Saturday, September 27, 2008

The Palin effect

Here’s a sample screenshot from my StatCounter “Recent Keyword Activity” page.Hmmm, wonder what’s going on?

Sarah Palin TERRIFIES me. “Drill, baby, drill”, “Alaska is near Russia”, and all that. The thought of a McCain-Palin victory… well, it’s like Margaret Thatcher squared, at the very least.

However, I do think that long term, Palin’s vice presidential nomination is going to be good for the status of women in politics, in the US and beyond. Hear me out - I'm not just trying to put lipstick on a pig here...

The reason occurred to me shortly after reading the comments on ScienceGirl’s post. Specifically:

“A number of people who knew I voted for Clinton in the primaries assumed that I would now vote for Palin [...] I don't think they listen when I explain my views, because in the first case they cringed and accused me in voting for the chromosomes, but now they would be more then happy if I did just that”.

I think that the presence of two women with such different policies in this Presidential race will really help the cause of aspiring female politicians, all over the world but obviously especially in the USA. The longer the debates and campaigns go on, the clearer it will (hopefully!) become that Sarah Palin is the polar opposite of Hillary Clinton. This improves the odds that the next female candidate will be judged by her policies and not, as ScienceGirl says, by her chromosomes. Plus, women from both US parties now have a role model, a predecessor who paved the way and makes the concept of a female President that much more tangible.

Just please, for the sake of all that is good in this world, not in the next 4 years…

I just made myself all depressed and sad again. So here are some related videos for your amusement.

Palin for President

Tina Fey on SNL - as soon as I saw my first picture of Sarah Palin, I thought “wow, she looks a lot like Tina Fey, this could be fun!”

And again:


  1. Never mind the lipstick, to keep on with the pig can't make a silk purse out of a sows ear.

    Palin... deeply worrying.. for us all.

  2. I am afraid I find her nomination too deeply troubling to see any silver lining in this situation. Sigh.

  3. I agree with you. I voted for Clinton in the primaries, but am clearly not voting for McCain/Palin. But I do think that the fact that both parties have nominated women as either pres candidates or vp candidates, and the fact that they were serious contendors means that from now on, we could very easily see women on both sides. Just the fact that either way, this will be a history making election is exciting for me.

  4. UHDD and SG, you said it... worrying and troubling are very apt words but perhaps a slight understatment?!

    Ruchi, it is certainly not dull! Although we all know what "may you live in interesting times" really means.

    Thank goodness for Tina Fey, who is injecting some much needed humour into the situation. This week's SNL sketch was another classic! I am now having a really hard time telling her impersonation apart from the real thing, which should make this week's vice-presidential debate even more interesting.

  5. Tina Fey totally nailed her performance of Palin on SNL. Pretty scary stuff! Everytime I think of Palin being able to see Russia from her house I burst out laughing :)

  6. I hadn't realised that her "interview" on the most recent SNL was almost word for word what Palin actually said... this week's debate should be a riot.


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