Sarah Who?

September 12, 2008 at 5:34 am Leave a comment

John McCain’s announcement that he chose Sarah Palin as his running mate stirred controversy in the political scene. It seems that most McCain supporter naturally supported his choice, while others seemed to criticize his choice and questioned her credentials. McCain’s decision to choice Sarah Palin as his running mate serves as an interesting PR study.

1. Why do you think McCain chose Palin as his running mate?

I personally believe that McCain’s choice to make Palin his running mate was a strategic decision on his part. One reason I believe he chose her was to help him reach audiences he might not have been able to reach otherwise. These include Hilary supporters that might have been such avid supporters of her because she was a woman or voters who were undecided who they were in support of. Also, Palin offers a fresh, new person in the White House that many believe we are in need of. Also, Many question McCain’s health status, are also concerned about his age, and believe he will continue Bush’s tactics. Choosing a young, beautiful woman with a fresh view on politics helped to counteract the accusations and worries regarding McCain. She exemplifies an American “Super Woman”, juggling her political appearance as well as raising a seemingly healthy and normal family (although the news of her teenage daughter’s pregnancy caused many to question her parenting skills).

2. Do you think the choice is having the effect he and his handlers intended it to have?  Explain.

I believe his choice is having the effect he and his handlers intended. I believe his campaign team did not choose her because she was the “safe answer”, but rather chose her due to her credentials as well as stir conversation and news coverage. Although controversy is often seen as a negative thing, it can also be very beneficial because controversial issues attract news coverage, which in turn gets Sarah Palin’s name out to the public.The created buzz encouraged many to pay closer attention to the campaign trail and research her views, during which drew in many supporters.

3. How is McCain’s personal brand being affected?

McCain’s personal brand is being affected mostly by those not in supports of McCain or Palin. Those who do not support him question his reasoning and alteriul motives behind choosing Palin. Many question Palin’s credentials to be Vice President, thus questioning McCain’s.

4. How is Palin being portrayed by the media?

Sarah Palin is being portrayed in two different lights, according to the news outlet. Conservative news stations tend to support John McCain and often highlight Sarah Palin’s positive aspects and credentials. They portray her as a strong, brilliant, “super woman” (in a sense) type that has experience in the political world (which she has achieved great success in), but also has the ability to offer a fresh new outlook. Despite her portrayal of “super woman”, they also make her seem very relatable to the general public, drawing upon her motherhood and family. Although news outlets that are not in support of Palin draw upon her teenage daughter’s pregnancy, those in favor make her seem more relatable by highlighting she does not have the “perfect family”, as many do not. She has a down-syndrome child as well as a pregnant teenage daughter, and although these could be viewed as negative aspects, in general they are viewed as positives (at least I view them that way!) However, those media stations that tend to be more liberal and in turn support of Obama, often portray Palin in a negative light and question her credentials as a potential Vice President. The media has also drawn upon negatives by making simple remarks when reporting on her campaign trail. For example, CNN reports that “Palin promised that she and John McCain will ‘keep our defining commitments to our senior citizens.’ But she wasted little time on the Republican agenda and turned her sights, as usual, on Barack Obama, who has accused McCain of wanting to cut Medicare funding and place Social Security benefits in the stock market” (CNN Political Ticker website).

5. How is McCain’s personal brand being affected?

McCain’s personal brand is being affected mostly by those not in supports of McCain or Palin. Those who do not support him question his reasoning and alteriul motives behind choosing Palin. Many question Palin’s credentials to be Vice President, thus questioning McCain’s.

6. How is Palin being portrayed by the media?

Sarah Palin is being portrayed in two different lights, according to the news outlet. Conservative news stations tend to support John McCain and often highlight Sarah Palin’s positive aspects and credentials. They portray her as a strong, brilliant, “super woman” (in a sense) type that has experience in the political world (which she has achieved great success in), but also has the ability to offer a fresh new outlook. Despite her portrayal of “super woman”, they also make her seem very relatable to the general public, drawing upon her motherhood and family. Although news outlets that are not in support of Palin draw upon her teenage daughter’s pregnancy, those in favor make her seem more relatable by highlighting she does not have the “perfect family”, as many do not. She has a down-syndrome child as well as a pregnant teenage daughter, and although these could be viewed as negative aspects, in general they are viewed as positives (at least I view them that way!) However, those media stations that tend to be more liberal and in turn support of Obama, often portray Palin in a negative light and question her credentials as a potential Vice President. The media has also drawn upon negatives by making simple remarks when reporting on her campaign trail. For example, CNN reports that “Palin promised that she and John McCain will ‘keep our defining commitments to our senior citizens.’ But she wasted little time on the Republican agenda and turned her sights, as usual, on Barack Obama, who has accused McCain of wanting to cut Medicare funding and place Social Security benefits in the stock market” (CNN Political Ticker website).

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