Archives About Staff BagNews is dedicated to visual politics, media literacy and the analysis of news images.
June 9, 2009

Not To Be Upstaged

Palin GOP fundraiser.jpg

Laying low for 100 days or so, it looks like Palin is starting to circulate and cause trouble again based on her awkward appearance at the big GOP hoo-hah, the NRSC/NRCC fundraising dinner.

After playing coy with the organizing committee over the keynote role (ultimately handed to Newt), Team Palin (after she pitched something of a fit) was honored by “being introduced.” The photo, I believe, captures her coming out on stage for that introduction.

Informing the visual, I was interested in a phrase AMERICAblog used, about “the sway … Sarah Palin and her supporters in Palin Nation hold over the GOP.” I think you do see that characteristic swagger here, the way she tilts the head and the hip, drops that left shoulder and cocks that left arm. As well, the backdrop of the drum set is a nice touch evoking Palin’s percussive and improvisational (read: oppositional and subversive) style where she actually prefers hitting things from the side.

Because I’m having a great time on the Twitter beat, by the way, here’s a recent missive on SP. (Be sure to click the link.)

(image: Manuel Balce Ceneta/AP. June 8, 2009. Washington.)

So laying low for 100 days or so, it looks like Palin is starting to circulate and cause trouble again based on her awkward appearance at the big GOP hoo-hah, the NRSC/NRCC fundraising dinner.

  • Tena

    I read part of her remarks and they make no sense whatsoever – no sentence has both a noun and a verb and there is no way to tell what the hell she means except: “you betcha” and “I told ya so.”
    And with that black suit, she wore a pair of cork-soled red open strappy clunky shoes and had decals on her toenails.
    She is sooooooo never getting close to the White House again.

  • g

    She looks dreadful. I can see why the Republicans thought she needed a stylist to be on the national stage.
    The jacket looks like pleather and the skirt and jacket don’t match.
    There’s an old saying to be well accessorized, a woman should look in the mirror after she’s fully dressed and then take one accessory off. Palin clearly didn’t do that – what’s she got, 3 bracelets, a necklace, two brooches and dangly earrings?
    I am so sorry this photo doesn’t show the painted nails.

  • http://www.catinbag.blogspot.com Zoey&Me

    I see the swagger, don’t care much for the dress. But did you notice her left knee cap? Was that thing operated on? I don’t think I’ve ever seen a knee cap so disturbing in a photo before. Maybe she broke something.

  • pwapvt

    Looks like a perp walk to me.

  • http://profile.typepad.com/6p01156f665f05970c stevelaudig

    they are dressed as if they are looking for the their front row seats at the World Wrestling Federation championships. and Don’t they look a bit too tanned? and it’s that uniform “all over” sorta tan that you see from tanning beds. I think the left arm is cocked to hold up the bling, otherwise the bling would droop. her left hand bling droops more than her right hand bling.

  • Asta

    Never dismiss the 23 percent of this society who will vote for this piece of trailer trash (no offense intended to decent working people who have no other options).
    This woman is dangerous. Because she appeals to the most basic part of our country. The common denominator.

  • http://profile.typepad.com/6p00e5523476cc8834 DennisQ

    It’s inappropriate to put such emphasis on a female politician’s appearance. It’s quite possible that the governor has other things on her mind than Dressing for Success.
    At the risk of sounding sexist myself, women have a humanizing influence on politics. For example, when is the last time a male politician showed up at an event for autism? People should cut Sarah Palin some slack. If Republicans move to close the gender gap by increasing their appeal towards women, it will increase their awareness of women’s issues. That is certainly a welcome outcome.

  • QrazyQat

    For example, when is the last time a male politician showed up at an event for autism?
    How about Ron Klein, Steven Geller, and Ari Porth (all Democrats). I’m sure there are many others. How many showed up not locally but at distant event where national media is far more available? I’m sure some do, just as Palin did. How many mouth platitudes but offer no specifics about helping people with autism, as Palin did during her VP campaign? Probably some.

