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Sarah and Me: Junior High with Sarah Palin

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On the surface, I should like her. Sarah Palin is 44, precisely my age. We were born three months apart. And like me, she’s a mom and works full-time.

We should hang out, clink our highball glasses, and salute the kind of kismet that competent women often need to create real achievement. Except, in her case, the kismet catapulted her to the national stage and into history. In my case, it occasionally lands me a first-class upgrade.

Sarah and I could talk about stuff that professional Moms our age talk about: The rush of being in charge; the need to wear seriously rimmed glasses, even if your eyes don’t require it; and techniques for gagging and hogtying that persistent little voice in the back of our heads that suggests our ambition comes at the obvious expense of our kids.

But for some reason, I can’t warm up to her. And last Thursday, when she stood on stage in St. Louis and faced off against Joe Biden in the vice-presidential debate, I studied her face on the small screen and understood why. I know Sarah Palin. I went to school with her. And then, with a small shock of recognition, I saw who she was… and realized: I hated her in junior high.

In school, her name was Pam. When I met her, we were 7th graders. She had feathered brown hair that bounced around her shoulders as she walked down the hall, surveying her domain, left to right, like the felted nodding-dog dashboard ornament my grandfather had in his car. Her eyes were hooded with a shade of azure eyeshadow, and her full lips could reveal her horsey teeth in a sweet smile or condescending sneer with equal ease. Sometimes, her mouth seemed to hold both expressions at once. I thought Pam had real talent, and I practiced her expressions at home before my bedroom mirror.

We had Study Hall in the auditorium together, which allowed me to study technique from afar. We had assigned seats in the auditorium, and prescribed rules about talking, and facing forward, and chewing gum.

All during 7th grade, Pam flouted the rules, changed seats, chewed gum, sat in the back between two boys, whispering and cocking her head close to them with an intimacy I found exciting. When one of the teachers would call her on any of it, she’d fix them with a certain look, widen her eyes, and conjure up that sweet, apologetic, toothy smile. And, somehow, she always got away with it. She had everyone fooled–the teachers, administrators, the janitors who scraped her gum off of the bottom of the folding seats–and it was astonishing. Like them, I was transfixed, in total awe and wonder at her celebrity.

One time, though, she caught me studying her in my absentminded way, and she stared back at me pointedly, narrowing her eyes and raising her clenched fist to her chin, vibrating it in my direction, as if to warn me about getting too close. It took me a few days to peek in her direction again.

That winter, I had a brand new yellow ski parka. The color of a ripe banana, it was hip-length, with a cool belt that fastened snugly at the waist with a brass T-buckle. Unlike most of my clothes–which either came from an older girl who lived in my neighborhood or from a discount store with cheap brands–the coat was new and it was fashionable. In school, it became my anti-anxiety parka: I wore it constantly as a sort of armor as I walked from class to class, sweating through my day.

The only time I took it off, in fact, was when I walked into the auditorium. Miss Dolan, an exacting English teacher who demanded that both the rules of school and the rules of conjugating Latin verbs be followed with the same precision, despised it when kids wore hats or jackets in school. It wasn’t worth protesting, even if I had a voice that spoke above a whisper. It was best just to peel off the offending clothing and park it where she pointed, on one of the last two rows as we entered the auditorium. We could collect them an hour later, on the way out.

One day, I walked into study hall and noticed with a quick rush of pleasure and embarrassment that Pam had the same yellow jacket I did. Since my strategy at that point of my life was to attract as little attention as possible, sharing a wardrobe with a popular girl wasn’t a good way to fly below the radar, I thought. But then I reconsidered: in a way I couldn’t quite pinpoint, it was validating.

A few weeks later, I noticed that Pam’s coat had a huge blue stain on it, as if a pen had leaked in her pocket. And a few days later, when the bell rang in study hall and we filed as usual along the narrow aisles to the door, I paused to collect my coat. But it wasn’t in the usual spot where I’d left it. I cast around, confused that it wasn’t there, a panic beginning to bubble in my gut.

“C’mon,” my friend Denise said, tugging at my arm. And when I didn’t budge, it was Denise who flagged down Miss Dolan and explained what had happened: I couldn’t find my coat, which I always folded in half and placed exactly on the same seat. Miss Dolan set her iron blue eyes on me, “Is that right?” she sniffed, with a slight suspicion. I nodded mutely, and pointed at the backside of the yellow coat in the front of the line: Pam.

Miss Dolan shouted above our heads. “Pam!” she barked. “Are you sure that’s your jacket?”

Pam turned to Miss Dolan and there it was: the sweetest, most dazzling smile you’ll ever see. All her teeth were bared, but she didn’t seem threatening. Instead, she seemed so heartbreakingly cute and friendly, really, that I felt a flicker of something inside, and I tapped at Miss Dolan. “It’s okay…” I started to whisper.

I don’t think she heard me, though, because at that moment Pam piped up loudly. “Oh, this is mine,” she assured our teacher, nodding. “We have the same one.” Then she pointed at a spot behind me, “That must be hers.”

Miss Dolan stooped to retrieve an identical yellow parka from the floor. As she held it up I could see the indigo stain on the right pocket. She shoved it toward me, depositing it into my arms, and waved us through the doors. “All right? All right,” she pronounced, in the manner of someone who was used to seeing issues without nuance, in black and white, good and bad, right and wrong. “Out you go.”

I didn’t mind, really. All I could think was, She noticed we had the same coat. It would be a while before I’d see it otherwise.

In The Nation last week, Linda Hirshman called Sarah Palin a “Mean Girl,” the kind of girl Rosalind Wiseman terms a “Queen Bee” in her chilling 2002 book about tweenagers, Queen Bees & Wannabees. Like the name suggests, the Queen Bee is the royalty of the middle school, a larger-than-life figure who (unlike an actual queen bee) packs a barbed stinger, and wields it at will.

I picked Hirshman’s story out of one of the 358,000 results you get if you Google “Sarah Palin Mean Girl.” Hirshman likened Sarah’s shenanigans onstage at the Vice-Presidential debate to a kind of staged performance art piece of The Rules, Ellen Fein’s and Sherry Schneider’s controversial 1995 book that, as Hirshman put it, had upended 30 years of feminist teaching.

“Forget all that equality and intelligence stuff, ‘The Rules’ advised. Who wants to be Hillary Clinton? Men are simple, attracted to sexual symbols and bright, shiny objects. If you want them, they argued, you must sport long hair and wear sexy, attention-getting clothes,” Hirshman writes. She points out that the suit Palin wore for the debate with Joe Biden was “some amazingly iridescent material, and she sported an eye-popping sparkly rhinestone flag pin. The governor as the It Girl of the ’90s singles scene.”

