Vice-President / President
September 5, 2008
Presidential Candidates had to endure years of speculative scrutiny, had to announce themselves as candidates, had to stomp around America subjecting themselves to ritual humiliations, had to debate their opponents a wearying number of times, and, generally, had to carve out their own positioning in our collective consciousnesses. Then, amidst a long trail of slow discoveries and endless back-and-forths, a Vice-Presidential candidate is picked like a lottery-winner, as if from out of the blue. For presidential candidates, we got to analyze their reasons for running; for vice-presidential candidates, we get to analyze their reasons for being chosen.
I think what many Obama supporters are feeling is that, sure, Obama might be—in some sense—“inexperienced”. But he had to make himself, and he did so in an impressive and dramatic fashion. But Palin was made, and that’s not fair. Don’t people understand how audacious it was of Obama to ask for our votes? How freaking crazy it is that he did, and that we were persuaded? To have Republicans ask voters to accept a similarly “inexperienced” candidate on a ticket because someone else decided it was okay is an entirely different matter: it’s insulting.
All this is just my attempt to parse the reactions to Palin along generally unacknowledged lines: that running for President and getting picked as VP candidate are two very different things.