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Joan Garry

Joan Garry

Posted: September 1, 2008 12:32 PM

What Americans Think of Sarah Palin


My friend and neighbor Bobbi came over for a visit yesterday. We were both back in New Jersey after our trip to Denver for the convention. Our primary agenda item was to recap our respective experiences at what we both understood was an historic convention and a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. We returned more fired up than ever to raise money, raise our voices to ensure a Democratic victory in November.

Then our attention turned to Sarah Palin. Bobbi and I had very different reactions. Bobbi was on Cloud 9. Could McCain have made a worse choice? she asked gleefully. She said she couldn't have imagined better news.

My reaction was quite different. I'm angry and I have a sick feeling in the pit of my stomach. I'm angry at John McCain. How dare he make such a flagrantly sexist choice? Would he ever have selected a man with the same experience and credentials? We all know the answer. How dare he be so irresponsible? His VP pick feels ever so much more important given his age and cancer history.

So why am I not smiling like Bobbi?

Because the American public worries me. And my fears were confirmed this morning when I learned the results of a CNN poll. Have a read for yourself. Deputy Political Director Paul Steinhauser tells us that 52% of Americans rate McCain's selection as "excellent" or "pretty good" and 42% of Americans say she is prepared for the White House (clearly they couldn't get through to Palin's mother-in-law).

Steinhauser continues. Almost six in 10 Americans say Palin's selection as McCain's running mate will have no effect on their vote. One in five say it makes them more likely to vote for McCain; one in five say it makes them less likely.

The conclusion he reaches is that "Americans seem evenly divided on whether McCain made a wise choice in selecting Alaska's first term governor."

This explains the sick feeling in my stomach.

But you know, after I sent out 43 fundraising emails this morning, I felt a lot better. It's Labor Day after all. There is work to do.

Read more reaction from HuffPost bloggers to John McCain's selection of Sarah Palin as his running mate