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Palin's big moment:

On the substance of it, I was relieved the speech was free of red-meat social issues. It was about economics, reform, cutting taxes and spending, and national security. In other words, it focused on the kinds of things that made McCain an attractive candidate beyond the social-conservative base of the party. After all the caricaturing of Palin in the past few days as some kind of religious extremist, the silence on these issues was noteworthy.

On the tone and style of the speech, there were some great one-liners for the party faithful to cheer, especially about Obama's lack of experience and real-world accomplishment. However, I found it just an octave too mocking and smug at times. I wonder how that played with undecided voters who are angry at Republicans but are unsure whether to vote for Obama.

For someone who's closer to McCain than to Obama on matters of economic and foreign policy, the main concerns about Palin are whether she has the knowledge, depth, experience, and general preparedness to be president. If you didn't have these concerns before tonight, of course, the speech was great. If you did, like me, the well-executed and poised delivery of prepared remarks does nothing to allay them.

Related Posts (on one page):

  1. McCain's moment:
  2. Palin's big moment:
  3. Palin's Speech:
Angus:

For someone who's closer to McCain than to Obama on matters of economic and foreign policy, the main concerns about Palin are whether she has the knowledge, depth, experience, and general preparedness to be president. If you didn't have these concerns before tonight, of course, the speech was great. If you did, like me, the well-executed and poised delivery of prepared remarks does nothing to allay them.
Thank you, Dale. I was struggling in the other threads for words to express why the speech did not impress me. These two sentences sum up my thoughts very succinctly.
9.4.2008 1:41am
Suzy (mail):
She strung together a list of countries that pop up on the radar of "oil producers", but there was nothing to convince me that her policy ideas went beyond the "drill baby, drill!" chants of the crowd.

She seemed really snotty in tone at times, which surprised me. I thought she would be trying to present a much more polished, gracious image.
9.4.2008 1:44am
David M. Nieporent (www):
For someone who's closer to McCain than to Obama on matters of economic and foreign policy, the main concerns about Palin are whether she has the knowledge, depth, experience, and general preparedness to be president. If you didn't have these concerns before tonight, of course, the speech was great. If you did, like me, the well-executed and poised delivery of prepared remarks does nothing to allay them.
How could any delivery of prepared remarks do that, though?

If one has been following the news over the last few days, with the all-Palin-hysteria-all-the-time (or maybe that's just Andrew Sullivan's blog), you'd figure she couldn't string together three words without getting two of them wrong. This speech allays the concern that she's so out of her depth that she's basically a deer-in-the-headlights. But I would like to see her speak extemporaneously. I think she needs to go on Meet the Press or whatever, and show she has a grasp of issues as well.
9.4.2008 1:47am
Loophole1998 (mail):
Of course you risk being labeled sexist and elitist for questioning the depth of her knowledge and experience without leveling the same charge against the man from Harvard.

By the way, I completely agree with your observation, but I'm getting tired of being accused of sexism and elitism.
9.4.2008 1:47am
Houston Lawyer:
I expect her to be as open to the press as Obama. Have they been allowed in the same room with him lately?
9.4.2008 1:53am
Bill Dyer (mail) (www):
Prof. Carpenter: Keep an open mind. Keep inquiring.

I predict that you'll come around.
9.4.2008 1:55am
A.S.:
the main concerns about Palin are whether she has the knowledge, depth, experience, and general preparedness to be president

