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August 30, 2008

Sarah Palin: America’s Veep Hottie

(I’ll get back to Obama and the DNC, but yesterday’s farcical events were just begging for comment….)

Palinjuneau-1

Touché to Schmidt/Rove, convincing the youth and charisma-challenged McCain to go with Sarah Palin on a (literal) Hail Mary pass … and knocking the Obama Invesco extravaganza right out of the news cycle in one tabloid-like swoop.

Just like Bush/Rove could hate-monger at will under the protective umbrella of morality and Christian fundamentalism, so to can Rove/Schmidt/McCain now use the same cover (so long, Britney!  See you, Paris!)  to employ Mrs. Palin — a life-long, hard-core Christian conservative — as an object of seduction.

… Wait, did I really say that?  I mean, how dare I, about a good Christian mother who has had five children, with one in the Army, for God’s sakes, who is so pro-life she gave birth to a Down Syndrome baby, and who might even be nursing right now.  Somehow, I seem to have overlooked Gawker’s take on all this.

If I know Rove, Palin was chosen for four reasons (given the fact she brings so little else):  She’s a possible lure for the female demographic.  She likely a lure for the fundamentalist demographic.  She’s in Obama’s age range.  And,in Alaska Magazine’s words not mine:  she’s hot.  Thing is, on Day 1 (above and beyond the inherent Beauty and the Beast, or older man/younger woman thing she puts into play with McCain) we’ve already been peppered with the kind of stereotyped sexualized imagery that reduces Palin’s V.P nod to the gender equivalent of the Clarence Thomas nomination.

Palin Beauty Queen

Palin Vogue 2-1 Sarahvogue1-1

Palin Alaska Magazine

Reading yesterday’s pictures, her father-in-law, for example, suggest that, first and foremost, she was a beauty queen.  And the photo spread for Vogue (quite modestly, of course) lays out the case that she’s not just a Governor, but a fashion icon.  (Or, is it the other way around?)

But what is most telling to me is the first shot above which the NYT plunked down in its feature story, showing Sarah and (left to right) model daughters Bristol, Piper and Willow, checking out a bedroom of the Alaska Governor’s Mansion after Palin was elected in ‘06.  Maybe the red-on-red was simply a coincidence.  But what also makes me think the former TV sports reporter and city councilwoman is primarily eye candy and Christian coalition window dressing is the way the new Alaska governor used a standard press opportunity with an AP photographer to establish a first impression more fit for Vanity Fair.

(image 1: Brian Wallace/Juneau Empire, via Associated Press, 2006, Juneau, Alaska. nytimes.com.  image 2: Al Grillo/AP. Wasilla, Alaska. Aug. 28, 2008.  image 3 & 4:  Vogue images via kodiakkonfidential. image 6: Alaska Mag: Joe Connolly, Chugach Peaks Photography)

  • http://www.nocaptionneeded.com lucaites

    Spot on.

  • bystander

    fwiw, I think the correct diagnostic designation is Down Syndrome; not Downs Syndrome.

  • justme

    wow. the daughters look unhappy.

  • jean

    This woman has more baggage than luggage. Check out mudflatshttp://mudflats.wordpress.com/2008/08/29/what-is-mccain-thinking-one-alaskans-perspective/
    Pretty interesting.

  • http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_hFydh-QhPA MonsieurGonzo

    Little did we know that when Mr. McCain was talking about “Paris Hilton”, et al ~ he was vetting his potential candidates for Secretary of State {grin} As Cactus has already said, in effect: real women will instantly recognize the insult to women that the selection of this blatantly obvious female chauvinist represents :
    “But if you are the exception that proves the rule, and the rule is that women are inferior : you haven’t made any progress.”
    otoh, being a lizard-brained homonym, myself, i can tellya, Cactus: lotsa guys will as usual think no further than their gonads; and while laughing their asses off they’ll pull the lever for her : cynically reasoning that “This whole thing, American politics, is a farce, anyway,” so Why The Hell Not blithely vote Legally Blonde?

  • justin

    I just noticed an overlooked McCain gaffe in the video of Dayton event. As Palin is making remarks about the 18 million cracks in the ceiling, McCain ogles her breasts for a long long time.
    Hmmm. Does that clarify the substance of what McCain’s relationship is to the honorable governor?

  • http://www.jaxxattaxx.com/ black dog barking

    The Republican ticket has all the balance of a Fox News blowfest — a thin-skinned gas bag paired with a news babe. A daring move by KKKarl to strip the remaining weeks of the campaign of anything remotely resembling substance. After all, what is government except a means of rewarding your followers and preparing for the next election.
    I like this choice like I like Dana Perino as press secretary. It doesn’t mean I’ll listen but I will watch. That’s the news babe’s job, provide covering fire for retreating information.

  • Cryppie

    Well, if you’ve raised five kids, decided to keep a special needs kid when you could have had the doc suck him out, served on a city council a couple of times, beat an incumbent governor, married and made it work, and got it done on a blue-collar salary, then I guess you’ve got some special insight into what a shlep Palin is. Just checking out this blog, a perennial truth is once again underscored: Losers do hate the winners.

