I have yet to become particularly energized by the presidential elections which seems to be something I should be ashamed of admitting since I live in activist-central-land (Seattle). Obama never really inspired a great deal of trust in me, although I liked what he had to say. I liked Hillary a little better, but also wasn't necessarily wowed by all of her actions. Still, she is well-connected and for good or bad, would probably get some things done. McCain is just soooooo old. I mean, he's a couple years older than my dad. And my dad is not at a stage of his life where he would be successful as President of the United States of America.
Most likely, I would vote Democratic. Especially in light of McCain's role in crafting our current Iraq policy. And I would like to believe in the audacity of Barack Obama's hopes for our nation. The choice of Sarah Palin as McCain's running mate however, struck me as a very crafty and smart move. For some reason, as soon as I heard that news yesterday, I had a gut feeling that McCain would end up winning. But hey, as I said, it is just a hunch.
Palin does seem to be a choice that will motivate people in one direction or another. Conservative Christians are delighted with the choice. Liberals are frightened by her strong religious views that result in a strong antiabortion stance and preference for teaching Creationism in schools. I don't know quite what to think of her yet except that she seems to be one of those women with superhuman abilities. You know, like Martha Stewart. (Just see the photo above for her transformation from beauty pageant runner-up to feisty "gal governor.") And although all of the buzz right now is about how "McCain chose a woman!", Bryn feels that the election will ultimately come down to race. If change is inevitable, and this race will be about whether a (half) black man or a white woman will be making political history, it will be an interesting election. (If American history repeats itself, I'd bet the white woman will be the first to break a barrier.)
I turned to Slate's XX Factor blog to find out what some smart women think about the hoopla. Hanna Rosin drew attention to Palin's source of energy: "Faith without a Doubt." She also goes on to say, "So strong is her conviction, so unwavering her faith that she could take down the whole dark army on a Monday afternoon, if only her middle one weren't running a fever. So busy is she that she never stops to contemplate the obvious contradictions: that she believes in the patriarchy but doesn't live it, that she disdains feminism while taking full advantage." Although I'm not impressed with Palin's faith-based leadership, I have to agree with Anne Applebaum that Hillary and Sarah may be signs that, "Women make progress in today's world because they are needed and wanted, not because they can successfully pass equal-rights legislation or stage a protest march." And Melinda Henneberger noted that while Palin said, "we both grew up working with our hands," in her speech announcing her position on the McCain ticket, she now sports a flawless french manicure.