My question for this edition:
Did you watch Governor Sarah Palin’s acceptance speech? What did you think of it? What do you think about her candidacy? Is she qualified and prepared to occupy the Oval Office?
I watched coverage of both conventions, including all of the major speeches. Before the conventions, I was “on the fence” about the candidates. I’m not any longer.
The selection of Governor Palin pushed me soundly into the ranks of Obama-Biden supporters.
I cannot find the words to describe how much she annoys me. Watching her speech, I found her tone, tenor, and overall demeanor incredibly offensive because she came off as condescending and snarky. At no time did the Democrats stoop to the undignified, almost schoolyard bully-type diatribes that both Rudy Guiliani and Palin delivered. From my staunchly feminist perspective, Palin is not advancing the cause of egalitarianism in leadership. She threatens to derail it. She does not represent me.
The abidingly brilliant Gloria Steinem summed up her assessment of Palin’s candidacy succinctly in yesterday’s Los Angeles Times: Palin is the “wrong woman, [at the] wrong time” because “[s]he is Phyllis Schlafly, only younger.”
Feminism has never been about getting a job for one woman. It’s about making life more fair for women everywhere. It’s not about a piece of the existing pie; there are too many of us for that. It’s about baking a new pie. ~~ Gloria Steinem
Steinem opines that McCain’s selection of Palin “is no way to attract most women,” calling her speech “down-home, divisive and deceptive.” Not uncharitable in her assessment of Palin, Steinem writes: “I get no pleasure from imagining her in the spotlight on national and foreign policy issues about which she has zero background, with one month to learn to compete with Sen. Joe Biden’s 37 years’ experience.” I am looking forward to the debates.
Peggy Noonan sees it this way:
[S]he is a real and present danger to the American left, and to the Obama candidacy.
She could become a transformative political presence.
So they are going to have to kill her, and kill her quick.
And it’s going to be brutal. It’s already getting there.
There are only two questions.
1. Can she take it?
Will she be rattled? Can she sail through high seas? Can she roll with most punches and deliver some jabs herself?
2. And while she’s taking it, rolling with it and sailing through, can she put herself forward convincingly as serious enough, grounded enough, weighty enough that the American people can imagine her as vice president of the United States?
I suppose every candidate for vice president faces these questions to some degree, but because Palin is new, unknown, and a woman, it’s all much more so.
For me, the answer to question number two is already clear: I cannot imagine her as President of the United States. She does not possess the experience, intellect or vision to occupy the Oval Office.
While there’s absolutely nothing wrong with being “just your average hockey mom,” it does not qualify you to be the Commander in Chief of this nation.
If Palin wants educated, professional women to support her, she’d better get a copy of and study the job description for the office of Vice President — just last month, she admitted she didn’t know exactly what the Vice President does. And “I haven’t really focused much on the war in Iraq” is a statement that simply isn’t going to garner the support of real working feminists like me who can’t (and wouldn’t want to) get away with such lame commentary when asked about how we plan to fulfill our professional obligations — especially with so many American lives at stake.
The San Francisco Chronicle noted that “[w]hile Palin’s address contained plenty of fire and political attacks on the opposing party, it was – except for a brief discussion of energy – largely absent of any discussion or detail of policy on issues including the war in Iraq, the economy or education.” Perhaps the Republicans thought that American women would get caught up in the rhetoric and not notice that Palin’s speech was devoid of substance. To borrow one of Palin’s lines, “here’s a little news flash for” McCain, his advisers and fellow right-wing patriarchs of the Republican party: We did. And between now and November, we will be watching Palin and the campaign as a whole with great interest. So conduct yourselves accordingly.