September 4, 2008

IF HE'S THE MESSIAH HOW COME SHE HAS ALL THE CONVERTS?:

McCain's New Palin (John Dickerson, Aug. 29, 2008, Slate)

Initial reactions to vice-presidential picks generally come in two forms: "Smart!" and "Huh?" Al Gore: Smart. Joe Biden: Smart. Dick Cheney: Smart (or seemed so at the time). Jack Kemp and, perhaps quintessentially, Dan Quayle: Huh?

John McCain has picked Sarah Palin to be his running mate. Huh?


A Pit Bull With Lipstick: Why the smiling, sudden, relentless Sarah Palin should scare Democrats. (John Dickerson, Sept. 4, 2008, Slate)
Drill, baby, drill. Sarah Palin was relentless in her speech Wednesday night. She drilled Barack Obama, elites, San Francisco, the press, and civil libertarians. She even went after Michelle Obama. And she did it all with a smile and a little mischief. Republicans have been flummoxed because Obama seems untouchable, but Palin may have found an effective way to criticize him—while becoming an elusive target in her own right. Want to call her shrill? Go ahead. There are a lot of women like her who vote and who might be listening. [...]

It was clear Palin was having fun, and it's hard to have fun if you're scared or a lightweight. She had command, the same quality people attributed to Obama in 2004. Yes, she had speechwriters and she knows how to read a teleprompter. But there are plenty of politicians who've had great speeches and years of practice and still need lots of help. (One of them, actually, is Palin's running mate.)

The biggest target of Palin's succession of happy little kicks in the groin, of course, was Barack Obama. She painted him as a vapid, self-obsessed fog machine of words. He was on a "journey of personal discovery," whereas McCain was running for office to serve. She made fun of his presidential seal, his two memoirs, and, most pointedly, his remarks at a San Francisco fundraiser. "In small towns, we don't quite know what to make of a candidate who lavishes praise on working people when they are listening, and then talks about how bitterly they cling to their religion and guns when those people aren't listening."

The message was clear: Who is this guy?

Posted by Orrin Judd at September 4, 2008 10:36 AM
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