Sarah Palin’s Challenge — Our Instinctive Biases

When faced with a new piece of information, we filter the item through our own internal biases in an attempt to make sense of it. The recent Vice Presidential choices of Barack Obama and John McCain gave me an interesting illustrative example.

When Barack announced Joe Biden, the conversation was about Biden’s experience, his voting record, his speaking ability — whether he could help Obama win, and whether he’d make a good President.

This morning the McCain camp announced that Sarah Palin would be McCain’s running mate. The first person — female — I discussed this with knew as little as I did about Palin. In other words, basically nothing.

Her first questions, in rapid succession and at least partially in jest, were:

How old is she?

What does she look like?

Is she fat?

I suspect, for better or worse, this is the initial prism through which many of us will view McCain’s choice.

Am I wrong?


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9 thoughts on “Sarah Palin’s Challenge — Our Instinctive Biases

  1. I thought McCain is not only a cad (as a citizen of America) he is likely insane. (I now suspect McCain of some insanity frankly).

  2. and I thought.. wow, Libby Dole and Kay Bailey Hutchinson must be furious..

    it is as much about ignoring women who are legitimately qualified as Republican Senators to run alongside McCain as it is Palin being a no name.. lots of successful presidents have been no names, that is not the question.

    its the entire idea thatMcCain seems to think that any woman will do.

    (and I suspect the party thinks she will be ‘manageable’. they might be wrong there. )

    Sarah Palin should not be pilloried because she accepted the honour of running for the second highest office in the nation. We don’t know much about her yet.

    But John McCain should definitely be censored for such a cynical choice.

    And what do you mean what does she look like and is she fat?
    honestly people.

    Lets hope Obama gets at least some of his education mandates in place.. if these responses are any indication, we need them!!!

  3. Not only is John Mc Cain too old to be president of this country, he is also senile. How could he possibly choose Sara Pailin for the second most important position in this country? America deserves much better..We had enough of GW and to have to think of another idiot is just too much to bear at this time ..

  4. John Mc Cain calls himself a maverick ..who is in definition is an independent minded unorthodox person..I perceive him not as such a person..If he just met his VP nominee just once, then how can he make important decisions like foreign policy decisions, the economy, domestic issues.and protection for our country from terrorists

  5. I think that after tonights speech she gave maybe people are starting to see the real reasons why he decided to pick her. I think she is a great pick and even if she is relativly unknown she seems to have an idea of what normal people go through from day to day unlike most of the lawyer or old time politicians do these days. I think she is a fresh face with fresh viewpoints and we need that. THAT is REAL change.

  6. Let’s giv eher a chance to discuss issues and supply insight into why she is qualified to be veep.

    The first look is sometimes the best look and sometimes a charade. Time will tell.

    Did she actually sell the jet on E-Bay or did she sell it to a big R doner? I think urban legends are terrible and should be checked.

    If she believes man did not cause a shift in global warmng then we should also check to see if Sarah believes the earth was made in 6 days with you know who resting on the 7th.