Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Now We Have To Wait

Now we have to wait. A woman by the name of Sarah Palin has literally rocked the political world in the last two weeks going from virtual anonymity to an awareness factor of greater than 90%. She joins Prince and Cher as easily identifiable by one name only as she has become an instant celebrity, a bad word in Republican politics until two weeks ago.. Say "Sarah" and everyone knows exactly who you are talking about. According to the most recent polls there has been a substantial movement toward the McCain ticket because off "Sarah" by women her age and younger. The lead of the Obama Biden ticket has evaporated due to the ground swell of fascination with this woman. So what are we waiting for? Both sides are waiting for her to fall. The Republicans hope to shield her as much as is practicable from the relentless prying eyes of the press so that she can avoid a major gaffe or two that will allow the Democrats to pounce on her as a demonstration of her inadequacy for the position of VP. the Democrats, of course, are waiting for those gaffes.

My prediction: It ain't going to happen. It's not going to happen for several reasons; First, "Sarah" is a terribly bright person and, teleprompter or not, she is capable of making a world class delivery of the "message" that has been scripted for her. Second, when and if she makes a bone-headed statement, she will be immediately excused by her fans (that what celebrities have is adoring fans long on forgiveness and short on forgetting) who will take offense at the media for attacking the poor dear. Note well that her first venture into the media interview arena is later this week by Charles Gibson, ABC's telejournalist. But the arrangements that have been made are set up on Sarah's own turf, in Alaska, with two days of ABC cameras following her around to capture the essence of her life. Gibson, if he follows form, will subject himself to the same restrictions that the Republicans want to impose on the Democrats. That ground rule appears to take the following form; You cannot criticise Sarah. Even though she can raise a topic by issuing a press release, it is inappropriate to follow up on the information that is released. As an example, consider the furor over her pregnant teenage daughter. Who brought this issue to the attention of the public? She blames Democrats because that is the Republican style and Republicans certainly know how to run a campaign.

All in all, one can only hope from either the Democratic or Republican perspective that the campaign settles into a meaty discussion regarding the issues and how each presidential candidate proposes dealing with these issues. It would certainly not be in the best interests of the people of America to decide who the next President of the United States will be on the basis of an American Idol-like popularity contest.

Finally, the Anchorage Daily News suggests a series of questions that Gibson ought to ask Sarah that pertain to her Alaskan provenance. One of these is " In spring of 2004, the Daily News reported that you cited family considerations in deciding not to try for the U.S. Senate: "How could I be the team mom if I was a U.S. senator?" What was different this time as you decided to run for vice president?" In speaking with several different women across the spectrum of political belief, the one concern that seems to most common is the concern about how she can manage her role as mother with that of VP? It is apparently off limits for a man to register such a concern, but it certainly a real and important question for which the country deserves an answer particularly when the "hockey mom" herself raises the issue.

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