Suzanne Goldenberg of the British Guardian spent the vice president debate night with a group of women in Florida. The topic of the notorious Palin wink repeatedly became a topic of conversation among the women. A few thought it effective as pointed out by Prisclla Glascock who said “I think women can relate with being in a situation where it’s very serious, you kind of have to step back and add that humor, whether it’s a wink or a shrug.” However, the majority of women appeared to share the feelings of host, Kit Pepper, who said, “the fact that this woman as a vice presidential candidate stood on national TV and winked at me completely insults me.” Some of the Democrats at the session enjoyed when Palin got feisty but it did not change their vote.
Lydia Gardner, a Republican local government official, commented: “I can’t imagine myself doing that wink” which she interpreted to be the behavior of something who lacks a sophisticated grasp of the world. Other Republican women “could not help disassociating themselves from Palin– even while praising her skill at using winks and a folksy turn of phrase to connect with middle America.”
Most of the women agreed Palin had done OK, but they were concerned that Palin recited caned lines. Republican Lisa Romine sighed and noted, “If I hear her say the word ‘maverick” one more time I am going to shoot somebody and I am a Republican.”