Like pretty much everyone else, I know almost nothing about Sarah Palin. As an Obama supporter, I’m generally happy about McCain choosing her, since the qualifications gap is gargantuan. Ultimately, I don’t think that this strategy will work to bring in Clinton supporters, but I do think it’s going to be fascinating to watch how women’s reactions unfold.
The blogosphere is vibrating with intense responses to the selection of Palin, mostly predictable, but at least some [as linked in Ann’s previous post] from women who think that attacks on Palin by Dems and media white boys will remind women of the misogyny directed against Clinton’s campaign, moving them to skip the top of the ticket or even vote Republican. I hope they’re wrong.
What worries me are the visuals. It’s a pretty common dynamic for a male and female co-worker to team up in an “office marriage,” psychologically as well as for instrumental reasons. I think it will look and feel familiar to a lot of voters. The gender “optics” are good, as politicos love to say, especially when the senior executive of the pair is the man, and the woman, a rising star in middle management. In truth, this kind of mentoring is how a lot of women in corporate jobs break through the glass ceiling. It’s neoliberal feminism in a snapshot.
If the Dems (and the liberal media pundits) go all frat boy, joking about the dumb beauty queen; and if Palin turns out to be genuinely smart and impressive even if inexperienced, Obama could blow the election that is still his to lose. Please, guys, don’t be that stupid.
Nan Hunter – cross posted at hunter of justice