Of course, given that Obama's knowledge, depth, experience and general preparedness are virtually identical to Palin's, these should be the main concerns about Barack Obama too. But since he is male, nobody will bring that up.
9.4.2008 1:55am
Brett M (mail):
As a strong Democrat, I agree with you, Dale, on both the positives and the negatives. In addition on the positive side, I thought she told her personal story really well, including making a pretty good case for her accomplishments as governor (although she really shouldn't have repeated her misleading claim on the bridge to nowhere--she's close to lying on that one). On the negative side, the proximity to Giuliani hurt her. His speech was red meat for the crowd, but way too harsh on Obama for the undecideds. Some of that mood bled over into her speech, upsetting the balance and highlighting her attacks a bit too much (although she delivered them much more subtly than he did). The problem isn't that they're attacking Obama; rather, it's that most of the attacks are personal and disrespectful. Obama established a tone of respectful but vigorous disagreement. Tonight the Republicans didn't live up to that. But, I must admit, I imagine she connected personally with a lot of viewers as long as she was talking about herself.
9.4.2008 1:55am
Bill Dyer (mail) (www):
Oh -- and if you haven't already, watch the debate from the 2006 Alaska gubernatorial election that Prof. V linked earlier today.
9.4.2008 1:56am
PC:
I expect her to be as open to the press as Obama. Have they been allowed in the same room with him lately?


Obama will be on O'Reilly tomorrow night. Good enough?
9.4.2008 1:57am
A.S.:
but I'm getting tired of being accused of sexism and elitism

I have not read any of your comments, so I have no opinion about you personally. But generally, my reaction to those left-wingers who are complaining about being called sexist for attacking Palin based on the same issues that apply to Obama: if the shoe fits...
9.4.2008 1:59am
hawkins:

I found it just an octave too mocking and smug at times


From the highlights I've seen of the speech I agree. I think the GOP would have done better by toning down her speech and not allowing Guiliani to speak.
9.4.2008 1:59am
Bill Dyer (mail) (www):
Brett M: Just curious, but do you think it's disrespectful to mock the Greek columns and the Great Seal of Obama? I don't think she said anything you won't hear on Leno or Letterman.

Of course, the reason the remarks bite is that they're so close to the truth.
9.4.2008 1:59am
hawkins:

I don't think she said anything you won't hear on Leno or Letterman.


Of course its more disrespectful when it comes from an opponent rather than neutral observers (actually, stand up comics).
9.4.2008 2:01am
Suzy (mail):
Should the VP nominee be adopting the kind of tone you expect from a late-night comedy show? I just don't find that appropriate. I expected something more uplifting. It's a problem if Obama is offering that, and the other side is being snide. It just makes him look all the more statesmanlike. I know it's hopeless to to fly that "let's talk about the issues!" flag, but darn it, I want to hear about the issues. We can have respectful disagreement.
9.4.2008 2:08am
js5 (mail):
straight up Mr. Carpenter! What an excellent post. Always like when others are able to sum up my views so tersely (and clearly).

I'm also with Mr. Neiporent on that she needs to be away from the ruckus and let people know where she stands on the important stuff. Away from cue cards and such.
9.4.2008 2:09am
Hoosier:
"Loophole1998 :
Of course you risk being labeled sexist and elitist for questioning the depth of her knowledge and experience without leveling the same charge against the man from Harvard. "

Maybe if you didn't drop "Harvard" in there as a factor predisposing you NOT to question Obama's "knowledge and experience." What Harvard has to do with "experience" is beyond me. And do you really think that someone from Harvard should be expected to have more "knowledge" of governance than anyone else in public life? Why?

I don't deny that Harvard is one of the world's great universities. But what this has to do with governing is unclear. The Harvard Alumi Association around JFK and LBJ gave us the Vietnam War, as David Halberstam remided us. Why the presumption of deference?
9.4.2008 2:11am
js5 (mail):
Weigel over at reason has an interesting post that adds to Mr. Carpenter's post

http://reason.com/convention2008/#128584

Nick Gillespie also furthers those comments in the article below that.
9.4.2008 2:12am
A.S.:
BTW, the word "smug" is clearly the Obama campaign talking point about the Palin speech. I've seen it in numerous places already - from Jeffrey Toobin on CNN to Kevin Drum's site to this post. The Obama campaign must be pushing that line really, really hard.
9.4.2008 2:13am
Jon Roland (mail) (www):
Something should also be said about Palin's 7-year-old daughter Piper, who knew when to rise and gestured to her older sisters when they didn't, and they followed her. She also was a natural in smiling and waving to the crowd. A future leader in her own right.

