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September 30, 2008


Palin Golden

Palin is tough as nails. She will bite the head off a moose and move on. So, no, I don’t feel sorry for her.   – Rebecca Traister

This is the shot that so cleverly accompanies Rebecca Traister’s “The Sarah Palin pity party” at Salon.

Traister, who I’m 100% in agreement with, pushes back on everyone and anyone who is even remotely feeling sorry for Sarah Palin right now, either because she supposedly got herself in over her head, or has somehow been exploited or simply knocked off her game by McCain’s boys.  I recommend you read the article, especially if you are feeling any weakness at all around the knees.

But, if it helps at all, think about this (pre-Couric interview) picture too, one which — in isolation, and wrapped around the “poor Sarah” theme — gives the impression she’s hurting, or feeling bad, or has been gouged by insensitive political animals like you and me. 

Fist Pump Pro Palin Lipstick Palin

(click for full size)

Realize, instead, how the presumptuous Sarah was just taking a break from the teleprompter for an instant, and that, otherwise, her appearance in Golden, Colorado two weeks ago (as evidenced by the broader context of these three other images) was mostly a Mad Ave.-style agglomeration of sex appeal, maternal idealization, gender exploitation, ideological harangue and firing range adrenaline surge from someone who today is now fully leveraging her own incompetence (via a media-as-perpetrator abuse fantasy) to get into our heads.

(image 1, 3 & 4: Rick Wilking/Reuters.  Golden, Colorado September 15, 2008. image 2: Ed Andrieski/AP)

  • Karen

    I’ve come to think we’re being played on the expectation game. I was just looking at debate footage from her run for governor and she seemed to do quite well.

  • demit

    In that photo of her with her head down, I don’t see ‘hurting’. I see nostrils flaring. It reads as a sneer, and she does it quite often. She reminds me of Bush in this respect. Especially when the flared nostrils are combined with the compressed lips. There is nothing vulnerable or tremulous about Sarah Palin. And no marketing will make it so. Whatever it is expressing—’I am chosen’, ‘I am better than you’, ‘I have power and I am going to get you’—she can’t control that sneer.

  • d

    This is a tangential point–or really, question: are pearls a fashion icon exclusive to conservatives? Does Palin intentionally choose pearls because of this?
    I think of pearls only worn by wealthy grandmothers, Wall Street trophy wives, and suburban Republican moms with beehive hairdos trying to pretend they’re wealthy. But I’m fashion-incompetent (by choice), so if there are any leftist pearl-wearers out there (gals or guys ;-) don’t be offended.
    By the way: I had long wondered if her eyeglasses were decorative… because they so completely shift her visual persona from “beauty queen” to “cosmopolitan”, it’s be easy to think of them as a political accessory. But it looks from this close-up it’s clear that they’re prescription.

  • demit

    d, I’m curious, how can you tell her glasses are prescription? I don’t see any distortion. Is there another way to tell?

  • Books Alive

    d – there have been multiple cable stories on the designer rims Sarah wears. The maker can’t keep up with orders for people who want their own.
    demit – I hadn’t noticed the pearl earrings until you mentioned. The people I know prefer a diamond chip. Re pearl necklaces, Speaker Pelosi wears them exclusively AFAIK. I learned that the large size pearls are called Baroque. Nancy has a wardrobe of them in different colors that she coordinates with her outfit of the day.

  • Julia Grey

    To me she looks a little smug in that shot. Like she has ducked her head to hide a triumphant smile.

  • kirkaracha

    Those people continually call liberals cowards and claim to be the macho action party. She doesn’t get to be the moose-killing frontierswoman and the frightened schoolmarm. She called herself a pit bull with lipstick; she can’t quiver like a chihuahua at the first sign of pressure. If she piddles under pressure from Katie Freakin’ Couric, who can she stand up to?

  • g

    She certainly wears a heavy foundation.

  • g

    The last 2 pictures are skillfully cropped and focused to give the impression of a large crowd of adoring women brandishing their lipsticks for Palin, but if you examine them closely, there are actually more men than women in the crowds, and in the one with the lipsticks the group in the front seems to be the only ones holding lipsticks.
    I wonder if they were staged or otherwise organized – a campaign staffer positioning a group of women at the rope line and suggesting the idea.

  • plebeianswillrevolt

    No pity or empathy. Thursday is a very dangerous night. Things could happen in her favor. Remember, this vile individual might soon be President of America.

