Thursday, September 11, 2008

I can’t shut up about Sarah Palin and I have a blog so I guess I don’t have to.

So, I just watched a couple of clips from the ABC Charles Gibson interview with Sarah Palin. It’s going to be broadcast over the next few days. They have two clips up on the ABC website.

In the first clip Gibson asked Palin if, when McCain asked her to be Vice President, if she had any pause, and if in fact she felt ready to be – not just Vice President, but President.”

She said, “I do, Charlie” (It irritated me that she kept calling him Charlie – injecting the diminutive of his name over and over again. It began to feel belittling even if that is what everyone calls him.) Then he said, “You didn’t say to yourself, do I have the experience, the international experience to be President?”

Palin answered, “I didn’t hesitate. I answered him yes because I have the confidence in that readiness and knowing you can’t blink. I am committed to reforming this country and victory in the war. You can’t blink and so I didn’t blink then even when asked to be his running mate.”

Okay. That SO reminded me of George Bush. In fact, in this interview, she seemed more like George Bush than ever. George believes in belief. He believes in confidence. He over-values readiness and willingness to take on “missions” and “wars.” He sees himself as a person who can stand tall and respond when God calls him. It’s very much derived from religion and the idea of being God’s servant, ready to act.

Furthermore, I don’t want a Vice President (or President) that doesn’t blink. That is a VERY SCARY Vice President. She thinks she’s singing her own praises, showing how quick to action and committed she is, but she’s really showing her lack of personal reflection and her inexperience. Especially now, after having a President who doesn’t blink for eight years, we see what not-blinking can do. It’s easy to feel called and ready to be part of a sports team or God’s army or something, but it’s very hard to make complicated international and national decisions. Religious material is full of stories where God calls upon someone and like Mary. The moral of the story is showing Mary’s willingness, her readiness. Saints do not blink. Soldiers do not blink. In those arenas you cannot hesitate. Not blinking probably made her a good basketball player.

But not a statesperson.

The second clip was about God and war. Gibson quoted herself back to herself at her church and said, “You said, ‘Our national leaders are sending U.S. soldiers on a task that is from God.’ Are we fighting a Holy War?” Palin remarked, “But the reference there is a repeat of what Abraham Lincoln said, that we are never to presume to know what God’s will is. And I would never presume to know that. And that quote is a repeat of Abraham Lincoln and let us instead pray that we are on God’s side.”

Okay. AGHHHHHHH. Okay. First of all, are we to believe that she knew about this Abraham Lincoln quote and that she meant to be referencing him? Well, I guess we are being asked to believe that, since that is exactly what she said. I find that remarkably hard to believe. First of all, what she said is nothing whatsoever like what Abraham Lincoln said. She said, “U.S. Soldiers are on a task from God.” That is not even close to saying that we should be praying that we are on God’s side. Does she mean that she meant to be dropping Lincoln's name in and just forgot to credit him? And then said something not even remotely like what he said????

She has learned well that way of just making associations in her response that have nothing to do with what has been asked her. In smarter, defter hands, this works well. To a certain extent, every politician must do this. But to me, it wasn’t artful and it was way, way too extreme.

Overall I got the feeling that she’s not very bright, although that does not seem to be a requirement for this particular position at this particular time. She doesn’t think and speak, she just comes out with the answers like a kid who has been preparing for a test and knows every answer and just how to say it beforehand. I don’t think that’s necessarily bad, I’m just saying she looks vulnerable to me. She looks like someone that could be quite interesting if the right reporter got a crack at her. She also, more worryingly, seems like someone who is not an independent thinker – both those things, not independent, and not a thinker. She gets by on charm and I think the press has got to get aggressive, certainly as aggressive as they were with Hilary and any other candidate.

Also, I have to say, I have hope. I think things could get very interesting in the next few weeks.

14 comments:

Anonymous said...

Unfortunately, Palin is as much of a thinker as Joe Biden is, and that is not saying much.

How he got where he is, and how he gets away with what he does, is beyond me. He is NOT blue collar (his dad had a few bad years); he and all his siblings and his children went to expensive private schools; he lives on an estate that I would estimate is worth $3-4 million. He embellishes almost everything he says --- including the death of his first wife -see this article: http://www.delawareonline.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20080904/NEWS02/809040379

I am being very nice not saying that he lies. LOL

Actually, they all lie. Joe has to take his foot out of his mouth first, though.

Sasha Stone said...

You are the best, Julia Sweeney. You are so right. It is this idea of doing God's work (without blinking) that is most terrifying. Sorry anonymous but Palin and Biden live on different planets and were chosen for different reasons. At least we've been watching Joe Biden work within Washington for decades. Please!

Ryan said...

I agree with you 100% about Palin. There are lots of reasons to hate her, so I hope she and McCain don't stand a chance of getting in (but American voting history has me worried). McCain is bad enough, but his campaign is much more frightening with that woman on his side.

Susan said...

but this is all just so scary because the thinking people see through her but there are sooooo many others who think that she's just what they were waiting for and just what we need. I've been sad for the last 8 years, but at least I could reconcile that Gore really did win in 2002 and in 2006 Kerry and the Dems just failed. But if this gets in, it'll just be depressing.

Axinar said...

I think Sarah Palin worries me more than any other political figure in my lifetime.

I sure hope Obama can pull it off.

I have a sinking feeling, however, if we don't get her as VP this time we're going to get her as PRESIDENT in 2012.

Scary, scary stuff ...

nikkik said...

I am going crazy from the women I work with fawning over Palin. I live in a very conservative and "hockey" community with a racist undercurrent, and to them, its like Jesus personally sent Palin to save the world.
and the whole outrage over the lipstick comment - it felt like it was almost "how could that black man say such a thing about a White Woman??"

Sheldon said...

Oi! Thank gawd someone is as freaked out by all this Palin stuff as I am. It's such a relief to hear someone else saying this stuff for a change. I'm going out of my mind with all the fawning over this bizarre woman, and I live in the San Francisco Bay Area! I can only imagine how they must be wetting themselves in the South! She must be like Southern Belle arm candy to them!

fondfire said...

I'm just keeping my fingers crossed. Down here in the South, Obama's name is often chewed out with a sneer and Palin seems to have struck a cord. I hoped desperately in 2004 that my state would not be picking the winner. I'm afraid I'm in the same position again this time. (Though I'd like to be wrong on both counts so that my state goes for Obama and he wins!)

I thought Gibson trying to pin her down on the Bush Doctrine showed the problem twice as clearly as what you put here, though. I honestly think she'll be a footnote in the news cycle within a week . . . It'll be back to the main contenders in no time! Still, despite what your anonymous commenter said above, I do look forward to the Vice Presidential debates. I think Biden will kicking her butt . . .

Barron said...

I think you are right-on with this post!

Marjolaine Hébert said...

I think that it's absurd that any V.P. could get this much media attention. The only plausible reason for it, in my opinion, is that she is a woman. I have watched the female audience interviewed, saying such things as 'she's just like me'. Hmm... there's a frightening thought. We have had a female Prime Minister here in Canada, and female leaders in countries around the world is far from unusual. It would be sad to see Mc-whoever (who is it running for President? . .) win based on the gender of his running mate.
Isn't the time ripe enough yet for Americans to seperate religion and politics? She scares the poo out of me.
One woman's two cents.

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