November 8, 2008

The Rise and Fall of Sarah Palin

I'm sure you're sick of hearing about her- whether it be positive or negative. But now that the election is over, she will likely fade into obscurity (although I'm predicting a short resurfacing for the 2012 primaries, of which she will not get very far).

When it was first announced that she would be Sen. John McCain's running mate, I believed it was a genius move. Many people were still bitter about Hillary Clinton's defeat, and this woman seemed very capable and likable, however unknown her amount of experience was at the time.

I will not deny that she connected with many people, especially the very conservative Republicans, and the Christian evangelists. In modern politics, charm and charisma aren't secondary characteristics, they are required in the sound-byte constant television cycle.

Soon it became obvious what she was- a woman with no interest in women's rights, someone with a shallow knowledge of the world around her and even less interest in it. Instead of being a model for the modern woman- smart, put-together and engaging, she was the opposite of what women have been working for in the latter half of the 20th century. Instead of confirming that you can be smart AND feminine, that you could make it to the top with hard work and wisdom, she reinforced the old and disappointing fact that if you look pretty you don't have to have brains, a work ethic, or even basic common sense.

My eighty-year-old great aunt, a woman who was born in 1928, who has seen so much in her lifetime (and who is a staunch Republican), said in regards to Palin, "that woman has no class". Gov. Palin is nothing but show without any substance. Her embarassing interviews with Gibson and Couric could be chalked up to nerves or being unaccustomed to the public's eye, but her interview with the Radio DJs from Montreal, pretending to be French President Nicholas Sarkozy, was particularly appalling. Hearing anyone in a position of power address another nation's leader in such an informal, insubstantive and undignified manner proved my great aunt right. The DJs later said that of all the people they pranked (the Queen of England and Sarkozy himself), the only two people to never realise it was a joke, who had to be told it was a prank, were Sarah Palin and Britney Spears.

I pray that the next time a woman in politics inspires as many people as Sarah Palin did, she is truly a woman of substance.

1 comment:

movie fan said...

If Palin runs for President in 2012, at least she has name recognition going for her... but that may not work in her favor