August 30, 2008

“Is this a joke?” one Alaskan political blog asked of the vice presidential shot-in-the-dark heard ‘round the world.
Yes, Sarah Palin’s approval ratings once hovered at an impressive 90% but when McCain announced that his choice for a vice presidential running mate was the female first-term governor of Alaska, even Alaskan’s were shocked.
I was, too.
As the political party that’s kept its phallicentric roots far too long (you know we can vote now, right guys?), the GOP was notoriously peeved at the prospect of female Hillary Clinton being on the ballot; McCain even going so far as telling voters how he was going to “beat the bitch.”
But since God always did like a good laugh (have you seen the platapus?), McCain ditched the possibilities of Sen. Joe Leiberman (a democrat—what?!) and Gov. Mitt Romney and went with the hockey mom-ing, moose stew-lovin’ (and former Miss Wasilla, Alaska beauty queen), Sarah Palin.

As an obvious response to Obama shooting over Hillary’s head and choosing a white, male chairman of the Foreign Relations Committee as his running mate, this year’s republican candidate decided to pick up the prospective alienated voters left behind (and find an NRA member who’s down for oil drilling) to fill a gap that really isn’t there.
And now even slightly conservative mothers who have kids in extra curricular sports are supposed to love Palin? Hillary sympathizers who live for Wayne Gretsky reruns, aren’t buying it. “We barely know you,” one woman who has spent the last nine winters shuffling from one ice rink to another said “and I’m already sick of her shrill inflections and “gee whizzes” after one speech.”
Despite the fact that she sounds like Roseanne after gastric bypass surgery, there are other, far redder flags that make me stare blankly at the republican party, crosseyed, still unable to comprehend if this is a joke or not.

1. Experience, much? How does running a state of less than a million people qualify you in any way to sit as the President of the Senate and position you a heartbeat away from running a country with three hundred times as many people as you’ve ever fathomed in your life? The GOP can now stop their “Obama is soooo unexperienced” schpeel because: [being the mayor of Wasilla (pop. 8471) for six years] < [seven years as a congressman with Illinois’ 13th district (pop.71037)]. While we’re on equations, Harvard Law > University of Idaho. So, I guess the final equation would be:

[Mayor of Wasilla, Alaska +University of Idaho + son’s tour of Iraq starting on September 11] < [Member of the Illinois Senate from the 13th district + Harvard Law School + black father]

2. Does she even deserve the job? In June, Palin told CNN’s Glenn Beck that if McCain asked hr to be his vice president and she “had to make such a decision today, it would be no.” And after being questioned about the nature of a powwow with McCain just a month ago, Palin seemed confused as to the vice president’s job description (Alaskan textbooks only go up to the year of statehood?), telling CNBC that she couldn’t talk about the possibility of a vice presidential nod until “somebody answers for me what exactly the VP does every day.”
3. Hellooooo marketing ploy! As mentioned before, Sarah Palin is a woman. This doesn’t say anything about her ability to run but it for sure adds to the slimy, pandering tactics of the GOP to try and solicit to women voters (and the super conservatives who think McCain is a pansy). Who knows if it will work, but one woman interviewed by the Orange County register put it best: “As much as I want to see women in the political mainstream, I am deeply disappointed and concerned that logic and judgment were put aside to throw this unknown woman to the dogs of the media.”
4. Chucking the pin and keeping the grenade. News of Palin’s VP nod is opening up a pandora’s box of scandalous revelations. Like the fact that her 4 month old son with Downs Syndrome might not be hers but, in fact, her 16 year-old daughter’s. The Daily Kos has compiled some convincing evidence including pictures of a svelte 7 month pregnant Palin, a fat 7 month “not pregnant” daughter (who was taken out of school for the 5 months before her mother supposedly gave birth), and proof that after going into labor in Austin, Gov. Palin gave a keynote speech then flew eight hours to Anchorage (then drove an hour to Wasilla) before giving birth (and no one on the flight noticed she was pregnant, much less in labor). Then, there’s the whole “sister-had-a-tumultuous-marriage-with-a-state-trooper-and-when-they-got-a-divorce-his-boss-wouldn’t-fire-him-so-Palin-forced-him-to-resign” thing. But who’s counting?


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