It wasn’t just her clothes, of course. But her flirty demeanor, her “hey there, Sailor!” wink, as Richard Cohen says, and “all those doggones, references to her working-class status (net worth in excess of $2 million), promiscuous use of the word ‘maverick,’ repeated mentions of ‘greed and corruption on Wall Street’ … and, of course, that manic good cheer. ”

As Amy Poehler said during a recent Saturday’s “Saturday Night Live” sketch, looking over at Tina Fey’s Sarah Palin, “When cornered, you have a tendency to become adorable.”

Adorable, I thought, as I leaned into the screen, scrutinizing her. She was dazzling. Heartbreakingly cute. And friendly.

I hadn’t thought about Pam in a long time. But, suddenly, there she was. Between the relentless smiles, and widened eyes, the winks, I recognized both the Mean Girl and the old familiar sense of being played. I felt the lack of anything close to sincerity, or the truth. And then I recognized her: playing to her spectators to get what she wants, at whatever the cost.

As Hirshman wrote, the real problem is that how a Mean Girl acts “does not have to reflect what she really believes–or even what she knows.” It only has to be effective with the target audience–of 7th grade boys, or junior high Latin teachers, or voters.

I know Sarah Palin because I went to school with her. And, in fact, most women did. Then, the Queen Bees or Mean Girls were just that. Now, they’re really scary.

This post previously appeared in the Huffington Post.

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99 Responses to Sarah and Me: Junior High with Sarah Palin

  1. Dana Ironside says:

    Ah Ann. How did you put your finger on that with such ease? I too was thinking, I really am impressed with her but there is something about her I couldn’t put my finger on. You did it and as usual with such brilliance in through your writing.

    Unlike you, I wasn’t shy in school. I was the one who called out these girls. If I were your friend in school, I would have grabbed that jacket right out of your hands and marched right over to that toothy witch and forced her to take off that coat. I would have made her see the error of her ways.

    For me, I had no patience for the phony. Those who came across as sincere but we all knew really weren’t. I would do whatever it takes to enlighten them. That was just my way.

    Thank you for finding what it was that so bothered me about Sarah Palin. Now I get it.

    Dana

  2. Dana Ironside says:

    Ah Ann. How did you put your finger on that with such ease? I too was thinking, I really am impressed with her but there is something about her I couldn’t put my finger on. You did it and as usual with such brilliance in through your writing.

    Unlike you, I wasn’t shy in school. I was the one who called out these girls. If I were your friend in school, I would have grabbed that jacket right out of your hands and marched right over to that toothy witch and forced her to take off that coat. I would have made her see the error of her ways.

    For me, I had no patience for the phony. Those who came across as sincere but we all knew really weren’t. I would do whatever it takes to enlighten them. That was just my way.

    Thank you for finding what it was that so bothered me about Sarah Palin. Now I get it.

    Dana

  3. Ann, only one with your command of language & observation could have crafted this piece quite so deftly.

    Hirshman’s pigeonholing of men, like all attempts at generalization is inaccurate & disagreeable. I don’t feel Palin is that acronym I won’t reference here, by any stretch of the imagination.

    I think Palin has a mean streak & your comparisons to Pam are spot on. At the same time she’s like a robot that is being used by the men running that campaign, a tabula rasa they can write anything on.

    She does have a special way of making the attacks written for her, her own though, doesn’t she?!

  4. Ann, only one with your command of language & observation could have crafted this piece quite so deftly.

    Hirshman’s pigeonholing of men, like all attempts at generalization is inaccurate & disagreeable. I don’t feel Palin is that acronym I won’t reference here, by any stretch of the imagination.

    I think Palin has a mean streak & your comparisons to Pam are spot on. At the same time she’s like a robot that is being used by the men running that campaign, a tabula rasa they can write anything on.

    She does have a special way of making the attacks written for her, her own though, doesn’t she?!

  5. mark_hayward says:

    Hey Ann – nicely done! I, too, am in my forties and there is something about Palin’s aura and persona that just seems a bit smarmy for lack of a better word. Thank you for writing so precisely what I was unable to put into words about her…

  6. mark_hayward says:

    Hey Ann – nicely done! I, too, am in my forties and there is something about Palin’s aura and persona that just seems a bit smarmy for lack of a better word. Thank you for writing so precisely what I was unable to put into words about her…

  7. Zane Safrit says:

    I held off leaving an immediate comment. Your post, so well-written, so on-target and yet written with kindness and compassion, but clarity, deserved some thought.

    In some respects the relentless coverage of her ascent from not knowing what the VP office does (June ’08 interview) to lecturing Joe Biden on the need to look forward (with no understanding of history…) to confessing her desire to out-Cheney Dick Cheney in his claim that the VP office is essentially a 4th, separate and equal body of government like Congress – WH- Supreme Court (when they shoulder their responsibilities, anyway)….is akin to our nation’s own cool yellow coat and Governor Sarah Palin seeing it.

    She wants it. She took it. She’s wearing it.

    And she thinks no one noticed that her yellow coat of folksy joe-six pack rap isn’t really hers. The one with the stains on it…(the bridge to nowhere, troopergate, her wanting to bank books, needing an administrator to help her run a town of 5000, shooting wildlife from planes, claiming foreign policy expertise for living next door to a foreign country, imaginary trade missions…etc) is hers. But she thinks if she literally snows us with her ‘hey sailor’ wink and her gosh-darn it, stiff upper lip folksy charm like the smile with your teacher…no one will notice she stole our coat.

    People like her always need our permission. You were kind and compassionate, seeing her need to have that coat and realizing…you can bear that cost: her wearing your coat. (Hats off to you for being able to do that…)

    But now, in this election, we can’t give her our permission to take our country and turn it into something no one recognizes…Honestly, I doubt she’d recognize it one way or another. And we need to make sure (I’m beating this metaphor to death, sorry) she goes home wearing her coat.

    Thanks again for the great post. Funny, educational, insightful, well-written…I loved that sentence: “She had feathered brown hair that bounced around her shoulders as she walked down the hall, surveying her domain, left to right, like the felted nodding-dog dashboard ornament my grandfather had in his car.”

  8. Zane Safrit says:

    I held off leaving an immediate comment. Your post, so well-written, so on-target and yet written with kindness and compassion, but clarity, deserved some thought.

    In some respects the relentless coverage of her ascent from not knowing what the VP office does (June ’08 interview) to lecturing Joe Biden on the need to look forward (with no understanding of history…) to confessing her desire to out-Cheney Dick Cheney in his claim that the VP office is essentially a 4th, separate and equal body of government like Congress – WH- Supreme Court (when they shoulder their responsibilities, anyway)….is akin to our nation’s own cool yellow coat and Governor Sarah Palin seeing it.

