In 1989, Joanne Palmer left a publishing career in Manhattan and has missed her paycheck ever since. She is a mom, weekly columnist for the Steamboat Pilot & Today, and the owner of a property management company, The House Nanny. Her new book "Life in the 'Boat: How I fell on Warren Miller's skis, cheated on my hairdresser and fought off the Fat Fairy" is now available in local bookstores and online at booklocker.com or amazon.com.

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In 1989, Joanne Palmer left a publishing career in Manhattan and has missed her paycheck ever since. She is a mom, weekly columnist for the Steamboat Pilot & Today, and the owner of a property management company, The House Nanny. Her new book "Life in the 'Boat: How I fell on Warren Miller's skis, cheated on my hairdresser and fought off the Fat Fairy" is now available in local bookstores and online at booklocker.com or amazon.com.

Joanne Palmer: Terry cloth-clad electorate is here

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Joanne Palmer

Joanne Palmer's Life in the 'Boat column appears Wednesdays in the Steamboat Today. Email her at jpalmer@springsips.com

Find more columns by Palmer here.

— To: Presidential hopefuls

From: JP, aspiring political consultant

Re: Bathrobe moms

Date: Timeless

The shenanigans have begun. The presidential election is still 20 months away, but presidential hopefuls already are launching websites and personal attacks. Donald Trump wants to know if President Barack Obama is really a U.S. citizen, Sarah Palin went to Israel, and the tea party is brewing up its own batch of candidates.

Are we ready?

No.

Nevertheless, I thought it would be an opportune time to offer some red-hot news to all candidates. I have thought about hanging chads, the CNN magic map and the Electoral College. I have analyzed and cross-analyzed the data from the last election, and I have big news. And I do mean big.

There is a new electorate. Bathrobe moms.

I know, I know. First there were soccer moms, then hockey moms and then grizzly moms. But I’m here to tell you bathrobe moms are the next big thing. Bathrobe moms are a viable and highly influential group. Based on my preliminary projections, there are millions of bathrobe moms across the country, mostly in cold-weather states. Bathrobe moms are well-educated, comfort-oriented mothers who pull big winter coats over their bathrobes and drive their children to school, hoping and praying they do not have an accident along the way. Bathrobe moms are smart, liberal and bookish. They reduce, reuse, recycle, drive fuel-efficient cars and use fluorescent light bulbs. What they can’t grow in their own organic gardens they buy from local farmers. Bathrobe moms encourage their children to be independent, know right from wrong and be socially and fiscally responsible.

Bathrobe moms are people who like to ease into the day. The chime of their Zen-inspired alarm clock is only a signal to wrap themselves into something soft and cozy and sip their morning brew while contemplating how best to compost.

Moms are an important part of any election. They are concerned with the future of the country because they are devoted to raising the next generation. They vote, they talk about candidates, and they may even campaign to get out the vote. Therefore, all candidates court mothers. They roll up their sleeves, try to look casual and talk about the importance of education and how much they love their families. But maybe they should don a bathrobe for their next town hall meeting.

Even though bathrobe moms prefer loungewear to streetwear, they are savvy, smart and sensible. They also have a tiny renegade streak. They do not read instruction manuals. They do not floss their teeth. And they absolutely do not fold their laundry.

So there.

If I were one of those highly paid political consultants (and I am available for $1,750 per hour), I would tell candidates not to overlook bathrobe moms for one reason: The United States is not divided into red states and blue states, but rather by states of comfort — people who wear bathrobes and those poor souls who do not.

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