Chase Whitestead and Erick Stroll of “New Left Media“ set out to determine just what was it about Sarah Palin that impelled her supporters to stand in massive lines for hours for the chance to meet her at book signings.
They interviewed several of her supporters who were waiting in line at a Borders bookstore in Columbus, Ohio. These fans expressed very strong support for Palin, but it was mostly couched in vague generalities about her being “real” and “strong” and “fair.”
When pressed to cite specific policies that they favored or thought qualified her for the presidency, most of her fans struggled to come up with anything other than generic lines about cutting taxes and spending and the Palin staple: “drill, baby, drill.”
On the other hand, they were all worried that President Obama has been doing enormous damage to the country. However, again, specifics eluded them.
The Huffington Post
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On November 20, 2009, Sarah Palin visited Columbus, OH as part of her book signing tour for “Going Rogue.” When her supporters were asked broad questions about why they why they thought she should be president, the responses were vague: She’s “real.” She’ll “stick up for America.”
THERE ARE UNINFORMED OBAMA SUPPORTERS, TOO
It has been said in comments that we would find similarly talking point-driven, substance-less supporters at an Obama rally, and we agree. But no politician has emerged on the national stage as undefined and unqualified as Sarah Palin, and her public persona–which is anti-intellectual by definition–discourages substance. Instead, we get winking. One could hardly imagine her giving a complex speech about race in America, or speaking eloquently about our country’s relations with Islam. Not just because she couldn’t write such a speech (Obama has speech-writers, of course) but because she wouldn’t–such necessarily academic discussion is antithetical to the persona she’s created for herself and that her supporters have come to love.
As for accusations of cherry picking, which are commonly thrown at interview-based videos, it simply isn’t what we did. We interviewed only a few more people than ended up in the video, not hundreds, and what was cut was done for time purposes. The people were selected at random–some offered to be interviewed–and we were only there for about 90 mins (it gets dark early and fast in Ohio right now). What didn’t make it into the video was just more footage of people talking generically or about taxes/spending, drilling, and abortion, and we constructed blocks in the piece to represent those issues. Of course the piece was edited to be entertaining (this is YouTube, after all, where the currency is cat videos) but we don’t believe we misrepresented the attitudes of the people at that signing in any way.
This NEW LEFT MEDIA film was produced and edited by Chase Whiteside (interviews) and Erick Stoll (camera).