“‘I don’t live in Alaska and I’m not the mother to all these kids and I don’t have other responsibilities that she has,’ said Santorum. I’m sure Santorum’s wife and seven children at home in … Virginia really appreciate his approach to parenting.”

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“Santorum happens to be the father to seven children—one might assume no matter the parenting balance in the Santorum household, he does, in fact, have some responsibilities in addition to attending CPAC. But more interesting here is the criticism he’s subtly rescuscitating. In ’08, one of the few things many women on both sides of the aisle could agree on re: Palin was that she had steamrolled over the expectation that women could only go into politics in a big way once their kids were raised, and this was a good thing. Republican women and consultants told me this fall over and over again that seeing her up on the stage at the 2008 GOP convention with her young kids was a moment that everything suddenly looked different, more possible for them. It’s how the whole Mama Grizzly movement began, this version of conservative feminism that we found vexing and powerful all at once. Maybe Santorum’s comments were a one-off from a sui generis conservative, or maybe it’s a sign that the good ‘ol boys on the right (and perhaps the left, too) are no longer quite as entranced and stymied by the possibility of grizzly power.”

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“‘Just because I’m a mom that does not mean that I didn’t want to be there,’ Palin said in an interview with Fox News’s Sean Hannity, referring to the gathering of conservatives in Washington that begins on Thursday.

“‘I’m the proud mother of five,’ Palin added. ‘My kids don’t hold me back from attending a conference.’…

“‘I will not call him the knuckle-dragging Neanderthal,’ Palin said. ‘I’ll let his wife call him that instead.'”

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