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Sexism & politics: 2008 vs. 2012

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TheBlaze Magazine editor Chris Field just brought up an interesting observation that I think is worth bringing to the blog to get your take.

His point:

When Sarah Palin was VP nominee in 2008, we weren't allowed to talk about how hot she was without being called sexist.

But the meme on the Right and the Left about Ryan has been: Forget his politics, he's friggin' hot. He does p90x, works out, looks great, etc.

It's true.  In 2008, Palin's rival for the vice presidency, Joe Biden, joked that the difference between the two of them was that Palin is "good-looking."  GOP strategist Karl Rove and former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich both identified Palin as "attractive" on Fox News.  But the McCain campaign (and others) complained that comments like these were sexist and point out how the guys in the race weren't getting the same kind of attention.

There are two conclusions to be drawn from 2008:

1.) Sarah Palin is indeed attractive; or

2.) Others in the race were dogs.

Fast-forward to 2012.  Political gawkers on both sides of the aisle are pointing to the new GOP VP contender, Paul Ryan.  One of the most-Googled terms over the past week has been "Paul Ryan Shirtless."  TMZ tagged the Wisconsin congressman as "the hottest vice presidential candidate ever!"  Politico argued, "Forget the budget: Paul Ryan is hot!"

Should Mitt Romney come to Ryan's defense and demand an end to the sexual objectification of his running mate?  Or should we all just accept the fact that America is inherently a shallow, sexist country and get over it?

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