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Palin's a looker.

  • Sep. 29th, 2008 at 12:45 PM
Obama's up in the polls. Bailout's gone down the drain. The VP debate looms large on Thursday. And I can't stop thinking about Sarah Palin's good looks. (This is Melissa, by the way.)

This morning I sat down at the coffee shop with the LA Times and read an article by Henry Chu on Asif Ali Zardari entitled "Is Pakistan's new president up to the job?"

I choked on my latte when I got to this line:

"He also found time for a chat of questionable propriety with Republican vice presidential nominee Sarah Palin, in which he openly admired her looks and said he might insist on giving her a hug."

I didn't know whether to laugh or get really angry.

On the Daily Show last week, they created a montage of images to depict Palin's meeting with heads of state at the UN. Since they couldn't get much footage of the actual meetings, the comedy show flashed images of Jabba the Hut and Princess Leia, as the reporter spoke about Henry Kissinger and Palin. For Hamid Karzai and Palin, Anna danced with the King of Siam. And when the reporter spoke about John McCain coming to pick her up at the UN, Richard Gere swept in and grabbed Debra Winger as an Officer and a Gentleman.

Here's my question: How much are Palin's good looks getting in the way of her campaign, or are they helping it? And does this have a sexist tinge to it? Or are we talking about "Sexy Sarah" just like we were commenting on Obama's good looks a few months back?


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tyrell wrote:
Sep. 29th, 2008 08:06 pm (UTC)
Anything which distracts from her horrific, neanderthal policies and astonishing lack of experience is going to help her. Does she have good looks? I don't know. I see inner beauty... so she looks pretty repugnant from here.
dustwing wrote:
Sep. 29th, 2008 11:13 pm (UTC)
Signed, I cant echo that statement enough
arussell84 wrote:
Sep. 29th, 2008 08:13 pm (UTC)
Her looks aren't an issue at all. She can be pleasing to the eye and then hopefully people look at her and remember she's a liar, a hypocrite and a supporter of failed policies.
(no subject) - (Anonymous) - Sep. 29th, 2008 08:14 pm (UTC) Expand
smiling_em wrote:
Sep. 29th, 2008 10:53 pm (UTC)
Appearances may, however, have everything to do with who does and does not succeed in the election. Politicians, like salesman, need to convince people to like them in order to get their job done. Looks play a very important role in any sort of popularity case.

Not everyone thinks like everyone else. There are those that don't understand the issues being brought to the table and, therefore, don't realize when someone just doesn't get it. To them, it's the people that look and sound nice.

I'm sorry if this sounds like I'm rambling (I'm at work). But, basically, think about all of the salespeople you have ever come in contact with. They have to sell themselves before they ever open their mouth. Politicians fight the same battle.
(no subject) - (Anonymous) - Sep. 30th, 2008 02:51 am (UTC) Expand
(no subject) - smiling_em - Sep. 30th, 2008 04:11 pm (UTC) Expand
(no subject) - hotpossum - Sep. 30th, 2008 01:25 am (UTC) Expand
princekermit wrote:
Sep. 29th, 2008 08:18 pm (UTC)
I'm with Tyrell above: the only way it's "helping" is that fluff pieces on her good looks take away from air time that could be spent on substantive issues like her charging rape victims for the rape kits, her flip-flopping on the bridge to nowhere, her disavowal of the Bush Doctrine of pre-emptive war, or the obviously failed experiment in abstinence-only education.

The Pakistani comment about wanting to give her a hug made me frustrated. There is part of me that wants to see it as just condescending (a step up from patting her on the head) instead of the sexism that screams through. Then again, look how American journalists reacted when President Bush kissed and held hands with folks from the House of Saud.
1trackmind wrote:
Sep. 29th, 2008 11:42 pm (UTC)
Actually, Palin never charged victims for rape kits.

I don't think she disavowed the Bush Doctrine. She'd have to know what it is in order to disavow it. Presumably her debate coaches have gone over it with her by now.

I'm not a Palin fan but I'm dreading the cringe fest that is sure to be the Thursday night debate.

Also, speaking of sexism, I think Biden is in a no win situation. If he is aggressive he'll be accused of being sexist, if he's less aggressive he'll be accused of being sexist.
(no subject) - princekermit - Sep. 29th, 2008 11:45 pm (UTC) Expand
(no subject) - 1trackmind - Sep. 29th, 2008 11:53 pm (UTC) Expand
(no subject) - princekermit - Sep. 30th, 2008 12:03 am (UTC) Expand
(no subject) - mightyafrodite - Sep. 30th, 2008 04:16 am (UTC) Expand
(no subject) - 1trackmind - Sep. 30th, 2008 10:47 pm (UTC) Expand
(no subject) - mightyafrodite - Oct. 2nd, 2008 03:38 pm (UTC) Expand
madelinekrieger wrote:
Sep. 29th, 2008 08:30 pm (UTC)
I could care less about her looks or anyone else's. I want to know what they will do for the country.

