Sotomayor's Diabetes Struggle Is Heroic - But Gov. Palin Raising a Family Was Troubling

White House reporter Sheryl Gay Stolberg issued another flattering bunch of factoids about Obama's Supreme Court nominee Sonia Sotomayor - she controls her diabetes: "Court Nominee Manages Diabetes With Discipline." Stolberg actually thinks Sotomayor's approach to her insulin is a sign of how she will tackle Supreme Court cases.

JudgeSonia Sotomayorcarries a small black travel pouch, not much larger than a wallet. It contains the implements she needs - a blood sugar testing kit, a needle and insulin - to managediabetes, a disease she has had for 46 years. Friends say she is not shy about using it.

"She'll be eating Chinese dumplings," said Xavier Romeu Matta, a former law clerk to the judge, "and she'll say, 'Excuse me sweetie,' and pull out the kit and inject her insulin."

That no-nonsense attitude, combined with the attention to detail that characterizes her legal opinions, has been a hallmark of Judge Sotomayor's approach toType 1 diabetes, according to friends, colleagues and her longtime doctor, Andrew Jay Drexler. An endocrinologist in Los Angeles, Dr. Drexler pronounced her "in very good health" in a letter provided by the White House.

Stolberg treated Sotomayor as a hero for keeping her diabetes under control and never suggested her medical condition could be a hindrance to performing on the highest court in the land.

So, when John McCain picked Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin as his running mate, did Stolberg laud Palin as heroic for being both a governor and mother of five children? Of course not. In fact, Stolberg took the opposite approach, brushing aside fears of sexism by suggesting the job of both vice president and mother would be too much for Palin to handle.

From the September 1, 2008 "Political Points" podcast on, recording during the Republican convention in St. Paul, Minn.

Reporter Sheryl Gay Stolberg: "...I think that the campaign was really calculating that the standard that was used for Chelsea Clinton and the Bush girls and now the Obama girls would be applied to the Palin family, which is that the kids are left out of it. But frankly I'm not sure that it will work this time, precisely because of what Jackie said, they've made a big issue of her personal life. She herself, Gov. Palin, has a new baby, and so one question that comes up, is this is a woman that has a lot going on in her personal life, she's got a new baby herself, her daughter's about to get married and have a baby, a lot going on there. I do think it's a fair question to ask how she will juggle those responsibilities. Maybe it's a question that wouldn't be asked of a man, as Steve Schmidt said, but it is a question that I think Americans will ask."