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Is Sarah Palin like ‘Rosie the Riveter?’

By Josh Richman
Thursday, September 11th, 2008 at 9:36 am in Elections, Sarah Palin.

Apparently Sarah Palin’s supporters have begun carrying signs with the Republican vice-presidential nominee’s face superimposed on the iconic “Rosie the Riveter” sign often associated with Richmond’s World War II’s ship-building effort. Last night, Richmond City Councilman Tom Butt e-mailed out a dialogue he had with someone displeased by the image’s use.

—–Original Message—–
From: Lorenzo Mota
Sent: Wednesday, September 10, 2008 9:56 PM
To: info@rosietheriveter.org
Cc: Long Beach
Subject: Rosie the Riveter Picture

Today, September 10, 2008, a photo on the front page of the Los Angeles Times, revealed that the McCain campaign is using placards with a picture of Rosie the Riveter with the face of Gov Sarah Palin superimposed on the picture and using the same slogan “We Can Do It” as in the original picture.

I assume your organization has copy rights to Rosie the Riveter material, photos etc. Based on the fact that she was nominated for Vice President, one week ago today, it is unlikely the McCain campaign had authorization from your organization to use the picture? As you are aware, the Rosie the Riveter Trust is the official non-profit partner of the National Park Service for Rosie the Riveter WWII Home Front National Historical Park. You are also affiliated with the City of Richmond, CA. In my opinion, I do not believe that it is appropriate and possibly an enfringement of copy rights for the McCain campaign to use your picture for partisan politics?

What a shame to use the historical contributions of women during WWII for political gain by the McCain campaign. Your prompt and timely response to this complaint is appreciated.

Lorenzo Mota

And, Butt’s response:

From: Butt, Tom
Sent: Wednesday, September 10, 2008 10:05 PM
To: ‘Lorenzo Mota’; info@rosietheriveter.org
Cc: Long Beach; RosieTrust; Tam, Katherine; Media
Subject: RE: Rosie the Riveter Picture

Lorenzo,

This graphic has been in the public domain for many years. Thousands of people have used it (or misused it) for every conceivable purpose. Rosie the Riveter Trust has no control whatsoever over its use.

However, thanks for contacting us. Check out our website at www.rosietheriveter.org and consider supporting our organization. Hope to see you at the Home front Festival!

Tom Butt, President
Rosie the Riveter Trust
117 Park Place
Point Richmond, CA 94801
Phone: 510.236.7435
Fax: 510.232.5325
E-mail: tom.butt@intres.com
Rosie the Riveter Trust Website: www.rosietheriveter.org
Rosie the Riveter WW II Home Front National Historical Park Website: www.nps.gov/rori

At least a few feminist bloggers — here, here and here — aren’t happy about Rosie’s re-purposing. But a quick search finds t-shirts, posters, mugs and other items with the image are popping up for sale across the Internet.

[You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.]

  • JH

    Many and maybe even most things end up in the public domain sooner or later… Other than Metallica songs of course

  • Jeff

    #1 I don’t think any one knew rosie the riveter was associated with Richmond Ca.
    B. I think richmond has more important things to worry about than someones image being used.
    #c WHO CARES???!!!!

  • Mara

    I think its insulting. Rosie the Riveter is a symbol of Richmond women during WWII. Not all of those who live in Richmond support McCain and Palin yet they use our symbol of women supporting our men and community during a war error.

    Palin is no Rosie I hope other Richmond residents speak up against this.

    Rosie was about women coming together she should not be used to gain votes!!Which is all that Palin and McCain use her for, to win the women voters. PFFFT! TO THAT.

  • Matt

    The people from both sides of the political spectrum (candidates, running mates politicians, politicians in general and the media) need to grow up, wise up, cease with their smear techniques and concentrate on the real issues affecting our nation. This is one of the most important election cycles in recent history, yet this kinda crap is pretty much all I’ve read and heard about, especially on the network cable channels, from the Dems. and GOP. Pathetic.

  • Greg

    Maybe this is just what the citizens of Richmond need, a new Rosie the Riveter to eliminate their rampant murder rate and city wide crime. Apparently the city council or the police department can’t.

  • former Capricious Commuter

    Grow up, indeed. We certainly do need to start worrying about issues like America’s image abroad, nuclear proliferation and the renewal of a not-so-cold cold war along. Porcine cosmetics and silliness over copyrights that I’m certain NEVER existed shouldn’t ever rise above the level of spam e-mail (or political blogs, of course! Thanks for the post, Josh!)

