Thursday, October 23, 2008

Suburban Mom's Political Fix: Of Polls and Pricey Duds

About these polls -- most of which have Barack Obama ahead of John McCain -- I have this to say: Remember New Hampshire. Obama was supposed to crush Hillary Clinton, according to opinion polls. Only Clinton won. Also, it's important to note that by the mid-afternoon during the 2004 presidential election, web sites were reporting that exit polls indicated that John Kerry was going to beat George W. Bush.

No one knows what's really going to happen on election day until it finally does. While early voting is happening right now in some states, the vast majority of voters won't cast their ballots until Nov. 4. And when I hear pundits muse in print and on air that Obama's locked up this state or that one, I think: Some of the voters who responded to your poll may be a reflection of what some voters think, at the moment the poll is taken. But the results are not necessarily representative of the actual actions taken by the electorate on the big day. Anything can happen.

As for Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin's $150,000 clothing -- paid for by the Republican party, purchased by handlers and stylists on her behalf, with the clothing all going to charity after the election -- a woman on the national stage, being interviewed on national TV, being photographed and videotaped at every moment, has to dress for the job. She has to look like she's ready to take over the presidency at a moment's notice, not like she's ready to skin a moose.

Yes, she's being marketed as an Alaskan hockey mom. Yes, she's trying to appeal to a working class demographic. Yes, I think spending vastly more than the average American family pulls in in an entire year in a toxic economic climate looks bad. But what the heck do people expect from a vice presidential candidate, particularly one who's a woman and whose every accessory is analyzed? If Palin showed up in her own clothes, in fleece and denim, do you mean to tell me she would not be ridiculed as a hick from the hinterlands? You mean to tell me people wouldn't be snide about the Wal-Mart demographic and fashion sense?

While I personally cannot imagine spending that much on clothing -- seriously, I'm a bargain kinda gal -- I'm not a vice presidential candidate. I'm not on the national stage. I can't even begin to compare what I spend on makeup and clothing to what a national figure spends. It's not even in the ballpark.

With pressing issues like the collapsing economy and fresh chatter from and about al Qaeda threats in the news, certainly there are more important issues than Palin's clothing.

Image credit: AP/Boston Globe.


Walking In My Sleep said...

Couldn't agree more about Palin's clothes being THE story. Come on... It's a non-story for all sorts of reasons. Why don't we hear something substantive in coverage, like more on her positions and how that ought to scare us to death.

Meredith O'Brien said...

I'd rather read about Palin's policy positions and views than about her open-toed shoes. At least those pieces of information are valuable to me as a voter.