A reader writes:
It's very simple why women don't like her as much as men. Women saw through Sarah Palin and we saw through her quickly. Men are literal and are more likely to say what they mean and mean what they say. Women are more nuanced and better able to persuade and manipulate others with their words. So it's quite natural for us to be able to look below the surface of another woman's words and grasp the intentions behind them.
Sarah Palin is the peppy cheerleader in high school all the boys thought was so sweet but the girls knew was really a vicious shrew. She's the new girl in the office who wears tight shirts and three-inch heels, is super-friendly to her male superiors, ignores the other women, and gets promoted sooner than her more capable and hard working peers. She's the outgoing PTA mom all of the other women are scared to cross because they will find themselves put on the worst committees. Only a woman knows how to give another woman a sweet smile and at the same time cut her down to size with an artfully crafted "compliment" without male observers having a clue about what just happened. It's like a dog whistle.
After her convention speech that so many pundits raved about, I talked to a few of my Republican girlfriends and they all disliked her immediately, telling me things like, "she's mean", "who does she think she is putting Obama down like that" and "I just don't like her". And these were women who, all except one, ended up voting for McCain anyway, although much less enthusiastically than they would have before his VP pick. The one who switched her vote to Obama did so solely because of Sarah Palin. It wasn't really the attack lines the McCain camp gave her to deliver that had turned my friends off. It was the relish with which she delivered them.
The Republican women I know who love Palin are a great deal like her--simplistic thinkers who are always feeling victimized themselves. I have a feeling that if the McCain camp had spent more than a weekend checking Palin out, a woman on his staff (my money would be on Nicole Wallace) would have figured out what kind of person she was and none of us would know her name right now.
And let's face it: the straight men are also bedazzled by the beauty. Men are led first and foremost by an organ a little cruder than the brain. And Rich Lowry's starbursts - God love him - render him merely human. And blind.
(Photo: Sarah Palin holding her infant with Down Syndrome on a book tour stop in Roanoke, Virginia.)