The Broad is Back!

September 29, 2008

The Palin Mess

Filed under: American culture,New Broads,politics,Uncategorized — by maggiec @ 10:51 am

In theory, Sarah Palin should make me very happy.  A woman running for the number two office in the entire USA can only be a good thing, right?  Wrong.  Sarah Palin is totally unequipped for the office of vice president, to say nothing of her qualifications to be president of the United States.  While I’m sure McCain’s campaign named Palin to the ticket to attract women  voters, the move just managed to anger most women and expose McCain’s true view of women.  What this pick tells me is that for McCain, women are interchangeable.  Since they are interchangeable, let’s pick a pretty one so she looks good in pictures.

I can understand that McCain needed to find a young running mate.  He’s my mother’s age while Obama is my age.  While my initial reaction to Obama was that he was too young (too inexperienced, really), I’ve realized that someone with a forward-looking view would be an asset right now.  Obama and I are cusp babies–depending on which definition we’re looking at, we’re either the last of the Baby Boomers or the first of Generation X.  Either way, we blend qualities of the two groups, and I think that’s a good thing.  We have some of the responsibility and idealism of the Boomer generation tempered by the pragmatism of Gen X (and Net Gen, who are our kids).  Sarah Palin is younger than me and Obama, but not by much.  She’s one of the cusp babies, too.  And she’s one that hasn’t managed to pack a lot of the kind of experience she needs into those years she has lived.

While I’m not a political supporter of Governor Palin, I don’t think she’s a terrible person.  Granted, she had some trouble sticking to a college to get her degree, but she did get one.  As a college professor myself, I know that college is not an indicator of intelligence.  Some very bright people don’t shine in an academic setting, especially people who think out of the box.  The list of super bright people who didn’t shine in college is long and well known.  And my BA is in English and journalism, and I started as a reporter, so obviously that can only be a plus in my book.  But I’ve become one of the people watching her who feels totally sorry for her.  She’s been thrust into a position she is unequipped for, and she’s floundering.

Her teenage daughter is pregnant.  Sure, I think mothers and fathers have some responsibility for that, but when all is said and done, teen age sex happens.  And even when using birth control, teen age pregnancy happens.  But this is more of a family situation than a national crisis.  How many presidents and vice presidents have had children with problems?

So these aren’t the reasons I am angry about the choice of Palin.  What left me shaking with anger was her infamous interview with Katie Couric.  The woman was unintelligible.  My initial reaction was “what are they thinking putting this woman out there?”  Then I got angry, then I just felt pity.  If my freshmen were that inarticulate in class I would pity them.  She’s a governor.

I’m not a Republican, but right off my head I could think of better choices.  The first that came to mind was Christine Todd Whitman, former governor of New Jersey, the most densely populated state in the country, and former administrator of the EPA.  If that couldn’t have helped McCain’s Green cred, what could?  She’s over 20 years older than Palin, but that still makes her younger than McCain.

What about Condeleeza Rice?  Obvious choice.  She’s smack dab in the middle between Whitman and Palin in terms of age.  She’s not only a woman, but black as well–that’s something that can neutralize the race factor in the election.  She’s another woman I want to support, but can’t, but only because our political philosophies are too radically separate.  But on paper, she’s perfect–Secretary of State, Stanford professor, very good looking, musically talented, daughter of a minister, no kids, so no embarrassing off spring.  Sure, she has ties to George W. Bush, but in terms of qualifications, she’s got it made.  If she became president, I wouldn’t panic.  I wouldn’t like it, but she could definitely pull it off.

What about Senator Elizabeth Dole?  She’s a little younger than McCain, but she’s got experience to beat the band.

So, hey!  I’m a Democrat, more or less, and I come up with three superlative women off the top of my head.  I actually came up with a much longer list, but most of the women I had on it were Democrats, so I had to immediately rule them out.  Last night we were discussing the Palin interview with Katie Couric,  and my son said, “Mom, you’d make a better VP than Palin.”  My only experience is the fact that I’ve lived in three foreign countries, but on paper, I have the PhD, I’m youngish, I started as a journalist.  With those details, I don’t look so bad, but I also know there’s no way I could ever have that job.  I have no administrative experience to speak of, my economics knowledge is sketchy at best.  Would I want to be VP?  Sure!  Could I do it.  No.

I don’t know what enticed Sarah Palin to say yes.  Power is seductive.  But because she said yes, I see that she lacks the judgement necessary to be in the Executive Office.  But McCain’s lack of judgement was infinitely worse.  Is he so foolish  or worse, sexist, that he thinks women are easily appeased?  Name a woman his running mate and we’ll flock to support him?

To me, this just tells me that the man is totally unqualified to lead my country.  And the woman he chose as a running mate is an insult to thinking women everywhere.



  1. Condi is gay. Think this country is ready for a black lesbian?. But forget her anyway..she has so many oil ties and why does a gay woman sell her soul to the company store anyway? I’m worried we can’t keep abortion legal if the creationist wins. Yes teen sex happens but some people know about birth control and abortion and make wise choices instead of dropping out of school and pushing more babies out.

    Comment by A.B. — September 29, 2008 @ 2:28 pm |Reply

  2. Actually, you and Obama and Palin (and me) are not Boomers nor Xers, but instead are part of Generation Jones, born 1954-1965 between the Boomers and Xers. Lots of influential observers have agreed with this; in fact, you can see a very compelling 6 minute video with a bunch of famous people discussing GenJones/Obama/Palin at the top of this page:

    Comment by ElectionWatcher — September 29, 2008 @ 2:45 pm |Reply

  3. This was an interesting read. Two comments:
    1. CT Whitman eviscerated the EPA while she ran it. It was the fox in charge of the chicken coop, as with so many Bush appointees. So no green cred accrues to her, despite the resume. Environmentalists hate her.
    2. One school of thought holds that Palin is motivated by her extreme religious beliefs which tell her that God is raising her to power as part of a grand plan to establish the USA as an explicitly Christian Nation. From that perspective, her actual knowledge and expertise are irrelevant; the strength of her faith is everything. In nominating her, McCain appealed not only to women but to the hardcore evangelicals, quite a neat trick.
    Extra 3rd point: You couldn’t be VP because you wouldn’t settle for 2nd banana 🙂

    Comment by Emily — September 29, 2008 @ 3:11 pm |Reply

  4. Thanks for the comments. I’m not saying I would vote for Whitman or Rice. Obviously, I wouldn’t. But they would be more sensible choices. I know what Whitman did, but those who are don’t care could have their cake and eat it, too, if you see what I mean. And Rice isn’t openly gay, and there are people who figure if I don’t see it, it doesn’t exist. So Rice can’t be a lesbian because I don’t see it. Tongue in cheek, that.

    Never heard of Generation Jones, so thanks for the note! I’m a huge Douglas Coupland fan, though, so I am loyal to my GenX label. Even though I don’t like labels.

    Comment by maggiec — September 29, 2008 @ 4:09 pm |Reply

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