Calling it a ‘slap in the face’, some Republicans are livid at the cover of Newsweek featuring GOP Veep nominee Sarah Palin. The close-up photo has “a picture so detailed it shows every blemish and wrinkle and even a few wisps of facial hair.” Yikes!
Remember the days when the cover art was meant to attract people to read a magazine’s editorial content — not distract from it?
The story inside, “She’s One of The Folks (And that’s the problem)”, by Newsweek editor Jon Meacham peels away at the notion of the everyman or everywoman running the country. It’s a shrewd political tactic that works for the Alaskan Governor among the base but has continually faded for the rest of us since her surprising arrival.
Palin is on the ticket because she connects with everyday Americans. It is not shocking to learn that politics played a big role in the making of a presidential team (ticket-balancing to attract different constituencies has been with us at least since Andrew Jackson ran with John C. Calhoun, a man he later said he would like to kill). But that honest explanation of the rationale for her candidacy—not her preparedness for office, but her personality and nascent maverickism in Alaska—raises an important question, not only about this election but about democratic leadership. Do we want leaders who are everyday folks, or do we want leaders who understand everyday folks?