Yes, Xandax, the American political climate IS that shallow. Isn't it obvious by now?
I saw a message at Salon.com (posted by a reader named "mynamehere") which provides an interesting answer to the question, "Who is Sarah Palin?""The mother of Bristol, Piper, Track, Willow, and Trig." Alas, where is young Spraynerd?
The Republicans are saying that her six years as mayor of Wasilla, Alaska (population 9780, circa 2007) has provided her with enough executive experience to be Commander in Chief of the United States of America. (Of course they say that.) Here's a picture of Wasilla City Hall. It does look sort of like the White House:http://talkingpointsmemo.com/images/wasillacityhall.jpg
Here's the White House:http://z.about.com/d/dc/1/0/C/J/whitehouse2.jpg
See what I mean?
On a serious note, for what it's worth, her husband Todd owns a commercial fishing company and works for an oil company. He is also a world champion snowmobile racer. Her son Track, age 19, enlisted in the Army immediately after high school and will deploy to Iraq on September 11.
Sarah Palin is the daughter of a school secretary and a teacher/track coach. She was the point guard and captain of her high school's basketball team, where she earned the nickname "Sarah Barracuda". She won second place in the 1984 Miss Alaska beauty pageant (for which she won a college scholarship) and was voted Miss Congeniality. She earned a B.S. degree in Communications-Journalism from the University of Idaho with a minor in Political Science. She worked briefly as a sports reporter until she went to work for her husband's fishing company. She and her husband supported unions. When she got involved in politics, first as City Council member, then Mayor, then Oil and Gas Commissioner, and then Governor of Alaska, her stated purpose was to fight corruption and graft. Along the way, she gave birth to five children.
When she speaks, she is energetic, poised, and articulate, and she sounds smart. She is very good at thinking on her feet as well as delivering a message. When asked by a reporter what she thinks about the perpetual comments about her good looks, she said that she wears her hair on top of her head and wears "school marm" glasses to make herself look frumpy. I think she'll give Joe Biden a run for his money in the Vice Presidential debate, not because she knows anything, but because I think she can present convincing arguments to undecided voters who don't know anything.
No matter what you think about her lack of experience, her political and religious beliefs, and the allegation that she abused her power by firing Public Safety Commissioner Walter Monegan (allegedly because he refused to fire a state trooper against whom Palin and her family have a personal vendetta--her sister's former husband), and even if you think that she will crash and burn when she runs for national office, Palin's personal history is actually pretty inspiring, even to a "damn liberal" like me. I mean, wow, she's had a busy life. I sure hope she doesn't become Vice President of the United States, but wow.
What about John McCain's personal story? Son of an admiral. Accepted into the Naval Academy, where he graduated at the bottom of his class. Became a Navy pilot (think of "Top Gun") and became notorious for womanizing, partying, and crashing planes. Got married. Went on bombing missions during the Vietnam War, got shot down, and became a POW for seven years, while his wife appealed for help for POWs. After returning to the United States, he still wanted to fly planes against the advice of his superior officers. He became even more notorious for womanizing, partying, and crashing planes. His flying privileges were revoked after his third crash. Then he partied even harder. (No need to be drug-free, I guess.) He began an affair with a young "beer heiress" named Cindy, then divorced his wife (who had been disfigured in an automobile accident) and married Cindy. When it became clear that he would never become an admiral, McCain used money from his new wife's family to launch a political career. Since he's a Republican, nobody cared that he had cheated on his wife and married his mistress. (As the new saying goes, "It's Alright If You're A Republican.") Shortly after becoming a U.S. Senator, he was involved in a big scandal (the "Keating Five"), but he actually became a hero as a result of it because he said he was very sorry and it would never happen again. After he became a national figure, the rest of his political career is pretty well known. Ann Coulter called John Kerry a "kept man" because he married a wealthy wife and "lives off money made by other men", but apparently the same judgment does not apply to John McCain, since he's a Republican. Personally, I think John McCain selected Sarah Palin to be his running mate because he likes hot younger women who are smarter than he is.
Under the circumstances, a lot of people are going to say that Sarah Palin is a pretty good candidate for national office. Don't underestimate "Sarah Barracuda". She could kick Hillary Clinton's ass. Be afraid.