She was also cute the way she held her little brother Trig, licking her hand to get moisture to flatten down his hair. A natural future mother.
9.4.2008 2:20am
Melancton Smith:
Hm...wasn't Biden touted as the attack dog choice? It seems VP's are there to attack, the top guys are there to act all statesman-like.

I think she gave the Dems both barrels.
9.4.2008 2:21am
Boyd G (www):

I wonder how that played with undecided voters who are angry at Republicans but are unsure whether to vote for Obama.


I don't think the undecideds were the target audience tonight. Later, yes. Tonight, no.
9.4.2008 2:21am
Suzy (mail):
Hoosier, I agree with you that Harvard et al. deserve no exaggerated deference. On the other hand, when did it become appropriate for candidates to mock having an ivy league education? If "smug" is indeed the campaign talking point, at least you can see why. Those kinds of cracks from Guiliani and Palin seem pretty flimsy, when people are wondering what you're going to do about housing prices sinking into a pit and jobs going overseas. I'm not sure it's a wise plan to let the Democrats claim some monopoly on the serious, respectful attitude.

To that end, despite his little factual flubs, I thought Huckabee was the most effective speaker of the evening. He managed to raise doubt about the opposition while still conveying a positive attitude. I underestimated him early on and still continue to be positively impressed and surprised by him. I wonder if he will run again.
9.4.2008 2:25am
Wayne (mail):
I think selecting Palin calls McCain's judgment, or maybe its his credibility, into question. Remember, he is the guy who supposedly puts "country first."

One of McCain's main attacks against Obama is his experience, or lack thereof. Admittedly, Obama's resume is thin, although he is clearly talented, and I think his time as a constitutional law professor is a significant qualification. (The president frequently has to deal with constitutional questions - firing the town librarian, not so much.) However, the main, or at least most important, job of the vice president is to take over if the president is incapacitated. And McCain is 72 years old, so this is not just academic. Can anyone seriously argue that Sarah Palin is one of the most qualified republicans to take over the presidency if necessary? Even in the top 100? If she isn't, than the only explanation is that McCain picked Palin purely for political reasons, despite the fact that she would not be ready to take over if she had to. Is that really putting country first?

Arguing that Obama isn't qualified either isn't really a rejoinder to this question. We already know that McCain says Obama isn't qualified. So how does picking someone for VP who is at best similarly unqualified reflect on McCain's decision making? It seems its all about the winning, now.
9.4.2008 2:27am
TLove (mail):
If you take a marxian view of the world, everything is defined by your current economic income, then someone like Palin is incomprehenisible (wasnt' there a book writen about why marxists find kansans incomprehensible).

If, one the other hand, one suspects that religious affiliation, ethnic identity, philosophical optimism or pessimism might have an effect in addition to the number on one's w-2, then the appeal of Palin is obvious.

And there are a lot of women out there who think men in general have handed them the short end of the stick just because they are women, not because karl marx told them, and those pissed off babes are not voting for yet another in a long line of harvard grads who talks down to women.
9.4.2008 2:27am
nicestrategy (mail):
Piper, a future leader in her own right????? Are the kids off limits or aren't they? Piper was as cute as the Obama kids. Great. Our national leaders have cute kids. The biography stuff is making me ill -- a bipartisan cancer.

Please, please, please keep comparing Obama's knowledge and depth to Palin. Obama isn't the one who doesn't have a clue about what the VP does. Anti-intellectual demagoguery is ugly, too bad it has been shown to work. Not this year, I don't think, but the strategy, however ugly, makes sense.
9.4.2008 2:30am
Clastrenster:
To be fair, Palin's speechwriter SAID she would talk about what it was like to be mayor, but she never got to it-- I assume she struck out on her own.
9.4.2008 2:31am
TruthInAdvertising:
You have to love a lecture on why women shouldn't vote for Obama because of a claim that he's anti-woman when the person making this claim uses this line:

"those pissed off babes"

Note to TLove, most women you would attribute this view to wouldn't take kindly to you calling them "babes", no matter how you might view them.
9.4.2008 2:44am
p. rich (mail) (www):
Whatever Palin said, and however she said it, she would have been criticized by the Obama Crapweasel Contingent of the media, punditry and blog posters. And lo...

