Fishing for fans

OK, maybe it’s sour grapes. See, I’ve never admitted this publicly, but I was a Hillary supporter. There, I said it. Blame it on four years of all-girls school (another fact I rarely admit), but there was a small part of me that felt I owed it to Hillary (a fellow product of an all-female education) and recovering saddle shoe wearers everywhere to support the first female presidential contender. When they bashed on the pantsuits, I called them “practical.” When they said she was cold, I referred to it as “objective.” When they called her a bitch, I stuck up for her “steely resolve.”

Of course, this isn’t to say I didn’t approve of her intra-party opponent. It’s just that part of me wanted to see a woman in office. Someone to take charge, clean up the pork rinds, balance out the testosterone and yes, get a little bitchy if need be. Alas, the rest is ancient history, and the day that there will be an emergency stash of dark chocolate bars in the executive desk or a full supply of toilet paper in the Oval Office powder room will have to wait.

At least that’s what I thought until Sarah Palin hit. OK, I know, you’re probably as sick of hearing, reading, watching, blogging and overanalyzing about her as the rest of us – I mean, she was so last week. So Michael Phelps. But I must admit, there is a part of me that is bizarrely intrigued by the whole thing. And tried as I might last week to resist watching her speech, I found myself inexplicably drawn in, like a fish to the bait. The curiosity went beyond the general atmosphere of the RNC, which rivaled that of the rowdiest bingo halls, or the chanting “U.S.A.” to divert attention from the occasional protestor being dragged off by security thugs. It even went beyond Palin’s well-fortified beehive, no doubt necessary to withstand those howling coastal Chinooks; her super-starched power-suit channeling of Jane Jetson, or the teen pregnancy bombshell (which shall go without maternity-clothes swapping wisecracks since I am a firm believer in karma).

What was so strangely fascinating to me was that this woman was supposedly the shrewd solution to wooing women like me. Regular, every day Hillary “hockey moms” left out in the cold when their heroine bit the campaign trail dust. Palin was the one meant to pull us out of our dull torpor by our apron straps. A PTA-mom-turned-high-ranking-politician. The Republican Party’s “fresh new face,” even if it did come with enough mascara to rival Tammy Faye.

Anyway, Maybelline overdose aside, I figured since she was supposedly talking to me, I may as well giver her a chance. Sure, I may not technically be a “hockey mom,” but I am a mom who happens to play hockey, so that’s practically the same thing (minus the lipstick – gets in the way of the mouthguard). But the similarities don’t stop there. She likes to shoot guns, I have been known to take shots – tequila mostly. Her favorite dish is moose stew, I once ate Rocky Mountain Oysters on a dare (wouldn’t recommend them). She’s got five kids, I’ve got two, plus a neurotic dog with a vendetta for the mailman, a couple of spider plants and a cactus. She and her husband ride snowmobiles for fun, we like to rip on snowmobilers for fun. Apparently, she’s a happy homemaker, too, even going so far as to fire the live-in chef at the gubernatorial crib. I mean, why would you want a personal chef when cooking for a family of seven after a 10-hour workday is so much more fun? Who do we think we are, Oprah?

Evidently, Palin’s just a regular wild West frontierswoman, who wears North Face and is ready to slay dinner at a moment’s notice. But deep down, under that rawhide exterior, she’s still savvy enough to put on lip liner in the rear-view mirror, text simultaneously on two Blackberries and run the caribou slalom while driving herself to work in the dark. Talk about walking on water. This woman isn’t just a fresh, new face, she’s the free world’s Messiah, a modern-day Joan of the Arctic.

So why am I so, so … unconvinced? Sure she has good delivery, and even a little of that “steely resolve” that I admire so much. But I can’t help noticing that 300-pound elephant in the room (no, not Karl Rove.) OK, so here it goes. Sarah Palin is a working mother with five kids, including an infant with special needs. If you throw in the grandbaby on the way, which will surely come under granny’s care assuming her daughter plans on finishing high school, that makes six. And they’re supposed to be raised by whom? Snowmo dad? I know he’s the equivalent of some sort of Alaskan superhero, but not even Super Man could fight his way out from that much dirty laundry.

Which brings me to the real dirt on Palin. Although I am highly skeptical of how she’ll juggle her personal and professional life, I wish her the best of luck, particularly if her running mate runs out of gas, so to speak. However, I do find the way she juggles her political views to be a bit troublesome. If she is such a champion of the modern woman, then why is she threatening to blast us back to the 1950s with her out-dated, conservative ideologies (not to mention fashion sense)? If she is such a supporter of family values, then why is she willing to sacrifice our sons’ lives for oil and veto our daughters’ rights to choose? And if she truly loves her home state, why has she proposed plundering the ANWR and delisting the poster child of global warming, the polar bear?

I’m sorry, but something about Palin’s story just doesn’t add up. And no matter how they dress her up or take her out, I’m not buying it. And if you do, then I’ve got a bridge in Alaska I’d like to sell you.

– Missy Votel



In this week's issue...

January 25, 2024
Bagging it

State plastic bag ban is in full effect, but enforcement varies

January 26, 2024
Paper chase

The Sneer is back – and no we’re not talking about Billy Idol’s comeback tour.

January 11, 2024
High and dry

New state climate report projects continued warming, declining streamflows