Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Hockey Moms, Joe Six Packs, and Me

Governor Sarah Palin is now well known for her constant references and shout-outs to Hockey Moms and Joe Six Packs. We all know who she's talking about. (But if you don't, I recommend watching re-runs of a Jeff Foxworthy sit-com or a good flick by the Coen Brothers, like O Brother Where Art Thou? or Fargo. I think there's even a Blue Collar channel on satellite radio if you're rolling like that.)

I work with folks from around the country and some of my favorite people are Hockey Moms from Michigan, Minnesota, and Wisconsin. I've had a Hockey Mom over to my house for dinner at least once. Heck, I grew up in Sapulpa, Oklahoma with Joe Six Pack. I send that guy Christmas cards every year.

While I've always been crystal clear exactly who was nearest and dearest to Gov. Palin's heart, it just dawned on me, in no uncertain terms, that I am not.

I'm not the person Gov. Palin was talking to when she winked at the camera one too many times last Thursday. If she cared at all about appealing to me and winning my vote, she would've known that I think professional women playing to the camera like a Homecoming Queen on the back of a convertible is neither folksy nor charming during a political debate.

I'm not the person Gov. Palin talks about when she jumps to the defense of Joe Six Pack. She would know that I don't drink beer and, in fact as the P.D.D.--Permanent Designated Driver, I actually worry about folks who do drink beer in six pack increments...which, if I'm doing the math correctly, is almost two times the quantity of a 40-oz, right?

The closest I've ever been to a hockey game was watching The Mighty Ducks on cable television. As a child of the 80's, you know I can't resist any film that features a member of the Brat Pack or Breakfast Club. But I digress.

Weird thing is...I work hard for the money too. Most of my family is working class or on the cusp on either end. I'm buying it and frying it up in a pan just like the Hockey Moms I know.

My mini-SUV is in the carpool lane every morning at school trying to make it before the tardy bell rings. I use as much gas driving to and from work as I do our community rec center because the four year old boy I'm raising has dreams of becoming the next Cullen Jones, Michael Phelps, LeBron James, or Antwoine Somebody-or-Other.

I even go to church, can recite the 23rd Psalms, John 3:16, AND Phillipians 4:13. Truth be told, I love God as much as the next person at Saddleback Church or Fox News.

Nevertheless, I just don't think I'm on Sarah's priority list and for the life of me, I just can't figure out why. I guess it is and will probably remain just one of those things that make you go hmm.

Hockey Moms, Joe Six Packs, and Me. "One of these kids just doesn't belong here..."

Day 28 and counting.


The Invisible Man said...


I know you believe that you should be on her priority list, but I would suggest that she would say that you are on her priority list because you both have a vagina. Isn't that bond enough? Isn't that priority!

Weren't you so happy that she didn't break down and cry during the debate, and, as a result, demonstrating that she could hold her own against a man. Geraldine Ferraro was sure impressed with Palin's step over that low bar.

IMO, the political strategy is that her mere presence makes all women her priority - A pretty face to win the beauty contest called the Presidential Election.

Will Hill said...

There is no shame in her game. Clearly they are not counting on metropolitan or cosmopolitan America to be their target audience. The Republican ticket has clearly conceded that their base will be comprised of two groups:

First, the Religious Right or at least those who would favor strict spiritual application of policy without particular regard to the realities of living in a plural society with the need to balance and reconcile one's religious beliefs with secular concerns. God told Bush to go to war, she would say, and that's that!!!

Secondly, the huge block of voters who couldn't care less about, let alone understand, an intellectual perspective on the issues at hand. She is speaking to all of those voters who have no clue what Obama is talking about as he speaks with intelligence, clarity and vision.

So no, you do not fall into those groups that Sarah Palin has strategically decided to target. That's a good thing, but I just wonder are there more of them than us??? We'll see, won't we?!

Nelda Brown said...

I think Will's assessment nailed it on the head: I'm not in either of the groups you described. I get it now.

As for the Invisible Man's argument that her presence makes all women a priority, I know (hope) your question was rhetorical. That said, there are probably some women who felt vindicated, honored and appreciated when Gov. Palin was nominated to the ticket. I, however, was definitely not one of them.

Her political tactics--during her speeches, on the campaign trail and during debates--makes me angry and a little ill. So if there was ever a "V" bond, all bets were off the moment she dissed those that devote their lives and their paychecks to living in and working with and for members of distressed communities (aka community organizers).

Call me crazy, but I didn't expect her to break down and cry during the debate. I just expected her to answer the questions she was actually asked. And the fact that she either couldn't or wouldn't upsets me--because some idiot will say she did a terrific job just because she is a woman and didn't cry or set the podium on fire (a great West Wing/Aaron Sorkin metaphor).