Friday, August 29, 2008

...and the hits just keep coming

Ok, so last thought about McCain's choice of Sarah Palin in the veepstakes. She just had a child with Down Syndrome 4 months ago! This is significant for a number of reasons. First, yes it does provide the GOP with that strong "family values" symbolism that they are known for, but there's a significant drawback here. The McCain campaign has asked her to join the ticket where she needs to travel nationally and actively work to get her new boss elected for the next two months or so. This puts demands on her time that will likely affect her ability to care for the infant (much more than being governor of Alaska would). That will hurt her mostly because this delicate balance will probably cut into the amount of time she would need to get up to speed on the plethora of major domestic and foreign policy issues that she needs to be able to process and speak about coherently. Second, this seems at odds with the Republicans' "family values" motif in the sense that they are kinda requiring that Mrs. Palin spend so much time away from the family and children (especially the youngest one who still needs to be nursed, burped, etc. with a mother's care in their view). Finally, my bright fiance pointed out to me that the materiality of a new mother's body can complicate matters even further. Giving birth has effects on a body, and that should be taken into account.

Let me be clear, though. None of this means that she can't do it or shouldn't take the job. It's just surprising that there appears to be little to no consideration for the amount of time and energy she would need to devote to raising her infant son and how that could trade off with the excessive demands that come with being McCain's running mate.

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