    She wants it. She took it. She’s wearing it.

    And she thinks no one noticed that her yellow coat of folksy joe-six pack rap isn’t really hers. The one with the stains on it…(the bridge to nowhere, troopergate, her wanting to bank books, needing an administrator to help her run a town of 5000, shooting wildlife from planes, claiming foreign policy expertise for living next door to a foreign country, imaginary trade missions…etc) is hers. But she thinks if she literally snows us with her ‘hey sailor’ wink and her gosh-darn it, stiff upper lip folksy charm like the smile with your teacher…no one will notice she stole our coat.

    People like her always need our permission. You were kind and compassionate, seeing her need to have that coat and realizing…you can bear that cost: her wearing your coat. (Hats off to you for being able to do that…)

    But now, in this election, we can’t give her our permission to take our country and turn it into something no one recognizes…Honestly, I doubt she’d recognize it one way or another. And we need to make sure (I’m beating this metaphor to death, sorry) she goes home wearing her coat.

    Thanks again for the great post. Funny, educational, insightful, well-written…I loved that sentence: “She had feathered brown hair that bounced around her shoulders as she walked down the hall, surveying her domain, left to right, like the felted nodding-dog dashboard ornament my grandfather had in his car.”

  9. Shannon Paul says:

    This was such a treat to read, thanks for cross posting. Not only did I thoroughly enjoy the mean girl reference, please know that I am totally in want of an anti-anxiety parka. It’s this season’s must-have as far as I’m concerned.

  10. Shannon Paul says:

    This was such a treat to read, thanks for cross posting. Not only did I thoroughly enjoy the mean girl reference, please know that I am totally in want of an anti-anxiety parka. It’s this season’s must-have as far as I’m concerned.

  11. Guest says:

    Wow, you have a gentle way with words that makes it a joy to read. Thank you for the best read I’ve had in a long time.

  12. Wow, you have a gentle way with words that makes it a joy to read. Thank you for the best read I’ve had in a long time.

  13. Your story was wondeful. I like how you connect the subjects as the same.

  14. Your story was wondeful. I like how you connect the subjects as the same.

  15. Ann Handley says:

    Wow, all: Thanks for the thoughtful comments here. I’m a little relieved, too: some literal readers thought I actually went to junior high with Palin. So to set aside any confusion, my “Sarah” was not Sarah. Get it? Got it? Clear as mud? ; )

    Special thanks to Zane for that incredible comment.. “But she thinks if she literally snows us with her ‘hey sailor’ wink and her gosh-darn it, stiff upper lip folksy charm like the smile with your teacher…no one will notice she stole our coat.” Love that.

    Shannon: Anti-anxiety fashion must-have! (ha!)

    And I wish I went to school with Dana. She would have kicked Pam hard for me, I have no doubt….!

  16. Ann Handley says:

    Wow, all: Thanks for the thoughtful comments here. I’m a little relieved, too: some literal readers thought I actually went to junior high with Palin. So to set aside any confusion, my “Sarah” was not Sarah. Get it? Got it? Clear as mud? ; )

    Special thanks to Zane for that incredible comment.. “But she thinks if she literally snows us with her ‘hey sailor’ wink and her gosh-darn it, stiff upper lip folksy charm like the smile with your teacher…no one will notice she stole our coat.” Love that.

    Shannon: Anti-anxiety fashion must-have! (ha!)

    And I wish I went to school with Dana. She would have kicked Pam hard for me, I have no doubt….!

  17. Janeile says:

    O.k. I’m going to be the only dissenting voice. While nicely written, equating Sarah Palin to your “mean girl” without even knowing her is…well, mean.

    While there are many women in politics, it is primarily a male-dominated arena. There is no way it is going to be easy to be effective politically and be a good wife and mother – especially with a special-needs child.

    The aura Palin carries is not so much about being mean as it is strength, grit and a bulldog (couldn’t help it) tenacity to do both – to be “mommy” and face down the “good ol’ boys”, to protect the privacy of your family and battle the incessant prying and harassment from a biased media, to be a supportive wife and face the hatred of those who are angry with anyone who does what they only wish they could do.

    Sarah wasn’t “anointed” with positions and fame because she was cute, a great orator, charming or conniving – she fought great odds at each level to get where she is at. That is why she is celebrated.

  18. Janeile says:

    O.k. I’m going to be the only dissenting voice. While nicely written, equating Sarah Palin to your “mean girl” without even knowing her is…well, mean.

    While there are many women in politics, it is primarily a male-dominated arena. There is no way it is going to be easy to be effective politically and be a good wife and mother – especially with a special-needs child.

    The aura Palin carries is not so much about being mean as it is strength, grit and a bulldog (couldn’t help it) tenacity to do both – to be “mommy” and face down the “good ol’ boys”, to protect the privacy of your family and battle the incessant prying and harassment from a biased media, to be a supportive wife and face the hatred of those who are angry with anyone who does what they only wish they could do.

    Sarah wasn’t “anointed” with positions and fame because she was cute, a great orator, charming or conniving – she fought great odds at each level to get where she is at. That is why she is celebrated.

  19. Ed Welch says:

    Ann,

    What a great piece of work! I love the way you wrote that. Very clever and certainly remarkable.

    Nice work!

    Ed

  20. Ed Welch says:

    Ann,

    What a great piece of work! I love the way you wrote that. Very clever and certainly remarkable.

    Nice work!

    Ed

  21. Jess Sanders says:

    Ann, thanks for stopping by.

    And because you did, I was fortunate enough to catch this blog post. Well said!

    I am with you – I keep wanting to like Sarah Palin, but just don’t, time and again. Maybe it’s recognition of a Queen Bee or maybe it’s because she’s just not ready for the role she has situated herself for.

    Whatever it is, your post put me back in 7th grade, with all of the angst and thrill of it. I remember thinking back then that I was the ONLY person who felt odd and socially inept. I wish I knew then what I know now – that MOST of my peers felt the same way, and that it gets infinitely better!

  22. Jess Sanders says:

    Ann, thanks for stopping by.

    And because you did, I was fortunate enough to catch this blog post. Well said!

    I am with you – I keep wanting to like Sarah Palin, but just don’t, time and again. Maybe it’s recognition of a Queen Bee or maybe it’s because she’s just not ready for the role she has situated herself for.

    Whatever it is, your post put me back in 7th grade, with all of the angst and thrill of it. I remember thinking back then that I was the ONLY person who felt odd and socially inept. I wish I knew then what I know now – that MOST of my peers felt the same way, and that it gets infinitely better!

