I’m definitely thinking too much about Sarah Palin, which I am not happy about. I mean, hopefully it’s just because I ought to be doing other things and I’m finding ways to distract myself, not because she really is bad news for Obama. This poll says the first numbers are not too high for her, people think she’s a bit green.

But on the other hand, I have actually been looking at some video (eg, charlie rose) and I remember that people vote on who they like more than who really has solid accomplishments… The presidential election is all about electing a cabinet anyway, so you don’t need to be sure one individual can handle everything so much as be comfortable they can and will work with the kind of people you want them to work with… So if they like her, and no one takes too seriously the idea that she could end up in office – because no one likes to think about people dying if they can avoid it, and anyway she could always step aside in the unlikely event, etc – then perhaps that would be enough.

At this stage it is a question of time; we have to wait and see how she plays in the big leagues. I mentioned Harriet Miers in comparison to her the other day, but Miers was being considered for the Supreme Court, and being confirmed by the congress, whereas Palin is being considered for the VP spot and would be confirmed by the general population. It really is a different ball game. Here, what is going to matter is less her resume, and more how she comes across in the media.

And I wonder if the comments she made about women and specifically about Hillary were less a ploy to try to get Hillary’s voters and more an attempt to try to lure Hillary herself back into the spotlight… McCain’s people may have hoped to get a few disgruntled independents, but surely overall they knew that ardent Hillary supporters weren’t going to be happy about a solidly anti-abortion, pro-creationist, pro-oil republican. However, perhaps they were thinking they could get the democratic party to start fighting amongst itself again if Hillary were tempted to come out and start fighting with this little who-does-she-think-she-is, and that that would get in the way of the real debate between Obama and McCain, and make the dems look petty in general, and no longer so unified, etc…

Basically I think Hillary Clinton has to be really careful not to get in Obama’s way: if he loses, and she’s done anything at all, people will blame her for his failure. And if she says one wrong thing to a polite younger woman, she’ll go right back to being That Bitch instead of maintaining the kinder gentler image she’s managed to carve out for herself over the last 18 months. So hopefully she’ll just concentrate on being a senator at this point, and reemerge when things settle.

Anyway, this is the right way to respond to her, in my opinion – focusing back on McCain, and reminding people that she’s joining his ticket, rather than him seriously seeking advice from her.

Well, we’ll see. It’s going to be an interesting race, and I still can really imagine things going either way. I can even imagine things sweeping either way, bizarrely. I would believe a silent racism that wasn’t showing up in polls but showed up in private voting booths when it came down to the wire, and give McCain a big lead. But I would also believe a big voter turnout for Obama that got him a major advantage. Or it could be really close. This is a really difficult election to predict, and I think anyone who’s sure they know what’s going to happen is projecting. There are too many factors…

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4 Responses to “obsessing”

  1. rushmc Says:

    Wait…Republicans don’t have premarital sex! It must be a lie by the liberal media…


    It’s kind of interesting that they released this (like they could have kept it hidden much longer?) to quell the swirling rumors that the baby Palin had in April was actually her daughter’s.

    Also, she apparently thinks that the Pledge of Allegiance was written by the Founding Fathers.

  2. drinkme Says:

    ugh. Those kind of rumors just seem like exactly the wrong way to respond to her. No one is going to stop voting for her because -her kid- made a mistake. No one would even turn against her because she was consistent in her own beliefs about being anti-abortion, even if she were covering for her daughter in April. It just makes democrats look petty and out of touch. I wish people would drop this whole angle.

    It would be completely different if it were discovered her daughter had an abortion, and I do think the language of “decided to keep it” is fair game, since that implies each woman should have an option to consider what she would like to do with her future and with her own body. It should be strongly hammered home that pro-choice women are all in favor of supporting those who choose to go through with their pregnancies too: all we want is for the woman to feel as if she really can be in charge of this choice, rather than just automatically burdened with a life changing fact.

  3. rushmc Says:

    Rumors? I think it came directly from Palin’s own mouth.

    I don’t know. I expect a certain type to complain about those who would discuss this (mostly the same type that has become expert at losing elections), but I don’t see that it’s all that different from many other tangential issues which have been scrutinized in the past concerning male candidates. It is a fact that the activities of one’s family will be noticed and may reflect upon a candidate for president, and anyone choosing to run has to be aware of that and consider it before accepting the role. Is it relevant? That’s debatable, but if some people think it’s relevant, I don’t think you can shut down discussion. Do you honestly think that if Chelsea Clinton had become pregnant while 17 that the Republicans would have had the good taste/character to look the other way and remain quiet?

    To me, the biggest issue here is that a day or two after choosing his running mate (there’s a phrase that’s going to take a lot of slack this campaign cycle!), McCain is being hit with all these negatives that the slightest amount of vetting would have alerted him to. Methinks the captain is steering his leaky ship onto the rocks…

    We can hope.

  4. drinkme Says:

    oh, yeah, I guess I just meant gossip or something. I dunno, it just does not seem important. You’re right, though, that republicans would very likely not drop it either, so maybe I should just accept that this kind of crap is what people love in politics. If we had to suffer the Lewinsky scandal, we can suffer this bullshit too.

    But honestly, I dunno if it will play as “scandalous”, because people will think they handled it the right way or whatever. When her daughter made a mistake, she “took responsibility” whereas when Clinton made a mistake he tried to hide it. If Chelsea Clinton had gotten pregnant at 17 but rather than get an abortion, had married and kept the child, I am not sure it would have been seen as slutty. Plenty of people in this country have children at young ages. What matters to most is whether they marry the fathers, not whether they manage to go to college before settling down, or even whether they technically manage to be married before they get pregnant. To a lot of people, it is really not a tragedy if you start a family instead of going off to graduate school or something…

    I guess what’ll be interesting is how the RNC goes. I do think Obama just seems all around more solid, but I don’t think these kinds of silly gossipy stories are the things that will make a difference. I think Obama’s response was exactly the right one – http://voices.washingtonpost.com/the-trail/2008/09/01/obama_tells_press_to_back_off.html – and I really hope that people listen to that.

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