  • Tom

    I like it! I’m going to buy one.

  • Sarah WHO ?

    Exactly the kind of iconic “feel good” image one needs to paint when one doens’t want “issues of the day” to be center stage.

    The pro-Sarah camp will hope that women everywhere respond to this image which connotates many positives of the female in the workplace.

    This is another slap in the face of female voters. That we would be influenced by this kind of pablum suggests that someone, somewhere thought it was worthwhile and would garner votes or support.

    I continue to ask, “was this the BEST candidate that the RNC could muster as a vice presidential nominee?” I have not had a response to that question in many days of having it posted herein, the silence and lack of response by Sarah-supporters is deafening and speaks volumes.

  • long

    Many of you are just being silly. Do you really think the original image came out of Richmond, California? Take a closer look at the information on the bottom of the original . . . it’s a corporate image from Pittsburgh.

  • Joe

    Awesome! I want the T-shirt! I’ll buy 10 of them!

  • Ed

    Sarah WHO ? Says:
    September 13th, 2008 at 9:06 am
    SAID:
    “I continue to ask, “was this the BEST candidate that the RNC could muster as a vice presidential nominee?” I have not had a response to that question in many days of having it posted herein, the silence and lack of response by Sarah-supporters is deafening and speaks volumes.”

    If Governor Palin is such bad a pick, why is she making you liberals whine? You should be celebrating, not shaking in your Birkenstocks.. LOL

    Maybe we should ban all Governors from running for President based on their lack of foreign policy knowledge etc… Like:

    Thomas Jefferson, Governor of Virginia, 1779-81
    James Monroe, Governor of Virginia, 1799-1802
    Andrew Jackson, Governor of the Florida Territory, 1821
    Martin Van Buren, Governor of New York, 1829
    William Henry Harrison, Territorial Governor of Indiana, 1801-13
    John Tyler, Governor of Virginia, 1825-26
    James Knox Polk, Governor of Tennessee, 1839-41
    Andrew Johnson, Governor of Tennessee, 1853-57, Military Governor of Tennessee, 1862-65
    Rutherford Birchard Hayes, Governor of Ohio, 1868-72, Governor of Ohio, 1876-77
    Grover Cleveland, Governor of New York, 1883-85
    William McKinley, Governor of Ohio, 1892-96
    Theodore Roosevelt, Governor of New York, 1898-1900
    William Howard Taft, Governor of the Philippines, 1901-04
    Woodrow Wilson, Governor of New Jersey, 1911-13
    Calvin Coolidge, Governor of Massachusetts, 1919-20
    Franklin Delano Roosevelt, Governor of New York, 1929-33
    James Earl Carter, Jr., Governor of Georgia, 1971-75
    Ronald Wilson Reagan, Governor of California, 1967-75
    William Jefferson Clinton, Governor of Arkansas, 1978-80, 1982-92
    George Walker Bush, Governor of Texas, 1995-2000

    Admit it. Nobody buys the words and plans of your Marxist candidate.

    Now, just go back to sleep. It will be all over very soon.

  • Sarah WHO ?

    Oh my goodness . . . . all I asked was “Is Sarah the best the RNC can muster ?” – look at the emotional hyperbole an obviously republican mind tosses out . . . . . no response to the original question – loads of steaming hot . . . . well, words – that dont address the original question – lots of emotional ranting – never a clear answer to the original question – just like their presidential and vice presidential candidates !!!!!! Take note folks -

    Sarah WHO ? Says:
    September 13th, 2008 at 9:06 am
    SAID:
    “I continue to ask, “was this the BEST candidate that the RNC could muster as a vice presidential nominee?” I have not had a response to that question in many days of having it posted herein, the silence and lack of response by Sarah-supporters is deafening and speaks volumes.”