  • http://profile.typepad.com/6p00e5523476cc8834 DennisQ

    Ron Klein, Steven Geller, and Ari Porth
    Who are these people? I was referring to national figures, not members of the City Council.
    The Left does itself no favors when it uses sexist attacks against right wing women. It can’t be easy to be a female Republican, because they certainly have to put up with snide comments among their own colleagues. The least we ought to do is respect Sarah Palin as a person. It would be unseemly to focus on Michael Steele’s race, and it’s just as unseemly to focus on VP candidate Sarah Palin’s gender.
    So please . . . no more comments on her accessories, or whether the skirt matches the jacket, or her kneecaps! It demeans women that everybody – right, left and center – is so willing to ridicule them for stepping out of line.

  • http://www.agrippinaminor.com/wp/ Wayne Dickson

    Disclosure: I think it’s an indictment of our political system that a person like this can be taken seriously.
    But this is a very cruel picture. She looks either drunk, palsied, or extremely ill. Her chin isn’t uplifted. Cripes! It’s tucked in. Her shoulders are slumped forward. Todd is much more assertive. But he looks more like a ventriloquist whose dummy is slumping than a man proud to stand behind a strong and independent woman. And look at her left kneecap!
    Anyone could be caught this way. Photographers use a battery pack to snap dozens of photos in a row. Then either the photographer or the editor picks out one photo to feature. Seen in isolation it might look revealing. Seen in context it might look totally deceitful.
    To me this photo presents a truly negative identity. Is that presentation revealing of the truth, or is it a lie? I don’t know. No one can know what the photo “says” by considering it in isolation. Only context will allow one to make that assessment.

  • bystander

    …If the real thing dont do the trick
    No, you better make up
    something quick
    You gonna burn burn burn burn it to the wick
    Ooooooohhhh, barra barracuda.

  • http://motherrr.blogspot.com mcmama

    She doesn’t look cocky to me. She looks desperate, and a little run down. She’s not the spunky pitbull in lipstick anymore; now she’s the shaky has-been making one last attempt at a comeback.

  • QrazyQat

    Dennis Q said Who are these people? I was referring to national figures, not members of the City Council.
    They’re male politicians (from Florida) who I found in a 30 second online search, countering your ridiculous notion that supporting events to help things like autism is just not done by male politicians. Now I have to look up peoploe who’ll meet your new criteria? No thanks, I can hear those goal posts a’moving already.
    And the thing is showing up at events is all nice and good, but what do they actually do about the illness. In Palin’s case she does nothing, and has no plans to do anything, judging by her responses to questions about it during her VP campaign. Instead she makes sure she gets big media coverage of her going to an event (shades of GW showing up for a photo op before he cuts a budget). And she doesn’t show up at a local (to her) event, but makes sure she moseys on over a few thousand miles to an event near the national media outlets. That’s why we can’t, and shouldn’t “respect Sarah Palin as a person”. She hasn’t earned any respect.
    How about pols trying to actually do something to help autism suffers, people like national politician Senator Kirsten Gillibrand and Senator Chris Dodd? No, let’s instead “respect” someone who travels thousands of miles to find a high profile media outlet who’ll tape her using kids as props. No thanks.

  • Ronna

    No one has commented on the omnipresent Todd, whose hand looks to be stuffed up her spine to make her bobble and talk. He is one creepy dude. There is something bizarre between these two. She looks rather stiff and uncomfortable and he looks at ease with that phony smile. If I met him at a party, I would immediately gravitate to the other side of the room.
    As a photo of the iconic beauty queen cum politician, I think it is a fair depiction of her. She DOES look like this. The thing that astonished me, other than Todd, was why any woman with such bad knees would be caught dead in such a short skirt. FGS, get a mirror and use it!

  • paulo

    I see none of the swagger etc. that you describe. She looks unsteady on her feet. My first reaction was that first dude was steadying her for some reason.
    My second – meta-analysis – thought apropos to this site is first dude is the ventriloquist operating his dummy.
    Then I thought – whew I gotta open a window, the oxygen must be getting thin in here.
    I don’t which of any possibilities is more ridiculous.

  • Ali

    The Grifters.

