All about Sarah – Another Narrative on the Campaign Trail

by Lynn Green Lynn Green’s life has taken her from her native Ohio to Simmons College in Boston from where she started her career at Little, Brown Publishers continuing onto Time-Life Books in Alexandria, Virginia. She has lived three years in Helsinki, Finland, three years in Southeast Asia, four years in China and presently in Paris where she has lived for 14 years. She continues her writing career in the French capital and is also working on a novel that takes place in 1930s Shanghai and rural China. 31.08.2008

Sarah Palin…a choice that left this woman voter with a mouth wide open. I had just finished listening for the second time to Obama's magisterial acceptance speech from the night before when the press started leaking the news that Sarah Palin might be John McCain's vice-presidential running mate. I'd been hoping for Mitt Romney. You know the billionaire who's economic plan would undoubtedly teach us all how to become millionaires when most of us were just trying for something more modest and do-able. In my opinion he would have made the ticket easier for the Democrats to beat.

But Sarah, the hockey mom gone national! When minutes later it was confirmed that she was McCain's choice, her acceptance speech was a checklist of all the hot button issues for any card-carrying conservative: pro-life/no choice, supporting our troops in Iraq (she has a son who will serve in Iraq), a lifetime member of the National Rifle Association, a woman giving a nod to Hillary's hillbilly supporters. And I suppose to top it off she was accompanied not only by her husband but her brood of five children including her infant who has Downs' Syndrome. This woman surely knows the price of a loaf of bread or the cost of ground beef - the kitchen table issues that this U.S. election seems to be most concerned about. Hillary almost made it when she played the role of a Nine-to-Five Norma Rae working stiff but, hey, with Sarah we've got the real deal.

This is the season of "narratives", where amidst the broad strokes of a lived life, heart-wrenching, gut-tugging anecdotes are highlighted -- a new must-have on the political scene. At the Democratic National Convention narrative documentaries were shown about Ted Kennedy and his dedication to service and of Hillary Clinton and her woman suffragette image. A leading cable news network has shown narrative documentaries of Obama and McCain.

So enter Sarah, who went from PTA member to City Council to Mayor of her hometown just outside of Anchorage to governor of Alaska and now this - vice-presidential running mate. Wow. This former beauty queen hunts for fun, races snowmobiles in her spare time and leads prayers to kick off sporting events.

With virtually no international experience or exposure unless you count that her state is next to Russia, which once belonged to it before the sell-out. Is she really the right one to be a heartbeat from an old president in this 21st Century. Well, if the American electorate finds her refreshing and honest, sorry rest of the world. Polishing up America's image abroad and mapping out a sane international engagement strategy are off the table.

Ivy League-educated, urbane, and visionary grand-standing are out. Straight talk and meat and potatoes are in.

This woman, Sarah, a daughter of the American frontier, conservative and Christian might be all that's required to put her boss' ticket over the top.

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