Sarah Palin and Notre Dame

November/05/2008 2:29AM
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Why is Sarah Palin so polarizing to Americans? I’ve given it a lot of thought. The general opinion of the thought shapers in the media say she’s not an insider, not part of the establishment. That would explain the strong feelings in Washington, but not everywhere else. The response, “she’s set women back a hundred years” feelings I hear from women, young and old. This, I don’t understand.  

Here’s my theory. I grew up in the shadow of the golden dome at Notre Dame. Eight miles away across the border in Michigan. Paul Hornung dated a girl who lived down the street from me and we used to wait to get a glimpse of the golden boy. 

As I went into the real world, I learned something I didn’t know about Domers. You didn’t have to ask where they went to school, they would tell you in  the first 5 minutes. They didn’t even give you a chance to use the old joke.” I guess you went to Notre Dame. How did you know? I saw your class ring when you were picking your nose.” They told you before you could see the class ring.

Notre Dame is small in enrollment, but huge in the number of fans. I have known hundreds of people who never miss a Notre Dame football game and never went to Notre Dame. Most Catholics in Chicago are huge Notre Dame fans. Why the strong connection? It makes them feel important by association.

This is what I see with women and Sarah Palin. She is the anti-Notre Dame. She’s the Appalachian State that beat the U of M last year. She’s the Boise State that beat Oklahoma two years ago in the BCS game.

I know women who didn’t go to college who detest Sarah Palin. Why do they feel like we need snobs who went to Yale in elected office, and good people like Sarah, who do good work, embarrass them? These critics don’t have anything close to Sarah’s resume. What causes these feelings? 

I went through this process in my career. We became an organization that began to put a lot of importance on pedigree. I was building a brand marketing organization based on an ill founded strategy my organization bought from McKinsey. Only females and minorities with MBAs from the top 10 business schools were to be hired. No exceptions. Sarah wouldn’t have make the cut. But, we did have a lot of Sarahs’ in the organization.

Here’s the bottom line. None of the 15 or 20 we hired were any good. They thought their MBA was an I-Pass to the top of the house. Results were foreign to them.  I had to rely on the Sarah Palins’ to get the job done. They had common sense, worked hard, and got along with people. 

My two all-time favorite football coaches are Fuzzy Faust and Charlie Weiss. The made it harder for the millions of wanna be Notre Dame alumni to hang on to I’m part of the group dream. By rooting for Notre Dame they felt better about their background. But, that required Notre Dame to win. Nothing like a bunch of losing seasons to quell that crap.

I have news for all you women who think Sarah didn’t go to the right schools and doesn’t live in Chicago or New York, hence she’s an embarrassment to you. Most of you didn’t go to the right schools and are more like Sarah than you are like the freaks in Washington you admire. 

And, unlike those freaks, she doesn’t feel her pedigree has punched her ticket to big things and she will work hard, get along with people, and get results for you and your families. You need some class by association, shop at Macy’s.Oh, you already do. But, put 300 more people like Sarah in Washington and the approval rating would go up from 12%

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Comments (3)

  1. Larry says:

    As with many of your articles, this one is on the money.

  2. bill robertson says:

    Thanks, Larry, I appreciate your comments.


  3. Pete says:

    O’Reily and Fox News threw her under the bus yesterday. You can watch the interview on their website. It is called Frozen Out.

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