Timothy Treadwell was a surfer kind of guy, an enthusiast environmentalist, he used to lecture on nature in secondary schools, raising awareness on the importance of animals and ecosystems. He was not afraid of danger. For thirteen years, he tried to spend his summer with the grizzly bears of Alaska, which he treated as his friends, named, talked to and fed with his own hands. His story was turned into a movie, even, Gizzly Bear. Timothy Treadwell was killed in October 2003, along with his girlfriend, parcially devoured by two bears. It was nothing personal: it had been a summer of few fish.
The choice of Sarah Palin for vice-presidential nominee in the Republican ticket had the obvious intention of causing stirr amongst global audiences and that's exactly what it did. Governor of the state of Alaska for the past twenty months, Palin instantaneously jumped into history right before our eyes: whereas before she was a totally unknown character, she bears today a name that surpasses that of local celebrities such as the grizzly bear, salmon and fearless Timothy.
Born in Idaho, Sarah Palin, 44, is a mother, a doting wife, local basketball coach and registered republican. This choice for the Republican ticket had, among other things, the goal of setting John McCain's image apart from the Bush administration, acting as a surprise, and controversial, element, able to give a new breath to her party's campaign, that had been looking a lot more like a Bloomberg programme, quickly blown away by Barack Obama's Messiah-like-MTV appearances. Thus, she has seductively looked towards democrats who were upset about the defeat of senator Clinton and those who were undecided about the democratic candidate - all of this while, at the same time, waving reformist proposals. In order to achieve this, she uses her most powerful weapon: the fact that she has a vagina. She has been able to rekindle heated feminine discussions that we tought had gone out with the break-up of the Spice Girls.
She doesn't leave her essence behind though. Palin is conservative to the bone; she wishes to portray herself as a normal citizen, an ordinary housewife, who loves ordinary designer shoes and works as an ordinary governor. That's why she tells us she met her husband Todd while in high school (he, a former champion snowmobile racer and an American oil field production operator for BP Oil) and that they had five children. Patriotically, she informs us that the oldest has been serving, since last year, in the American Army in Iraq and christianly, that the youngest suffers from Down Syndrome. She quickly acclaims, in one fell swoop, her three main beliefs: family, the American occupation of Iraq and her anti-abortion stand. Yes, this is all political opportunism, but she uses it and it works.
Behold, newspapers have announced this week the pregnancy of her senventeen-year-old daughter Bristol: the perfect family tarnished... A scandal. However, as there is no such thing as bad publicity, Sarah Palin took to the press, once again, standing up for the american family and raising new fans; her daughter would never have an abortion, her parents stand by her unconditionally and she is to get married to the father of the child immediately. Tough luck is only the lawsuit against her for dismissing her brother-in-law from a public post after he divorced her sister.
Palin's family is a fun one and out of it a good, old-fashioned, popular use, typical of Republicans, has been made, they spot everything and of nothing are they ashamed. Palin's choice has had favourable, unimaginable effects, as you can hear in the speeches at the Republican Convention, with a record-breaking attendance, even more watched than the Beijing Olympics. However, her rivals continue to emphasize the beauty of her lack of political experience. Rumour has it that if she can't even control her own daughter, how will she be able to run a country? And what's so conservative about being Juno's mother anyway? Sarah Palin strikes back: the only difference between herself, as mother, and a pit-bull is the lipstick. Because of all this (and more), until November, all eyes, lenses, microphones and YouTube links are set upon the McCain-Palin trail, in order to find out more about the outcome of the race to the White House. An unlikely duo. Still, Republicans are not naive and they know that even friends can turn into enemies. You can't rule out extreme situations. Or predict to which extent will Obama's good intentions and optimism be able to contain the fear culture that has been set in America since that day in September.