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A Rifle-Toting, Hot Librarian Grandmother for Vice President

Show me those folks who think American politics is dull.

Discussions - 17 Comments

I was one of those. Doesn't this just bring small town America right into our national politics?

I wrote in a thread below about my church spontaneously rising to pray for Sarah Palin and her family. The responses are pretty interesting and representative of the political spectrum, from "those stupid lemmings" to understanding. Most of the prayers of the congregants of my church were along the lines of, "God, this woman is walking into a buzz-saw. Please, protect her!" It wasn't about Republicans winning or Democrats losing. At least not yesterday, it wasn't. Maybe next month it will be.

These folks like what they see in Sarah Palin. They are worried for her and for her family, because those seem like pretty ordinary folk and politics is nasty business. My friends were praying about just what is happening to the Palin's, because even ordinary folk in ordinary churches are not fools. They are aware of the sacrifice that family is making and will probably see this daughter's pregnancy as evidence of the sacrifice that family has already made for public service in the state of Alaska. This is a small city, even smaller than Wasilla, but we know that politics is a show and American entertainment. People here are aware that even McCain and Obama and Biden are just human, although they might look slicker than is humanly possible. Despite her good looks, Palin doesn't look slick. Apparently, the family is not slick. So, we out here in the kind of place the Palin's are from are going to worry about them and will also be praying that those folks can keep their integrity. I don't think anyone here can imagine having the confidence to do what Sarah Palin is doing.

Also, McCain knew about his child's pregnancy amd took Palin on anyway. That is an interesting kind of political courage. I think I like McCain better for it.

Neither is an episode of the Jerry Springer show which is where, it seems, this election campaign increasingly belongs. The story goes that Ben Franklin once said that we had a Republic if "we can keep it." We could not and this is what we have come to.

JJ, if one thinks about it historically, from the Adams family, to Jefferson, to Jackson, to Cleveland, to Harrison, to Eienhower, to the Kennedys, Carter, Reagan, Clinton and the Bush family, family drama has been a recurring theme the history of US presidents.

Kate: Thoughtful, revealing about American sensibilities, and explains something about why folks are very pleased that McCain chose her.

If politics is nasty business, Palin should have known that, and known that agreeing to McCain's request would launch her family and her daughter into the eye of the storm. You call that political courage? I call it thoughtless cynical parenting. And one thing I have learned from the republicans: politics is not about sacrifice and service, it is about self-interest, and capitalist expansion. So Palin's ruthlessness in using her own family as a prop for her political career makes Hillary look like Mrs. Brady from the Brady bunch (to use a tv reference, so other NLT readers can follow). I wonder if your church prayed when Obama decided to run. The Biden pick was smart because he had no real media-surprises, but we are going to get 2 months worth of Palin-oscopy from the press. A few more days of this and I would not be surprised if we get a teary-eyed departure from Palin back to her 'ordinary folk' life in Wasilla.

Palin's pretty hot for an old, Republican. John Edwards would tap that.

Also, McCain knew about his child's pregnancy amd took Palin on anyway. That is an interesting kind of political courage.

Political courage or complete and utter desperation.

we know that politics is a show and American entertainment.

Well, sure, but it's also about selecting the people who will get it right when things happen in the world that require a government response. One of the lines in Palin's speeches that hasn't gotten applause from her Republican audience is the claim that government can actually work to help people. She is right (despite the tepid response from her party), although I don't see anything in her record to indicate that she would know how to go about using the federal government in that way.

Kate, fine post. Really pretty sad that that "buzz-saw" is the reality now.
A nit-pick: for the last five or so years I've disliked the way the word "hot" has become ushered into standard conversation. What's wrong with "sexy" or "attractive," etc. "Hot" bugs me because it just seems so matter-of-fact about our leering ways, and our leer-inviting ways. To say a woman is "sexy" or that "I can't keep my eyes off her" is to admit something that could be slightly shameful to just come out and say. "Hot" at one time connotated seriously undeniable sexiness, but now it seems just a standard commodity: Oh, she's "hot." They sell "hot" right off the rack at Target, you know. Maybe I'm crazy...but the word bugs...

And "hot librarian" doesn't really work with Palin...all it does is describe her glasses and hairdo. Only the very intellectual or the very shy woman who is either unware of or quite discreet about her beauty should be given the "librarian" label. But Palin's All-Americaness you can detect from a mile off, which gives her attractiveness less of the sexy vibe than the "cute" one, or better, since she's not young, the pleasantly civilized one. And maybe that's a good thing...virtue tries to keep sexiness off of one's front and center stage, you know. "Hot" tries to make it everyday, somehow. Again, I may be crazy. But in any case, no GOVERNOR should have to deal with the "cute" or the "hot" label. A public courtesy we owe her.

I thought the Palin's statement was very decent and mature. So was Obama's. Andrew Sullivan has become a Michael Savage type sleazy cartoon partisan. Its a shame how hatefulness has corrupted him. There was a quirky intelligence in there once.

Its sad to analyze the pregnancy as a political matter but there it is. This is the situation that is going to show whether Palin can handle a major league fastball with grace and courage. If it wasn't this it would be something. Under similar circumstances Quayle clearly panicked on camera. Ferraro became whiny and defensive. The tone of the Palin statement was just right as it balanced love and sympathy with the responsibilities of the soon-to-be parents. We'll see what happens when she has to face an interview. My guess is that I wouldn't want to be the reporter that asks her a disrespectful question on the subject.

