Thursday, December 30, 2010
As I was away for several days, some things I normally would have jumped on, I let sit for a couple days. However, I certainly want to chime in on former White House Press Secretary Dana Perino's comments about Governor Palin's "authenticity."
According to Perino, Governor Palin's ability to go camping one day and write a thoughtful op-ed about Iran the next is somehow "discordant." After enjoying the great outdoors, supposedly her policy writings the next day don't "sound like her." Well, this is a different take on things. Usually, people--those who aren't paying attention--say the Governor isn't dealing with the issues. Perino is aware enough to know that clearly Governor Palin is constantly dealing with the issues, so she instead states that when doing so it doesn't sound like her--because of her love for the fresh air of Alaska. She calls her ability to go camping and do some serious thinking "weird."
I may not always agree with Perino, but I do often enjoy listening to her perspective. She's way out in left field in this case, however, and her viewpoint is completely ridiculous, or shall I say weird?
Yes, how odd it is that someone could actually think a person has to be one dimensional to be authentic. Anyone who even gives credence to the idea that a person can't do various and sundry things, and use a different voice when doing them, is small-minded and lacks common sense. Anyone who has ever held a conversation with her child on Sunday, for example, sounds quite different than she sounds with her clients at work on Monday. And who speaks the same at an amusement park as they speak at a town hall meeting? Hopefully, no one. Yet each voice is as authentic as the other--in its proper environment. Whether Perino was airing her own feelings, or speaking about how others view Governor Palin, her validation of such a small way of thinking is...well, small-minded.
This reminds me of people who think a pretty girl or a star athlete can't simultaneously be insightful and intelligent. Who knew people still thought this way? It's absurd. I sometimes run into people I haven't seen in years who incorrectly remember me as a "gym teacher," and I have students now who will say, "You should be a gym teacher." And why do they say this? Because I kick butt on the basketball court, of course! In their minds, while they don't even realize it, one can't be athletic and also do other things well. On the other hand, those who have never seen me play ball, but have only witnessed me teach English, cannot imagine me doing anything but that. To these groups of people I point out that a person can actually have a variety of interests and do several of those things quite well. News bulletin: a person can score a touchdown today and pass a biology test tomorrow. One would not think someone as bright and experienced as Dana Perino would have to be made aware of this, and the fact that she doesn't think one can camp, hunt, log, white water raft, or whatever one day and still contemplate issues like national security or the economy the next says a lot about how out of touch she is.
Rob Port adds:
The intent here is to suggest that Palin isn’t smart enough to have her own opinions, and that her serious policy writings are the words of someone else. Which is pretty unfair as even Perino admits that plenty of politicians use speech writers and other advisers to craft their policy writings.
But I understand why many in Washington DC are looking askance as Palin. She’s not the traditional politician. She’s not orthodox by any stretch of the imagination. Her power and influence isn’t dependent on the traditional political and media structures. I think that makes a lot of people feel threatened.
Read more from Port and see the Perino clip here.