In a recent editorial defending former lawmaker Sarah Palin, ex-Bush aide and longtime Republican strategist Mary Matalin suggested that in campaign politics, women cannot get offended, even if they are physically assaulted by a male colleague.
"Time is the most valuable commodity on a campaign and you just can't waste it thinking about how to choose your words carefully or get your job done more diplomatically," she wrote in a CNN opinion piece. "If someone isn't in tears every day, that day wasn't all it could be advancing the campaign. I once witnessed an experienced (big) man slap a professional female colleague across the face over an ad buy... and no one thought anything of it, starting with the woman. In fact, she would have been insulted if anyone told her she should have been insulted."
Matalin, who edits Simon & Schuster's conservative imprint Threshold Editions, had suggested that Palin's book was unfortunately diminished "to a pinprick-sized, petty insiders squabble" between the former governor and Sen. John McCain's campaign staff.
In spite of the numerous erroneous and misleading claims carried in Palin's ghostwritten text, Matalin defended it and cautioned political "big book" writers that it has become the new standard by which their texts will be measured.
"Though all the breathless chatter about 2012 is premature, the way Palin lays out her world view throughout the book and especially in the eloquent closing pages is sure to attract conservatives yearning for an unapologetic articulation of first principles," she added. "But because of the inordinate mainstream media focus on the political insiders' tiff, the Political Palin is getting sucked down and mucked up by the Published Palin."
"Matalin should be ashamed of herself, her politics, and her 'professionalism' on a daily basis," Crooks and Liars blogger bluegal snarled "That she actually points to an instance of physical assault of a female employee by a male superior as 'the way it is in a campaign--get over it' just puts everything that's wrong with her argument in high relief. Does anyone wonder what would happen if that kind of thing happened in the private sector, or the outrage if a former corporate employee reported such physical assault as 'acceptable in the business we're in' hearsay on the pages of CNN's website?"
Palin has said she would like to play a role in the 2012 presidential election, "if the people will have me."
Matalin is married to longtime Democratic strategist James Carville.
Ron Brynaert contributed to this report.