I can’t help it. Usually I stay away from politics on my blog as I respect that people have different opinions. But I just can’t sit on my hand any longer. The New York Times wrote a recap analyzing the debate, published this morning:
Gov. Sarah Palin made it through the vice-presidential debate on Thursday without doing any obvious damage to the Republican presidential ticket. By surviving her encounter with Senator Joseph R. Biden Jr. and quelling some of the talk about her basic qualifications for high office, she may even have done Senator John McCain a bit of good, freeing him to focus on the other troubles shadowing his campaign.
Really? That is where we set the bar for the VICE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES? All Palin had to do was SURVIVE? That’s all this country expects of the person second in command? I just can’t contain my shock, disappointment, and feelings of betrayal I have towards my fellow Americans. I truly feel embarrassed to be an American. Where is our pride? Where is our drive to be the best? All we care about is whether this is a “normal” person we want to drink beers with? Or go shopping with?
On the upside, it is nice to see that some people are admitting that Palin just doesn’t hit the mark:
Conservative columnist Kathleen Parker was a Palin supporter who gave up after seeing her on TV. “I watch her interviews with the held breath of an anxious parent,” she wrote this week, “my finger poised over the mute button in case it gets too painful. Unfortunately, it often does. My cringe reflex is exhausted.”
There is a part of me that is also sad about Sara Palin. I am sure that she is a motivated, hard working, and driven woman. The fact that she has had 5 children and has still managed to be the governor of Alaska speaks mountains of her character. Yes, Alaska has a tiny population, and a budget surplus. But still. I only run a 45-person company and only have 2 kids, and I feel like my experience is tested to its limits. I feel like the Republicans have taken a woman who could have gone further, who could have always been thought of as successful, and ruined her. They have made her the joke of America. They have managed to hang her out to dry. Who do we think the Republicans will blame if they don’t win the election in November? She is their perfect scapegoat.
Meanwhile, she is dealing with a ton of very difficult personal issues. And now they have to be public. I wanted to cry last night when one of her daughters came on stage with her beautiful little baby boy. How hard it must be for the whole family to participate in raising a child with special needs. You could see in her body posture as she held that baby boy how much she loves him, and is uncomfortable having him up there on that stage under all those lights with all those people. And not uncomfortable because she wants to hide him, no, uncomfortable because she is nervous about the baby’s well being. As a mother I could read that in her body language, in the way she held that little baby. And it made me want to cry for her and for her baby boy. In a time when she must be struggling to do everything in her power to help that baby, she has to instead field questions, and interviews, and finish applying for a job for which we know, and she knows, she is not even close to being qualified.
How hard it must also be to help her daughter deal with a pregnancy at age 17. Palin will have a grandchild not much younger than her own youngest child. Her 17-year-old daughter is forced to grow up quickly (and yes I know – it was her daughter’s own fault, and probably her own dumb fault) and raise a child. But right now her daughter can’t really decide what she thinks is best for herself. And Palin can’t really help her daughter decide what is best for her. She has to do what is best for John McCain. How sad is that?
Palin and now her whole family have been thrust into the spotlight in a way that I feel is just not fair. How could she really turn down the offer to be vice president? But at the same time I know she isn’t qualified. I don’t want a man or a woman in the White House helping to run our country. I want the best qualified PERSON in the White House helping to run our country.
Its funny but, as I write this, I feel like I have more sympathy for Palin than I even realized. Don’t get me wrong. I think she is a terrible choice for McCain, and has only sealed his fate with failure in November. In a way I am glad because I support Obama and Biden. But at the same time I feel like she has been thrust into an arena that she didn’t really choose, and that she won’t get out of unscathed.