John McCain, in his first television interview since his shocking vice presidential pick, said that he saw in Sarah Palin "a partner and a soul mate."That use fits fine with the Merriam-Webster definition of soul mate:
1 : a person who is perfectly suited to another in temperamentDoesn't that sound odd from a man about a woman he barely knows? And kind of creepy under the circumstances? Google soul mate and you'll get hits for stuff that matches my immediate reaction to the term. But linguistics is an empirical science and following the model of Mark Liberman's 'breakfast experiments' over on the Log, I just went and asked Mrs. Verb what she'd think if I announced to the press that a woman not much over half my age was 'my partner and soul mate'. She said she'd declare such a guy to be a dirty old man. Then she realized that I'd said 'I' and not 'some guy' …
2 : a person who strongly resembles another in attitudes or beliefs *ideological soul mates*
I regarded it as slightly weird that Palin, like Cindy McCain, was an ex-beauty queen, and thought it was snarky that so many people were pointing this out. Now, it feels kinda gross.
Update: Sept 1, 8:00 am: I'm finding that even people who follow national politics pretty closely didn't know anything about Sarah Palin until McCain tapped her as his running mate. But those who read Wonkette have heard plenty about her. And on the topic at hand here too, Wonkette is ahead of us.