Sarah Palin, the former governor of Alaska and one-time vice presidential candidate appeared on The Oprah Winfrey Show yesterday, and a five-part Barbara Walters interview with her begins today on Good Morning America. And oh, yeah, she’s got a book out.
In case you can’t tell, I’m very reluctant about writing anything at all about Sarah Palin. I’m not entirely sure what her relevance is — to me, to feminism, or to Canada — and I feel that the more we as a society keep talking about her, the more credibility she gains. Is she an example of a strong woman? Sure, I’ll applaud the fact that Palin actually bothered to get involved with politics, even if I think her policies, such as her anti stance on abortion, aren’t exactly women-friendly. Palin almost became vice-president of one of the most powerful nations in the world, you say? Well, so did Jack Kemp, Republican Bob Dole’s VP pick in his failed 1996 presidential bid, and I’m not too interested in him, either.
Palin’s only real significance may be as a pop cultural phenomenon, better known for being lampooned by Tina Fey than for any of her work in Alaska. But pop culture has its lifecycles. Palin’s VP nomination was a gimmick, a party trick, and baby, the party is over. It’s time to go home.
Tell me, dear reader, am I wrong? Is Palin a conversation we still need to have?
- Rebecca Caldwell
I vowed to back off on blogging about Sarah Palin — ’nuff was enough — but I have to say something about last night.
Well… I guess debate camp worked! All that coaching, cramming, script-memorizing and last-minute policy concocting actually made her avoid “the sentence to nowhere” (as comic Bill Maher describes Palin’s usual speaking style).
She didn’t answer the questions at the start, reverting to the entirely nauseating argument that, oh, she’s just such a maverick that she won’t answer the way Biden or Gwen Ifill — or the American public? — want her to.
But all those winky “you betchas” surely held their sway over “Joe Six Pack” and “the hockey moms.” And yes, Biden lost me when he went into the finer points of amendments and bill-passing (zzzz), though I think, overall, he was more focussed and detailed on the future of his country than Governor “Drill Baby Drill.”
All in all, Sarah Palin from a month ago is back. Oh dear oh dear.
On to a debate that actually directly affects us!
I think Stephen Harper should have pulled a few more swift comebacks out of his jacket pocket than he did. He was positively hammered by the other four party leaders in the leadership debate. Though he did lash back at Dion by characterizing his behaviour in Wednesday night’s French-language debate as “panic.”
Harper said: “What leaders have to do is to have a plan and not panic. Last night, Stéphane, you panicked. You came on the set and announced a whole new economic plan in the middle of a national debate.”
The line of the night, of course, came from Jack Layton to Harper: “You say you have a plan. Where is it? Under the sweater?” And predictably, that’s what’s making the news today.
Though her French-language skills the night before left a great deal to be desired, Elizabeth May, who fought to be at the debating table, was forceful and quick, full of pointed zingers. Don’t know if she’s for me but I’m glad she was there.
I have high hopes for CBS News anchor Katie Couric to do a tough, meaningful interview with Sarah Palin — one that gets to the core of women’s issues as well as clarifying the doublespeak at which Palin seems to excel. Couric has this to say on on her blog about the line of questioning: It will be “a broad range of policy questions on topics both foreign and domestic.”
The anchor will spend two days on the road with Palin; their interview airs Sept. 29 and 30 on the “CBS Evening News” and “The Early Show.”
A response to my last post, from Danielle Groen, one of Chatelaine’s fine editors:
I’ve got a bit of Palin outrage for you. You know how she fired Public Safety Commissioner Walt Monegan, who himself wouldn’t fire her brother-in-law? But she won’t admit that that’s why she fired him? And now she won’t cooperate with a bi-partisan legislative investigation into these actions, even though she originally said she would because she had nothing to hide?
Hmm… surprisingly little news (or outrage) to report on Sarah Palin today. What’s going on?
Obama still clinging to a 2-point lead, according to some polls