    If Governor Palin is such bad a pick, why is she making you liberals whine? You should be celebrating, not shaking in your Birkenstocks.. LOL

    Maybe we should ban all Governors from running for President based on their lack of foreign policy knowledge etc… Like:

    Thomas Jefferson, Governor of Virginia, 1779-81
    James Monroe, Governor of Virginia, 1799-1802
    Andrew Jackson, Governor of the Florida Territory, 1821
    Martin Van Buren, Governor of New York, 1829
    William Henry Harrison, Territorial Governor of Indiana, 1801-13
    John Tyler, Governor of Virginia, 1825-26
    James Knox Polk, Governor of Tennessee, 1839-41
    Andrew Johnson, Governor of Tennessee, 1853-57, Military Governor of Tennessee, 1862-65
    Rutherford Birchard Hayes, Governor of Ohio, 1868-72, Governor of Ohio, 1876-77
    Grover Cleveland, Governor of New York, 1883-85
    William McKinley, Governor of Ohio, 1892-96
    Theodore Roosevelt, Governor of New York, 1898-1900
    William Howard Taft, Governor of the Philippines, 1901-04
    Woodrow Wilson, Governor of New Jersey, 1911-13
    Calvin Coolidge, Governor of Massachusetts, 1919-20
    Franklin Delano Roosevelt, Governor of New York, 1929-33
    James Earl Carter, Jr., Governor of Georgia, 1971-75
    Ronald Wilson Reagan, Governor of California, 1967-75
    William Jefferson Clinton, Governor of Arkansas, 1978-80, 1982-92
    George Walker Bush, Governor of Texas, 1995-2000

    Admit it. Nobody buys the words and plans of your Marxist candidate.

    Now, just go back to sleep. It will be all over very soon.

  • Sarah WHO ?

    I’m sitting here watching O’Reilly who is talking about how “Sarah is getting inside the minds of the Democratic party.”

    WOW !

    What a load of manure.

    That the RNC *thinks* that professional women are influenced by this *female* half-wit is a slap in the faces of all thinking, professional, women.

    Typical male arrogance !!!!!!

  • Angel

    While the Democrats fret about Rosie the Riveter,
    45 Democrats switched parties to vote Republican in the next election yesterday in my sister’s hometown. One elderly woman had never voted in her life, but signed up to vote Republican because of Sarah Palin. Everytime a Democrat insults Sarah’s values which are very middle class, they also insult all those hard-working families with similar values. Everytime they insult McCain for being “too old,” they insult the “greying” of America. Are insults a Presidential attribute? I think the more the Democrats speak about “non-issues,” the more they pique the resolve of Republicans to vote. If Obama wants to win, he has to embrace all people including those who “cling to their religion and guns”. I fear that his campaign is reflected in elitist comments by Democrats who would rather insult these grass-roots groups than try to win their approval and really make a change for the party. I met Obama face to face and he seemed like a very likable person. I’m afraid those around him have cast the dye of an angry campaign which isn’t Obama’s style, but all one hears on the talk shows is hurling insults at McCain’s constituents. I thought they wanted to win the election this time. It will be a huge blow to the Democratic party if they don’t win so I’m perplexed at why they have to make double entendre, cheap-shots about lipstick and pigs…come on…if the Democrats said half of this same stuff about “age” (too old for the job) “can she work and still manage her family” and referencing pig/lipstick/female in a business office situation they would be facing dismissal and lawsuits for sexual harrasment, age discrimination, etc. Something to think about as I thought the message of “hope” was for everyone (females, elderly, people of all religious beliefs)…I think Obama did but I don’t think his party does.

  • Margie

    It’s offensive. But mostly because Sarah Palin doesn’t deserve to be compared to a hope-inspiring icon like Rosie the Riveter. Especially when she doesn’t seem to have anything but rhetoric and propaganda to help pull us out of the economic downward spiral we’re seem to be in. Where’s the hope in that?

    The scary part is that this direction -using emotion-evoking tactics to avoid actual issues- has been a running tactic of the Republican party. And it’s terrifying because it’s worked before. George Bush got elected on the same tactics. And here we are in 2008, with multiple financial institutions going under and the rest of the world reluctant to trust us anymore.

    She’s a political pawn.

  • Margie

    That said- the Obama-ites do the same thing. But at least they seem to have a plan to back it up.

    This woman is not the hard-working hero they are portraying her to be.

  • Sarah WHO ?

    Angel offers some interesting, if very broad generalizations. With his/her thoughts, I was compelled to respond -

    With the prospect for Mr. Obama to enter the White House, I and dozens more just like me have identified a man who will shoulder a special and unique burden – he is the first and as such he will be, for better or for worse, immortal in the history books.

    Mr. McCain will not carry this same distinction nor the unique motivation that accompany’s it. Ms. Palin certainly will feel the glaring white light of being the first – but also, as the second in command, her contributions and ability to influence day-to-day policy, will sadly be diminished.

