Sarah Palin is all the buzz nowadays. Or at least since McCain startled the nation by naming her as his Vice-President running mate. Till then, no one – outside of Alaska and diehard Republican political junkies really knew who she was. As you might have expected, the traffic on search engines on “Sarah Palin” have been through the roof. Last week, the local Seattle PI paper stopped by Quest to interview couple of us which also led to a front page photo of our church sanctuary [and one of our pastors].
Maybe it’s the stuff I subscribe to but I haven’t read too many kind words about Sarah Palin so I thought I’d devote an entry on my blog to Sarah Palin. Why? Because I like Sarah Palin…but not in that way.
Now granted, some of the criticism about Palin have been self-inflicted. After an impressive speech at the RNC, her TV interviews – particularly with Katie Couric – were downright embarrassing and painful to watch. Really embarrassing. But to her credit – even if she only directly answered about 33% of the questions that were asked – she did very well. Shocked the Asian out of me.
But you ask, “What do I like about her?”
- She’s an underdog. Always has been. I love underdogs. [I loved Dodgeball: the True Underdog Story.] She doesn’t come from a family of great privilege or entitlement. Her mom was a school secretary and her father was a science teacher and track coach.
- Speaking of underdogs, she’s a woman in a world dominated by men. But she kicked butt and became the governor of Alaska. What’s not to like?
- She’s no brainiac. She’s no Rhodes Scholar or Ivy Leaguer. Granted, we want our leaders to be sharp and intelligent but they don’t have to come from the “best schools,” right? If anything, her background tells me that she’s a hard worker because she’s not brilliant.
- She’s an athlete. It’s intangible and personal. But I like it. And she wasn’t a bench warmer. In high school, she was the starting point guard, captain of her basketball team, and helped her school with a championship. This is good stuff.
- She hunts moose. She’s tough. Wimps who complain about their nails or Louis Vuitton man-bags need not apply.
- She was a mayor of a small town where everyone knew everyone. It works: it really resonates with me. As the mayor of Wasilla, she kept a jar with the names of residents on her desk and each week, pulled out a name, called them, and asked, “How’s the city doing?” I don’t want to be a nobody to some politician where I have to pay $1000/plate for some fundraising dinner to get some love. Granted, she’s probably changed from the small town days but yet, it’s fresher to her than it is to most politicians.
- She’s a family person. Clearly, she’s had to make tough decisions – ongoing decisions – but her marriage and family – appear to be a big priority for her. I know it’s not sophisticated for me to share this but I have to be honest, it feels good just seeing her with her husband and her numerous children – including the baby. Their names? Not so much but no one’s perfect.
- Going back to family, I like her because I don’t think she hides behind rhetoric or paper issues. She genuinely seems to be someone that believes in her convictions. Listen: Even if someone has differing views than I do, I find people who live with passion and convictions very attractive. I don’t know the full story but while some – including politicians who support ‘pro-life’ – may have been tempted to abort a DS baby, the Palins chose to honor their son’s life and the Giver of that life. Amen.
- She’s the governor of Alaska and reportedly enjoyed 80% approval rate. I don’t care what town, city, or state a person is leading but 80% is still 80%. Very impressive. Geez, I pastor a small church and my approval rate is like only 52% with a +/- 15% variance.
- And if I’m honest, I like that she’s a Christian. From what I’ve gathered, she’s a distant cousin in the body of Christ. Our worldview is different and thus, it informs our faith differently – or vice-versa – but nevertheless, I like that Jesus matters to her. But as I’ve shared before, I don’t care if you’re a Christian or a supposed evangelical, I’m more curious who this CHRIST is to you and how it impacts your commitment to mercy, justice, and humility. How does Christ impact the conviction to love our neighbor – even those neighbors? We don’t just need likeable Christians, we need people who can lead.
- Okay, okay, I admit it…I also like her glasses.
Are there things I dislike about her? Yes but we don’t need to “otherize” her. But, let’s be real: the question we should be asking is, “Do I like her as the next Vice-President of the United States?” which if you didn’t know, is the 2nd highest office of our country.
And the answer: I like Sarah Palin…but not in that way. Not as Vice-President of the United States of America, let alone as the President.
I’m glad that Palin did a solid job during the debates last week. Why? Because no one can say she lost the elections for Senator John McCain. The presidency – win or lose – is up to him.