Sarah Bravo

September 11, 2008

Remember that episode of “The Brady Bunch” where a record company taps Greg Brady for a recording contract? One of the record company operatives sees Greg perform, looks him up and down, then offers him the contract.

Greg thinks the company picked him because he’s so talented. He signs the contract, and the record company runs the celebrity PR machine for him. They stage a photo shoot in which they open a door and a pre-arranged gaggle of screaming teenage girls start tearing at Greg’s shirt. The camera starts snapping and the record company gets its celebrity photo op. Then they call off the girls, who quietly turn around and walk out the door. Mission accomplished.

Greg like his newfound celebrity status. But after he cuts a record with them, and hears what was recorded, he starts to question why he was offered the contract. “You can’t even hear the words,” Greg says. “Don’t get hung up on an ego trip,” the recording company people say. “Who cares how you sound? We’re after the sound. There’s a lot of work in that record.”

“What do you need me for?” Greg asks. They reply: “Because you fit the suit!”

Today, I can’t help wondering if Sarah Palin was picked as the Republican vice presidential candidate simply because she “fit the suit” of the celebrity that the Republicans felt they needed.

The Republicans have qualifed people who could fill the role of vice president. And if they specifically wanted a qualified woman, they could have picked from any number of female candidates with stronger credentials — for example, Olympia Snowe, Kay Bailey Hutchison, Elizabeth Dole or Condoleezza Rice. So it’s clear that “woman” wasn’t the most important factor.

They must have wanted someone who could “fit the suit” of celebrity.

Just think what Condi Rice had to do to get into the inner circle of the White House — she earned a doctorate and served as Provost of Stanford, among many other resume points. I believe she’d be a well-qualified candidate for vice president. I can’t imagine what Condi Rice must be thinking as she sees Sarah Palin on the number two spot on the ticket.

Perhaps we should ask ourselves: If Palin had her same credentials but instead looked like Kay Bailey Hutchison or Condi Rice, would she still have been picked for the ticket?

Or was she picked because she fit the celebrity suit?

Let’s imagine a not-too-distant future when the celebrity buzz fizzles and we need to deal with sober domestic and foreign issues. We need to take Carol Brady’s advice to Greg and remember: “Fame is a fleeting thing.”

Then we can say to John McCain: “Thanks, but no thanks.”



  1. Excellent post, excellent points. During a similar discussion with a friend last week, Condi Rice’s name came up several times — for the same reasons. And I agree. She would have been a much more logical choice, a sane choice. And while I wouldn’t have voted for her based on policy, I wouldn’t be enraged and appalled by the GOP, like I am now after the great unveiling of the ridiculous Sarah Palin.

    Regardless of my politics, I wonder how DUMB McCain really thinks I am. Sarah doesn’t fool me one bit, and she only reminds me of all that’s dumb in this country. Dumb and dumber by the day. My cousins in Canada are laughing at this GOP circus — and I am embarrassed. Even some of my sane Republican friends lament the passing of the old days, when the Republican party was NOT about guns, God, gays, and goofballs.

  2. Cindy, I thought the connection you made between the McPalin fiasco and an episode of the Brady Bunch was brilliant. Your analogy is perfection. Olympia Snowe is one of my senators, and I’ve heard many people, nationally, ask why she wasn’t considered. She didn’t fit the suit. Olympia thinks for herself and acts on behalf of Maine people. She is a moderate Republican and often does not support GW and his policies. Olympia asks questions. Palin fits the suit, but the facade will not speak for her and cannot protect her. She will be her own undoing because we all know that “Fame is a fleeting thing.” Like you, so many of us have already said, “Thanks, but no thanks.”

  3. Thanks, Cindy and Sharon, for your insights as well!

  4. The choice of Palin as VP was reckless and divisive. As pointed out, there were far more qualified women in the Republican Party. I think Condi would not have been a good choice, since she is so closely tied to Bush. Christie Todd Whitman would have been another viable candidate.

    The air is finally starting to be let out of the Palin balloon. The Troopergate issue is becoming a bigger problem than I originally thought it would be, and she still hasn’t had the guts to face the Sunday news shows. Its really unfortunate that the definitive interview will never happen – Tim Russert one-on-one with Palin.

  5. Hi, Bud.

    I agree that Condi Rice wouldn’t have been selected as VP candidate this time because of her ties to Bush/Cheney. But I think her resume is such a contrast to Palin’s. I agree about Christie Todd Whitman being another viable candidate, especially since she also served in a Cabinet-level post for a while…unless that whole experience soured her view?

    The McCain/Palin campaign is sure keeping Palin away from hard-hitting media as much as possible. I also thought Troopergate would blow over if she just cooperated, but now that they’re stonewalling, I wonder what’s really going on with this story.

    Thanks for your insights.

  6. […] And at the top of my pet peeve list is the fact that Americans are way too quick to embrace dubious celebrities and one-hit wonders — only to discover later that they were, well, little more than one-hit […]

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