My apologies to those of you who detest politics. I know my posts have been politically-focused lately but how can I help it? The freaking circus has come to town and I admit - I am transfixed.
The media was all over Sarah Palin the other day as she stepped off the McCain-Palin jet on her way back from her 3-day cram session for the debate. And, so as not disappoint all the hockey moms out there, she looked positively glamorous as she exited the plane like a graceful filly, long flowing hair whipping in the wind, adoring family in tow, and of course, baby in her arms.
When the debate was finally over and everyone took a collective sigh of relief that Sarah Palin didn't make an ass of herself, the Palin family descended onto the stage - all 200 of them. Despite the multitude of available family hands to hold the baby (including a pregnant 17 year old daughter who certainly can use the practice), I thought it was interesting that Sarah Palin, the Vice Presidential candidate who certainly had other things to occupy herself at that moment, immediately whisked the baby into her arms and paraded him all around the stage while the closing credits rolled. Talk about a photo op. Call me cynical, but I couldn't help but think that Palin is milking the "mom-of-a-special-needs-baby" and "mother-of-five-running-for-Vice-President" thing for all it is worth. As she strolled around the stage, nuzzling her adorable special-needs baby and patting his back, she conveyed to everyone that despite her elevated role in politics, she is still a conservative and knows her place. She hasn't forgotten what's really her most important role. I could almost envision all the haggard mothers at home, staring into their televisions, bleary eyes wet with admiration, projecting themselves onto that stage and imagining that they too can be someone big and important; that even with a truckload of kids, the moms of the world can rise up, wipe the bags from under their eyes, slip into a designer suit and do it all. Maybe it is possible. Just look at Sarah. And I can also see droves of women voting for McCain because they admire Sarah, the pretty, polished and powerful Supermom.
And this is what truly frightens me - that a large segment of Americans choose the leaders of our fine country based solely on sheer narcissism - "I want a candidate who is like ME, ME, ME. I want a candidate who lives like me, looks like me, talks like me, who swigs down a 6-pack like me, who cheuffers her kids around in a mini-van like me, who says cutesy things like "dog gone it" while wearing the same shade of L'Oreal lipstick as me."
As evidence of this, when W. was running for office, many Americans said they were going to vote for him because they could see themselves having a beer with the guy. Well, the past 8 years have proven that these people are morons. Here's what I say: I want my President and Vice President to be smarter than me, more knowledgeable than me, more disciplined than me, more articulate than me, more educated than me, more experienced than me, more accomplished than me and yes, even more elite than me. It's okay. Really. If I want to swig a 6-pack down with a bunch of schlubs, I can do that at the local bar. I don't need a presidential or vice presidential drinking buddy.
And now, a lighthearted look at the debate from our friends at SNL: