H/t: Jonathan Martin
Despite having spent quite a bit of time in Fargo, North Dakota, prior to Sarah Palin's arrival on the national political scene, I had never heard of a "hockey mom," per se. Of course, like everyone else in America, I had heard of "soccer moms," beginning sometime around 1996, I believe.
Clearly, I'm out of the loop on this (this blog started in October of '07 and this one in April of this year). It turns out, the term is widely known in Canada (which explains why I don't know it). According to Wikipedia, the first reference to the term comes from a 1999 New York Times review of the Chevrolet Silverado.
Still, I don't think I'm alone in being unfamiliar with this term. And I don't think it's a mistake that Palin went out of her way to brand herself as such.
My thinking is that soccer moms are more suburban -- and (most likely) -- more liberal. By going out of her way to say she's a hockey mom, Palin connects with moms who have to deal with getting their kids to games on time, etc. -- but also sends a subtle reminder that she's from a small town in a western state. Thoughts?