As McCain pal and Republican strategist Mike Murphy so sagely observed recently: “If Sarah Palin looked like Golda Meir, would we even be talking about her today?” – Maureen Dowd
Donny Deutsch agrees with Murphy (see video), while Tamron Hall proves she’s a lousy political analyst, squealing “ridiculous!” and “insane” at what is not only absolutely true, but essential for national politics. I call it the John F. Kennedy quotient. That “it” thing that sent Nixon back to the drawing board. The visual impact of a politician’s charisma. Sarah’s got it. But that’s hardly the only issue in the sex appeal debate.
Maureen Dowd gave a hint, this time on “Way Too Early with Willie Geist,” via Dan Abrams new site:
“I love Sarah Palin. I mean, I love her more than anyone because as a journalist she is the best story ever… It’s like Hollywood casting — when you have Meg Ryan playing a nuclear physicist or, you know, Calista Flockhart playing a Harvard lawyer — I mean, you’ve got this former beauty queen and sportscaster who is in the role of Dick Cheney, and it’s mesmerizing.” – Maureen Dowd
Leaving Liz Cheney’s channeling of her father aside, Dowd gives you a window into what happened in 2008, when Barack Obama was getting all the good press, and Hillary couldn’t buy any. Journalists are people too and they love exciting personalities, especially on the national scene. So even as Dowd is dissing Sarah’s prowess, she admits to “love her more than anyone because she is the best story ever.”
Even as Sarah serves the media up as enemies, they’re the ones who will help keep her afloat… or not.
But I’m still wondering why so many women, especially, find it appalling to talk about Sarah’s sex appeal as a political weapon. Tamron Hall’s ignorant indignation almost seemed to say it was sexist to say such a thing. Nothing could be more preposterous.
The problem is that Sarah Palin’s sex appeal being her only weapon gives rise to the classic 20th century stereotype of women rising to the top by means other than competency and earned effort.
Dowd puts Hillary into this category again today, saying she’s finally gotten rid of “that irritating question mark” she carried “around above her head like a thunder cloud”, coupled with the question: What is Hillary owed because of what she gave up, and went through, for Bill? Judging Hillary finally worthy of the spotlight, Dowd simultaneously ignores the hard work that landed Clinton her Senate seat, that long ago answered the question over Bill.
Juxtaposed against Clinton, Dowd talks about the woman she so loves, Sarah Palin, being “all cage, no bird.”
Clearly Dowd’s confused, stapled to her 1950s genre monocle through which she sees the political world. Dowd admits to loving Sarah, even if she’s all sex appeal and nothing but sex appeal. Through Dowd’s prism, which she continues to use to judge Hillary, we get the never ending June Cleaver wisdom.
On the other side we’ve got MSNBC’s Tamron Hall providing the straight-jacketed feminist view, which basically relegates the conversation of sex appeal unworthy if you’re talking about women. The image of the sexless female with only brain, no competing style to a man’s machismo to offer.
With few women in political power able to vault to the national spotlight and finally break the toughest of concrete ceilings, the American presidency, I’m just wondering when we’re going to get both. A woman with sex appeal and brains to match, you know, like John F. Kennedy, minus the philandering, of course. Because a woman in high office caught with her legs up would be burned at the stake.