  23. I’ve almost always tolerated the Pams and the Sarahs of the world. They get away with far too much, sure, but the utter transparency of their clumsy machinations can be highly entertaining.

    And that’s all fine and well in high school, at the mall or, perhaps, in the mayoral office of Wasilla. But when we’re choosing world leaders, marginally wily manipulation loses all its charm. I’m frankly terrified by the prospect of a charismatic troglodyte like Sarah Palin in the White House.

  24. I’ve almost always tolerated the Pams and the Sarahs of the world. They get away with far too much, sure, but the utter transparency of their clumsy machinations can be highly entertaining.

    And that’s all fine and well in high school, at the mall or, perhaps, in the mayoral office of Wasilla. But when we’re choosing world leaders, marginally wily manipulation loses all its charm. I’m frankly terrified by the prospect of a charismatic troglodyte like Sarah Palin in the White House.

  25. Carol2 says:

    This is a “shout out” to “Janeile”–is that you Pam?

    Hey Pam, since you were mean & a thief when you were young, your response to Ann’s story is exactly what I would expect. 30 years later & you are still being nasty to Ann. Go away! Nobody here is buying your lies anymore.

    Once a bully, always a bully — and bullies never admit they are bullies. They are very adept at lying to themselves & whatever part of the rest of the world they can scam.

    There is plenty of evidence that Sarah Palin is a bully. One does not get nicknamed “Baracuda” when one is a teen for strength of character. It’s an aspersion not a compliment. There are people from Alaska who went to school with Sarah in Wasilla who have said she was already vindictive when young. There are multiple first person stories attesting to her abusiveness toward city employees when she was mayor of Wasilla. People who know her well from Wasilla say she lacks intellectual curiosity & she has always been ambitious.

    Anyone who has ever been a victim of a bully recognizes Sarah Palin is not strong; she’s a bully.

  26. Carol2 says:

    This is a “shout out” to “Janeile”–is that you Pam?

    Hey Pam, since you were mean & a thief when you were young, your response to Ann’s story is exactly what I would expect. 30 years later & you are still being nasty to Ann. Go away! Nobody here is buying your lies anymore.

    Once a bully, always a bully — and bullies never admit they are bullies. They are very adept at lying to themselves & whatever part of the rest of the world they can scam.

    There is plenty of evidence that Sarah Palin is a bully. One does not get nicknamed “Baracuda” when one is a teen for strength of character. It’s an aspersion not a compliment. There are people from Alaska who went to school with Sarah in Wasilla who have said she was already vindictive when young. There are multiple first person stories attesting to her abusiveness toward city employees when she was mayor of Wasilla. People who know her well from Wasilla say she lacks intellectual curiosity & she has always been ambitious.

    Anyone who has ever been a victim of a bully recognizes Sarah Palin is not strong; she’s a bully.

  27. Carol2, what specific language in Janeile’s post constitutes “being nasty to Ann”? It looked to me like Janeile expressed a dissenting viewpoint in a respectful manner.

    Ann, my wife said “high school mean girl” within minutes of the end of Palin’s convention speech — and I could see her point, even though as a McCain supporter, I was in the mode of trying to make the best of what I thought from the start was a bad choice for VP. I was wowed by Palin’s convention speech (typical man that I am, I suppose), and my wife and I discussed the his-and-her candidates phenomenon in the wake of that speech, in the comments at http://kirkpete.blogspot.com/2008/09/so-thats-why-he-picked-her-what-speaker.html

  28. Carol2, what specific language in Janeile’s post constitutes “being nasty to Ann”? It looked to me like Janeile expressed a dissenting viewpoint in a respectful manner.

    Ann, my wife said “high school mean girl” within minutes of the end of Palin’s convention speech — and I could see her point, even though as a McCain supporter, I was in the mode of trying to make the best of what I thought from the start was a bad choice for VP. I was wowed by Palin’s convention speech (typical man that I am, I suppose), and my wife and I discussed the his-and-her candidates phenomenon in the wake of that speech, in the comments at http://kirkpete.blogspot.com/2008/09/so-thats-why-he-picked-her-what-speaker.html

  29. Karen Swim says:

    Ann, this potentially sensitive topic was deftly handled. The magnitude of your talent and the depth of your compassionate nature made you the perfect person to write this piece. You took a potentially polarizing topic and humanized it – no small feat in this highly charged election season. There is no doubt in my mind that we shall soon be prefacing your name with Award Winning Writer.

  30. Karen Swim says:

    Ann, this potentially sensitive topic was deftly handled. The magnitude of your talent and the depth of your compassionate nature made you the perfect person to write this piece. You took a potentially polarizing topic and humanized it – no small feat in this highly charged election season. There is no doubt in my mind that we shall soon be prefacing your name with Award Winning Writer.

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  32. David Reich says:

    Ann, I didn’t know Sarah Palin in high school, but I don’t like her either. She does seem to be very much a “mean girl.” She seems to love sniping at her opponents in a nasty way — getting off on name-calling.

    I don’t want her as a friend and I certainly don’t want her as our VP or — heaven forbid — our President. We’ve had enough nastiness in the White House these past 8 years.

  33. David Reich says:

    Ann, I didn’t know Sarah Palin in high school, but I don’t like her either. She does seem to be very much a “mean girl.” She seems to love sniping at her opponents in a nasty way — getting off on name-calling.

    I don’t want her as a friend and I certainly don’t want her as our VP or — heaven forbid — our President. We’ve had enough nastiness in the White House these past 8 years.

  34. mack collier says:

    Carol2, your comment is the perfect example of why I don’t discuss politics on my blog.

  35. mack collier says:

    Carol2, your comment is the perfect example of why I don’t discuss politics on my blog.

  36. Ann Handley says:

    I guess this story is the sort that inspires a certain defensiveness — on my behalf, maybe. I appreciate those who are watching my back, but at the same time know it takes a certain amount of courage to offer a dissenting voice here. So thanks, Janeile. And thanks, Carol. I appreciate both of your voices here.

    For the record, though, I do think Palin fought hard to get where she is. Setting aside her positions on the issues for a minute, what I’m objecting to in this post is the manipulation I noticed — of the voters. As Richard Cohen said, can you imagine if Bill Clinton — or any man, really — stood up there and winked at the camera?

  37. Ann Handley says:

    I guess this story is the sort that inspires a certain defensiveness — on my behalf, maybe. I appreciate those who are watching my back, but at the same time know it takes a certain amount of courage to offer a dissenting voice here. So thanks, Janeile. And thanks, Carol. I appreciate both of your voices here.