Now, if you're asking the media, of course it's helping. But you're speaking about the same people who, before Hillary was ousted, would talk about her choice of suits in the same breath they'd talk about McCain's political policies. And don't forget Condi Rice. She was put up on the fashion chopping block a number of times, while her male counterparts were reported on in a more orderly fashion.
bkworm9 wrote:
Sep. 29th, 2008 10:04 pm (UTC)
Ditto to this entire comment...
(no subject) - princekermit - Sep. 30th, 2008 12:05 am (UTC) Expand
(no subject) - madelinekrieger - Sep. 30th, 2008 12:11 am (UTC) Expand
(no subject) - whatisbiscuits - Sep. 30th, 2008 08:51 am (UTC) Expand
(no subject) - credendovides - Sep. 30th, 2008 12:47 pm (UTC) Expand
(no subject) - whatisbiscuits - Sep. 30th, 2008 03:03 pm (UTC) Expand
(no subject) - physicsqueen - Sep. 30th, 2008 04:27 pm (UTC) Expand
(no subject) - lysserum - Sep. 30th, 2008 05:05 pm (UTC) Expand
capra124 wrote:
Sep. 29th, 2008 08:33 pm (UTC)
Whether or not it's helping her, it just reminds me of the first televised debates of JFK and Nixon in the early 60's and JFK's good looks were comment on and seemed to play a role in how people perceived him and his politics.

One of the big differences between the two however, is that JFK actually knew what he was talking about and had experience to back that up. Palin doesn't. As someone else stated, any attention paid to her good looks just keeps people from realizing how truly awful a politician she is.
youfeelittoo wrote:
Sep. 30th, 2008 07:01 am (UTC)
yeah exactly.
batbuds wrote:
Sep. 29th, 2008 08:46 pm (UTC)
Maybe it is simply because I am as old as I am, but who freakin' cares what she looks like, or Obama looks like, or John McCain looks like, or Biden, or any other elected leader looks like. Do they have the capacity to perform the job? Are they going to have the interest of the mass citizenry at the forthought of every decision? Are they devoted to party, or country? Are they interested in change or politics?

Personally, NO ONE is experienced enough to be Commander and Chief of ANY government! If you look at the job, who in the world, in their RIGHT MIND, would WANT it!

Can Palin do it, sure... just like any other person can. Does her vagina or model looks make a difference in her ability to decide on a course of action; nope...

Is she conservative; you bet. Does that make her evil; nope not at all. I believe that all 4 of our candidates care about the course and future of the country. It boils down to policy; do you support socialism or capitalism? Do you want the government in your business; or do you want them out of your business? I personally want government as far away from controlling me or my assets as possible...

And just how low does one have to be to use a choice made by a child form their opinion about a candidate. We were all young once; even if Palin preached abstinence as the only means of birth control; that does not mean her child is going to listen! Did ANYONE reading this do everything your parents say/said to do? I know I usually did the opposite simply because it was my parents that said it. Why would anyone expect a teenager in Alaska to be any different?

Instead of disrespecting those that view things differently; just vote your conscious... at least if you vote you have a right to complain... if you do not vote, to bad, you had your chance to voice you opinion and gave it up! Voicing opinion does not have to turn into a judgemental free-for-all...

1trackmind wrote:
Sep. 29th, 2008 08:53 pm (UTC)
Yes, I do think there's some sexism involved but I also think some of that stems from the fact that Palin seems woefully unprepared to say anything of substance to foreign leaders or reporters. It's fair to observe that when Palin did let the press in for 40 seconds, they were discussing personal things (family) not policy or issues.

The MSM at least seems to be aware of the issue. It's no accident that it was Couric who recently had a lengthy interview with Palin. She could ask tough questions that if they'd been coming from a man would no doubt have been decried as sexist.

I can't help but think of the SNL sketch where Poehler-as-Clinton expresses surprised that suddenly the Right and the public care about sexism as it's applied to Palin but seemed more than happy to let it go while she was running. (For the record, I'm a Clinton supporter who feels that while there was obviously some sexism during the campaign, that's not why she lost. She ran a poor campaign and that's what cost her the nomination. Sexism may have contributed to the loss but it wasn't the primary cause).
iber wrote:
Sep. 30th, 2008 05:35 am (UTC)
I concur completely on this. I have the SNL sketch on virtual replay in my head when I'm looking at anything Palin related because it does put some good points out towards the current election.

