Tuesday, September 09, 2008


Apparently the GOP has worked the refs so hard and so successfully that CNN's polling unit is actually asking this about Sarah Palin:

Is it fair to raise questions about her experience?

Think about that for a moment. Sit down and ponder it. We are now seriously entertaining the notion that, in a democracy, it is unfair to ask whether a candidate for elected office is qualified to hold that office. Not whether the candidate's personal life is praiseworthy -- whether the candidate is qualified to hold the job.

And we're so gulled by the GOP that half the country actually thinks it's unfair:

"A majority of women say yes, but it's close; men are slightly less likely to see those questions as fair game," said CNN polling director Keating Holland.

I will say, thought, that the gender skew is quite interesting:

... A CNN/Opinion Research Corporation survey out Tuesday indicates that 62 percent of men questioned have a favorable opinion of the Alaska governor, nine points higher than women.

... The gender gap is also apparent when it comes to whether Palin is qualified to serve as president. Fifty-seven percent of male respondents said Palin was qualified, 14 points higher than women. A majority of women polled, 55 percent, said Palin is not qualified....

I don't know why this is. Maybe men are just more gullible in general, or simply don't know what it would take to be the superwoman Sarah Palin says she is, and are thus less skeptical of her grandiose claims. I think it's the latter. Also, I suspect that women find the superwoman boasting narcissistic and offputting.

Years ago, Michael Kinsley famously said that Al Gore was "an old person's idea of a young person." I wonder if Palin is a man's idea of a strong woman.

I also wonder if she's a city slicker/suburbanite's idea of a rural woman. I can't help noticing that as the McCain bounce was starting to show up, Obama actually gained ground in Colorado in one poll. Maybe that was just a consequence of the convention -- but shouldn't Palinmania have shown up in Colorado in a big way regardless, given the state's frontier past and its snow and its large animals?

We'll need to see a lot more polling, but I wonder if people in the states similar to Alaska are finding her a bit of a phony, someone who tries too hard and really overdoes the moose/snowmobile/moose/snowmobile thing. She's like a tourist-trap frontier souvenir shop that's morphed into a human being. I wonder if she's fooling more people in the flatlands than she is in states similar to her own.

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