November 17, 2009

Sarah & the Sisterhood

This past weekend, a friend of mine recounted a visit he paid to his wife’s family in Arkansas around the time McCain had scheduled his much-awaited announcement of who his running-mate would be. Watching the coverage on TV, my friend was struck by just how quickly his Southern in-laws empathized with the then-unknown governor of Alaska. She was their gal, even though they weren’t yet sure how to pronounce her last name. 

Sarah Palin is, put simply, the goddess of implicit whiteness. She represents the “Real America” as it’s understood, most often tacitly, by the founding stock of the country from Juno, Alaska, to Jasper, Texas. This is, of course, a dangerous thing in many ways, for so far her powers have been used to mobilize white Christian support for John McCain. But even the man who think he’s Palin’s handler and eminence grise must realize that the woman represents a force he cannot totally control, and that someday she might really “go rogue,” as it were.       

Or maybe not. No one as of yet has been able to capture her inner personality. And I certainly haven’t learned anything watching her recent television interviews, in which Oprah and Barbara have been fishing for headline quotes about how mad she was at McCain for not letting her make a concession speech yadayadayada… My guess is that Sarah is probably a profound narcissist, most beauty pageant contestants are, but then she also has a flexibility and openness of mind that allows her to embrace, at one time or another, Buchananism, Zionism, Kenyan anti-witchcraft, and the Austrian Theory of the Business Cycle

I should read her book and write something about it. At the very least, one can make do with its many tales from the campaign trail, like this one about GOP operative Nicolle Wallace‘s ingenious idea of booking Sarah for an interview with Katie Couric, Wallace’s one-time colleague at CBS News. 

From the beginning, Nicolle [Wallace] pushed for Katie Couric and the CBS Evening News. The campaign

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