I can't deny hiding Palin away from the media is a smart move for the Republicans in order to keep Palin as a wild card who will get votes based upon her image rather than her politics... but it's a double edged sword though, for those who actually care a bit more about the politics.
(no subject) - pennyann - Sep. 30th, 2008 01:37 pm (UTC) Expand
(no subject) - 1trackmind - Sep. 30th, 2008 09:01 pm (UTC) Expand
vonilyn wrote:
Sep. 29th, 2008 09:06 pm (UTC)
I find the looks issue to be another one of those questionable policies being practiced by the McCain campaign. They said up front that their campaign would not be about the issues, but instead about the impressions the candidates leave on the voters. And they have done a marvelous job of shoving McCain and Palin into the media spotlight, good or bad, just to get their names out there. The details of actions vs. words don't concern them, just the number of times they can get a news-caster to talk about them.

They chose a female to counteract Hillary's popularity, to pull that vote over to their side. She's a governor. We have women in powerful State positions across the nation.
Clinton's campaign early on fought the sexism battle *against* McCain's campaign without complaint, accepting it apparently as part of the territory. The male candidates faced the same scrutiny on their lives and public records, at times from magazines and newspapers aimed at women voters, without claiming sexism. And yet the very first thing out of the gate, McCain's people are ordering the media to cease and desist all interviews because Palin has been so unfairly maligned because she is a woman in politics?

The sexism should have been a non-issue by the point in the race that Palin entered in to things.

The squeaky wheel gets the grease, so it goes in politics. Even high school aged kids know that sex sells - so the covert appeal to voters' libido with a pretty woman on the cover of a magazine was exactly what the McCain campaign wanted from the onset.

Is it what I want as an approach to international relations between my country and our allies, neighbors, or enemies? Not at all. It's the exact opposite of everything the generation of women before me scrimped and sacrificed to provide for their families.
hazelwindows wrote:
Sep. 29th, 2008 09:15 pm (UTC)
If by "good-looking" we're actually meaning, "still young enough to have any looks at all when everyone in Washington is primarily old-looking" then I guess she's "good-looking."

She certainly isnt a Charlize Theron or a Brooke Shields. Since her looks arent a truly startling fact about her, then why is anyone talking about them at all? It has zero pertinence to carrying out the functions of a VP, and really, if you have to qualify that she's good-looking for being a politician, then what's the point? All it means, is she's still UGLY when compared with people who are known for being actually good-looking.

If pasty McCain and handsome Obama switched bodies, I'd still vote for Obama because good looks are not going to run a nation. It's just my good luck that the presidential candidate I happen to be backing also looks quite distinguished.
wingedelf wrote:
Sep. 29th, 2008 10:07 pm (UTC)
In Palin's case, I don't think there's anything else about which the media can talk without demonstrating abjectly how shallow she is. That wouldn't be such a negative, but it'd be spun by the GOP as 'they're just attacking her because she's female/not available to them/the press are meanie fascist poopy-heads' or the like, and that's the last thing about which they need to spend time, especially given the paucity of real coverage of the issues which passes as news these days.

[Note: the commenter here is a former member of the press, and recognizes a difference between issue-driven reporting and things which venture onto the fringes of cult-of personality.]
valknott wrote:
Sep. 29th, 2008 10:28 pm (UTC)
She was selected by McCain's handlers to be used as a commodity to energize the evangelical, right-wing vote and to get sway women voters. That strategy has worked to some extent. Let there be no doubt that they are using her and if by some act of God McCain is elected she will be tossed aside and relegated to attending state funerals and fundraisers. Personally, I disagree with virtually every stand she takes and I dislike the smirking, condescending demeanor she has adopted in her scripted speeches. But in a way, I feel sorry for her because she is being used by old, rich white men just like women have been used by old, rich white men forever.
thelivingword wrote:
Sep. 29th, 2008 10:29 pm (UTC)
I think Sarah Palin is attractive, but if she wasn't running for Vice President and you passed her in the supermarket, I think she would fit in with all of the other moms doing their shopping. I should think that all women who are in their mid 40s would be happy to hear how "young and inexperienced" everyone thinks she is. Most of us felt very "middle aged" when we passed 40.
And I hope we would have some measure of wisdom by then.

I think Sarah represents the thousands of women, including myself who have conservative values and want to be represented because we are Americans not because of our social political leanings.