    For the record, though, I do think Palin fought hard to get where she is. Setting aside her positions on the issues for a minute, what I’m objecting to in this post is the manipulation I noticed — of the voters. As Richard Cohen said, can you imagine if Bill Clinton — or any man, really — stood up there and winked at the camera?

  38. BTW, Ann, whose pix are shown in your post? Don’t take this the wrong way, but the one on the left looks like it could be either you or… Sarah Palin. Is that the real Pam on the right?

  39. BTW, Ann, whose pix are shown in your post? Don’t take this the wrong way, but the one on the left looks like it could be either you or… Sarah Palin. Is that the real Pam on the right?

  40. Jo Tyler says:

    Hey Ann – love the picts! what a crack up…

    Great insight into the Palin problem. I recently came across a brilliant essay on Sarah Palin by Eve Ensler and thought you might appreciate it (if you haven’t already seen it):

    http://tinyurl.com/6n8fve

    Drill, baby, drill.
    -Jo

  41. Jo Tyler says:

    Hey Ann – love the picts! what a crack up…

    Great insight into the Palin problem. I recently came across a brilliant essay on Sarah Palin by Eve Ensler and thought you might appreciate it (if you haven’t already seen it):

    http://tinyurl.com/6n8fve

    Drill, baby, drill.
    -Jo

  42. Ann Handley says:

    Kirk: Actually, that’s Sarah Palin’s face on a random head/body (left) and my face (right) on a random head/body, courtesy of YearbookYourself (http://www.yearbookyourself.com). (Go ahead — you know you want to try it!)

  43. Ann Handley says:

    Kirk: Actually, that’s Sarah Palin’s face on a random head/body (left) and my face (right) on a random head/body, courtesy of YearbookYourself (http://www.yearbookyourself.com). (Go ahead — you know you want to try it!)

  44. Amy Flanagan says:

    I have been saying the EXACT same thing. At the Republican Convention I felt I was watching a group of “regular kids” bask in the glow of the popular girl taking the time to smile at them in the hall.

    I never feared McCain as much as I do now that I know his VP pick. My husband and I decided we had to do something to help the cause and so created this for undecided voters. It’s funny, but informative if you follow the links:
    http://www.areyouundecided.com/Movie_2.html

    Also, a friend of mine, who is convinced people aren’t REALLY taking the possibility of a President Palin seriously made this: http://mypresidentpalin.com/

    I think you’ll find it interesting.

    I love your writing.
    Amy

  45. Amy Flanagan says:

    I have been saying the EXACT same thing. At the Republican Convention I felt I was watching a group of “regular kids” bask in the glow of the popular girl taking the time to smile at them in the hall.

    I never feared McCain as much as I do now that I know his VP pick. My husband and I decided we had to do something to help the cause and so created this for undecided voters. It’s funny, but informative if you follow the links:
    http://www.areyouundecided.com/Movie_2.html

    Also, a friend of mine, who is convinced people aren’t REALLY taking the possibility of a President Palin seriously made this: http://mypresidentpalin.com/

    I think you’ll find it interesting.

    I love your writing.
    Amy

  46. Rachel says:

    I just came over from ProBlogger to check out your blog. Lots of interesting reading here! I’m going to pour another cup of tea and go through your older entries.

  47. Rachel says:

    I just came over from ProBlogger to check out your blog. Lots of interesting reading here! I’m going to pour another cup of tea and go through your older entries.

  48. Danna says:

    You hit the nail Ann. Great writing. (And I’m sure Polar Bears and Carabo would agree with you) It just occurred to me that Tina Fey, who so brilliantly impersonates Palin on SNL, also wrote the screenplay for the movie Mean Girls (and acted in it as well) I bet she’s known a few Pams too.

  49. Danna says:

    You hit the nail Ann. Great writing. (And I’m sure Polar Bears and Carabo would agree with you) It just occurred to me that Tina Fey, who so brilliantly impersonates Palin on SNL, also wrote the screenplay for the movie Mean Girls (and acted in it as well) I bet she’s known a few Pams too.

  50. Gina says:

    Brilliantly said. Palin definitely appears to be a Very Mean Girl. I’m sorry about your jacket…what a great story, and what memories of insecurities it brings back! Cheers to nice girls.

  51. Gina says:

    Brilliantly said. Palin definitely appears to be a Very Mean Girl. I’m sorry about your jacket…what a great story, and what memories of insecurities it brings back! Cheers to nice girls.

  52. Jason says:

    Gives me the chills. There is a time for a popularity contest, and there is a time to elect the leaders of the free world.

    This is no homecoming election. There are real consequences at stake this time.

  53. Jason says:

    Gives me the chills. There is a time for a popularity contest, and there is a time to elect the leaders of the free world.

    This is no homecoming election. There are real consequences at stake this time.

  54. Tim says:

    You need help. You shouldn’t let 7th grade define you. Raising a 7th grader of my own, I continually try to instill in him a sense of grace and understanding that everyone in 7th grade feels put upon. Different people just handle the stress differently. Same message we delivered to his older sister who is now a freshman in college. And what’s more important than any of this is your worth was defined by God when you were born. Not by Pam or Sarah Palin.

  55. Tim says:

    You need help. You shouldn’t let 7th grade define you. Raising a 7th grader of my own, I continually try to instill in him a sense of grace and understanding that everyone in 7th grade feels put upon. Different people just handle the stress differently. Same message we delivered to his older sister who is now a freshman in college. And what’s more important than any of this is your worth was defined by God when you were born. Not by Pam or Sarah Palin.

  56. Totally. She is that mean girl…

    The preppy, cheerleader type. Very scary indeed. Thanks for this!

  57. Totally. She is that mean girl…

    The preppy, cheerleader type. Very scary indeed. Thanks for this!

  58. I love this post and comments.

    Could I please work with you on a short film adaption of “Pam and the Yellow Ski Parka”? (I’m serious).

    The Mean Girls always get shown up in the end – you win: http://immediateinfluenceblog.com/50-of-the-most-powerful-and-influential-women-in-social-media

  59. I love this post and comments.

    Could I please work with you on a short film adaption of “Pam and the Yellow Ski Parka”? (I’m serious).

    The Mean Girls always get shown up in the end – you win: http://immediateinfluenceblog.com/50-of-the-most-powerful-and-influential-women-in-social-media

  60. Scribette says:

    Absolutely perfect, Ann! And McCain & Co. fell for it hook, line and sinker.

  61. Scribette says:

    Absolutely perfect, Ann! And McCain & Co. fell for it hook, line and sinker.

  62. katem says:

    This is a great post about a subject that people find uncomfortable. I heard recently about an anti-Palin ralley in Alaska and the organizers were called with death threats. This shows me just how much wool has been pulled over the eyes of the people supporting Palin.

