Friday, September 05, 2008

Palin comparison

Great piece by Judith Warner on Sarah Palin, putting my impressions of her nomination into words better than I could. I love her point about how the public feels that they need to be able to "relate" to a rpesidential candidate -- so he or she can't be too educated or "elitist," since the majority of Americans don't see themselves this way. As Warner says...

In the past, it was possible to fill that need through empathetic connection. Few Depression-era voters could “relate” to Franklin Roosevelt’s patrician background, notes historian Doris Kearns Goodwin. “It was his ability to connect to them that made them feel they could connect to him,” she told me in a phone interview.

I mean, wouldn't you WANT the president obe a little smarter and more worldly than you are? Since when do you have to be a voter's BFF material to qualify for his or her vote? My minimum qualification for president even before political stance is basic intelligence and a reasonable fund of knowledge, which was the biggest strike against Reagan and Bush II even before the ball game got underway. And, um... it turns out Palin changed colleges six times in six years before finally graduating.

As for the pregnant daughter, it says nothing about Palin's qualifications as VP and everything about, as Charles Blow writes, the "failure of our puritanical society to accept and deal with the facts. Teenagers have sex. How often and how safely depends on how much knowledge and support they have. Crossing our fingers that they won’t cross the line is not an intelligent strategy." And that's all I'm going to say about Palin. Unless she says something really stupid.

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