There are known unknowns

September 12, 2008 at 2:00 am 2 comments

As that masterful poet, Donald Rumsfeld, once said: “there are the known unknowns…”. And now an unknown Governor from Alaska is a known Vice-Presidential nominee. Maybe Sarah Palin was known in Alaska but frankly I’d never heard of her and I was taken by surprise that’s for sure.

I was so busy concentrating on the steamroller that is Obama and waiting to see who he’d pick as his running mate that I really didn’t think of McCain’s running mate and rarely looked at McCain himself! But now I’m wondering just what the world might be in for should McCain become US Prez and God forbid cark it in office. As they say, Palin would be a heart beat away from the Oval Office.

So let’s look at Sarah Palin. There’s so much that’s surprising in this rush to the Presidential prize. She is a rootin, tootin, shootin 44 year old woman (let’s hope her aim is better than quail hunting Dick Cheney) who seems to give her kids odd monikers like Bristol and Trig.  So far I can handle this. Should the US continue invading countries her shooting skills could come in handy! I think there’s got to be some nostalgia going on here – a harkening back to the Wild West when women were tough and could shoot and bag a turkey or two.

And then you have the remarkable contrast between Obama picking Biden, with solid political experience, who is 65 years old and McCain,  72, selecting 44 year old Palin who, until recently, ran a small town called Wasilla as mayor. Doesn’t seem that she has the foreign policy experience that Biden has and seems she’s rarely been out of the US (sounds a bit like Bush when he first became Prez). But then Obama doesn’t have a heap of experience and obviously has chosen Biden to beef up his foreign policy credentials.

But you know: it could just be the most brilliant choice I’ve ever seen. Palin is very articulate. Check out her acceptance speech. She’s not quite at the Obama level but she’s confident and forthright. Reminds me a bit of a pit bull from the other speeches I’ve seen – she’s not afraid to go on the attack, which is probably what the Republicans need.

She’s pretty easy on the eye and in contrast to McCain, who Paris Hilton describes as that wrinkly white haired dude, she looks fresh and energetic. McCain of course has some serious chops about him – ex-POW and a bit of an independent streak, he’s no Bush lackey. But he looks…well…72 years old. So image wise, this was a great choice.

Then we have the female factor. I don’t think it’s as easy as saying Palin was chosen to appeal to the female voters disappointed at Hillary biting the dust. Let’s face it: she’s not Hillary so why would female voters go for her? Hillary supporters were progressive and Palin is well, not a supporter IMHO of women’s rights. This is a woman who is pro-life, opposes abortion and is a Christian Fundamentalist, which led to her book banning carry on (when she tried to have what she considered unsuitable books removed from Wasillia’s library and fired the librarian).

There’s a few other things that worry me. Palin apparently questions global warming and favours drilling for oil in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge. And there’s this quote I found really worrying:

“I can do my part in doing things like working really, really hard to get a natural gas pipeline, a $30 billion dollar project that’s going to create a lot of jobs for people in Alaska, and we’re going to have a lot of energy flowing through here — and pray about that also — I think God’s will has to be done in unifying people and companies to get that gas line built, so pray for that”.

So God’s plan is for oil companies to rip up Alaska for an oil pipeline so they can earn more obscene profits?  What a noble cause!!! This sends shivers up the spine as Palin simply cannot separate her religious beliefs from her political stance. She cannot separate Church from State. And describing herself as a “hockey Mom” when you could potentially be the US Prez? Tacky and I’m not sure a male candidate would ever describe himself as a “hockey Dad”.

She’ll appeal to the middle-class American voter I would think. She’s not as threatening to men as Hillary perhaps was. She harps on about the fact she has five kids and appeals to family values. She probably doesn’t own many houses that she forgets she owns a’la McCain.

I get the feeling this election will not be about the gritty policy issues the Americans need to focus on. It’s going to be about Obama versus Palin. And if I were Joe Biden, I’d be busy practising fast for the Vice-Presidential debate on October 2 and avoiding any semblance of seeming to be patronising about Palin’s inexperience in comparison to his.

Here’s an interesting critique from a former speech writer of Palin’s talent in delivering a speech with power and effectiveness.

What do you think about the choice of Sarah Palin?


Entry filed under: Politics, United States. Tags: .

Prez powers Let’s not forget

2 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Anisotropean Voyageur  |  September 20, 2008 at 1:34 am

    Argh…a Palinoscopy reveals the danger. Have you read Margaret Atwood’s “The Handmaid’s Tale?”.

  • 2. thinkingshift  |  September 20, 2008 at 5:43 am

    nope, Cat’s Eye is a favouritie but haven’t read The Handmaid’s Tale – I’m intrigued, so I’ll be off to the bookshop, thx!!


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