Are you a Mama Grizzly?
That’s what EMILY’s List, the organization that helps female candidates build campaigns and run for public office, wants to know. The group is launching an initiative and companion website called “Sarah Doesn’t Speak for Me,” designed to galvanize opposition among women voters to conservative candidates backed by Palin and her political action committee, SarahPAC.
“Throughout this cycle, Sarah Palin has predicted a rising tide of mothers and women voters who will support her so-called ‘Mama Grizzly’ candidates,” Stephanie Schriock, president of EMILY’s List, said in an e-mailed statement. “So today, EMILY’s List is calling on women — and men! — to let their voices be heard and to reject Palin’s reactionary candidates and backward-looking agenda.”
As part of the online campaign, EMILY’s List has debuted a new website, sarahdoesntspeakforme.com, and a web video featuring ordinary women dressed as “grizzly bears,” talking about why they oppose Palin. “If you were in charge of this country, my little cubs wouldn’t have health care,” one woman, who identifies herself as an elementary school teacher, says.
The video is an answer to an online ad Palin distributed earlier this year to raise money and win support for “commonsense conservative women.” Her political action committee has already raised nearly $1 million in just four months, according to Federal Election Commission filings, and spent roughly $87,500 to support conservative candidates around the country. The effort is seen by many as an attempt by Palin to increase her political influence and prepare for a possible presidential bid in 2012.
Palin has proven unpopular in some national opinion polls. According to averages of polling data compiled by Pollster.com, Palin is viewed unfavorably by roughly 52 percent of Americans, while only 37 percent have a favorable opinion of her. But she has nonetheless proven herself a formidable campaigner and fundraiser for Republican and conservative causes. Her endorsement of a third-party conservative candidate in a special congressional election in upstate New York last year upended that race and sparked a national schism within the Republican Party. Any Republican who gets the Palin seal of approval is likely to benefit from a considerable bump in fund-raising and media exposure.
With its anti-Palin campaign, EMILY’s List is likely aiming to blunt Palin’s fund-raising prowess and her sway among women voters.
“The Sarah Doesn’t Speak For Me” campaign is an opportunity for any and all Americans who want to reject the constant naysaying of Palin and her candidates,” Schriock said in her statement. “It’s a campaign to bring folks together who want to continue to see progressive change in this country, and have their voices heard.”