So everyone has heard! Alaska's governor Sarah Palin has been chosen by John McCain to join him in the race tot he White House. One of my asshole conservative friends who supported John Binkley over her said, "We need a mover and a shaker, not a shake n' baker!" This person said that Sarah should stay home and be a wife and mother. Fuck that. Her parents and in-laws are very supportive of her and she is the first to state that she couldn't do it without her supportive family.
I can tell everyone that she is very down to earth. I have met her-- everyone in The Valley has met her if they have wanted to. My children and I have marched with her in parades. The first time I met her, I'd not been in the Valley for long. I had a sick baby on my shoulder and I was in the store. This nice lady who was ahead of me in the check-out line handed me a tissue and we started talking and she found out that I was new and she asked how I liked being here. It was very benign, and she seemed nice. A year or so later I got an invitation to her birthday party where she was accepting donations. I didn't think much of the picture; I just thought it was nice take my daughters to go see this young looking woman who was running for something. I was pleasantly amused when I saw her and commented on where we'd met and she said we were being moms-- her being mayor meant nothing when I had a sick baby with a runny little nose on my shoulder. (My coat was snotty. That she even got near enough to hand me a tissue speaks volumes of her! Germs avoid her!)
Her children seem unspoiled. Her daughter Bristol wore a t-shirt that said something about her mom running and to vote for her. My kids said they'd do the same for me. When I was growing up in South Anchorage, I knew a lot of children of political people who would have never done that. Her husband is a handsome guy-- I melted looking at a picture of him, Sarah and Baby Van Palin right after he was born. They knew that he had Down Syndrome not long after he'd been conceived-- it's one thing to be pro-life and anti-abortion, but it's another to have a baby with high needs who will grow into an adult with unique needs. (Having seen him, one would understand that he's not one to be sent back! Precious little person! Starshine saw his picture and kissed her finger and touched my monitor screen where his pretty little lips were!)
I kept thinking that McCain would come out at the end and say, "Psych!" and tell us that she isn't running, but she is! I do hope that she wins.
Sarah is an inspiration. My dad died around the time she got elected. Unable to save my dad from cancer, I promised him that I'd finish college and be a doctor. I asked my husband about me finishing school and he said that if Sarah Palin could have four kids and be governor, that surely I could finish college. We've just been talking about me going to Vermont for a low residency master's degree-- as in 24 hours ago. This morning he called me and was laughing saying that it looks like I can with her being able to do DC. . .
I am grateful for what she is giving up to serve her state and her country-- and for what her children and family are giving up, too. She/they may never be without a security detail, there will be few spontaneous camping trips and life as they once knew it will never return. We dream of a life like what she is going in to, but in return for her influence and power, she is giving up something that we Alaskans take for granted.