  • http://blogs.salon.com/0003935 Julia Grey

    Well, if you’ve raised five kids, decided to keep a special needs kid when you could have had the doc suck him out, served on a city council a couple of times, beat an incumbent governor, married and made it work, and got it done on a blue-collar salary, then I guess you’ve got some special insight into what a shlep Palin is. Just checking out this blog, a perennial truth is once again underscored: Losers do hate the winners.
    Except for the thing about beating an incumbent governor (pursued by scandal as he was), there are an awful lot of similar “winners” in this country. Sets the bar a little low, if you ask me.
    Your mileage may vary.

  • http://bazungubucks.blogspot.com John Powers

    It is important that Sarah Palin is a woman on the national political stage. Our ideas about women as a society, left and right, too often downright suck. So while I won’t vote for the McCain/Palin ticket I’m heartened that Sarah Palin was chosen by McCain. Women’s issues need to be front and center in our political dialogs. And there’s bound to be foolishness all around. Something I love about Palin thrust onto the national stage is that she is Pentecostal. Pentecostal’s broadly consider themselves as part of the Evangelical movement. But historically women play a central role and that is a real area for dissension, particularly with the Southern Baptist Convention, where subservience of women is fundamental dogma. Far from bringing all the Evangelicals along, her candidacy brings into public view a deep controversy within Evangelical Christianity over the place of women.

  • Alan

    What do you think about the photo now on the front page of http://www.johnmccain.com/ ? The shadows are kind of weird.

  • HarpoSnarx

    Who gives a flying crap what a magazine with THREE articles has to say. Jeebus!

  • Samantha

    I think the photo is very strong, both for what’s there and what’s not there. The pastel colors republican women are often so fond of, are missing, for one thing. The fake smiles are as well. The women/girls are standing firm – not behind their men, or lined up like the Von Trapp children. They stand along four sides, with hands on hips, or furniture, or hanging down. They don’t appear posed. The little girl stares down the unseen visitors in the room in an almost confrontational manner.
    These kids do not look like the Bush children. They don’t, in fact, look like the Obama children either. Mr. Obama has chosen the traditional Kennedy-esque way of presenting his family. Maybe he figures being young and black is rogue enough, and needs to draw some conservative lines, in the way and his family dresses, and his choice of running mate.
    There’s something else worthy of note with the women in the photo – none of them are blonde. I’m not sure that means anything, but it just seems unusual to me.

  • http://antwerp.wordpress.com Peter

    I’m reading this item from Antwerp, Belgium (that’s in Europe folks, if you happen to be geographically challenged). To sum it up: after eight years of G.W. Bush, we almost gave up on America. Although many of my closest friends are American expats living near Brussels, the far-right Tsunami that seemed to have engulfed the US left most of us speechless.
    When CNN Europe (very moderate, very balanced, no “homeland security level orange” warnings) made a first attempt at painting Sarah Palin’s picture, we knew: this is another hypocritical, cynical move by the party of Karl Rove to pander to the most extreme factions of the Republican party.
    Palin has said creationism should be taught in the public schools, she denies there is a man-made link to global warming, is opposed to endangered species status for polar bears, and wants to drill for oil in the Arctic Wildlife refuge. She hunts, eats moose burgers, rides snowmobiles, and owns a float plane, while in 1984, Palin was second-place in the Miss Alaska beauty pageant after winning the Miss Wasilla contest earlier that year. It appear McCain hardly knows her.
    I this marriage made in heaven ever makes it to Washington, I may be forced to change my travel plans in 2009.

  • Ti molo

    McCain has gone off the reservation and the GOP establishment is for lack of a better word writing this one off.
    As a coworker noted when the announcement was made “boy, Cindy looks pissed!”

  • -

    From a quick Google image search, I get the impression that Palin really has a thing for the red and black color scheme.
    (I have no further comments, just an observation.)

  • mj

    Did any of the commenters know anything about this woman or ever heard of her a week ago? Me neither

  • msskwesq

    I have checked out several Christian blogs to see what they say about McCain’s pick of Sarah Palin, as I had an idea based on some comments from “born again” extended family that they would not be as thrilled as the GOP is representing. As I suspected, I found they are not supporting this choice for VP for the reasons that I heard from my cousins. These Christians follow the Bible closely and the Bible tells them that a women should not be a “magistrate” over men, so it is wrong for her to take positions as any government official. They also talked about her being a married women with children and that she should not be away from the home. I do not think a lot of the Christian Right will come out and enthusiastically support McCain/Palin. They most likely will not support Obama either, I suspect many will just not vote at all.

  • Samantha

    In answer to mj, yes, I heard of Palin as soon as she got elected. It’s not often a woman gets the governorship, much less a woman bounding out of nowhere to win it.
    On a side note – why did we get away from image analysis so much? I haven’t been here in a while.

  • rnb247

    clearly, many hollywood celebs are “JEALOUS” of Sarah Palin. Well, again, clearly, most of these celebs never looked pretty even in their teens and never will even with surgeries. being pretty is just coincidental with this governor who with her talent and abilities rose from being a mom to a governor and now a vice-presidential candidate. it is so sad that these celebrities and even respected reporters are obviously scramming to find something ugly from sarah palin and even making and trapping her in situations. still she is graceful and without a doubt has more common sense than these “JEALOUS SOULS”. only sarah palin could make the demons out of these personalities huh!!!

  • asdf

    SATANIC WOMAN

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