worried about karma, it’s you. I can’t feel sorry for you for anything anyone says, because frankly I think you’ve brought it all on yourself.

  37. JZ says:

    Oh man, I can only imagine what she said a out Katie.

  38. ann05 says:

    Wow. So nobody’s going to take the high road here, huh? I cannot believe y’all managed to make me feel sorry for Gretchen.

  39. Gretchen Powers says:

    I did not mention Katie…or anybody else ever by NAME. I criticized ways of being, choices of groups, etc. You all mentioned names. You can’t face the facts that people can criticize your choices and say that, yeah, if you’re too lazy, to do A,B, or C, you’re probably fat, too. I often just hear a whole host of complaints and excuses on these comments about how hard life is, lamenting being fat, lamenting being too stretched, etc. etc. And by and large it is your own faults. I do think it is not ideal for people to sleep train babies and put them in daycare. I think it’s lazy not to have your kid potty trained by age 3-4. Everything I said I stand by. Would I bother people about this in real life? No. Do I discuss these issues passionately on a PARENTING WEBSITE where it is a specific forum to talk about such issues…hell yes. Maybe to you these things are just “choices” and all outcomes are equal and it doesn’t matter what people choose, but to me, there are better and best choices, or else why the hell discuss them if they’re all the same? I never said to any individual poster “Suzy Q, you are a fat, lazy person, you are unworthy of being a parent…etc. etc.” You people are such babies and so intellectually out of shape that you can’t handle a little intense discourse. Then, we have ol Mistress_Scorpio, the self-appointed boss of the message boards making personal attacks on me about things that are completely unrelated to any kind of parenting issue discussed on these threads. If you can’t see the imbalance in that, then you are just idiots. But, I kind of already knew that. JTTH, if you have time to go research threads I posted on to try to prove something, business must be very slow! And you didn’t even find good threads. I stand by everything in those threads and would reiterate that I never brought specific REAL details about people’s lives onto these threads. The lot of you doing this and supporting it are morally and intellectually bankrupt. For my own sanity I will now finally live my vow to not post again. I know I have said this before, but it does no good for me to discuss matters in a venue in which the other posters are not willing to have intellectually equal discourse.

  40. jenny tries too hard says:

    I don’t take being called a liar well, and “researching” the old threads was less than five minutes.

    I do agree with ann, I feel bad for you, GP, because you clearly have some serious problems. You did exactly say to Mistress Scorpio, by name, that she was lazy, a-hole (charming), and “probably” fat (I guess that “probably” makes all the difference in the world) and the thread is right there in front of you…and now, shock of shocks, you are avoiding singling one person out to call “intellectually and morally bankrupt” and a baby by just using that lovely “you people” catch-all…it doesn’t make it any nicer or any more like the passionate, intellectually vigorous debate you would like to think you’re “trying” to engage in with us plebes.

    *sigh* I don’t know if maybe posting those links was

  41. Linda says:

    So, what did everyone do this weekend? :P My older kids had their first swim meet of the season yesterday and today I got really excited because I found 3 Harry Potter audiobooks at Goodwill for $1.99 apiece.

  42. Mistress_Scorpio says:

    Linda, thanks for changing the subject because I am too weary to hand GP’s ass to her on the way out the revolving door today.
    Hope your kids did great at the swim meet. I had a party with my friends from school and went to an antique car show.

  43. Linda says:

    That sounds fun. They did really well. My daughter swims a mean 100 IM (she came in second behind her teammate) and my son won his breaststroke event.

  44. Mistress_Scorpio says:

    Sweet. You must be proud!
    When is a good time to start a child in swim lessons? I want my son to feel comfortable in the water. Both my husband and I were city kids that never learned how.

  45. Linda says:

    3.5 – 4.5 is when all three of my kids started and they’ve been swimming pretty continously since then. I grew up in AZ where everyone swims and here in Seattle there’s so much water/water sports that it’s a safety issue. Mine all love it. I swim for exercise too (8-12 miles/week).

  46. Joanne Bamberger aka PunditMom says:

    I hate to break it to Sarah, but there hasn’t been a mom “awakening” because of her and to the extent that mothers are more involved in politics, it’s not just on her “common sense” conservative side. Mothers have been getting more involved in politics for a lot of reasons, including the rise of social media tools and communities. And it’s going on for moms of all political persuasions. Palin may want to fool us that she started a “revolution,” but she didn’t — we did.

  47. [...] put out a very vague, potentially very politically effective fear-mongering YouTube video called Mama Grizzlies last month.  In it, she spoke of a “mom awakening” and made reference to the [...]

  48. jess nicholson says:

    Ever noticed how name calling, irrational judgement, excusing one lie with another and every corrupt practice is justified by the illusion of a utopian end , are considered retorical & informative by the left? Safeguard your freedom and liberty, every manner of theft is being used to take them.

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