With so much attention now focused on Sarah Palin and (if one is to judge by the volume of the howls coming from the Dems and the MSM) her very good prospects for helping John McCain, there may be a temptation to forget that there is another woman in the McCain camp who can speak effectively on the issues and on behalf of the candidate. That woman is Cindy McCain.
I watched her this weekend in an interview with George Stephanopolous and I was quite taken with her spirited defense--not only of John McCain and Sarah Palin--but also of her own parents and the country that afforded them the opportunity to turn their efforts and industry into wealth. She was positively ferocious on that last point and I don’t blame her. Although John McCain certainly cannot be commended for forgetting the number of homes he and Cindy own, it’s a fair point to note that there’s nothing criminal or blameworthy in their owning them. Indeed, it’s refreshing to see Cindy throw down the Dems on this one. Further, it’s not really fair to say that he’s "out of touch" just because he’s not particularly focused on the extent of his material possessions. He’s married to a rich woman who inherited her wealth from a father and mother who worked hard to earn it. It’s probable that he considers these things more her affair than his own and that her parents wanted it that way. It would almost be more creepy if he could give you a detailed list of all her holdings and interests off the top of his head, wouldn’t it? Here’s a link to the YouTube video of the interview.
On a related note, this article in Forbes shows that John McCain probably learned a thing or two about how a government can help or hinder prosperity by having a successful businessman in the family.
Christpher Hitchens did a good job on the house question. After a few reflections on class and American politics, he concludes:
"John McCain might actually not know the full extent of his joint property and that this could conceivably have been for the decent reason that he didn't care that much."
Julie, can you post on where you were, and what your reactions were when you first learned Governor Sarah Palin was tapped for the Vice-Presidential nomination?
I think a healthy number of readers would be interested in hearing your thoughts on that.
Dan, I really don't have much to say on it that is very interesting. But since you asked . . . I was driving through Utah on the last leg of our marathon camping trip when I heard. Because I read this blog and talk to a number of its contributers on a regular basis, I was not at all surprised. I think I actually said something deep and insightful (ha!) like, "Oh, so he went with Sarah . . . interesting."
When my husband said, "Who the hell is Sarah?" I looked at him like he just asked me who the hell is John McCain. I was surprised by his surprise and also by the surprise of the MSM announcing it. I keep forgetting that most folks on the left and in mainstream journalism don't seem to do much reading of serious alternative or conservative news sources . . . I'm always amazed at how little they seem to know of our universe in comparison to how well they are paid to prognosticate about it! And this, unfortunately, means that their consumers (like my husband and most other regular people not hanging out on blogs like we do) don't know much about it either.
So after I recovered from that surprise, I think I made an argument to my husband that I thought (and still think) that it was a clever and an astute pick for McCain. I like that it seems to indicate an awareness of his weaknesses and that he means to address them. I think the pick is a good indication that he means to win, wants to win, and has a plan to win. I enjoy seeing the Dem attack dogs howl in pain at this realization and watching them throw everything they can at her, even as they contradict their most dearly held personal convictions.
In short, I think she will help him win. At first, I admit that I was a bit concerned that it might be too much for some segments of our male voting bloc to jump on board with a woman (especially a young woman with children) not necessarily because she is a woman but because they might view it as gimmicky or pandering ("politically correct") or too clever by half . . . but I soon recovered from this thought as I considered that the alternative of Obama-Biden would be even less appealing to them and Jindal might have looked even more gimmicky (as a conservative answer to Obama) and probably he's too good to waste in this way. He should live to fight another day . . . and then Gustav's coming confirmed the suspicion that now was not meant to be his time. I was dead set against another boring, old, white guy (but have said that the "BORING" was the key thing to be avoided and not necessarily old or white). In any other year . . . well, Palin wouldn't have happened. But in this year, it was probably the right choice to help McCain win.
Am I as thrilled or excited about her personally as a good number of my colleagues here and elsewhere seem to be? No. I have said what I think about her before and I don't have much to add to it now. She helps McCain, but it will come (and already is coming) at a heavy personal price to her and to her family. I am not sure that it will be worth it to them all in the end. Sometimes deep personal sacrifice is necessary for the good of one's country or for the good of anything that one can deem higher than the interests of one's own family . . . but it is easy to be deceived about this necessity if one is ambitious and all politicians are necessarily ambitious. Of course, neither she nor her family asked me for my opinion of their choices and I would not like to have such unsolicited opinions offered about my personal and familial choices. But then, that's at least one reason (among a good many others) that I'm not running for any public office.
I don't agree with some commentators who have argued that these questions of her personal choices should be taboo. If she's in this she has to expect this and, anyway, it's not unfair to examine her character or to suggest that these choices may speak to it. I do find it amusing that so many who wish to make hay with insinuations about her character based on her choice of a high powered career over a life at home with her children (at least while they are small) are so obviously disingenuous about it and have the audacity to advance arguments against her that they have condemned for the last 40 years . . . but then, I guess that's not really surprising either. It's even more amusing to reflect that these same folks will say I'm the one being a hypocrite in voting for her. I say I'm simply picking the best apples the tree now has to offer. They are cherry picking arguments to advance their political objectives at the expense of what they believe to be the truth.