"When women talk about Palin," points out Lisa Belkin, "it’s not just politics, it’s personal." No kidding. And that at least partially explains the fervor of Palin fans like cousins Nicole Colter and Stephanie Jefferson who drove 4-1/2 hours (Colter) or flew six hours (Jefferson) to Springfield, Mo., to get Palin to autograph their copies of "Going Rogue" and then to hear her speak at the College of the Ozarks.
But Belkin, who published a piece called "Why Women Can't Let Sarah Palin Go" in The New York Times, sees at least as much animosity as admiration in the female response to Palin. She believes that hardworking, educated women respond to Sarah Palin the way they did to the head cheerleader in high school. (Even though in fact Palin was not a cheerleader but the captain of her high school basketball team.)