Mean Girls

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.

Josh Marshall:

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.

15 thoughts on “Mean Girls

  1. I grew up in a working class town in working class Pennsylvania, where the first day of deer season was a day off from school, and where people would hang a newly shot deer from a tree in the front yard, and so I feel eminently qualified to remark on this “replica” the Rs are foisting on us.

    I can tell you that most working class people would view Palin’s remark about not giving interviews “until the point in time when she’ll be treated with respect and deference” as so much high and mighty nonsense. Or more to the point: Who the hell does she think she is?

  2. One more thing – do see this piece on FiveThirtyEight – a fantastic site all by itself – called Sarah Palin is not a Hockey Mom

    “…She’s a hockey player. She’s a fourth-line hockey agitator, beloved by the home crowd, loathed by the opponents, injecting passion into both fan bases, the kind of home-team hero that no Stanley Cup winner goes without.

    “Once upon a time, I applied an NFL-replay mentality to hockey playoffs, holding on to outrages over missed calls, blatantly unfair officiating, double standards, and outright getting-away-with-stuff (which always led to an early spring exit for my beloved Blues). I wanted – and unreasonably expected – bad behavior to be proportionally punished.

    “And then several years ago I had an epiphany about the hockey playoffs – nobody is coming to save you. Initiators win, reactors lose. Expect adversity, because it’s built in. The fourth-line, no-scoring-talent, pest agitators (or as we now call them, “energy guys”) have a specific job. Skate in, take a cheap shot, make it after the whistle. Make it against the rules. Stir something up. Put a wet glove in the other guy’s face and rub it. Get the outrage flowing. Get the opponent not thinking about the game, get them thinking about your shenanigans. And what happens? The “victimized” team loses its composure, hitting back. The guy who hits second is always the guy who goes to the penalty box.

    “Watching Sarah Palin this week, and the reaction to her by both sides, and all the talk of hockey mommery, I realized that this is who she is. She skates into the corner, throws up an elbow, and the Democrats cry: “Foul!”…

  3. Respect and deference? You mean the same respect and deference they’ve shown Obama and Biden? The same respect and deference they’ve showed the Clintons for the last 18 years? The same respect and deference they showed Kerry in 2004? Al Gore? Wow. That double standard is simply breathtaking.

    I think I’ll try that on my next job interview (she IS, after all, interviewing with the American people for a job). “Hey, potential employer. I don’t like your questions. I’ll come back when you treat me with respect and deference.” They ought to hire me in a New York minute with that attitude.

  4. Sarah, if you’re reading this, please pick up your toys and go home.The problems and challenges that will wash over us in the coming months are way too complex for a snarky smart mouth hockey mom wanna be politician.
    Get back Loretta, go on home……

  5. I was taught that my ancestors had staged a Revolution so that we as Americans wouldn’t owe automaticlly owe respect and deference to any ruler, and we would choose who had earned that treatment, through the ballot.

    I believe Mr. Davis may have confused the titles “Governor of Alaska” and “Queen of the May.” However, since the Founding Fathers did not see fit to include lese majesty as a crime in the Constitution, I doubt even the Bush Office of Special Counsel could concoct a theory where it might apply here.

    It looks like their polling found out this wasn’t going to fly, so they’ve agreed to an interview with crack journalist Charlie Gibson. (Maybe Leeza Gibbons was busy?)

  6. Obama, McCain & Biden have spent years preparing to be president. They have all read & studied and thought about what it would take to re-form politics in DC. Up until last week or so, Palin was not even remotely a contende for any federal office. She has never had a reason to wrap her mind around the domestic & international problems that Obama, McCain & Biden have dealt with for years as Senators. She’s an imposter.

    Back in the time of the Russian Czars, an imposter from Poland claimed to be a Romanov and actually ascended to the throne, or whatever Russians used to seat Czars. Anyhow he was discovered, executed and cremated. The story is that with typical Russian humor he was returned home via cannon; the ashes fired by artillary in the general direction of Poland. What’s the proper compass bearing from DC to Fairbanks?

  7. When I listen to talk radio, it seems the republicans like a smart-ass.
    “Sarah gives them hell.”

  8. Palin is just W in a dress: same smugly complacent ignorance, same lack of depth, same self-impressed attitude of being able to handle everything “from the gut” or from some under-cooked principles, same smirk, same sentences as paragraphs, same speechwriter.

  9. McCain and Palin where in Colorado Springs yesterday. I wonder if they were granted an audience with Dobson to affirm an oath of fealty to the religious right, or at least a informal ring kissing ceremony to express gratitude for receiving the evangelical blessing and the political bounce.

  10. B.H. Obama refused to debate McCain all summer long and he refused to be interviewed on Foxnews until after the DNC convention. Maybe he should be a nun, too.

  11. This blog has tons of crazy documents on Palin…
    Like 50 thousand dollars spent on CARPET during renovations on the governor’s mansion

    also Jesus General gave a helmet tip to her today for a document FROM palin that outlines this policy

    “Faced with the prospect of so many Alaska Guardsmen and soldiers returning home after suffering traumatic brain injuries (TBI), Gov. Sarah Palin reached deep into Alaska’s coffers to allocate one hundred dollars to teach health care professionals how to recognize TBI cases.”

    There is a post now with an mp3 of a call with her or some sort of recording with here where she talks about her “disappointment” in reclassifying polar bears as endangered. There is also a letter talking about her opposition to classifying beluga whales as endangered!

    It’s a goldmine over here!

  12. DW — Obama didn’t refuse to “debate” McCain. He refused to appear with McCain in one of his phony “town hall” dog and pony shows in front of an audience of hand-picked McCain supporters.

    As far as Faux News is concerned, no Democrat with any sense should ever go there. It perpetrates the fantasy that Faux is a news channel and not just a propaganda vehicle. I am a bit ticked at him that he subjected himself to being interviewed by the certifiably pathological Bill O’Reilly.

  13. Excellent post — though I have one minor quibble:

    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.

    I don’t think that’s it. I think men rate her more highly largely because more men are Republicans. Also, there’s a bizarre sexual reaction to her — I’m a straight guy and I’m not feeling it, but the last troll at my blog sure did. Hell, they may even see her as sexy/powerful, a sort of wingnut-dominionist Wonder Woman. (Yeah, I know: Eeeuuwww.)

  14. Is anyone watching the Faux news stuff? I am not, but I am concerned about what is left on the cutting room floor and what cuts are put together to air.

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