While it’s nice to see the conservatives so enthusiastic and it’s even nicer to see the ObamaNation having heart palpitations and hysterics as they watch what they thought was a sure thing begin to recede from their nasty little claws, I have to confess something that might startle a few of you in light of my recent posts which have been full of approval for John McCain’s strategic selection of his running mate.
To be blunt, I don’t like Sarah Palin. And not for the same reason that part of the moderate Republican commentariat doesn’t like her – the Krauthammers, Nordlingers, and Frums – either. Peggy Noonan, of all people, nails it precisely:
This is the authentic sound of the American mama, of every mother you know at school who joins the board, reads the books, heads the committee, and gets the show on the road. These women make large portions of America work.
These women do get the jobs done. They also tend to make for terrible leaders, being for the most part petty dictators, micromanagers with an absolute focus on the insignificant detail. I don’t know that Palin is like that – and her approval ratings in Alaska tend to suggest that she truly isn’t – but I picked up the same vibe that Noonan describes and I dislike it. Intensely.
Consider the very things for which she’s being rightly celebrated for of late. She’s proven herself to be a tough and bossy mommy with a talent for verbal ridicule. How is this new? Sure, it’s unusual in the world of national politics, but not exactly unknown in the average suburbia. Palin is a regular person, which is admittedly a huge step forward when compared to psychological freak shows like Obama, McCain, and Biden, but that doesn’t make her someone that I happen to find likeable. In fact, most of the people I dislike are more or less normal. I suspect a lot of the avalanche of enthusiasm for her stems from the fact that she’s the first genuine conservative who’s been offered as an option to the Republican party since Ronald Reagan; of course, it took the old liberal maverick Republican to do it. Everyone knows at heart that if the decision had been left up to the conservative commentariat or the party elders, the ticket would be going down to defeat with the usual faux-conservative of the sort that they tried to cram down the base’s throat throughout the primary. So, the outpouring of excitement is perfectly understandable and entirely well-merited.
I also have to say that I don’t find Palin the least bit attractive. She’s not ugly like Michelle Obama, but I’ve been utterly bewildered by the sexual gushing over her by men and women alike. Carla Bruni, yes, absolutely. Sarah Palin, no, not so much. As impressive as I find her moose-slaying and so forth, being one who played hockey as a boy on the outdoor ice rinks of Minnesota, neither “hockey mom” nor “pitbull” nor “barracuda” are concepts I consider to have any association whatsoever with sexual attractiveness.
Needless to say, given the fact that my personal and intellectual inclinations are reliably in the extreme minority, this all bodes very well for a future President Palin.