    I like the comparison to the mean girls – it’s a fact that they are in all schools. One thing, though I that could be considered: everyone thought they were being tortured in school (especially if you were not in the clique). We were all geeky, awkward and strange which made us all easy targets; both to admire their lithe behaviour and to hate them.

  63. katem says:

    This is a great post about a subject that people find uncomfortable. I heard recently about an anti-Palin ralley in Alaska and the organizers were called with death threats. This shows me just how much wool has been pulled over the eyes of the people supporting Palin.

    I like the comparison to the mean girls – it’s a fact that they are in all schools. One thing, though I that could be considered: everyone thought they were being tortured in school (especially if you were not in the clique). We were all geeky, awkward and strange which made us all easy targets; both to admire their lithe behaviour and to hate them.

  64. sarah says:

    I’ve got to say something here too. You’re stretching it: connecting a manipulative mean girl from junior high with Sarah Palin. It seems to me that you’re digging into some old insecurities and voting with them.

    When I saw Sarah Palin in the debate, I saw toughness, empathy, savviness and a determination to find the right answer and work for it – whatever feathers she ruffled. Yes, she may have a net worth of $2 million, but what about Obama? Does her current status separate her from where she came from, knows and empathizes with.

    Too many women and so-called feminist men are eager to pan this woman who is clearly charting her own path, doing things that few of us have the capacity and grit to get done. And like every politician out there, she’s applying the same ingredients of charisma and controlling the conversation to win the crowd over.

    Believe me, if it comes to high school references, Barak Obama reminds me of plenty of sweet-talking boys who promise you the world to woo you. But will he deliver? Can he deliver? How many of us are just swept up in the romance and charm of him – that connects to our fears and desires – without any tough examination of the reality? Just like many a high school girl who makes life-altering decisions based on the promises of Prince Charming.

  65. sarah says:

    I’ve got to say something here too. You’re stretching it: connecting a manipulative mean girl from junior high with Sarah Palin. It seems to me that you’re digging into some old insecurities and voting with them.

    When I saw Sarah Palin in the debate, I saw toughness, empathy, savviness and a determination to find the right answer and work for it – whatever feathers she ruffled. Yes, she may have a net worth of $2 million, but what about Obama? Does her current status separate her from where she came from, knows and empathizes with.

    Too many women and so-called feminist men are eager to pan this woman who is clearly charting her own path, doing things that few of us have the capacity and grit to get done. And like every politician out there, she’s applying the same ingredients of charisma and controlling the conversation to win the crowd over.

    Believe me, if it comes to high school references, Barak Obama reminds me of plenty of sweet-talking boys who promise you the world to woo you. But will he deliver? Can he deliver? How many of us are just swept up in the romance and charm of him – that connects to our fears and desires – without any tough examination of the reality? Just like many a high school girl who makes life-altering decisions based on the promises of Prince Charming.

  66. angieo says:

    Very well written article! I liked Sarah Palin at the first intriduction as she came across as the female candidate that my generation has been looking for — one that has been able to achieve it all!!! But — upon further glance she is not all that we had hoped for — so we will have to keep looking for the female that can break through the glass ceiling while being attractive, classy, feminine and smart……yet down to earth and with a great deal of integrity! We need a role model…..

  67. angieo says:

    Very well written article! I liked Sarah Palin at the first intriduction as she came across as the female candidate that my generation has been looking for — one that has been able to achieve it all!!! But — upon further glance she is not all that we had hoped for — so we will have to keep looking for the female that can break through the glass ceiling while being attractive, classy, feminine and smart……yet down to earth and with a great deal of integrity! We need a role model…..

  68. LisaW says:

    I found you through the gushing Marketing Profs email. Congratulations!

    Great article and well written. Like others, you’ve put into word part of something that bothers me when watching Palin.

    The other part is the offense I take to her not minding being the “chick” and seeming lack of desire to project herself in a way that will be taken seriously and professionally.

    I have passed my 40′s and am in the new adventure of being 50-something. Like you and others, I really, really want to like her. But I feel she is doing more to reinforce that glass ceiling than help shatter it.

    As a side note, I read some of the comments and find statements like “I’m frankly terrified by the prospect of a charismatic troglodyte like Sarah Palin in the White House” and multiple remarks about manipulating the public, and have to say that is exactly the thing that frightens me about Obama. Not that I’d call him a troglodyte. lol

    He, too, is not all he seems and is doing a great job of trying to pull the wool over our eyes.

    Could it be? Do we recognize him from Jr. High, too?

    I am not fooled by either of them, and our choices are frightening in an election that has so much at stake.

    Thanks for the good read! And, thanks to your buddies at Marketing Profs for gushing – I will be around alot!

    ~Lisa

  69. LisaW says:

    I found you through the gushing Marketing Profs email. Congratulations!

    Great article and well written. Like others, you’ve put into word part of something that bothers me when watching Palin.

    The other part is the offense I take to her not minding being the “chick” and seeming lack of desire to project herself in a way that will be taken seriously and professionally.

    I have passed my 40′s and am in the new adventure of being 50-something. Like you and others, I really, really want to like her. But I feel she is doing more to reinforce that glass ceiling than help shatter it.

    As a side note, I read some of the comments and find statements like “I’m frankly terrified by the prospect of a charismatic troglodyte like Sarah Palin in the White House” and multiple remarks about manipulating the public, and have to say that is exactly the thing that frightens me about Obama. Not that I’d call him a troglodyte. lol

    He, too, is not all he seems and is doing a great job of trying to pull the wool over our eyes.

    Could it be? Do we recognize him from Jr. High, too?

    I am not fooled by either of them, and our choices are frightening in an election that has so much at stake.

    Thanks for the good read! And, thanks to your buddies at Marketing Profs for gushing – I will be around alot!

    ~Lisa

  70. Joanie says:

    Wow, Ann you’re a victim some 20 years later? I’d rather think of Sarah as the “Ann” in 7th grade who realized immediately she was robbed and spent 8th grade through the rest of her life, defending herself (and others) against abusers! Your projection while poetic, is pathetic. Grow up and get a Tide stick for the tough problems in life.

    - Not a Victim

  71. Joanie says:

    Wow, Ann you’re a victim some 20 years later? I’d rather think of Sarah as the “Ann” in 7th grade who realized immediately she was robbed and spent 8th grade through the rest of her life, defending herself (and others) against abusers! Your projection while poetic, is pathetic. Grow up and get a Tide stick for the tough problems in life.