  • http://profile.typepad.com/6p010536f3e344970c creditking

    A little tweaking to the black clothing, a hat with a death’s head device on it and there you have it. Is this what the DHS memo was warning about? Did they bring Bristol out with them as well, as they did on some appearances over the weekend?

  • http://profile.typepad.com/6p00e5523476cc8834 DennisQ

    >>After playing coy with the organizing committee over the keynote role (ultimately handed to Newt), Team Palin (after she pitched something of a fit) was honored by “being introduced.”
    Actually you don’t know what sort of negotiations went on between Palin and the organizing committee. Describing her as “coy” makes her sound coquettish. And your subsequent describion of her behavior (“she threw a fit”) makes her sound petulant. You are interpreting her behavior as if she were a child. The Good Ol’ Boys of the Left join together with the likes of Newt Gingrich, Jeff Sessions and John Cornyn to deny a woman a speaking role at an important gathering. The take-away from this? Good Ole Boys aren’t all right wingers – there’s plenty of sexism on the Left.
    At Think Progress, the number of unabashedly sexist comments is astounding:

    “Candy and flowers would be a nice gesture.”
    “Hell hath no fury like Caribou Barbie scorned…..”
    “It is sort of hilarious that the Republicans are even considering a woman who’s main claim to fame is MILFdom. Brains and ability are definitely not her forte.”
    “I can see POUTING from my house!”
    “Sarah should pose nude for playboy, then all of the republicans male and female, who “want her” wouldn’t have to waste time imagining her naked…”
    “So, why not just be straightforward? Just invite her to Republican events, put her in a bikini in blackface, hand her a bible and a rifle, and let her dance on a stripper pole.”

    Republicans don’t deserve to get back in the game any time soon, but voters are quick to sniff out hypocrisy. It certainly blurs the distinction between parties when the Left characterizes a woman politician as coy or coquettish or petulant. There’s still plenty of resentment over similar attacks on Hillary Clinton.

  • dada

    Oh, Dennis — give it a rest. This woman wouldn’t be where she is if she weren’t female. I’m too lazy to spell it out for ya now, but I’m a-bettin’ yore a real smart fella and can figger it out for yeself.
    And, no — I don’t think she’s stupid.
    Oh, right! The photo: She looks likes she’s making an appearance at her sentencing hearing after being convicted of somethin’ icky.

  • http://profile.typepad.com/6p00e5523476cc8834 DennisQ

    No, no, no. I am not going to give it up. Can you imagine if political disagreements gave you license to be intolerant in a number of other ways? Let’s see . . . don’t like Rahm Emanuel? Make snide remarks about Jews. You don’t even have to be direct about it. Think Rudy Giuliani is too Italian? I’m sure you can work in some appropriate characterization. How about Michelle Obama? The New Yorker magazine did a number of her last year. Yup, she was immediately recognizable to people who think that way about Black women.
    The list could be extended. It’s simply not true that any attack at all is forgiveable if the target is sufficiently loathsome. You don’t have to like Sarah Palin not to make cruel remarks about her thick ankles or her mismatched outfits. Give it up.

  • kat

    To learn more about Palin, read some of the Alaska blogs. They provide insight into her ability to govern, her modus operandi, and the drama she creates. The photo is an accurate representation of Palin and her husband.
    She opens herself to comments about her appearance because she projects sexuality in a manner inappropriate for a politician at any level, much less for a governor. Anyone familiar with her will know about this. Check out some these links to Alaska blogs:
    Mudflats http://www.themudflats.net/2009/06/04/4359/
    Shannon Moore http://shannynmoore.wordpress.com/2009/05/26/palins-hostage-alaska-decoration-of-honor-ceremony/
    Immoral Minority http://theimmoralminority.blogspot.com/2009/06/it-is-time-for-sarahpac-people-to-start.html#comments
    Progressive Alaska http://progressivealaska.blogspot.com/2009/06/saradise-lost-book-2-chapter-54.html

