- No mas: Principal bans Spanish language in intercom announcement
- Hacking software could put ‘zombie drone army’ in user’s hands
- Support for stricter gun laws drops: poll
- 10 whales dead, 41 others stranded in Everglades
- John Boehner faces bipartisan pressure to allow gay-rights vote
- Martin Bashir resigns from MSNBC over ‘ill-judged’ comments about Sarah Palin
- Rep. Duncan Hunter: While Obama prays for Iranian change, U.S. should ready its nukes
- Best company ever? Veteran Beer Co. exists to employ vets, provide quality beer
- Iran official: Sanctions ‘utterly failed’ to stop nuclear program
- ‘Black Santa’ display at IU sparks student outrage
Palin’s ‘Mr. Mom’ a secret weapon?
He's a member of the steelworkers union, a registered independent and has championed the need for vocational - not Ivy League - education in his home state.
He works the night shift in North Slope oil fields, fishes commercially in icy waters and flies around snowy Alaska in a floatplane, all the while winning four cross-state snowmobile championships.
At home, he happily navigates between hardworking man's man and hunky Mr. Mom to the five Palin children, comfortable in his role as rock-solid support spouse to wife Sarah's power career.
Now, with her historic nomination as Republican vice-presidential candidate, some are wondering if Todd Palin might be the Republican Party's key and yet untapped surrogate to reaching working-class voters, some put off by Democratic presidential nominee Sen. Barack Obama.
"If I had a crystal ball a few years ago, I might have asked a few more questions when Sarah decided to join the PTA," Mr. Palin joked at a Republican National Convention event in St. Paul, Minn., acknowledging how his own life was caught up in his wife's political whirlwind.
With his wife's notorious tenacity and competitive streak, "it's best to get out of the way," he said.
Two weeks after his wife's debut as Republican presidential nominee Sen. John McCain's No. 2, Mr. Palin's colorful back story and public profile are rising, including an "Iron Dog Alaska Snow Machine trail sign from 1998" catching steam on eBay, said Karen Bard, the Web commerce giant's pop-culture expert.
"His persona is rugged, and he's a real mountain man. He's very male," Miss Bard says of the Todd Palin appeal.
The Palins' seemingly tight-knit "Brady Bunch" family with five children, including an infant, also continues to fascinate. As dad, Mr. Palin appears modern enough to handle his wife's surging national profile yet able to identify with working-class men.
This voter demographic was loyal to Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton in the Democratic primaries, particularly in states such as West Virginia and Kentucky.
Mr. Palin "might be just the man to make their case," said Wilfred McClay, a professor of humanities at the University of Tennessee-Chattanooga, who recognizes Todd's "authentic" appeal.
"This guy is not a big-resume guy, and he's not a wimp. He's something different, almost the kind of husband that a lot of women who have to work and be the breadwinner wish that they could have," Mr. McClay said.
Mr. McClay says Mr. Palin's working-man credibility and his wife's bootstrap approach to governing set them apart from the power-coupling that often predominates in Washington. They have children and jobs, and live full "hockey mom" lives, which seem far away from the world of political-minded Beltway strivers.
"A part of why this is all working is it's actually real," he said. "This is not a gimmick."
By contrast, he says, the Palins' seeming middle-America wholesomeness may force some voters, including union-types traditionally aligned with Democrats, to rethink the Obama rock-star image.
Sociologist Veronica Tichenor, an assistant professor at the SUNY Institute of Technology in Utica, N.Y., said the Palins are not typical in that even as a career woman, Sarah Palin has had five children and has not diminished her role as mother, even as her profile has climbed.
"He's been very successful in presenting a very masculine side, and I think it will probably allow working-class men to identify with him and by extension, her," Miss Tichenor said. "That's a distinct possibility."
About the Author
- Mondale steps into Minnesota's budget crisis
- Senate race in W.Va. unexpectedly in play
- Campaigns get down to business sense
- Detroit ready for new era of autos
- Linguists not 'chillaxin' over catchwords
Latest Blog Entries
By Andrew P. Napolitano
- Angry NTSB ousts railroad union from N.Y. train crash site
- Xbox One, Playstation 4 games penalize users for cursing in their own homes
- Apple wins facial recognition patent for iPhone 6
- Puerto Rico caravan honoring Paul Walker ends in 6 drunken-driving arrests, 72 speeding tickets
- Hola: Boehner prepares to push amnesty bill through House
- Inside China: Nuclear submarines capable of widespread attack on U.S.
- Kill team: Obama war chiefs widen drone death zones
- U.S. pilot scares off Iranians with 'Top Gun'-worthy stunt: 'You really ought to go home'
- Wingate University on lockdown after 2 shot dead
- First Dog Sunny knocks down Ashtyn Gardner; Michelle Obama yanks leash
Independent voices from the The Washington Times Communities
Al Maurer provides a common sense, conservatarian, Constitutional conservative perspective from the battleground state of Colorado
Criticism may not be agreeable, but it is necessary. It fulfills the same function as pain in the human body. It calls attention to an unhealthy state of things.
Wall Street news for retail investors who want to know what's going on.
Does it take over 25 years in public service to really know what goes on in Washington?