I still haven't seen her O'Reilly interview (I'm on pins and needles though), but I fully expect to walk away energized and realizing once again that Sarah Palin is one smart cookie. This is a woman who is going to be able to use Fox News essentially as a training ground and a megaphone for conservative ideals and to promote 2010 candidates - all while they're paying her.
It's brilliant. She's essentially using the Fox News network as a campaigning arm (yes, I'm hoping this eventually turns into a campaign:) until she formally announces a candidacy (hopefully she will) and they'll be cutting her a paycheck in the meantime. All the while she will be able to get her feet wet in live television debate, national issues, and high-end media personalities that she's sure to run into in any future run. Not to mention the connections she can make. Krauthammer wanted her to study - well she just signed up for one crazy college course.
The Cuda outmanuevers everyone yet again, including me:)
Now, on to this article by S.E. Cupp - Sarah Palin's Victorian Critics:
Though we're more than a century removed from the Victorian era, the myth of the fragile woman is very much alive and well. Amid news that Sarah Palin will become a Fox News contributor (disclosure: I appear regularly on Fox, especially on Sean Hannity's show), her skeptics are already breathless with anxiety, fretting that she isn't hearty enough to survive the grueling rigors of punditry. Yes, punditry. Get out the fainting couches.
According to the Los Angeles Times, Republican strategist David Carney seemed to question Palin's constitution, suggesting that the less she has to do, the better. Limited appearances are "probably safer . . . than a daily show where she'd have to come up with something innovative and entertaining and provocative for 42 minutes, five days a week."
Only in the glossy, rarefied and coiffed world of television is 42 minutes of thinking considered a challenge.
Nonetheless, David Wallechinsky also seemed to fear for Palin's stamina in a Huffington Post screed. Like Carney, he took comfort in knowing the little lady wouldn't have to carry a program all by her lonesome: "Okay, she won't be having her own show - that's probably too darn hard for Palin." Washington Post blogger Jonathan Capehart worried, too, that the television gig would test Palin's mental mettle, discharging some heartwarming advice: "Palin will learn how to think on her feet. She should get used to getting to the studio thinking that she's going to talk about one thing only to find out that she's talking about something else."
Horror of horrors, anything but that.
Excuse me, but what century are these guys from? The idea that a former governor, a seasoned politician and a mother of five from Alaska isn't capable of chiming in every now and then on issues with which she is already intimately familiar is downright archaic. It's also preposterous. When did television punditry become the vaunted decathlon of the political Olympics?
As a pundit myself, I can tell you it's a job Sarah Palin can more than handle. In fact, it's a job at which she can excel. But this kind of hyperventilating over Palin's skill set isn't just antiquated and uninformed. It's also sexist. Back in the 1800s, female hysteria was a common medical diagnosis for a wide range of symptoms - from nervousness to stress, insomnia and irritability - thought only to manifest in women. Hysteria itself comes from the Greek word hustera, or uterus.
Until Freud came along and reclassified most hysteria diagnoses as general anxiety disorders, women were treated as fragile, delicate, temperamental creatures who couldn't handle the rigors of life as aptly as men. In 1873, Harvard physician Edward Clarke even suggested that educating women would physically overwhelm them - creating women with "monstrous brains and puny bodies."
In spite of Freud, the fragile woman myth is perpetuated even now - and not just by Jean Paul Gaultier's hideously named "Fragile" perfume for women, which I recently came across, but also by the amateur Palinologists who can't resist putting Sarah on the couch.
What, exactly, are they afraid will happen at Fox? That she'll collapse into a fit of giggles on "Hannity"? Or that a national security conversation will devolve into one about menstrual cramps? Or that after one or two "you betchas" she'll run out of things to say? It's true, she misspoke on the campaign trail a few times, calling Joe Biden "O'Biden," for one, and fumbling in a few interviews. But so did everyone. Biden himself could barely pronounce his running mate's name and had so many gaffes there isn't space to recount them here. Everyone flubs their lines once in a while, but it's no reason to call a doctor.
This is a woman who - inexplicably, if you believe these guys - became the first female and youngest governor of Alaska. She also, incidentally, ran for vice president of the United States, single-handedly resurrecting a dying campaign, delivering powerful speeches, adroitly handling Joe Biden in a televised debate, and navigating the blood-soaked waters of the liberal press. If her ad-libbed "pit bull and a hockey mom" joke during the Republican National Convention speech was any indication, she can think on her feet just fine.
Clearly, for the skeptics, the hand-wringing over her future at Fox is little more than wishful thinking. A number of strategists, including CNN's Paul Begala, have decided the move to television means she won't likely run for office in 2012. Also wishful thinking.
Whatever Sarah Palin's future holds, her Victorian-era detractors can rest assured she won't likely suffer any mental breakdowns on national television. She may be a woman, but she's no shrinking violet.
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