My Family Discusses Sarah Palin via Email

Kevin Nguyen and his family take a break from forwarding each other funny pictures to discuss the Governor of Alaska’s veep credentials.

The Nguyen family loves email, but still use what I consider Email 1.0. We communicate with short one or two-line messages, usually to forward funny articles, or to remind each other of appointments, or to ask for money. In an attempt to muster intellectual political discussion through email, I sent a message to my mother, sister, brother, and father asking for their thoughts on McCain’s selection of Sarah Palin as a running mate.

SUBJECT: Palin
DATE: September 8, 2008 1:33:53 PM PDT

What do you think of Sarah Palin?

Kevin

My mom is pretty quick on email, and later that afternoon she shot me a message to let me know she was investigating the subject.

SUBJECT: RE: Palin
DATE: September 8, 2008 4:39:56 PM PDT

I'm reading her bio in Time magazine.  I'll get back to you.

Within the next hour, Mom had a reply.

SUBJECT: RE: RE: Palin
DATE: September 8, 2008 5:27:06 PM PDT

She seems to be a shrewd and pragmatic kind of individual.  She'll do well in Washington.  Hopefully, McCain would live out his term, as she'd need time to educate herself with national issues and how to deal with the presidential surroundings.  I'm not sure intellectually, she'd be the right person to become President.  But then look at Reagan!  She could always surround herself with smart and knowledgeable staff, and she'd be all set.
 
I guess in short, I'm not against her being the VP candidate.  Just not sure of her being our President.
 
What are your thoughts?  Negative?

Mom almost definitely read this profile of Gov. Palin, and regardless of whether or not I agree with her opinion (I don’t), I’m glad we could have an email conversation about something other than how I need to eat more. Hopefully this will curb Mom’s tendency to forward me chain letters.

My younger sister, Olivia, is thirteen and a level 70 Undead Warlock in World of Warcraft. On the subject of Palin, her reply was short and sweet:

SUBJECT: RE: Palin
DATE: September 8, 2008 5:59:12 PM PDT

She's with Mr. Oldman, I don't like her.

-Olivia

My brother Jonathan usually avoids discussing politics with me, mostly because we argue easily and he isn’t as well informed on the subject. Earlier that day, my brother had sent me this text message:

So, I brought up Sarah Palin to Dad the other day via text and he says "I like her. She’s hot."

A predictable joke from my father, who thinks it’s funny to apply Hot or Not Theory to everything. Here was Jonathan’s reply to my Palin inquiry:

SUBJECT: RE: Palin
DATE: September 8, 2008 10:40:14 PM PDT

Different than Dad's.

When I pressed my brother for his thoughts on Sarah Palin, he answered:

SUBJECT: RE: RE: Palin
DATE: September 8, 2008 10:54:18 PM PDT

You get my text?

The last person to answer was my dad, which was surprising, seeing how he keeps his Blackberry in a belt holster at all times. He uses email for business more than anyone else in the family, but he still can’t resist forwarding me links to news articles and funny pictures. Anyway, his thoughts on Gov. Palin:

SUBJECT: RE: Palin
DATE: September 9, 2008 4:57:40 AM PDT

She's hot and looks like Tina Fey. What else do u need? Seriously though, I think it's turned out to be a great move for McCain. Much better pick than Biden. I'm still disappointed Barack didn't have the guts to pick a woman (with experience). That said, Sarah is ultra-conservative, almost scarily so, but a lot of the Hillary supporters may identify with her (older white women mostly). I think the race is now dead even.

My dad has recently gotten into text messaging, which explains his habit of typing "u" in lieu of "you." He’s among the many adults who think younger people use abbreviations because it’s hip and trendy, when in fact, it’s just shorthand for typing texts and instant messages more quickly.

Still, Dad’s got a knack for prediction, and it worries me that he thinks the presidential race is "now dead even." He also predicted that Google will be the next Enron scandal. I hope he’s wrong, because my family is making progress and they’re all on Gmail.

Kevin Nguyen is a founding editor of The Bygone Bureau. His only marketable skill is an above-average knowledge of European geography. He has been useless since the introduction of the atlas in 1477. Reach him by email or follow his Twitter account.