Re: Sarah Palin, revisited

We’ve all seen movies or TV shows in which the unlikely, different-from-the-norm character somehow acquires a position of influence. (For some reason the mid-’80s classics Brewster’s Millions and Protocol spring to mind.) And it always seems so utterly natural when they convey their charmingly naive selves with perfect ease when the plot puts them before microphones and reporters’ cameras.
Now, I’ve no reason to have even formed expectations for Sarah Palin, but the inaccuracy of Everyman’s eloquence in film came to mind when I watched her interview with Katie Couric (once, that is, I got over Couric’s crystal clear conveyance of scorn). Palin’s pauses followed by a repeat of what she’d just said are strongly suggestive of a mental Rolodex flipping: The question is asked, an answer thought, the answer compared against a lists of dos and don’ts, and a more compatible answer sought and spoken. Whether that’s habitual or evidence of overhandling, I don’t know, but I’m still inclined to give a successful woman (in politics, no less!) the benefit of the doubt on that count.
With that, I’ll confess a certain personal sympathy to her plight. There are a number of activities at which I’m reasonably competent, and sometimes, I find new ones that I’m able to learn with relative rapidity. The premier exception to that general proposition is sales, and I think the reason is that my strategy when faced with new challenges is to fit their components to my skills and personality, whereas sales require one to make a skill of mirroring personalities. When, for example, I’ve been tasked with managing people as part of my job, I’ve fallen back on my organizational abilities and willingness to fill any gaps personally (staying ahead of coworkers and leading by example, as it were). An extemporaneous motivator, I am not, so when I’ve been pressed to be more taskmaster than job-site adviser, I’ve found myself at a loss.
There’s something of that in Palin’s awkward pauses and garbled responses, I think. The loner struggling to hew to the team line for the greater cause. I could, of course, be projecting. Although perhaps it’s still possible (albeit a hair shy of fantastical) that the campaign is using the media’s predictable hostility to lull the other side into yet another rope-a-dope.

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15 years ago

Sarah Palin is a Post Turtle. Here’s an illustrative story:

While suturing a cut on the hand of a 75-year old Texas rancher whose hand was caught in a gate while working cattle, the doctor struck up a conversation with the old man. Eventually the topic got around to Sarah Palin and her bid to be a heartbeat away from being President.
The old rancher said, ‘ Well, ya know, Palin is a post turtle.’
Not being familiar with the term, the doctor asked him what a post turtle was.
The old rancher said, ‘ When you’re driving down a country road and you come across a fence post with a turtle balanced on top, that’s a post turtle.’
The old rancher saw a puzzled look on the doctor’s face, so he continued to explain.
‘You know she didn’t get up there by herself, she doesn’t belong up there, she doesn’t know what to do while she is up there, and you just wonder what kind of dumb ass put her up there to begin with.’


15 years ago

Yeah, I’d feel sorry for her…if she didn’t come across as so snide and cocky. And if she didn’t use the levers of Alaskan government to settle she and the First Dude’s personal scores.
WELL, I GOT A NEWS FLASH FOR YA…It’s interesting to see the increasing number of Republicans and conservative commentators having buyers remorse about her.
I’d trust Marge Gunderson with my government first.

15 years ago

Fasten your seatbelts, it’s going to be a bumpy ride. If today’s Bill Kristol NY Times column is accurate, Sarah is in fact going to show up and she’ll be loaded for bear. That’s good, she deserves a chance to come out of her protective bubble and play with the big boys and stand or fail on her own merits. Here’s the excerpt from Kristol.
“I’m told McCain recently expressed unhappiness with his staff’s handling of Palin. On Sunday he dispatched his top aides Steve Schmidt and Rick Davis to join Palin in Philadelphia. They’re supposed to liberate Palin to go on the offensive as a combative conservative in the vice-presidential debate on Thursday.
That debate is important. McCain took a risk in choosing Palin. If she does poorly, it will reflect badly on his judgment. If she does well, it will be a shot in the arm for his campaign.
In the debate, Palin has to dispatch quickly any queries about herself, and confidently assert that of course she’s qualified to be vice president. She should spend her time making the case for McCain and, more important, the case against Obama. As one shrewd McCain supporter told me, “Every minute she spends not telling the American people something that makes them less well disposed to Obama is a minute wasted.”

15 years ago

Palin would do well to shift the debate to her strong points. A discussion of energy will play to Palin’s favor. A discussion of running a government and handling budgets will play to Palin’s favor.
If she gets sucked into a trivia game of who leads minor third world countries, she’ll be playing on Biden’s turf and will have some problems.

15 years ago

McCain only makes matters worse.
Saw a clip of the new Couric interview with both of them, and McCain is cutting into questions to Palin like a parent trying to convince the school principal his daughter in incapable of doing wrong.
Palin sure isn’t the brightest bulb on the tree, but neither was Bush. Still, Dubya did interviews without Cheney having to run interference for him, and he benefitted.

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