In feminism, politics on 3 October 2008 at 7:21 pm
There’s a headline for you, courtesy FOX News.
A belated moment of compassion, you think, for Biden’s sorrow over the death of his first wife and their daughter? The Grand Old Man showing the spunky youngster that we can be noble in defeat and show compassion for a fellow American?
“You know, I almost felt a little sorry last night for my old friend Joe Biden,” McCain said; “she did a magnificent job and she is the news for the big spending, smooth talking, me first, country second crowd in Washington and Wall Street that we have got a message.”
Did you notice that “almost”? There’s no compassion here, only crowing triumph.
Indeed, Palin did deliver a message: a message of relentless self-centeredness. She had memorized her talking points and she memorized them thoroughly and well; she delivered them spiritedly. But when the man next to her lost control briefly, she had an opportunity to be so much more than a great speaker: she had the opportunity to show a heart, to be her own shining city on a hill, — to express some gentleness, however briefly.
And she didn’t even blink. “Back to me….”
To expect gentleness from a woman candidate is not sexist. Both men and women should have some class. McCain and Palin both showed that, despite the pretty music they can make, when the lip-sync machine is off, they are tone-deaf.
In feminism, politics on 3 October 2008 at 2:59 am
Losing your wife and kids is inimaginably hard. I want to give Joe a hug.
On the debate: Palin did well. She was confident and assertive and had a clear ideology. She looked at the camera directly and was folksy about herself.
Biden was more hesitant. He didn’t have soundbites. He wasn’t folksy about himself, he was just human and sad when he talked about his family.
What will swing voters care about more?
In feminism, politics on 2 October 2008 at 8:42 pm
“He said FDR was on TV! He said he was shot at! Not criticizing him is sexist and unfair to Sarah Palin!”
- No, it’s not. HER words are HER responsibility. The “he did it too!” school of defense is – well, second-grade.
- Biden’s being “shot at” is not much of a news story in a year when Hillary Clinton made the same gaffe, but a) first and b) much more spectacularly. People don’t like to read the same basic story they’ve already heard about a gajillion times. Sorry.
- At least Biden has heard of FDR. He’s also heard of a lot more than that, like Supreme Court cases. Palin’s not getting flak for mixing her facts up; she’s getting flak for not knowing any facts to mix up.
In feminism, politics on 30 September 2008 at 6:37 pm
First of all, expectations are low – unless you’re expecting some great SNL material, in which case expectations are high.
Second, Palin will have been extensively prepped and will be able to return to her comfort zone, making speeches. She does well when reading prepared remarks (not crib notes, which she had a hard time with during the Couric interview); her initial performance at the Republican convention was excellent and worked well for the McCain / Palin campaign.
Third, Palin, like most women in these situations, will adopt “masculine” values, attitudes, and tone, while Biden will almost certainly adopt a more “feminine” persona, in an attempt to reach out to women, not seem like a bully, and be a gentleman. Masculinity trumps femininity with voters any day.
Fourth, expect Palin to make some of the same moves that Geraldine Ferraro made in her precedent-setting debate, especially if Biden is bold enough to treat Palin the same way he would treat a man and critiques her at any point: “please don’t categorize my answers …. Leave the interpretation of my answers to the American people who are watching this debate.” As long as she can remain confident and not make any mistakes, any defensive moves she makes will likely be successful and at least help stem the rising bile of discomfort even some of her fans have been feeling.