Thursday, September 4, 2008

Sarah Palin

I will admit, I rarely openly discuss politics. I don't claim to be an expert nor do I really want to be. I don't read up on the candidates as I should. I do what most Americans do, I suppose; I find the candidate who sounds as close to my beliefs as possible and vote for them. And they are almost always Republican. Except for that one time I voted for a Democrat (ummm... Don Siegelman) and came out sorely disappointed. Anywho...

I have been intrigued for the past several days, along with the entire nation, over John McCain's choice for his VP. A woman? A no-name woman at that. Not to say she is a nobody, but I think it is safe to say that if you aren't a political elitist or you haven't taken residency in Alaska in the past few years, you have never heard the name Sarah Palin before. I was disgusted when he announced the pick. It felt contrived and maneuvered. Like McCain was trying to appeal to a certain demographic he knew he could never reach (women who know the country needs some shaking up and don't feel like McCain has any shaking left in him). I wondered why this mother of five children would even accept such a challenge. Why would she thrust her family into the national spotlight? Does she not have anything better to focus her time on? Like, for example, her infant with special needs or her teenage daughter due to give birth in a few months. So when I learned of her speech at the Republican National Convention last night, I had to watch. I had to hear the voice behind this beautiful face, which, in all honesty, looks like the most unlikely match to John McCain.

Palin is remarkably poised and dynamic. Strong and confident. I found myself wondering the entire speech, "How do you go from hockey mom to that?" She did a great job introducing her family to the country and a great job putting out the flames surrounding the controversy of her family's struggles. I truly admire a woman like her, one who can separate herself from her role as mother and make a place - a contributing place - for herself in society. But I still question, "Why?" I would love to know the motivating factors of her becoming involved in politics.

She seems like a real person with a real family. Her husband looks and sounds like a guy who would offer you a beer and bag of chips if invited to a family barbecue at their house. You don't get more "working class America" than a commercial fisherman and oil rig worker. And the kids (though all incredibly oddly named), seem so normal. Let's face it - if you have five kids, one of them is bound to be pregnant in their teens. The odds are stacked against you. And did anyone see the youngest girl lick her hand and rub the baby's hair? That has nothing to with anything really, but it was just was just a humorous moment.

I don't know if I am sold on the idea of her being the second in command of our nation. I don't know if I could ever understand a woman wanting a role so demanding and time consuming. Especially with five children and a grandchild on the way. I don't know if I could ever identify with anyone, male or female, who would want to stand before a crowd and speak to thousands and be broadcast all over the nation for millions to hear. But after listening to her speech, I now understand why McCain chose her as his running mate. And it has nothing to do with being female or easy on the eyes. She seems to be a strong standing woman of character who is not shaken nor stirred easily. And she could very well be the first female vice president of the United States. This election gets more interseting by the minute.


Erika said...

Did you check out Dooce today? I read the article she pointed out. I think the thing that bugs me about Palin is, I feel it is just a Republican ploy to pick up the Hilary votes.

RunnerMom said...

I didn't WANT to like Palin, but I found myself drawn to her, especially when she talked to the moms of special needs kids and how she'll be on their side. But then, such a short time ago, she was a PTA mom and mayor of a small town and she'll be one heartbeat from the Presidency? McCain's a 72year old with a history of cancer. I liked her, but I'm not sure I'm comfortable with that. (I know my candidate doesn't have much experience either, but I believe in him.)