I was disgusted to see a divisive figure such as Sarah Palin featured on the Mother’s Day cover of the national Sunday insert, USA Weekend. We have an official first lady in this country who is filling her nonpartisan role with elegance and strength. I would have enjoyed a feature about Michelle Obama for Mother’s Day, just as I formerly enjoyed features on the gracious Laura Bush.

Twice in this article, Palin claimed that her mothering skills qualified her for president. I have been a stay-at-home mother for nine years and I recognize and respect good mothering — it’s an important job. But to put it forward as a qualification for national office is absurd. I would be a crackpot to run for president based on my recent work history, and anyone would be a crackpot to support me.

Such a claim ignores the real competencies in policy, law and diplomacy gained over years of experience by tough, intelligent women such as Condoleezza Rice and Hillary Clinton. What qualifies Palin to run for office are her tenure as governor of Alaska and her years of grassroots activism, not her mothering. To argue otherwise is sexist.

Further, Palin states that hers is “just like most American families. Both parents working, juggling kids.” No family making more than $12 million per year, like Palin’s, is “like most American families.”

Despite her populist rhetoric, this is not a woman with a valid claim to feeling the pain of average American mothers today.

Melissa Sundell, Auburn