United States presidential election, 2008: Sarah Palin Brings the Hillary Clinton Era to an End


In an op-ed in The Daily Telegraph, columnist Anne Applebaum writes on how Sarah Palin breaks the archetype of the female politician.

“The interest in her and her life story is no fluke, either. Following the failure of Hillary Clinton’s campaign, Palin is suddenly, and flamboyantly, the most prominent female politician in the country. At age 44, she is also the most prominent representative of her generation of women – a generation which already looks set to be different, in important ways, from its predecessors.

Unlike Hillary and her contemporaries, the women of Palin’s generation are not feminists, but rather post-feminist. Born at the very tail end of the baby boom or after it had ended, the post-feminists grew up in a world in which the revolutions of the Sixties – sexual as well as political – were already taken for granted. These were women who came of age already knowing that professional success was at least theoretically possible. No one told them they couldn’t go to college, or shunted them off to secretarial school, or advised them to be nurses instead of doctors. Though not numerous, there were female role models to be found, mentors to be sought out.”

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