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Palin. Yay?

Well, this whole Sarah Palin thing is going really well, eh?

Another week, another Frank Luntz/AARP focus group of undecided voters--this one in Minneapolis and with some bad news for John McCain: they don't like the choice of Sarah Palin for vice president. Only one person said Palin made him more likely to vote for McCain; about half the 25-member group raised their hands when asked if Palin made them less likely to vote for McCain.

They had a negative impression of Palin by a 2-1 margin...a fact that was reinforced when they were given hand-dials and asked to react to Palin's speech at her first appearance with McCain on Friday---the dials remained totally neutral as Palin went through her heart-warming(?) biography, and only blipped upwards when she said she opposed the Bridge to Nowhere--which wasn't quite the truth, as we now know . . .
Huge surprise. Gosh, who'd have guessed that women voters wouldn't just automatically flock to any candidate with a vagina? Who'd have guessed Hillary voters wouldn't leap to support a woman who thinks that if you're raped you should be forced by the state to have that rapist's baby?

This must be a terrible shock to McCain's people. Who knew women had, like, brains and all?

Turns out Palin did not oppose the "bridge to nowhere." She ran on support of it. Until the political winds changed. The bridge to flip flop.

Turns out rather than being a Simon-pure crusader for virtue she was on the board of a 527 that supported corrupt Alaska Senator Ted "Pimp My Vacation Home" Stevens. Until 2005. And then, in 2006, she made an ad supporting him. Did we know Stevens was an earmarking, bacon-bringing, patronage-machine and all-around slimeball in 2006? Even my dogs knew.

And then there's an issue I think will bubble beneath the surface: Palin has a 4 month old baby. And she has decided to take on one of the most grueling jobs in the world: national candidate. Four month old baby, 18 hour a day job that has mom and baby dragging through every Travelodge and Super 8 in the swing states and adhering to a schedule set not by the baby's needs but by the news cycle.

Not a job she has to take to make ends meet. That I would understand. This is just about ambition.

Now, if you follow the news you may be surprised at what I'm not writing about. It's a fine line, a fine distinction maybe, but putting a 4 month old second to your political ambitions is a problem for me. One I'll opine away on. That's about Palin's current choices. But, having done your best as a parent and then nevertheless having some family issues? That's on the other side of the line for me. I don't expect any parent to necessarily succeed. I do expect them to try.

Besides, Sarah's the only Palin running.

Between hurricane Gustav and this unprepared, unqualified Veep candidate I'd feel sorry for McCain. But he's the one who made this rash, silly, impetuous choice. He's the one who was so out of touch he actually believed this silly stunt would work.

Putting the country first? Not on this you didn't, Senator. On this you were just kind of a jerk.

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“Palin. Yay?”

  1. Blogger Hallq Says:

    On the whole, the Palin choice looks idiotic. One point, though--would it be too much to expect her spouse to take on more of the childrearing responsibilities, in this situation? Isn't that what we would expect if the genders were reversed?

  2. Blogger Michael Reynolds Says:

    Chris:

    I can only go by personal experience on this. 4 months is a very tiny baby. Ideally two parents. Failing that, I'm sorry, but it's got to be mom. (She has the breasts.)

    And this isn't a one-way thing. I've never known a woman with a baby that small who wouldn't be torn up at the thought of being away as much as Palin will need to be. Even we fathers feel that way. I imagine you will when you get there. Like there is really not a single thing in the whole world that could be more important than being there.

    It's not about quality time, it's about all the time. I have a picture of me when Jake was that age. I'm wearing a sports coat and sweat pants because it was all the clothing that was arguably clean. Jake is on my shoulder. I look like a dead man. I hadn't slept more than 4 hours a night in four months.

    We're talking about combining a job that takes at least 18 hours a day (campaigning) and one that takes damn close to 24. Caring for an infant.

  3. Blogger Transplanted Lawyer Says:

    For now, my only significant defense of choosing Palin is that she shores up McCain's right flank -- she makes the pro-life, pro-gun, pro-church crowd all moist. Given that I'm not of that ilk myself I'm not so enthusiastic. But from a game theory point of view she accomplished that much for McCain.

    As for her competence and ability to discharge the office of President should the need arise, I'm withholding judgment until I see her in action a little more than I have. Maybe she's Danielle Quayle. Maybe she's at least Walter Mondale. I don't think I have enough information yet to really feel comfortable.

    As for her neglecting her family in favor of politics, well, she's hardly the first politician to do it, and hardly even the first woman politician to do it. And is she a jerk? Was McCain? Yes, I'm sure of it. Politicians are presumptively jerks. You're telling me that Obama and Biden lack that capacity?