Michael Taylor: As Sarah Palin and the "Going Rogue" express makes its way to Tempe, I cannot help but be reminded of the Nov. 22 episode of NBC's "Meet the Press."
As Sarah Palin and the “Going Rogue” express made its way to Tempe, I couldn’t help but be reminded of the Nov. 22 episode of NBC’s “Meet the Press.”
Two of the four people on host David Gregory’s panel were Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., and Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison, R-Texas, and all four discussed the important issues of the week, including the status of the proposed health care bill, policy in Afghanistan and other topics. At one point, Gregory turned to the two women, asked them some questions and allowed them to debate. Just the two of them. The camera alternated between shots of the two women together, then close-ups of one or the other as they made their arguments. As I watched, all I could think about was how out-of-place and unqualified Palin would have been if she were sitting between these two powerful women.
Just more than a year after much of America was introduced to Palin, I still struggle to understand her appeal. Sure, she is attractive, but what else? Even many of the everyday people who say they are supporters of her cannot explain why they like her except to say “she is one of us.” But is she really? I am not completely sure. And if she is one of us, what does that say about us — or her?
If Palin were one of the few female voices in politics, I think I would better understand the excitement about her. But this is not new and there are numerous female voices in politics — with more to come. Instead, all of the attention is focused on one woman who really does not have anything new or interesting to say.
When appearing with Barbara Walters to discuss “Going Rogue — which Palin did not write — she criticized the Obama administration’s attempts to fix the economy as “back-assward.” Well, that is insightful. Where did Sarah read that, the Mat-Su Valley Frontiersman of Wasilla, Alaska, or The Wall Street Journal?
When thinking about how informed, thoughtful and persuasive Feinstein and Hutchison were, my mind also wandered to our two most recent secretaries of state, Hillary Clinton (Democrat) and Condoleezza Rice (Republican). Both are two more women who are highly educated, well-informed, charismatic, thoughtful and talented. I am also reminded of Secretary of Health and Human Services Kathleen Sebelius, Secretary of Homeland Security Janet Napolitano and all of the other talented, educated women in national and state government across the country. And then I look at the half-term governor of Alaska and see someone who clearly is not in their league. Palin could maybe win a beauty contest, but she would do much worse under any other metric.
Sarah Palin can have help writing as many books as she wishes and she can have her own syndicated radio show or cable television show. But please, do not expect her to have the answers to help solve our nation’s problems. There are plenty of other talented and smart women who are more qualified to do that.
Michael Taylor is a Chandler resident.