Saturday, September 06, 2008

Palin - The Right Woman

Nick and I have been watching the coverage of the US Presidential election season with interest this week following the introduction of Alaskan governor Sarah Palin as the Republican's Vice Presidential nominee.

Here are a number of observations:

1. The media were caught flat footed
It has often been observed that 'it's news if its news to the media'. On other words, it doesn't matter that other people were long aware that Palin had always been on the radar for nomination.

In early 2008, the American Scene thought Palin "seem[ed] very appealing" as a "non-obvious" veep pick and Stop the ACLU said that Palin "would be a great choice." The American Spectator ran a column in February urging that McCain pick Palin. The same month, Ace of Spades pronounced Palin "the perfect nominee for vice president" and Rush Limbaugh said that Palin was "high up on the list, now, of potential vice presidents for Senator McCain." At the end of February, the idea started to seep into the MSM when The Washington Post's Chris Cillizza interviewed Palin and floated the idea of her being the veep.
The truth of the matter is, the media has been too enthralled by Democrat Obama's campaign to pay too much attention to what the Republicans were doing and it came back to bite them.

2. You can be 'the wrong kind of woman'
Who knew? It seems that the cheer leading by institutionalised feminists for successful women is one-eyed to the extreme. The left eye, that is.

One would have thought that the story of a woman who went from joining the school P&C committee and to become a corruption busting, extremely popular state leader, all while raising five children (including one with special needs) with the support of her husband would be a pin-up girl for feminists - 'see, girls can do anything'.

Except, there's a problem as the Daily Mail's Peter Hitchins warned:

Watch as the ultra-feminist sisterhood back away in horror from Sarah Palin, John McCain's new running mate.

Mrs Palin is technically female, but she's enthusiastically married, hates abortion and thinks criminals should not be the only people allowed to own guns. She's everything Hillary Clinton isn't. In short, she's the wrong kind of woman.
Indeed. In fact the National Organisation of Women who purport to speak for women had this to say:

NOW PAC Chair Kim Gandy said, "Sen. John McCain's choice of Alaska governor Sarah Palin as his running mate is a cynical effort to appeal to disappointed Hillary Clinton voters and get them to vote, ultimately, against their own self-interest."

Gov. Palin may be the second woman vice-presidential candidate on a major party ticket, but she is not the right woman. Sadly, she is a woman who opposes women's rights, just like John McCain.
What are those rights? Ah yes, abortion. Apparently if you're a woman and don't support abortion, then one is a self-loathing female misogynist.

3. Oh, yes, let's not forget that Sarah Palin is a political conservative
That always flummoxes the media and those on the left side of politics who hate seeing 'their' people (i.e. ethnic minorities, women, gays) hold a view other than their officially sanctioned left-of-centre stereotype.

They dismiss her in a bigoted short hand - Christian, Creationist, pro-life, pro-guns, anti-abortion, anti-gay - when the truth is far more complex.

And as Janet Daly of the Telegraph noted:

Like Margaret Thatcher before her, Mrs Palin is coming in for both barrels of Left-wing contempt: misogyny and snobbery. Where Lady Thatcher was dismissed as a "grocer's daughter" by people who called themselves egalitarian, Mrs Palin is regarded as a small-town nobody by those who claim to represent "ordinary people".

What the metropolitan sophisticates failed to understand in the 1980s when Thatcher won election after election is even more the case in the US: most (and I do mean most) ordinary people actually believe in the basic decencies, the "small-town values", of family, marital fidelity, and personal responsibility. They believe in and honour them - even if they do not manage to uphold them.
Whether Palin is up to the job as Veep is something that will be proven one way or another during this campaign and should be Republicans win the US presidency in November.

But so far, so good.

Nick and I have said that a dream ticket for the US presidential elections in 2012 would be Sarah Palin and Condeleeza Rice.

These two dynamic, accomplished, experienced women who will have earned their place on the ticket and not simply because they ticked the boxes for hollow, knee-jerk leftist, political quota filling.

-- Nora

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