I don't see how Obama is going to do a better job of representing all Americans. He seems to represent almost all of the black Americans and the poorest Americans, but not all Americans. A president and vice president needs to be tuned into the country as a whole and do what they judge to be best.
mightyafrodite wrote:
Sep. 30th, 2008 04:14 am (UTC)
Re: Sarah
That, quite frankly, speaks to an egregious bias: the assumption that if a person is "white" they naturally have an agenda that's more inclusive, and a "black" politician is operating on a black agenda.
Re: Sarah - thelivingword - Oct. 1st, 2008 03:29 am (UTC) Expand
Re: Sarah - mightyafrodite - Oct. 2nd, 2008 06:12 am (UTC) Expand
Re: Sarah - thelivingword - Oct. 2nd, 2008 01:22 pm (UTC) Expand
Re: Sarah - mightyafrodite - Oct. 2nd, 2008 03:33 pm (UTC) Expand
Re: Sarah - thelivingword - Oct. 2nd, 2008 03:51 pm (UTC) Expand
Re: Sarah - mightyafrodite - Oct. 2nd, 2008 04:03 pm (UTC) Expand
Re: Sarah - credendovides - Sep. 30th, 2008 12:53 pm (UTC) Expand
Re: Sarah - kill_the_lights - Oct. 1st, 2008 02:06 am (UTC) Expand
Re: Sarah - thelivingword - Oct. 1st, 2008 03:40 am (UTC) Expand
Re: Sarah - kill_the_lights - Oct. 2nd, 2008 01:24 am (UTC) Expand
Re: Sarah - thelivingword - Oct. 2nd, 2008 03:05 am (UTC) Expand
Re: Sarah - kill_the_lights - Oct. 2nd, 2008 01:24 am (UTC) Expand
Re: Sarah - dancerxo - Oct. 2nd, 2008 03:26 am (UTC) Expand
Re: Sarah - dancerxo - Oct. 2nd, 2008 01:25 am (UTC) Expand
Re: Sarah - thelivingword - Oct. 2nd, 2008 02:34 am (UTC) Expand
Re: Sarah - dancerxo - Oct. 2nd, 2008 03:15 am (UTC) Expand
panamacasco wrote:
Sep. 29th, 2008 11:13 pm (UTC)
In my experience: Women before and after Presidency
As many around the world, I´ve been following this campaing although I´m not a US citizen. Sitting here in Panama, a bit "outside the hurricane", although I´m not sure how much outside as John McCain was born here and not in the States, I feel that I have something to say about the current campaign and the Sarah Palin issue.

In Panama, almost five years ago, we had a President woman. For her age (ejem!) she was considered to be good looking. I have to confess I got to see her face to face and she keeps herself impecable. But it wasn´t that she won for her good looks. She knew the ultimate truth for elections: 1. Divide and conquer and 2. Shoot to the heart, not to the brain.

Without even a formal university degree, this woman was able to beat up people with serious curriculums, education and experience. Her only and true claim to fame was that she was the widow of a well known and beloved politician. Her marketing team was outstanding. In every speech, debate (if you could call it that way) or public appearance, she never spoke about strategy, concrete policies, nothing. She would keep pounding into issues that had nothing to do between themselves or the logic future of the country, but that separately they appealed to a specific range of the population. Gathering a + b + c she was able to win. Because so much of the voting population that is educated doesn´t vote (they are too busy working!) the rest left ... votes by feelings. By heart. And they can vote for a single thing. Might be abortion, might be gay rights (or not), might be a bunch of individual stuff that has nothing to do with what the candidate really stands for... But if you are smart to cluster it all together, zas! magic.

That´s how she won.

Panama has been lucky that it´s economy is small and have been growing amazingly (more than 8% per year). The private sector is doing most of the heavy lifting and most of those rules where set in the government previous to her. But to the issue of how do you deal with a Sarah Palin?

1. You expose her lack of skills
2. You have to get the word out. Be active. Internet, streets. Whatever it takes. Don´t take anything for granted.
3. But the most important thing is: You have to go and vote. This is huge. I´ve read that most Americans don´t vote. This is going to be vital on this election and is the only way to beat them and lead America into finding its own moderate voice. Stop the radicals. We need to go back to the middle.

ysabetwordsmith wrote:
Sep. 29th, 2008 11:48 pm (UTC)
It's probably less about her looks than her gender and her body language. She doesn't project the ironclad confidence of, say, Hillary Clinton. If you're a woman, you learn to deal with sexual harassment and other inappropriate behavior from men (and other women too), or you go nowhere. If you're confident, you'll get hassled somewhat less than if you look like a rewarding victim. Palin looks like lunch to these guys, judging from the way they're responding. What they're doing is wrong, but they aren't going to stop; they're powerful men who can get away with that kind of foolishness most of the time. So she can learn to cope or she can go home.
mightyafrodite wrote:
Sep. 30th, 2008 04:19 am (UTC)
Re: Thoughts
It's not just the men that are responding this way. This is a visceral response, I think, among those who have issues with McCain's selection.
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