Sarah Palin: There's a Double Standard for Women in Politics who Show Emotion

Sarah Palin in an interview with ABC's Barbara Walters ABC

In an interview on ABC's "Good Morning America" Friday morning, former GOP vice presidential nominee Sarah Palin talked about what she perceives as a "double standard" for women in politics when it comes to displaying emotional vulnerability.

Referencing recent tearful displays on the part of incoming House Speaker John Boehner, Palin said she thought women were less likely to get a "pass" when it comes to "breaking down."

"I respect John Boehner because he has worn his feelings on his sleeve on things that are so important to him," Palin told Robin Roberts.

"I don't know if a woman would be given a pass necessarily," Palin continued. "But that's one of those things where a double standard certainly is applied. I'm sure if I got up there and did a speech and I started breaking down and cried about how important it is to me that our children and our grandchildren are provided great opportunities, I'm sure that I would be knocked a little bit for that."

"It makes us work that much harder and be that much tougher and more committed to the message and the mission at hand," she added.

Secretary of State Hillary Clinton was on the receiving end of relentless commentary - positive and negative alike - when, during an appearance on the 2008 campaign trail, she delivered seemingly emotional remarks and appeared to fight back tears.

"Is it a phony effort to get your sympathy?" wondered blogger Ann Althouse at the time. "I don't know. But it seems a little like the feminine gesture she made at the debate when she said ... her feelings were hurt. I think someone -- an excellent actress? -- is coaching her in how to display womanly emotion."

But Boehner, who became visibly emotional not only during remarks on the night of Nov. 2, when Republicans re-claimed a majority in the House of Representatives, but also in a subsequent interview on CBS' "60 Minutes", has not escaped public mockery for his emotional displays either.

"We call him the weeper of the House," said Joy Behar, on a recent episode of ABC's "The View." Even Barbara Walters chimed in: "This guy has an emotional problem," she joked.


Lucy Madison
Lucy Madison is a political reporter for CBSNews.com. You can read more of her posts here. Follow Hotsheet on Facebook and Twitter.

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