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

    She opens herself to comments about her appearance because she projects sexuality in a manner inappropriate for a politician at any level, much less for a governor.
    Exactly. This woman has OVERTLY used her appearance and sexuality to get where she is today. She entered beauty contests in her youth! You think she would have been McCain’s running mate if she’d looked like, oh, say, Kay Bailey Hutchinson (who is an attractive older woman, don’t get me wrong) and hadn’t flirted with and winked at people like Bill Kristol et. al?
    She is a professional coquette. Pointing that out is not sexist, it is a statement of fact. I used my own sexuality and attractiveness in similar ways in my own youth, so I know what she’s doing. You don’t frickin WINK at debate audiences and then scream “sexism!” when people call you on your inappropriate use of your sexuality.
    The things people can’t easily change about their physical appearance (and I generally include weight in this) are not legit targets (although dressing to expose those flaws is unwise, and we can say that, too), but what they wear and how they conduct themselves (as in all those cutesy-pie moves, etc.) can be commented on. They are expressions of who they are, and the way they dress and behave COUNTS. Why do you think the Republicans hid her away so carefully at first and spent all those thousands on clothes and lessons to try to bring Palin up to snuff?
    This woman is a fraud from start to finish and she and her handlers have deliberately, cynically made excellent use of the very things some of you are screaming that we shouldn’t talk about. Come. On.

  • Progressive Mom

    Usually, Dennis, I’m with your thoughts all the way and I do think many anti-female comments made about Palin are over the line.
    But….unlike Hillary Clinton, Palin brings too much of a female stereotype to the stage. She campaigned in shoes the likes of which most working women on their feet all day would mock; she wore tight skirts and red leather jackets; she brought out the baby far too many times; and, yes, there is a professional female standard for the amount of jewelry you wear. When you make being a female candidate almost a parody, you do open yourself up to these kinds of comments.
    And, no, I don’t believe in the “she asked for it” version of events. But, as my grandmother always told us when we dressed to go out, “Make a statement; don’t advertise!”

  • dada

    Dennis, she is a big, big flirt. A woman (as I am) picks up on that. Believe me, you don’t wanna work with a gal like this.
    She’s the female equivalent of “all hat. no cattle.”

  • yg

    little miss i-got-a-”D”-in-economics thinks she’s equipped to lecture obama on the topic.
    the woman is without shame.

  • legalpad

    regardless of how the woman looks or what the intricacies of her pose happen to be, what counts is that she remains as dumb as a bag of rocks. she has absolutely nothing in her head–no knowledge base, no substantive ability, and even poorer judgment. her reading list has grown not one bit since her empty head was revealed by couric’s question. she’s never gotten anywhere on her merit, because there’s no fuel in that tank. she’s every bit as jaw droppingly stupid as the people jay leno interviews on the street who can’t name the 9 planets, the 5 oceans or the 3 branches of government.

  • Susan

    Julia Grey – you are SPOT ON! I, too, took advantage of my good looks and figure in my younger days and quite a few opportunities presented themselves to me that may not have otherwise. However, I didn’t MISS those opportunities. I educated myself and worked my a$$ off. Palin doesn’t appear willing to do either.

  • abigal

    This discussion could almost be a metaphor for the current kerfuffle about Letterman’s “joke” which wasn’t funny and was a bit over the top. What Palin did on the campaign trail was to flirt, tease and act coy and kittenish when it pleased her, and when it didn’t, she scolded those who mocked her. With Letterman, she is scolding him as if he were a pervert for making a bad joke about her daughter, when in fact, she dragged her under-age, pregnant daughter along on the campaign trail. Said daughter, an unmarried mother, is now out there touting abstinence. As for Sarah’s desire for the respect for young girls, she’s the one who made rape victims pay for their rape kits when they reported the crime. Anybody out there know of a killer who was asked to pay for their DNA tests?
    It’s all a game of “GOTCHA” with her.
    BTW, don’t you think there is a reason they brought her out at this time? (And someone DID bring her out.) When all the talk on hate radio is so much in the consciousness? The woman who smiled during the campaign when the crowd shouted “kill him?” Just ask yourself, why her and why now.

  • weisseharre

    ‘the elephant sneezed,
    and wrinkled his knees…’

Refresh Archives

Random Notes