  • jtfromBC

    Welcome to Gilead, Governor Palin

  • Neal

    From the LA Times (10/1/08):
    ….just a few weeks later, when Palin jousted with her two main rivals during critical pre-election debates, she was much more at ease. Palin distilled policy questions into simple answers and countered her opponents’ attacks with verbal stiletto thrusts delivered with a sunny smile….
    …At times she has been handicapped by her lax approach to learning the nuances of policy and state issues, but she also has projected a Reaganesque ability to offer up pithy answers and charm on camera.
    “The political landscape here is littered with people who have underestimated Sarah Palin,” said Eric Croft, a former state representative who ran for the Democratic nomination for governor in 2006 and appeared with Palin during several early forums….
    ….“She has a Reagan-like ability to win over audiences. But for someone who cares about issues and facts, it was rather startling to see her gloss over important questions,” said Andrew Halcro, an Alaska businessman who ran as an independent candidate for governor against Palin….
    …as time went on, Palin increasingly managed to zero in on the policy issues set before her during debate preparations, and her comfort level rose dramatically. During two final debates broadcast by Alaska public television and an Anchorage news station, Palin appeared to ace her performances, deftly crystallizing her talking points to voters.
    “If you can sit her down, she has a talent for listening to a policy presentation that is so boring it would bring tears to your eyes,” one former aide said. “Then —- boom —- she will nail it down to its essence.”
    Larry Persily, a panelist questioner in the campaign’s final televised debate, said Palin flummoxed her rivals “like Muhammad Ali dancing around the ring.” She avoided statements and tough questions that could have impaled her and repeatedly stung at her opponents. And Palin, a former sportscaster, was easily the most comfortable in front of the camera.
    “She knows television,” said Persily, who participated in other debates and has watched Palin closely for years.
    (end quote)

  • bartcopfan

    The full article is well worth the read, esp. page 2. Thanks for recommending it.

  • richard d

    The whole Palin victim ploy has been made much easier by Hillary’s somwhat similar posturing (which has not stopped.) In fact, when Hillary was recently asked about Palin, she refused to comment, saying that the voters would decide based on the “men” at the top of the ticket. Apparently Senator Clinton had forgotten about her husband and others claiming that Hillary as the VP nominee would make a dream ticket.

  • BRD

    I feel no pity when I see her screw ups. Schadenfreude is more like it.

  • MonsieurGonzo

    My god! How are they going to make her look Presidential? she asked. That’s what everyone’s saying over here.
    They don’t want her to look ‘presidential’. They want her to look ‘identical’.
    Oh. …oh! of course… ‘proletariat identity’; Huey Long: “I’m a hick, just like you!” This illusion that the Governor is just another ‘working mother’…
    She’s a victim! She can just attack, attack… this man… as being ‘The State’ that f*cks her…
    Vraiment. What would be the equivalent of an American “populist” thing, Over There ?
    “In France? I don’t know; They roll it all up into “Le Pen”-ism. The intellectuals probably use the German expression, “Völkisch movement”.
    Blood and Soil… Doesn’t have the odor of religious fundamentalism, over there, like it does over here in The States.
    No. My god! How are they going to make him look Presidential? she concluded.

  • killjoy

    are pearls a fashion icon exclusive to conservatives?
    No. They’re very classic and conventional — pretty much standard feminine professional wear. I expect most professional women have pearl studs or a pearl necklace in their rotation, regardless of their political views.
    I’d say Palin’s highly coiffed hair is more politically loaded than her choice of jewelry, as is her frequent choice of pink clothing and high, high heels. (I feel sexist writing this, but there’s no denying that women’s clothing is more variable and therefore less “neutral” than men’s.)

  • Doctor Jay

    I feel compassion for Sarah Palin, but that doesn’t mean I think we should go easy for her. I feel a compassion for her that I doubt she feels for herself, or for others, and that’s exactly the problem with her.
    I feel she is following a path that can only end in bitter unhappiness, and I weep for the tragedy that was, that is, and that is to come for her. But being tough, though fair, with her is the only way that she might come to know that there might be a different course for her life.
    I’m not talking about conservatism as such, by the way. I’m talking about the willing toolness of her, the petty vindictiveness and self dealing, and the lack of temperance. These are things that in the end, isolate you.

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