Friday, October 03, 2008

The Cool Kid and the Brain...

I knew how it was going to go the minute Sarah Palin met Joe Biden and said "may I call you Joe"?

If we look back, I suspect we all remember the types from high school. The good looking popular girl with the 90210 smile and the shiny hair, personality plus, who glad-handed her way through every social setting. She was a slightly more intelligent version of Cher in Clueless.

She's good at that. She's really, really good at that. Still, at the end, I knew more about her dental work than her viewpoints on any important issues. She repeated the same tired refrains, again and again, because if she kept saying them, perhaps it would make it real. She was selling rather than informing.

A sticky point: I wish someone had coached her on how to pronounce "Ahmedinejad". It's Ah-meh-deen-uh-jahd, not Ackme-dinn-a-jahd. And "Israel" is not "Iz-reel". It's "Iz-rae-el". "Nuclear" is not "nukyuler". Noo-clee-er. Easy enough?

An ability to speak English well is one of the least expectations the country should have for those who will represent it in the world. Respect enough to learn how to pronounce the names of other world leaders is also an important part of diplomacy.

Her views on foreign policy issues are something I would have expected to hear during the Cold War, switching the names and concepts to "Andropov" and "Soviet aggression". The rhetoric was the same.

Joe Biden, on the other hand, came across as the studious one, the guy who always knew his facts and had joined the Debate Team. He was well-coached, intelligent and clear. He was professional.

That doesn't mean I agreed with everything he said. It simply means he presented it well. I would rather have him in front of world leaders.

If nothing else, watching last night did bring me one (as Hayley Mills said in a movie many years ago) "scathingly brilliant idea".

If Sarah Palin wants so much to be in the White House, perhaps she would accept a position as Banquet Greeter.

Then she'd be in her element.

Any opinions? Disagreements? Agreements?



Tou and David said...

I like your guides for pronouncing English!

jen said...

I thought Biden was epic. A statesman who didn't sink into any untoward behavior. He was sharp, he was fired up, he was genuine.

I loved watching him last night. Her? Expectations were so low it didn't even matter. Props for guts, otherwise, she is utterly terrifying.

heartinsanfrancisco said...

I think she learned her pronunciations from Bush, who also says "nucUlar" and mangles names of foreign dignitaries. In every way, Palin is strictly bush-league.

She seems to have two facial expressions: big, toothy smile and Barbie frownies. Her rhetoric is a poor substitute for information.

Houston, we have a problem.

Christine said...

you hit the nail right on the head!!!

PeterAtLarge said...

Ah, yes, speaking English... we should have thought of that before our last election. Though I guess some of us did. We just got out-mangled. Elsewise, yes, we do agree. Thanks for your response to my own piece.

Ruth Hull Chatlien said...

Yes, I agree with you. The banquet greeter idea is brilliant.

Ducky said...

LOVE the idea of Banquet Greeter! She'd be really good at that!

Border Explorer said...

Spot-on analysis, Chani.

thailandchani said...

Tou and David, thanks. :) Loved your site, btw. My closest female friend here is from the same city in Laos.


Jen, I agree. I give her credit for having the audacity to even get up there. It takes guts.


Susan, no sh*t! I can't believe some of the garbage I heard coming out of her mouth last night. She's a dingbat. Is there are Bush-league hierarchy? She must be a wannabe :)


Christine, thanks. :) What is that picture on your profile?


Peter, it seems speaking English and pronouncing names correctly should be somewhere in the "That's Obvious" chapter in the State Department's diplomatic guidebook. Or should that be the Directorate of Operations' basic training at The Farm?

Oh. Oops. Not supposed to say that. LOL


Ruth, she would be very, very good at it!


Ducky, she missed her calling, didn't she?


BE, thanks. :) I'm looking forward to yours, too!


Insane Mama said...

I haven't atched it yet. It's recorded though. I have these weird things called kids that kinda take ALL MY TIME!

citizen of the world said...

We have lived with a president for two terms who can not speak English. I am beginning to think the majority of Americans actually prefer their leaders to be dumb as a brick.

flutter said...

I hate politics.

Sienna said...

I watched the debate, I found a channel that broadcast it live and watched the lot...I kinda felt I had a duty to myself to do that.

I think you have summed it up well, I wish Sarah no harm, and I'm sure she is doing the best she can.. but I worry for your country and people.