    - Not a Victim

  72. Sherri says:

    I’m in complete agreement with Janeile, Sarah and Joanie. You can’t make a decision about someone’s character based solely on her looks (including the smile, charisma, etc.) and how you felt about someone else in 7th grade. That poor woman has to get up and FIGHT – every single day – against the biased media, men in power (“boys club”, those who don’t like women in power) and women like you all. I’d like to see just how many women could go through what she has in her life and still be able to stand, with a smile on her face. I admire her.

    Can a woman truly be so “mean” yet have an approval rating from her entire state that is in the 90′s (pre-this race)? Is it that easy, really, to fool people (who know her better than any of you)? Wear something shiny, toss the hair and smile? Gee, if it were that easy, I’d be in politics. God forbid.

    I don’t understand why other smart, successful women have this need to discredit her and ….well, be very mean to her. The mirror is in the other room. Get it?

  73. Sherri says:

    I’m in complete agreement with Janeile, Sarah and Joanie. You can’t make a decision about someone’s character based solely on her looks (including the smile, charisma, etc.) and how you felt about someone else in 7th grade. That poor woman has to get up and FIGHT – every single day – against the biased media, men in power (“boys club”, those who don’t like women in power) and women like you all. I’d like to see just how many women could go through what she has in her life and still be able to stand, with a smile on her face. I admire her.

    Can a woman truly be so “mean” yet have an approval rating from her entire state that is in the 90′s (pre-this race)? Is it that easy, really, to fool people (who know her better than any of you)? Wear something shiny, toss the hair and smile? Gee, if it were that easy, I’d be in politics. God forbid.

    I don’t understand why other smart, successful women have this need to discredit her and ….well, be very mean to her. The mirror is in the other room. Get it?

  74. Ann Handley says:

    It’s interesting that Palin brings out such an amazing range of reaction, isn’t it? Some of us see my reaction to Palin (and comparison to Pam) as evidence I’m “stuck” in my scarred and bitter past; other see me wiser for the experience.

    Well, obviously I agree with the latter. Then again, it’s my blog. And what do I know..? ; )

    Nonetheless, I appreciate the opposing views here, and I admit that Joanie’s suggestion (“Tide stick!”) really cracks me up. Perhaps we all need a Tide stick for our emotional stains. Love it.

  75. Ann Handley says:

    It’s interesting that Palin brings out such an amazing range of reaction, isn’t it? Some of us see my reaction to Palin (and comparison to Pam) as evidence I’m “stuck” in my scarred and bitter past; other see me wiser for the experience.

    Well, obviously I agree with the latter. Then again, it’s my blog. And what do I know..? ; )

    Nonetheless, I appreciate the opposing views here, and I admit that Joanie’s suggestion (“Tide stick!”) really cracks me up. Perhaps we all need a Tide stick for our emotional stains. Love it.

  76. Terri Maurer says:

    While I agree your piece was well written, it just adds one more layer to my pile of wondering why so many women, not ot mention some seriously threatened men, have attacked this successful woman so unmercifully.

    I don’t think it is Sarah Palin who has set back the women’s movement, but those women who decided they don’t like her for ‘whatever’ reasons. Hillary didn’t make the final cut to run for President. Everyone was devastated…for about fifteen minutes. We now have another woman selected to run for VP who has drawn and quartered for any number of pseudo issues. Who among us could withstand a legion of lawyers and investigators being sent out with the sole purpose of digging up dirt on us? I’m sure they would have no trouble finding someone who doesn’t particularly like one of us only too willing to throw some lighter fluid on the flames.

    For those who have climed onto the ‘let’s crucify Sarah’ band wagon….may the ‘trooper’ who finds tazering his stepson stop your car the next time you are speeding. I’m well beyond Sarah and Ann’s 44 years and am sorry to say this is the ugliest election I can ever recall. The hatred and vitriol that has being going on for the past eight years is not likely to simply go away at the end of this election. It truly is sad to watch.

  77. Terri Maurer says:

    While I agree your piece was well written, it just adds one more layer to my pile of wondering why so many women, not ot mention some seriously threatened men, have attacked this successful woman so unmercifully.

    I don’t think it is Sarah Palin who has set back the women’s movement, but those women who decided they don’t like her for ‘whatever’ reasons. Hillary didn’t make the final cut to run for President. Everyone was devastated…for about fifteen minutes. We now have another woman selected to run for VP who has drawn and quartered for any number of pseudo issues. Who among us could withstand a legion of lawyers and investigators being sent out with the sole purpose of digging up dirt on us? I’m sure they would have no trouble finding someone who doesn’t particularly like one of us only too willing to throw some lighter fluid on the flames.

    For those who have climed onto the ‘let’s crucify Sarah’ band wagon….may the ‘trooper’ who finds tazering his stepson stop your car the next time you are speeding. I’m well beyond Sarah and Ann’s 44 years and am sorry to say this is the ugliest election I can ever recall. The hatred and vitriol that has being going on for the past eight years is not likely to simply go away at the end of this election. It truly is sad to watch.

  78. Sherri says:

    Stated by Angeio…”so we will have to keep looking for the female that can break through the glass ceiling while being attractive, classy, feminine and smart……yet down to earth and with a great deal of integrity! We need a role model…..”.

    Uhhhmmm….this whole breaking through the glass ceiling thing…Sarah Palin broke through more glass ceilings during her time as Governor than most MEN politicians ever could (if they actually had any ceilings to break through…why don’t we just look at accomplishments)! CERTAINLY more than Obama.

    I’m with Terri: “I don’t think it is Sarah Palin who has set back the women’s movement, but those women who decided they don’t like her for ‘whatever’ reasons.”

    If you’re going to talk about someone in a “mean” way, I would suggest offering some legitimate FACTS as to “why” she is so mean. Other than “she reminds me of…” or “Well, they said (fill in the blank)…”, or the female “feelings” thing. Etc., etc.

    Oh, and I love the comment about her nickname “Baracuda” – “One does not get nicknamed ‘Baracuda’ when one is a teen for strength of character.” Why is it men can be tough and it’s a good thing but when a woman is tough she is attacked, not just by men, but other women? It’s kind of like the several double standards that exist in this society, except woman buy into this one. ??

    And for those of you who think that “Pam” is actually Sarah (this is the “girl who stole Ann’s coat and we’re so sorry she did that” thing)…re-read the article. Missing the ball.

    This article is beautifully and cleverly written. It’s entertaining. Ann has truly incredible talent. A person with these skills has an opportunity to “sell” people, just like Obama (a great communicator with charisma…that’s about it, in my opinion, but that’s another whole topic). Because of this, I think it’s more responsible to substantiate what one is saying. Unless the article is for pure entertainment. But I don’t think in this heated election that is the purpose.

