Thursday, September 4, 2008

'Biden must be wetting himself right now...'

Okay, Condi, you're off the hook. Palin brought the heat and the humanity to the convention last night - the era of the Gorebot (or evil chimperor-behind-the-scenes) veep may be over.

Pictures of Palin's younger daughter holding the new baby while licking her hand and smoothing his hair down will become iconic, historical images of modern politics. The family looked great, the young couple in question of late were radiant (not that it'll put to rest the left's attack on her young sensibilities, but don't expect them to pay kind heed to the hopefully genetic chutzpah of her mom), and through it all they looked like normal, average people from Anywhere, America.

Wished I'd live-blogged both Giuliani's and Palin's speeches, but there are plenty who did. Before I weigh in, let's take a look around.

The Washington Post article is so much fun I'll include the opening graph:

Palin Comes Out Fighting
Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin electrified the Republican convention Wednesday night, itching herself as a champion of government reform, mocking Democratic candidate Barack Obama as an elitist and belittling media criticism of her experience.
From the Chicago Tribune:

Palin fires up faithful, comes out swinging
The "hockey mom" hit the national stage on Wednesday night with a series of body checks.

Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin, Sen. John McCain's surprise running mate on the Republican ticket, turned a week's worth of questions about her experience and "reform" image against her Democratic rivals, electrifying the third night of the hurricane-shortened Republican National Convention.

The Trib's John Kass, perhaps stinging from Palin's comments, retorts, "Expect Palin to knock squirrels out of trees..." - oh goody! He extends the metaphor to hunting!

Even the Trib's theater critic chimes in that SNL will have a field day. Lookin' forward to it!

The New York Times covers the speech, naturally, but their online version today is telling: "Palin Assails Critics and Electrifies Party" is set to the left in a single column, no pictures, while Kwame M. Kilpatrick's conviction and resignation as mayor of Detroit is the big story. With a really nice photo of Kilpatrick. I guess Gore-era journos don't consider veeps important.

Locally, the print version of the Gazette gave the convention/Palin's speech the top while dropping it down online under Nation/World and leading with the phrase, "The Republican presidential nomination [McCain's] at last," ironic, considering the Dem circus that finally spun itself out with happy deals for all just two short weeks ago while McCain's been the lone contender for months.

The Beloit Daily News online is only carrying the AP story about tonight's McCain speech, but it's a good bet that Palin's speech'll be prominent on the print version, though I won't see that for a while yet.

Others: Lance tosses bits of Giuliani's and Palin's speeches between networking; Sean hits both tart and bright notes in "The Future of the Republican Party:"

Assume she continues to hold up well under the assault from soulless Leftists. Should Sen. McCain not win the election, and she wants it, Gov. Sarah Palin will be the Republican Presidential nominee for President in 2012.

Tonight’s speech debuted the female Reagan.[...]

Commentor Rob notes that there is a God: “My gosh, Ronald Reagan has returned to us in the form of a beautiful woman in heels from Alaska!” Sean also adds a touch of humor you'd probably never have known about in his post on Code Pink protesters. I suspect fairy dust explains the performance.

At Badger Blogger, Bruce notes the media condescension toward Palin's speech and adds what could be some controversy over "white, upper-middle class Mid-westerners,” and Patrick sheds light on the Dems' ferocity and the cover wars. Can you say "double standard"? Can you say "busted"?

Owen catches Palin "deviating." Fred does as well. Jib is both embarrassed and relieved by the pantsuit resolution, while I add my only fashion comments, over there, until there is nothing left in the campaign worth discussing, or things devolve to that level of absurdity. Which doesn't stop the Boston Herald from embarrassing us all. Not that I'm pooh-poohing appearance. And Cathy gives personal insight as a woman politician that should end the discussion until aforesaid boredom sets in. Someone besides me thanks Palin for finally putting the whole "community organizer" canard to rest. Thanks, Peter!

Lest you otherwise miss her column, Ann Coulter writes: "The Best Man Turned Out To Be A Woman."

My take:
Palin proved she's not a one-trick pony. Let's put it in a way the left can really get into, but just won't find any evidence for: She's a woman with issues.

She doesn't stand for reform, she's lived it - and jokes about it in a way most people can appreciate. The comment about the governor not needing a personal chef, and the kids missing her, was a great over-the-back-fence quip.

Better still was how she got rid of the governor's private jet - she sold it on eBay. (Lots of people will think this is a joke, but that's how our college sells old equipment.)

She's the mother of a special-needs child, not a politician who trotted out a niece or supporter's kid to show their "experience" and commitment - the advocacy she promises from the White House is part of her everyday life, and sitting in as President of the Senate she'll have the clout to carry through.

Coming in as a newbie, she figured out a way to break the chokehold of big oil special interests in Alaska. Why aren't Democrats standing up and cheering? Isn't that what they hate, tarring 'Republican' as synonymous with oil cronyism? Is it because she opened up competition in her state, and helped get pipelines built?

She doesn't talk small government, she's actually cut a big budget and cut taxes, including - Jim Doyle, are you listening? - gas taxes, which she then put back in the pocket of the people of Alaska. Sarah! I'm looking forward to getting some tax relief, and I'm lookin' to you! If anyone can steer McCain in this most-conservative venture, she can.

Like McCain, she's experienced hard times most of us - especially in the cities - can't or won't live with: She had a big family while working at increasingly demanding jobs; she kept her special needs baby, knowing that no matter how much help you get, it is one of the greatest and undersupported challenges a person will face ("A 2002 literature review of elective abortion rates found that 91–93% of pregnancies in the United States with a diagnosis of Down syndrome were terminated.[24]"; further, parents of trisomies are often bombarded by friends and strangers alike about their selfishness in putting such a child through life); she has teenagers, and one of hers got pregnant; the other is shipping out for Iraq in a few weeks. She did all this under great and malicious scrutiny and opposition.

Flyover country can relate. Suburbanites can relate. If McCain's looking for those votes, he can consider them in Palin's tissue-and-gum-stuffed pocket.

Palin demonstrated her gravitas during her speech, and midway through, when she linked energy infrastructure, economics and foreign policy in one simple but sweeping comment on a key issue for this election, I thought, "Biden must be wetting himself right now at the thought of debating her."

Palin got it right when she described herself and hockey moms - who make soccer moms look like slackers - with the old joke: What's the difference between a pit bull and a hockey mom? Lipstick. I expect Biden will be covered in lipstick marks during the debates.

My prediction is that fall-back arguments about the limit of her experience, etc., won't be necessary as long as they stand back and give her the microphone.

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