So far Palin has done just fine. I saw her first couple of stump speeches. They were pretty good considering they must have been written against the clock. She comes across as having a strength of character that prevents her from being easily rattled. When it comes to reassuring people that she is up to the job of VP, that is probably at least as important as a bunch of years in the Senate. She is also being helped by her enemies who keep coming up with the most stupid (she used to be mayor of a small town) and malicious (see Andrew Sullivan) avenues of attack.

Good post, Carl--a much-needed rejoinder to the tenor of much of the Palin commentary on NLT to date...leave it to Maureen Dowd to draw attention to Palin's manner of dress, toss out adjectives such as "cute," etc.; Palin should not have to endure such at all--but especially not from those who would profess to be her "friends."

kate, fine sentiments. as long as the wilder charges of the daily kos aren't true, and there's no evidence right now that they are, all this makes our sarah even more impressive. obama's instruction to Dems. to lay off this stuff is classy and savvy. but of course it won't be followed.

After thinking over Palin (Yes I love the guns, the stand on abortion, the image), I'm going to say this was a bad pick. Politically it may work, although I expect not. For governing, it could well be a disaster.

The pregnant daughter thing isn't a big deal (politically), except that it reveals just how Alaska-and small town-the Palins are. I'm from a small town; I love them. Politically it may work because it's a cute image. Small town folk are crafty, and there's little doubt that Sarah is tougher politically than most think. She'll make a solid candidate.

But there's no way in hell that the Palins could be anywhere near ready to govern this country. She's never been to the "big town." She's more redneck than Bill Clinton or Jimmy Carter. Again, I like rednecks, but the American people aren't likely to trust their government to one. I highly doubt Palin knows anything about the economy or the rest of the U.S. Alaska is a total bubble economically speaking, buoyed by energy, fishing, and raw materials, it is pretty much the opposite of the creativity economy that the rest of America is moving toward. Would Palin understand, can she learn fast enough, can she catch up? It's nice to think of Mr. Smith going to Washington, but really we need someone with a bit of knowledge about running a sophisticated government. The danger isn't that she'll be VP, but that she is perfectly positioned to take over the party and be President--the Wasillia Mayor!

I'll pray for Sarah--God bless her and her family; I wish more people shared and stood for your values. But you can bet your bottom dollar that I'll be saying more prayers for McCain, and that he lives long enough to serve the country, and that some other figure wrests control of the GOP from the Palins after Mac is gone.

All McCain/Palin need to do to "govern the country" is name Tom Coburn as the Presidential Chief of Staff. (*Maybe* as Chief of Staff the Dems wouldn't hassle him about delivering babies on weekends?) *That* would send an exhilirating reform message. And America would cheer its head off. Hell, I'd even pay Harry Reid's deductible when he goes in for {the inevitable} heart surgery. Of course, that's an easy commitment because for U.S. Senators there surely IS no deductible. Maybe Coburn could change that?
The question is: Would Palin have the common sense to set the broad policy parameters, the communications skills to generate public support, and the moxie to have her subordinates carry it out? I believe she does, and she would. The Dems would obfuscate and frustrate - and they WOULD - to their political peril. A LARGE part of the American public is enthused precisely because they recognize their own common sense in Gov. Palin. The largest campaign check allowed by law goes out tomorrow. The prayers started last Friday (pace' to Kate's congregation).

Ditto on Coburn.

Everyone seems to think that Alaska doesn't have rough-and-tumble politics. Sheesh!!! You should read the acrimony surrounding the whole Juneau-to-Anchorage government move!!! Talk about trying to deal with a diverse constituency!! Before you all decide what Palin can and cannot govern, maybe check into what's going on. She does have sophistication about running government - this is no amateur. You make her sound quaint, uninformed and clueless. Southcentral Alaskans wake up to Rush Limbaugh as they commute past the gun shops and the drive-thru coffee huts from Wasilla to Palmer to Anchorage or out toward Matanuska on a day trip. Hmm...a heavily caffeinated, gun-toting population...I'll take that any day over the espresso-sipping, hippified, hybrid-driving, know-it-alls around my neck of the woods.

Thank you, PWS and all others. I was writing while the Labor Day dinner's pizza dough was rising, tired out after we had visited the county fair with the grandchildren. I should have taken the time to edit, but hadn't the time. I am relieved to read that I made my point, despite my rush and stumbles.

Our sophisticated government seems to hum along on its own. Haven't we been set up that way for a few generations now? The vast bulk of our government is an entrenched bureaucracy that grinds along on money, law and regulation. It actually resists executive change of direction or reorganization.

It seems right to us that there should be Someone Strong at the Helm, but what that strength would be good for is a point upon which America is very much divided. Sarah Palin seems to have been a strong hand at the helm in Alaska, guided by common sense. If she ends up being our executive, (and McCain dying off right after the Inauguration seems to be the prediction of both Republicans and Democrats this week,) I hope that what she is, actually IS enough. If not, then we are not in trouble because of who and hat she is, but because of the kind of government we have chosen to accept as our own.

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