    But it’s you blog, Ann. And this is just my opinion, after all.

  79. Sherri says:

    Stated by Angeio…”so we will have to keep looking for the female that can break through the glass ceiling while being attractive, classy, feminine and smart……yet down to earth and with a great deal of integrity! We need a role model…..”.

    Uhhhmmm….this whole breaking through the glass ceiling thing…Sarah Palin broke through more glass ceilings during her time as Governor than most MEN politicians ever could (if they actually had any ceilings to break through…why don’t we just look at accomplishments)! CERTAINLY more than Obama.

    I’m with Terri: “I don’t think it is Sarah Palin who has set back the women’s movement, but those women who decided they don’t like her for ‘whatever’ reasons.”

    If you’re going to talk about someone in a “mean” way, I would suggest offering some legitimate FACTS as to “why” she is so mean. Other than “she reminds me of…” or “Well, they said (fill in the blank)…”, or the female “feelings” thing. Etc., etc.

    Oh, and I love the comment about her nickname “Baracuda” – “One does not get nicknamed ‘Baracuda’ when one is a teen for strength of character.” Why is it men can be tough and it’s a good thing but when a woman is tough she is attacked, not just by men, but other women? It’s kind of like the several double standards that exist in this society, except woman buy into this one. ??

    And for those of you who think that “Pam” is actually Sarah (this is the “girl who stole Ann’s coat and we’re so sorry she did that” thing)…re-read the article. Missing the ball.

    This article is beautifully and cleverly written. It’s entertaining. Ann has truly incredible talent. A person with these skills has an opportunity to “sell” people, just like Obama (a great communicator with charisma…that’s about it, in my opinion, but that’s another whole topic). Because of this, I think it’s more responsible to substantiate what one is saying. Unless the article is for pure entertainment. But I don’t think in this heated election that is the purpose.

    But it’s you blog, Ann. And this is just my opinion, after all.

  80. Ari Herzog says:

    All I can say, Ann, is whenever I see Sarah Palin’s name these days, I remember this recent interview with John Cleese when he describes her as “a nice looking parrot.”

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jMyNk8J1c8g

    You had me going for half the page… until you admitted your Sarah was named Pam. Oh how funny it would have been if you made this story into two parts, cutting it at the right moment…

  81. Ari Herzog says:

    All I can say, Ann, is whenever I see Sarah Palin’s name these days, I remember this recent interview with John Cleese when he describes her as “a nice looking parrot.”

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jMyNk8J1c8g

    You had me going for half the page… until you admitted your Sarah was named Pam. Oh how funny it would have been if you made this story into two parts, cutting it at the right moment…

  82. Ann Handley says:

    Interesting piece by Judith Warner in the NY Times today:

    http://www.nytimes.com/2008/10/26/opinion/26warner-1.html?_r=1&oref;=slogin

    My favorite quote:

    “In other words: women will truly have arrived when the most mediocre among us will be able to do just as well as the most mediocre of men.”

  83. Ann Handley says:

    Interesting piece by Judith Warner in the NY Times today:

    http://www.nytimes.com/2008/10/26/opinion/26warner-1.html?_r=1&oref=slogin

    My favorite quote:

    “In other words: women will truly have arrived when the most mediocre among us will be able to do just as well as the most mediocre of men.”

  84. don says:

    Well-written, but I can’t agree with you at all. You don’t know Sarah Palin personally. It’s completely unfair to Palin, to identify her with someone you knew in grade school.

    Your thinking is the same kind of prejudice that’s called racism, when directed at a black person you don’t personally know. Aren’t you a bigger, kinder person than this?

  85. don says:

    Well-written, but I can’t agree with you at all. You don’t know Sarah Palin personally. It’s completely unfair to Palin, to identify her with someone you knew in grade school.

    Your thinking is the same kind of prejudice that’s called racism, when directed at a black person you don’t personally know. Aren’t you a bigger, kinder person than this?

  86. Ann Handley says:

    Hi Don, Appreciate your feedback. And thanks for the kudos on the writing.

    As for Palin, you’re right — I _don’t_ know her personally, but I am (and everyone else is) being asked to elect her, to choose here, which is to say… to judge her.

    And what do we rely on to do that? What she tells us, what others tell us, and–among other things–what associations our mind comes up with when we consider her as VP: Who does she remind us of? What feelings does she bring out in me? Do I identify with her? Do I identify her with someone else?

    In short, we contrast and compare. That’s all that we can do with public figures, as opposed to people we know or can potentially get to know on a personal level.

    So how is that unfair or mean? That’s how you treat the presidential candidates, too. So if you dislike Obama you’re necessarily racist? Or if you dislike McCaine you’re necessarily ageist?

  87. Ann Handley says:

    Hi Don, Appreciate your feedback. And thanks for the kudos on the writing.

    As for Palin, you’re right — I _don’t_ know her personally, but I am (and everyone else is) being asked to elect her, to choose here, which is to say… to judge her.

    And what do we rely on to do that? What she tells us, what others tell us, and–among other things–what associations our mind comes up with when we consider her as VP: Who does she remind us of? What feelings does she bring out in me? Do I identify with her? Do I identify her with someone else?

    In short, we contrast and compare. That’s all that we can do with public figures, as opposed to people we know or can potentially get to know on a personal level.

    So how is that unfair or mean? That’s how you treat the presidential candidates, too. So if you dislike Obama you’re necessarily racist? Or if you dislike McCaine you’re necessarily ageist?

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  89. Aaron Kahlow says:

    Love the Palin write up. Sincerity and Integrity are long missing from the entire Right wing campaign and she definetely has become the figure head for such.

    Nice seeing you in AZ last week!

  90. Aaron Kahlow says:

    Love the Palin write up. Sincerity and Integrity are long missing from the entire Right wing campaign and she definetely has become the figure head for such.

    Nice seeing you in AZ last week!

  91. Susan A says:

    Great story. Reminded me of all the mean girls i knew back then. But that yellow jacket story takes the cake. Did you not try to steal it back?

    From your Canadian friends, we’ve all got our fingers crossed for you on election night.

  92. Susan A says:

    Great story. Reminded me of all the mean girls i knew back then. But that yellow jacket story takes the cake. Did you not try to steal it back?

    From your Canadian friends, we’ve all got our fingers crossed for you on election night.

  93. Roshan says:

    Brilliant job! I was actually hating Pam. I’ve had guys in my school like that and perhaps a girl as well.

  94. Roshan says:

    Brilliant job! I was actually hating Pam. I’ve had guys in my school like that and perhaps a girl as well.

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  96. Nice writing. Poor and deceptive logic, however.

  97. Nice writing. Poor and deceptive logic, however.

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