Sarah Palin: the making of the candidate

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Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin is as complex as the place she calls home. Plucked from near-political obscurity to become Sen. John McCain's running mate, Palin either has pitch-perfect political instincts or has benefited from a spectacular run of luck that has landed her in the ultimate right place at the right time.

It is easy to see why McCain was drawn to her; their political resumes have much in common. The 44-year-old Republican has sold herself as a political maverick willing to buck her party over principle, an ethics reformer who quit a lucrative job rather than play ball with the old boys' network and a pragmatist who will reach across the aisle to get her agenda enacted. Like McCain, she has at times been a black sheep in her own party. Also like McCain, she has been accused of overstepping ethical bounds on occasion.

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Tim Matthewson - 9/5/2008

The Republican party is reaching back past its second string players, ignoring people like Guiliani, Tom Ridge, and others, and its leaders are going for third string players, such as Sarah Palin. She reminds me of traditional republican women of the 1950s; out in places like Wasilla and other small towns, nothing has change, as women are still chained to the bed post and confined to the kitchen. Paylin wants to justify and legitimate her own life and in so doing, she reveals that she has been closely confined to the roles defined for her by the men in her life. But the ritualized hairdo with heavy hair spray and her ability to nurse her babies at the same time that she shoots varmints with a 12 gauge, makes her the ideal woman of Republican mythology. Guiliani's sneer at cosmopolitanism exposes the hollowness of the Republican agenda, exposing a contrived perspective that signals the bankruptcy of the Republican party.