The XX Factor

Democratic Women Lack Palin’s Compelling Rhetoric

Perusing links this morning I saw the following headline on the women’s news site Womanist: ” Palin pitches ‘mama grizzlies’ while Boxer campaigns on ‘bad hair’ days .” In a roundup of political stories from around the web, Womanist’s Julie Moos notes that California Senator Barbara Boxer has turned Republican challenger Carly Fiorina’s criticism of her haircut “to her advantage,” by joking, ” What if every single person who ever had a bad hair day, male or female, voted for me ? I’d win by a landslide.” In the same roundup, Moos mentions Palin’s stirring “Mama Grizzly ” video/call to arms.

Seeing these two lines of rhetoric next to each other explains so clearly why Boxer and Fiorina are now neck and neck in the polls , and why money is pouring into SarahPAC . Not just Boxer, but the other Democratic women in races this fall-Arkansas Senator Blanche Lincoln and New York congressional hopeful Reshma Saujani among them-lack any sort of compelling, cohesive narrative. Sure, Boxer was being tongue-in-cheek, but what would you rather ally yourself with: An out-of-date ‘do or a fierce force of nature?

Photograph of Barbara Boxer by Mark Wilson/Getty Images.