Saturday, June 27, 2009

Governor Palin and the Media

If Governor Palin was hoping to position herself for a run at the 2012 Republican Presidential ticket, I have a piece of advice for her. Governor Palin , shut the hell up. I admit that free advice is worth about that much, but this advice actually has some merit to it. For those of you that read this blog on a semi regular basis my bias is obvious. I am inherently left leaning in my opinions, but having worked for a conservative republican on Capitol Hill, I am able to view things from the center.

Governor, please take my advice. (For those of you unaware of what this is about) Recently, Governor Palin has been keeping her name in the public eye in all the wrong ways. The two most obvious events are a (bad) joke made by David Letterman early last week. To see Letterman's apology click here. After David Letterman apologized twice, Governor Palin finally let the matter drop. This kept her in the news for a few days, but simply as a late night comedian's punchline. This week she is upset that a blogger clearly aligned with the Alaskan Democratic Party chose to photoshop a picture of her and her son who has Down Syndrome ( To see the picture in question go to the post from June 25 at 23:24:35).

This change was made to show how close Governor Palin is to a specific radio talk show host in Alaska. Her spokesperson is now sending out statements claiming that this is an improper manipulation of Governor Palin's special needs child. I feel it is important to tell any of you reading this that I have Cerebral Palsy. I am considered mildly disabled by the general public. I do not want someone's disability used for political fodder. However, the only one manipulating the disability in this case is the Governor herself. This photoshopping had nothing to do with the disability, it had everything to do with her relationship with a media person.

Her complaint is centered around the fact that children of politicians are generally off limits. Two good examples of this are the Obama girls, and Chelsea Clinton (circa 1992-2000). In both these cases, these children were not at many political events, and even on those rare occasions, they were not the center of attention. The Clintons and the Obamas did there best to ignore the occasional joke about the children, and succeeded in keeping the children out of the spotlight. I also think President Bush did a good job keeping his twins out of the spotlight. I give the Governor some credit for her argument the media has treated her family differently.

There is a significant difference in the way Governor Palin has treated her own family in the public eye. Governor Palin has made a point of putting her family out there from the beginning. In her convention speech she chose to take her special needs child on stage with her, using him as a prop to get votes.

Here is her problem (and the problem of Senator Ensign and Gvernor Sanford for that matter) the core of the Republican Party is more interested in the family dynamic than policy initiatives. This is no longer a fight worth having. The Governor is going to get the core Republican vote so bringing herself down to the level of a late night comedian or some left wing blogger does not serve her purpose. If she want to be taken seriously as a contender for 2012, stop worrying about what Letterman says, and start worrying about what the Federal Reserve says. Stop making yourself the joke of the election cycle.

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