Friday, November 20, 2009

What Is Palin's Allure?

I don't get it. If you can't hang with Katie Couric in an interview, etc., how do you translate yourself as big-stage political material? Are conservatives that desperate? Apparently, yes they are. A thousand lined up in Noblesville, one town north of me, to get 30 seconds of face time and a book signed. From the Indy Star report:

Best-selling author Sarah Palin pulled in the parking lot of Hamilton Town Center in Noblesville at 5:40 p.m. to a crowd chanting her name.

"Sarah, Sarah, Sarah ..."

She got off the bus holding her youngest son, 19-month-old Trig. At the podium, she thanked everyone waiting in the rain for her arrival. People had initially been in line starting around 7 a.m. today to get 1,000 wristbands, used to limit the number of people getting books signed. They lined up again about 3 p.m. to prepare to enter the store. She called them good hard-working Americans, the people from whom she wrote her book "Going Rogue."

I can see going if you gave money during the Presidential run, although if I had, it might be to demand answers more than anything.

But really, what's the allure? I remember the Couric interview, where she said in essense that the bailout had to be done. That's a deal-killer for me, straight away. I don't get how 'conservatives' can be so excited about a fiscal liberal. Is it that her other 'conservative' bona fides simply cancel out everything else with so many Republicans? I just don't get it.


Wainstead said...

Well... yesterday a link to msnbc was floating around: Nora O'Donnell interviewing people in line for a book signing. One young woman had a t-shirt decrying the $700 billion bailout. Nora, reading from her notes, quotes Palin verbatim during the runnup to the election: Sarah's very words supporting the bailout. The young woman's response:

"I don't believe that."

She didn't believe Sarah would ever say such a thing. And there you have a pretty good segment of her supporters: a willful blindness.

I read an interesting passage in "Say Everything" last night: the concept of confirmation bias. This is when a person only reads things s/he agrees with; anything they wouldn't agree with, they don't read. I think there's a connection here.

Or try this salve: we are cuss words. Nearly illiterate. Dedicated to fighting toadies. Toadies.

Mike Kole said...

Confirmation Bias. Wow, well that's pretty much the American public as far as I can tell. Who reads my blog? Libertarians mostly, and friends. Who reads a blog like Daily Kos? Liberals, or those who want to be angry- to confirm their bias against.

Very rare are the readers, or listeners to talk radio, etc., who approach it trying to learn by looking at things from several angles.

I've had the very experience of the O'Donnell interview myself, to be told that a Libertarian held some position I wouldn't expect them to hold, and to react by saying that I didn't believe it. What goes untold in that story is what happened next. In my case, I did a fact check and had my jaw drop. Maybe that young woman did the same thing. We'll probably never know. In any case, while my opinion of my Libertarian suffered, I certainly remained an ardent Libertarian. I would expect a similar outcome.

Doug said...

I heard reference to confirmation bias a week or two ago. I was familiar with the phenomenon but not the term. It does explain quite a bit.

I just can't take Palin supporters seriously. She's an empty vessel onto which members of her team project their hopes. Most successful politicians, I suspect, do this to some degree -- I know Obama supporters saw a lot of what they wanted to see. But with Palin there seems to be little or nothing else. As Jon Stewart put it, she's a conservative Mad Lib talking point machine who presents those talking points as if they are hard earned wisdom from a life well lived.

Wainstead said...

Google knows all! Often, so does Wikipedia:

Doghouse Riley said...

What's not to understand? This country gave George W. Bush a 90% approval rating out of fear, despite the obvious fact that the man was an unqualified twit, and it elected him President after four years of on-the-job incompetence, and worse. Hell, these people's patron saint is Ronald Reagan, and twenty years later you still can't get most of 'em to acknowledge his actual historical record. I wish I didn't get Sarah Palin's allure.

Mike Kole said...

Oh, I see. I wasn't actually doing partisan trolling, but I guess I pulled some. So, for that matter, why does Obama have an approval rating above 25%? Is there anything more than that the bar was set so low before him?

Hey Steve, what's that Mencken quote that Menner's so fond of throwing around, about estimating the American public?

Wainstead said...

"Nobody ever went broke underestimating the taste of the American public."

And very apropos to this thread's subject!