On Saturday, February 6, 2010 in Nashville, TN, Sarah Palin (former Governor of Alaska and 2008 Republican VP nominee) was the featured keynote speaker at the First National Tea Party Convention. For those of us Gen Y-er’s who are unaware, the NTPC “is aimed at bringing the Tea Party Movement leaders together from around the nation for the purpose of networking and supporting the movement’s multiple organizations’ principal goals.”
During Palin’s speech at the NTPC, many viewers noticed what looked to be writing on the palm of the speaker’s hand. Upon closer inspection it became clear that Palin had words such as “Energy”, “Tax Cuts” (the word “Budget” was crossed out), and “Lift American Spirits” scribbled across the palm of her hand. Many people began to criticize Palin’s hand-written notes after she herself denounced President Barack Obama for his use of the teleprompter when speaking to the Nation.
Those in Gen Y who are college graduates (or who may still be in college) are required to pass a Speech 101 class, regardless of the student’s major. With Palin being a college graduate herself, surely she took the required Speech 101 course as well. Students who take a Speech 101 course learn how to properly give a well constructed and well organized speech to an audience. In most Speech 101 courses, students are instructed to use tools such as note cards, outlines, or even software like Microsoft PowerPoint, to aid them in giving a successful speech. Such tools do not include writing key points on the palm of one’s hand.
In addition to Palin’s low-tech teleprompter use, she has recently gotten herself into more hot water in regards to the use of the word “retard”. After demanding that President Obama’s Chief of Staff, Rahm Emanuel, be fired for his comments after calling some liberal groups “F-ing retards”, she was quick to defend conservative talk show host, Rush Limbaugh, after he used the word “retard” to describe some of the same liberal groups. Palin explained that the difference between Emanuel’s remarks and Limbaugh’s remarks was that Limbaugh used the word “retard” in a satirical fashion. Bottom line is that the word “retard” is callous and tactless, and should not be used at all – and that includes being used in supposed “satire”.
With the majority of Palin’s media coverage being somewhat negative lately, some Republicans are beginning to wonder whether she’s doing more harm to the party than she is good (especially if she’s considering running for President in 2012). In a recent CNN/Opinion Research Corporation national poll, 43% of Americans view Palin in a positive light while 46% have an unfavorable view of her. In addition, 7 in 10 Democrats dislike Palin and 7 in 10 Republicans have a positive view of her. Among Independents, Palin has a 42% favorable view among Americans and 47% have an unfavorable view of her. Also, surprisingly enough, Palin continues to be favored more among men than women.
As a Gen Y-er, how do you feel about Sarah Palin? Whether you are a Republican, Democrat, or Independent, how do you think she will favor if she decides to run for President in the 2012 election? Also, do you think Palin is doing more harm than good – whether it is in a political light, her use of writing notes on her hand, or her views on when (or when not) to use the word “retard”?