I liked Joe, he seemed to know details and facts and foreign policy and Barack's policies, and politics and people and ...I went to wikipedia from the debate and read up about him, I like the work he has achieved. I would love to have him in my corner.

I just see a great country bought to her knees, I think I am putting my faith in the universe that it will do the right thing by the people, there must be an inspiring and good, healing resolution to all this.


SUEB0B said...

They are both doing a job, which is to get elected. It is unfortunate, but there are those people who prefer looks and folksiness over sound policy.

Jen of A2eatwrite said...

I never did like the cool kids. They were never very interesting, as far as I was concerned.

Bush says "nukular," too, and this is 8 years in.

It drives me crazy.

Amy Y said...

My husband keeps saying she's the female version of W. George Bush with lipstick, if you will. I am definitely thinking he's right...
What a joke this has become.

Maithri said...

Great post Chani,

At one point she called him 'Senator O'Biden'... lol

I also think "Dawg gone it!" is a phrase which she's trying to bring back into the international vernacular...

Love, M

thailandchani said...

Mama, I can't even begin to imagine trying to watch anything with a bunch of kids around. :)


Citizen, that thought has crossed my mind as well.


Flutter, if I was attached to the outcome, I would feel the same way. Watching it objectively without attachment to what happens is kind of like watching rats in a cage. It's interesting what they do. It's an interesting exercise in group dynamics.


Sienna, maybe it's time for it to be brought to its knees. That may be the only way substantial change will occur.


Suebob, oh yes! It's ultimately all theater.


Jen, I'm with you on the cool kids. Usually they're little more than obsequious little toadies who don't think for themselves.


Amy, I'm thinking he's right, too! :)


Maithri, dawg gone it! I think you're right! I mean.. shucks! :)


FranIAm said...

Banquet greeter- I spit out my water when I got to that line!

Leann said...

I agree with you 100% on every point. She kept saying the same thing again and again because if she veered from the coached script she would hve put her foot in her mouth and done another Katy Curic type blunder.

womaninawindow said...

Not so much a disagreement as a different view point and it comes more as a reflection on the Canadiain debates that took place that same night.

We have two major parties that reflect the Republican and Democratic ideals. Then we are lucky enough (I think lucky, maybe) that reflect a few other leftist ideals. Anyway, the unfortunate part of what you say is true. If you don't speak clearly and fluently you probably won't reflect well on the country. That is exactly how our Liberal candidate is losing the election. People up here are being too lazy to listen through his French accent to hear his politics. They're more or less holding a finger up and saying, "nanananana, look at the funny kid." What's so scary about this is the Conservative with the biggest finger is the quietest schoolyard bully in the lot. He happens to currently be our Prime Minister. (I don't support the Liberals, but as a rather/or, I'd sure take the funny talking Liberal over the big meat-headed Conservative.)

Angela said...

Why, my dear, I think you have hit on the perfect profession for the lovely guv'na. The first time she mispronounced nuclear I groaned aloud. I couldn't believe someone besides Bush would be dumb enough to do that. And that whole thing about not answering the questions and calling it "talking straight with the American people." Someone give me a break.

MsLittlePea said...

Yep. The winking and "Aw shucks" stuff doesn't work with me. I grew up in a low-income(military) family myself and I don't speak like that. None of my coal mining West Virginia Uncles and cousins speak that way either. I feel like it's condescending, like she thinks she needs to speak all folksy or else we won't understand or connect and that's pretty insulting and frankly came off to me as really phony. What scared me the most was her answers about the VP role. That she actually thinks the Constitution gives her permission to be Dick Cheney's clone. I don't remember learning about that in my Government and Economics class when I was in college but maybe she took a different course than I did...
And I will not ever vote for anyone who cannot properly pronounce the word nuclear.

I also was disgusted when she said she wasn't going to answer the questions because she wants to speak to the "regular" American people. I guess she just assumes we are too stupid to care bout those particular issues. To me that is an indicator of just the kind of administration we'll get with a Palin/McCain ticket(a name order she herself uses). One that we'll tell the American people," We'll give you the info we think you need and we'll decide the time you get it."

It's really funny all the people jumping up and down and calling her the winner just because she was able to stay in the same room with Joe Biden and not pee in her pants on tv. I felt like I was watching a game show, I kept expecting one of the Price is Right girl to come out with a new car at any minute. The McCain camp seems to think that we want show business not issues.

painted maypole said...

he he he

she can give each banquet attendee a wink all of their own