Lingle, Palin put spotlight on Republican women

Gov. Linda Lingle
Gov. Linda Lingle
Gov. Sarah Palin
Gov. Sarah Palin

By Leland Kim - bio | email

ST. PAUL, Minnesota (KHNL) -   Besides Gov. Sarah Palin (R-Alaska), another woman getting a lot of attention at the Republican National Convention is our own Gov. Linda Lingle (R-Hawaii).  She's been bombarded with interview requests from media organizations ever since she arrived in St. Paul.

First of all, Gov. Lingle's good friends with Gov. Palin and secondly, the two women have a lot in common.  And with both Lingle and Palin speaking Wednesday, the spotlight has shifted over to the women in the Republican Party.

She's become a prominent leader in the Republican Party.  Gov. Linda Lingle has been getting a lot of media attention the past few days: local, national, and even international, including an interview with BBC News.

Chants of "Lingle! Lingle! Lingle!" filled the Xcel Energy Center in St. Paul, Minnesota Wednesday evening  as Gov. Lingle spoke about Gov. Palin's qualifications.

And because of Gov. Lingle's speech at the convention, the nation gets to know Hawaii's governor.

"Sarah has integrity and strong values," she said. "She is smart and she is a unique combination of toughness and grace."

The two are close friends because they've traveled a similar career path, serving as mayor before becoming the first female governor of their respective state.

"Being a mayor whether in Hawaii or Alaska or anywhere else is outstanding preparation for higher office," said Gov. Lingle.  "And the people of Alaska and Hawaii will tell you, Sarah and I are doing just fine."

Former U.S. Vice President and Democratic presidential candidate Walter Mondale chose Rep. Geraldine Ferraro (D-New York) to be his running mate in the 1984 election.  Ferraro became the first woman vice presidential candidate in U.S. history.  Mondale and Ferraro lost to incumbent Republican President Ronald Reagan and Vice President George H.W. Bush.

Gov. Palin is her party's first female vice presidential candidate and the second in U.S. history.  She is also the first female governor of Alaska.  She is on the verge of making history once again.

"She's genuine," said Gov. Lingle.  "She's comfortable in her own skin, truly authentic."

And Gov. Lingle hopes that authenticity carries the McCain-Palin ticket all the way to the White House.

"This choice is bold, historic and courageous," said Gov. Lingle. "I'm glad to know Sarah Palin and I know when the rest of America gets to know her, they will agree with me as you agree with me, that Sarah Palin is going to be a great vice president."

Whoever wins, this is the first time Hawaii and Alaska have played major roles in a presidential election.

Gov. Lingle is coming back to Hawaii on Monday, but she plans to continue campaigning for the McCain-Palin ticket and helping out in whatever way she can.