Wednesday, October 01, 2008

What’s your earliest political memory ?

I remember my father going to a Republican fundraiser because Eisenhower was the speaker … his donation cost was $5. And again from that 1960 campaign, I remember John Kennedy coming to a local park, but I didn’t go as I was only in the second grade.

But actually, my most vivid memory was the Cuban Missile Crisis in 1962. I was ten, and although my parents seemed concerned, I didn’t understand why. But the reason that I remember it was because the televised broadcast of the Yankees – Giants World Series kept getting interrupted. When you’re ten, baseball is a whole lot more important than world events.

Oh, sure there were other special events that could get a kid’s interest. During the Gemini missions, televisions were brought into school … they were exciting … but mostly because we got a reprieve from normal classes. There was no CSPAN as it began broadcasting in March 1979 … just the three major networks. Maybe there was special speeches broadcast on the radio, but I was tuned into only baseball games.

In reality, politics was not a major focus in my youth.
But my life must have been different than Sarah Palin … she must have been extremely interested in politics as she listened to Senator Joe Biden speak "since I was in the second grade."

My what a vivid memory … but how did she listen ?
Alaska Public Radio did not begin until 1978 when she was fourteen … I hope she wasn’t in the second grade in 1978.

And what words of wisdom did Biden impart ?
Biden being a constitutional lawyer and Chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee Supreme Court during nominations of Robert Bork and Clarence Thomas, one would have hoped that maybe she could cite some Supreme Court ruling other than Roe-v-Wade.

But my youth and Palin’s youth were different eras … when she was in second grade, Watergate was just unfolding. Maybe Watergate motivated her into paying closer attention to politics … maybe that’s why she became a founding director of the "Ted Stevens Excellence in Public Service, Inc.," a 527 group that could raise unlimited funds from corporate donors and individuals which would have been illegal for Senator Stevens to do himself. And how did Gov. Sarah Palin react to the indictment of Sen. Ted Stevens and the questions if he should resign ? She praised for him as someone "has dedicated his life to the betterment of the state."

There are a lot of questions about Sarah Palin capabilities to be Vice-President, but from my view, her own words are prompting more questions than answers.

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