Matt Lewis

Is Sarah Palin biased toward female candidates?

Yesterday I speculated that Deb Fischer’s imminent victory in Nebraska was probably due to the fact that her two primary opponents destroyed each other.

This was met with some disapproval by some Sarah Palin fans on Twitter and in the comments section, who noted that Fischer’s surge in the polls also coincided with Sarah Palin’s endorsement.

This is true. Still, my guess is that while Palin’s endorsement certainly helped, it wasn’t the definitive reason for Fischer’s victory.

But let’s assume Palin was the Kingmaker — that she was solely responsible for picking the Republican nominee in Nebraska. If that’s the case, the next question we should ask is: Why did Palin pick Fischer?

After all, as I noted a few days ago, Fischer clearly wasn’t the most conservative candidate in the race.

There is a strategic argument that makes sense. The conservative candidate Don Stenberg couldn’t defeat the establishment candidate Jon Bruning. So backing Fischer might have been a shrewd strategic “lesser of two evils” decision.

But Palin never made that argument. And so, we are left with the congratulatory statement Palin posted on her Facebook page as our most recent guide to her thinking. It seems to imply that gender may have played a role — a notion I’ve heard whispered about of late.

This, of course, isn’t the first time Palin has endorsed a female candidate over a more conservative male. For example, in California she endorsed Carly Fiorina over a more conservative male. At the time, she dubbed Fiorina a “commonsense conservative” — a description many conservatives might find humorous.

On the other hand, it is fair to point out that Palin has endorsed plenty of male candidates.

In her very short statement congratulating Fischer, Palin makes two gender-specific references. She writes that Fischer isn’t part of the  “good old boys’” network — and adds: “I applaud Moms like Deb Fischer…”

This makes me wonder if being a Mama Grizzly is superior than being, say, a dad?

Is Palin saying (to paraphrase another notable woman) a wise mother — with the richness of her experiences — would, more often than not, make a better U.S. Senator?