Last week, our nation witnessed the first and only vice presidential debate of this campaign cycle. It would be easy for me to recite the opinions of the television talking heads, to comment on the snap polls or to explain my perspective of who won Thursday night's showdown. Well, folks, I hate to disappoint, but today I am not here to give my opinion. It is not my opinion that matters - it's yours. All too often it is easy for me to get caught up in the news I have read or the polls I have seen - it's for that reason that I don't think my political opinion is always relevant. Today, I decided to share with you an interview I recently had with one of my favorite political opinion leaders, and one of the best political barometers I know. My mother.
On Thursday night, I spoke to my mother. She was excited to tell me that she had watched Gov. Sarah Palin's debate performance and was very impressed. Palin is reaching out to an important demographic that John McCain wasn't exactly wowing. Over the past several weeks, my mother and I have talked on numerous occasions about Palin. My mother appreciates the success of women just as much as the next person, but she's certainly no feminist. Mom really identifies with this mother of five. My mom never was a "Hillary Gal," but as a mother of four, my mom really sees eye-to-eye with the Alaskan governor. Like many suburban mothers, she is proudly one of "Sarah's Gals."
My mother is certainly no political scholar or news junkie, she may or may not be able to name the congressional leadership or the Cabinet membership and I am sure she doesn't know much how many Electoral College votes a candidate needs to win in 2008. However, she does know what she likes, and that is about the political limitations of most Americans who vote. This is why I am interested in her political opinions. My mother is a straight talking Midwesterner, and it's people like her that will decide this election.
Like any voter, my mother has her basic views. She is tired of the war, but knows we need to win. She thinks we need to do "something" about immigration, but who doesn't? She, like the rest of us, is unhappy with the economic outlook. We go to church every weekend, and she works hard during the week. My family is not rich, but we are certainly not poor. My mom works in an office; she has good benefits and she's paid well. She is more conservative than some, but not more conservative than most. She is an average Midwesterner, informed about politics on a pretty average level. She is a great mom, and a good representative sample of the voting populous.
My mother declared Thursday's debate a decisive victory for Sarah. Last week, a lot of plain-speaking Midwestern men and women were very impressed with Sarah Palin. Plain spoke to the heart of this nation - that's why she won.
I know that the poll of my mother may not seem scientific enough for some. I think the professionals are putting too much faith in the "science of polling" and too little faith in old-fashioned politics. My polling indicates that Palin is doing well and will only do better. I expect her popularity only to increase in the coming days. Keep this lady in mind, and watch her closely. She is going to do better than anyone, including me, has predicted. My polling has never failed me in the past and this time should be no exception.
What do you think about Gov. Palin? Who has been right over the past few weeks, the media, or my mom? Let me know what you think. Please write me at firstname.lastname@example.org, or send your letter to this paper.
Marcus Bowen is the former vice chairman of the MU College Republicans and now serves on the Jackson County Republican Committee.