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Sarah Palin: Resurrecting the Incomprehensible Katherine Harris

September 27, 2008

Sometimes we don’t see things as they are. We see things as we are. Commentary by Leon Walker.

political stuntmaster

political stuntmaster

I had hoped that the memory former Florida Attorney General, Katherine Harris had been buried forever in the recesses of my mind forever. Gone forever were the sad and seedy cocktail party jokes that were Ms. Harris’ ultimate political legacy. Now I have Sarah Palin to thank for the new nightmare of twisted humor that has in record time become her personal and political legacy.

ambitious politics

ambitious politics

Governor Palin has made a fool of herself before our entire nation and much of the world. If there ever was a façade being put forth which was intended to represent leadership, confidence and qualifications, then that façade must certainly have about eighteen million cracks in it by now. Clearly it was Senator McCain who set Palin up by offering her the opportunity to be his running mate. He made a snap judgment in her selection in order to create excitement within the Republican base. Governor Palin, having only recently stumbled into the Alaskan state house, had no idea what she was being asked to do nor did she fully consider how her “small town life” had stunted her exposure, understanding and appreciation of the larger world. Her performance in the public eye to date is evidence of this.

rubbing shoulders

rubbing shoulders

I have a clear understanding of what my limitations are. Apparently Governor Palin does not. Either she is ambitious to the point of being dangerous or she is simply not very smart, being coaxed into doing something for which she is dramatically unprepared. The McCain campaign is even embarrassed and confused as to what to do with her. Her exposure is being strictly controlled and even when she is released to conduct interviews she finds to blow the interview. The most recent ridiculous comment regarding Alaskan airspace and Vladimir Putin during her interview with Katie Couric was a stunning blow the gut of any American who might be holding out hope that she is actually prepared for the vice-presidency. Keep in mind that this was only one of several problem areas that Ms. Palin presents. Every aspect of her personal life and her public life has clouds and questions marks hovering over them. She is not being viewed as a true benefit to the McCain Campaign; she is being continuously scrutinized for her entertainment value. Everywhere I go, as the topic of politics arises there is a quip or joke about Governor Palin or sadly… her family. Frankly she has a much worse political public image than did Katherine Harris. Senator Palin is now coming across as not only as an attractive incompetent (like Harris) she also rapidly developing into a “personal train wreck” as it relates to ethics, religion and other aspects of her life.

The whole right-wing religious culture is starting to become clear to me and although I do not fully appreciate that sort of lifestyle, the conservative American ideal is fairly clear. I also understand the desire to win. There is an old saying that I enjoy so much when I attempt to analyze things: “We don’t see things as they are, we see things as we are”. In truth, excluding those on the right, I don’t know that many Americans will continue to consider Governor Palin as one of them. She has become an embarrassment to small town Americans as she has removed any doubt as to her ineptitude with regard to matters domestic or international. She has “done harm” to the McCain campaign, violating the first rule of vice-presidential politics. She has invited the critical moderate and independent voting blocks to question and scrutinize her in a negative light. However, in truth and in her defense, she simply did not know any better.


distractions erode credibility

How is it possible that this person emerges from relative obscurity and after her selection nearly every aspect of her life and ever claim of accomplishment or experience has proven questionable or problematic? Many of her rigid right-wing conservative views are tough to accept even among some on the right. Absolutely everything from her children to her husband to her term as Mayor of Wasilla to her term as Governor of Alaska is a challenge. Absolutely everything she has claimed to do and every part of her existence contains distractions that erode her credibility. These distractions range from bizarre comments in interviews to the latest video of her being blessed by a minister who is apparently protecting her from witchcraft. No matter how one assesses any of this, the point is this exactly what you don’t want from the vice-presidential candidate! She has proven to be the antithesis of what a VP running mate should represent.

Senator McCain has destroyed the life and career of Governor Palin. He led her to the cliff and encouraged her to jump. She believed him when he told her she could fly. What I would like to know is if he told her he was desperate. I wonder if he told her that they were likely to lose in this Democratic year. I wonder if he gave her ample time to consider the probe that would shine light on every aspect of her life. I wonder if he told her that adding a woman to the ticket was a political scheme. He was using her as a pawn in his political game of chance. This is a game that if lost, might leave her politically crippled and disfigured. Win or lose, all she will have accomplished is to have made a mockery of the vice-presidency of the United States and a mockery of herself.

Ms. Congeniality

Ms. Congeniality

There will be no recovering from this for Governor Palin. She will remain forever the butt of cruel jokes and her family will continue to absorb the embarrassment and humiliation. What we may never truly know is if this was a tale of a dangerously ambitious woman who ill-advisedly took her small town circus to the big city. Perhaps she is just a simple small town woman who was plucked from her comfortable surroundings and victimized by a ruthless and cunning old man.

If ever there is a “Bimbi Hall of Fame” Sarah Palin and Katherine Harris will be among the first inductees in the political wing.

Sarah Palin? Yep… sometimes we don’t see things as they are. We see things as we are.

When this is all over the movie will be hilarious… but with a very sad ending.

© Leon A. Walker

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