    If you want to evalute the potential that this kind of “special burden” carries – I suggest you recall the record of the Tuskeegee airmen in WWII . . . .despite compromised training and equipment, this fighter squadron rose to historical distinction – in part, I believe, because they were the first…….

    I have not been witness to the personalized offenses that “Angel” lays claim to the DNC. To be certain, the political machine ON BOTH SIDES will offend. It is, unfortunately, part of the political process.

    That said, Mr. Obama gets my vote – he brings to the table something that Mr. McCain cannot a historically unique responsibility and the motivation that potentially accompanys it.

    I will vote for Mr. Obama, because he offers the hope that only the individual who is “the first” can bring. One million eyes will watch his every move – and ten billion more will scrutinize his decisions for decades to come.

    A special responsibility indeed ! And therein lays a glimmer of hope for something different. . . . .

  • Angel Palin

    While the democrats “fret” about Rosie the Riveteer ???!!! What kind of nonsense is THAT, Angel.

    Why is it that the RNC can’t stay focussed on point ? Why is it that they have to put up “iconic” images of Sarah’s face pasted on Rosie’s body – what’s wrong with Sarah as she IS ??????????? THAT, my friend, was an action of the RNC that is trying to make this woman into something that she isn’t.

    Why is it that the RNC has to obfuscate with accusations of a personal nature? Angel says “Everytime a Democrat insults Sarah’s values which are very middle class, they also insult all those hard-working families with similar values” – WHICH Democrat, Angel – be specific if you can !!!

    Let’s have Fred Thompson tell the world “We’re WINNING the war !!!” Let’s have Fred Thompson tell everyone how the economy has “..sound basics..” – looking at todays’ headlines, those basics seem to be falling apart pretty quickly Angel.

    I suggest you get a clue and get off your personalized generalizations – try to include some specifics in your accusations or, no, better yet – keep doing what you’re doing — – actually, I think you’re doing just fine.

    Those of you who are undecided as to who you would elect president – I encourage you to closely examine Angel’s comments. Ask yourselves if the accusations made by this RNC proponent are – specific or generalized, emotional or backed up with fact, relevant to the problems of today or emotional distractions. With the answer to those three questions – you can easily conclude whether or not Angel (who is a proponent of the RNC) is the representative of the kind of party you wish to be a part of – or not.

    Peace be with you, Angel.

  • http://www.docspopuli.org/articles/RosieTheRiveter.html Lincoln Cushing

    A note about historical accuracy from a poster scholar – “Rosie the Riveter” is not the same as “We Can Do It!,” and the two are often mixed up. This image has nothing to do with the Richmond shipyards – see my short article on line. The image has been seriously hijacked however – at least three candidates for this election did so, including Ron Paul and Hillary Clinton.

  • http://www.zazzle.com/change_is_coming_mccain_palin_republican_party_shirt-235216811555759315?gl=spacedust&rf=238523477890361372 JA Redd

    I love the design. It’s great and funny.
    http://www.zazzle.com/spacedust*

  • ATTENTION SYS ADMIN

    JA Redd posts are spam which are promoting stuff for sale

  • Sarah WHO ?

    Turn on your P.C.’s audio. Move your mouse around and click on the various objects in Ms. Palin’s office -

    http://www.palinaspresident.us

    I guess people have time on their hands to create this kind of humor for free with the economy being so “fundamentally” sound. One way or the other – no matter what your politics, you’ll get a chuckle.

  • Victoria Croston

    Please let it be known that the real Rosie-the-Riveter would have loved to be associated with Sarah Palin. I know because “Rosie” was my mother, Rose Monroe. I knew her better than anyone and will witness to you that she and Sarah were cut from the same mold. If Mom were still alive, she would lead the charge to get Sarah’s team elected. Spunky and smart, both women were not afraid of hard work and to take jobs previously held only by men. If I could locate one of those buttons I’d be honored! You go girl!!

  • J. Wells

    One of the most respected commentators of our time, Charles Krauthammer had an article in Sunday’s paper. The title of the piece was “I would rather lose voting for the right man”.

    Mr. Obama has the least qualifications for the office of President of the United States of anyone that has run for that office since the beginning of this country, he said, sic. Read the article. Problem is, the Democrats who are falling all over themselves to vote for Obama to show that they are not racist, and in some way to expiate the situation of over 100 years ago, had no idea what they are in for.

    There is a saying that “You deserve who you vote for” . Problem being, the rest of us do NOT. It’s disgusting and really REALLY SAD.

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