Yes, I'll admit it. I have a huge political crush on her, and I want her to stick around.
What have we learned about her?
- In the late 80's, Palin was a TV sports reporter.
- Palin's husband, Todd, was a member of the Alaskan Independence Party, which desires a referendum on Alaskan secession from the United States. Palin herself attended an AIP convention in 2000 and sent a video address in 2008. (Palin states that she attended the 2000 convention "as a courtesy" since she was mayor of the town where it was held.)
- She is either very creative or very uncreative in naming her children. Her oldest son Track is named after the sport or track & field. Really. Todd Palin: Sarah's parents were coaches and the whole family was involved in track and I was an athlete in high school, so with our first-born, I was, like, 'Track!'
- She is under investigation for firing Alaska's public safety commissioner, allegedly because he refused to fire an Alaska State Trooper who divorced Palin's sister.
- Palin responded to rumors that her 4-month-old son, Trig, is actually her 17-year-old daughter Bristol's child by announcing that Bristol is currently 5 months pregnant. This one is a doozy, in part because the denial is implicit and not explicit, and in part because hiding her daughter's pregnancy is actually the less weird explanation of Palin's behavior around Trig's birth, which included not announcing that she was expecting until she was 7 months along (which isn't weird except that no one had already guessed. At 7 months.) and getting on an 8-hour flight from Texas to Alaska (which included a layover in Seattle) after her water broke. Salon sums it up:
Why, in refuting those original rumors, did Palin present as evidence the news that her daughter was pregnant, rather than simply handing over hospital documents and a birth certificate for Trig? Answer: It's a mystery! Why did she get on a long plane ride to Alaska after her water broke a month early in Texas? Answer: It's a mystery! Why was her staff surprised to learn that the governor was pregnant one month before she gave birth? Answer: It's a mystery!
I'm going to leave the serious commentary to others, and gleefully concede that only #4 from my list above has any real impact on Palin's ability to serve as Vice President of the United States of America. It is, however, blissfully entertaining, and leaves us with what, as Andrew Sullivan points out, is the most pertinent question of all. Did McCain not vet this person before offering her the job? And why on earth did she say yes?
Update 9/9/08: Item #2 originally cited an ABC news report that Palin was a member of the Alaskan Independence Party from 1994-1996. This report was based on an erroneous claim by the AIP's membership officer, and both the AIP and ABC have since issued corrections. I'm not sure that anyone actually reads my blog, but it behooves me to do the same.