Last week I questioned whether Sarah Palin would appeal to small-town women as much as the GOP assumes she will. This was a criticism coming from my own small-town roots.
Although I realize anecdotal evidence needs to be taken with a big grain of salt, I call your attention to “Sarah Palin’s appeal to working-class women may be limited” in today’s Los Angeles Times. The reporters, Faye Fiore and Peter Wallsten, interviewed women in Uniontown, Pennsylvania, and found them to be, um, underwhelmed by Sarah Palin. Many were turned off by Palin’s meanness and sarcasm.
When Palin belittled Obama’s history as a community organizer on Chicago’s South Side — suggesting he was a do-little activist while she, as the former mayor of tiny Wasilla, Alaska, had “actual responsibilities” — Sandy Ryan, 59, clicked the remote.
“That’s enough of that. I switched over to ‘House Hunters,’ ” she said with some disgust over dessert with a group of women from the senior housing complex she manages. …
… Patty Tobal, a 63-year-old retired nurse and lifelong feminist, shut off the TV set and went to bed. The promise of a woman on the ticket had piqued her curiosity, but she found Palin’s sarcasm offensive and her priorities out of touch.
This was not the reaction Republicans were expecting.
But Republican strategists hope that Palin’s middle-class roots, union-member husband and love of hunting will help her connect to rural and small-town folks in battleground states such as Pennsylvania.
This is, after all, a place where schools close on the opening day of deer hunting season, people are conflicted about abortion rights and racial bias still simmers.
Sara Taylor, former Bush White House political affairs director, described Palin as a “living, breathing replica of the middle class” who “connected with people in a way we haven’t seen a national figure do in a long time.”
Usually, a “replica” is a “fake.” Possibly a bad choice of words. But what does it say about the GOP that they think all small-town people are alike, and that they’re all such hayseeds they’ll swoon for the pretty governor who shoots her own venison?
I mean, who’s the real elitist here?
This is interesting —
Recent surveys suggest that Palin, who opposes abortion even in cases of rape or incest, is not necessarily poised to help McCain with moderate women. A National Journal/Hotline daily tracking poll released Friday found that 49% of male voters say Palin is prepared to be president but that only 41% of female voters think so.
There may be something like a Bradley Effect among those male voters. Women may feel more free to say to a pollster what they really think about Palin — that she is not prepared to be president — than some men, who may be reluctant to say it even if they think it.
More evidence she’s not prepared — some of Palin’s record as mayor of Wasilla, Alaska, from the Wall Street Journal:
The biggest project that Sarah Palin undertook as mayor of this small town was an indoor sports complex, where locals played hockey, soccer, and basketball, especially during the long, dark Alaskan winters.
The only catch was that the city began building roads and installing utilities for the project before it had unchallenged title to the land. The misstep led to years of litigation and at least $1.3 million in extra costs for a small municipality with a small budget. What was to be Ms. Palin’s legacy has turned into a financial mess that continues to plague Wasilla.
But, y’know, it doesn’t matter that someone who can’t get a bleeping sports complex right might become President of the United States. All that matters is that she annoys liberals.
There’s a lot of complaining that the McCain campaign won’t allow anyone to interview Sarah Palin. And for the major news outlets that would be in line for such an interview there’s a logic to keeping up the drumbeat. But McCain campaign manager Rick Davis is right: It’s their campaign to run. They can do it how they want. Everyone else should just shut up, stop complaining and call the reality for what it is.
Davis says Palin won’t give any interviews until she feels “comfortable” giving one. And this morning he added that she wouldn’t give any “until the point in time when she’ll be treated with respect and deference.”
Sarah Palin could be the President of the United States in four and a half months. We tend to think of this as an abstraction; but it’s true. And yet today she’s so unprepared and knows so little about the challenges and tasks facing the country that she can’t even give a softball interview.
Since when have Americans treated politicians with respect and deference? Lady, if you want to be treated with respect and deference, be a nun. Otherwise, learn to roll with it like the rest of us.