Tuesday, September 30, 2008

The Palin Effect

It's been nearly a decade that I've watched in horror and amazement as the American people have shown what little collective common sense they have. Electing George W. Bush not once but twice. Embracing TV shows like "The Moment of Truth". And actually taking Sarah Palin seriously as a vice presidential candidate.

But lately, I've been heartened a bit. It seems that the initial bump in popularity that John McCain received for choosing Palin as his running mate has waned. Presumably, when Palin actually opens her mouth to spout anything other than a well-scripted speech, what comes out is so appalling that she turns away even the people who fawn over her moose-field-dessing skills, Old Testament beliefs, child-producing abilities, or whatever it is that attracted her to them. Hell, even some conservatives are begging Palin to bow out.

So with that, I propose a new phrase be added to the common vernacular:
"The Palin Effect"
The definition, of course, would be something like this: 

A temporary gain in favorability--caused by an seemingly-appealing attribute--which is subsequently lost when it becomes painfully apparent that the attribute is not, in fact, appealing, but is in fact akin to a bloody train wreck.

Here are some of the many potential use cases:
  • A company's stock price skyrockets because a technical whiz is brought on as the new CEO. Unfortunately, this whiz has no experience speaking in public, let alone running a company. So in a matter of weeks, the stock price drops like a stone.
    "Looks like the Palin Effect hit GlobalCorp's share price"
  • All of the senior boys at the high school were hoping to have English Literature with Miss Anderson, the hot, young new English teacher. But she turned out to be the strictest, harshest, nastiest teacher on campus.
    "You have Anderson for English lit, and you're complaining about it?"
    "Dude, she's a total Palin!"
  • You're running for president. Many in your own party don't really like you, so you choose a vice presidential running mate who looks good, and whose wacky right-wing ideals match the wacky right-wing ideals of your own party nay-sayers. You get a bump in the polls, but as soon as people realize that she's woefully unqualified, you lose that bump.
    "I don't understand what happened! I thought the fact that she was a woman, was attractive, and thinks the earth is 6000 years old was enough to satisfy the disgruntled Hillary supporters and the lunatic Republican fringe!"
    "But dude... she's Sarah Palin!"

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