Dateline: Emerald Hills, 9/9/08
I don't mean to turn this into a political blog, but I need to talk about someone who's been on my mind a lot for the last week and a half: the Republican vice presidential nominee.
Who is this woman to whom I've reacted with such strong and contradictory emotions? I dislike her even more than I do the current president and vice president. But I'm also fascinated by her and reluctantly admire her. I read everything I can find about her. I mentally recite the odd names of her 5 children. She is the Princess Diana of American politics, and I was fascinated by Diana too.
How can her story have caused me to think like a sexist? I question whether a mother of 5, including an infant with Down's syndrome, should want a job like the vice presidency. I know better than to ask questions like that. I imagine the conversations in which she persuaded her 17-year-old daughter to keep her baby, and the daughter's boyfriend to agree to be married and to travel to St. Paul. She's a "family values" person, but is she exploiting her family for her own political ambition?
How can an acceptance speech charm me and anger me at the same time? Charmed because of her obvious intelligence (even though someone else wrote the speech) and performing ability. Angered by her sarcasm about community organizing, and by the venom in her voice when she said "San Francisco". Contemptuous of the way she pronounces "Eye-raq".
When her selection was announced, I was overjoyed. He chose an unknown governor from a faraway state? He thinks he can attract Hillary's supporters just by choosing a woman? This will cost him the election! And I can't wait to watch her debate Joe Biden. But now the selection looks like a brilliant move. It looks as if they can win, and I'm terrified. In 4 years she could be president of the United States. She could complete this country's transition to theocracy.
Who is this woman? Let's hope that we don't have to find out more than we already know. Let's hope that after November 4 she goes back to just being the governor of a faraway state, even though she'll no longer be so unknown.