Monday, September 1, 2008

Sarah Palin: Ordinary American

Heather Mac Donald of City Journal scoffed at John McCain's choice of Sarah Palin as "playing the identity-politics game," but Mac Donald's colleague Lisa Schiffren puts her finger on why the choice is so popular with the GOP rank-and-file:
In the first 36 hours after McCain announced his pick, $7 million in new contributions poured in online. This isn't because Palin is making history as the first woman on a GOP ticket. It's because of the type of woman and politician that she is. She’s a normal person, a mother and wife, who entered politics in 1992 by running for city council in Wasilla, Alaska to oppose tax hikes.

In short, Sarah Palin is an Ordinary American -- a graduate of the University of Idaho, rather than an Ivy League college; a high-school basketball player, not a windsurfer; a beauty-pageant contestant, not lawyer; a member of the PTA, not NOW; a hunter, not an environmentalist. Palin clearly identifies with, and shares the interests of, the middle-class majority, rather than the elite.

(Cross-posted at AmSpecBlog.)

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