PS

Stating unpopular facts about the Chosen One is not being "nasty". Lying about McCain and Palin on the other hand is. Work on that, Pookie.
9.4.2008 3:03am
Marc :

the main concerns about Obama are whether s()he has the knowledge, depth, experience, and general preparedness to be president. If you didn't have these concerns before tonight, of course, the speech was great. If you did, like me, the well-executed and poised delivery of prepared remarks does nothing to allay them.
9.4.2008 3:05am
p. rich (mail) (www):
Dale. Pay attention. Palin is not running for President. If you want to have nightmares, imagine Biden in the White House. That's after even worse nightmares imagining a far-left black radical globalist with a socialist economic agenda running the country. You act as though that is a choice worthy of consideration. Do you really think that?
9.4.2008 3:10am
Joshua:
Gov. Palin's speech tonight brought to mind, of all things, U2's Bono introducing the band's cover of "Helter Skelter": "This is a song Charles Manson stole from the Beatles. We're stealing it back."

In this analogy, Palin is Bono, Obama is Manson, and Hillary Clinton is the Beatles. Obama stole Hillary's thunder in the Democratic primaries; now along comes Palin to steal not only Obama's own thunder, but also the thunder Obama had stolen from Hillary. By the time 2012 rolls around, Hillary may well find herself being the "other" woman in the campaign; for all we know she may even (heaven forbid) be up against a female incumbent.

(Cross-posted on, well, a whole bunch of blogs ;)
9.4.2008 3:11am
Jon Roland (mail) (www):
One of the sources for Palin's speaking phraseology and style are sermons, especially those common to the evangelical tradition. An example is the phrase "a servant's heart", that she also used in her debut speech. There are entire sermons built around that phrase.

This points to the role of churches in providing much of the oratorical training public figures have acquired. The characteristic phraseology used by Martin Luther King, Jr., stems from the Southern Baptist black churches. Obama owes much of his skill to that model.

So both candidates may get help from professional speechwriters, but I suspect at least 30% of the language is theirs.
9.4.2008 3:12am
TLove (mail):
TruthInAdvertising: I was (more or less) quoting a self-described pissed off babe. A very high income ivy league educated wall street employed pissed off babe. Very very pissed off.

The ferocity of my feminist female friends reaction to the criticism of Palin on the grounds that she should go home and take care of the kids is remarkable (to me, at least).

I suspect there is, how do I put this delicately, mnore racism between white women and african-american men than the pollsters for H.Dean realize, a lot more. The dems failure to nominate HC, in combination with McCain's brilliance in nominating a working woman, is going to confound the marxists and H.Dean's pollsters.
9.4.2008 3:28am
Dave N (mail):
A bit off topic, but for someone who could not see the speeches live, I commend MSNBC for having the major speeches from tonight on their website, even though the other cable network news sites did not.
9.4.2008 3:36am
wooga:
To be fair, Palin's speechwriter SAID she would talk about what it was like to be mayor, but she never got to it-- I assume she struck out on her own.

Clastrenster,
She actually said in her speech that she was about to tell us what being mayor entailed... and then only said that it was more demanding than being a community organizer.

It seems odd to say "I'm about to tell you something" and then not actually tell it. I bet she either started veering off script and couldn't find a way back, or the teleprompter cut off part of that line, so she just skipped it on the fly (apparently, the teleprompter operator was rolling through applause lines).
9.4.2008 4:06am
hey (mail):
Joshua, I love you! And not just because you're the most applicable book of the Bible! I had to look up the Bible stuff as I'm an agnotheist (yes I really, really have no freaking clue about the Torah, Talmud, Tanakh, New Testament, or WTF outside of movies and general knowledge).

Go Sarah!
9.4.2008 5:07am
Dave3L (mail) (www):
If a great speech is snarky and sophmoric, then I suppose Palin's was the best speech I have heard since, well, at least since Giuliani's earlier tonight.

I would have voted for McCain had he been the candidate in 2000. But this time around I'll be going with the candidate that appeals to the better angels of my nature.
9.4.2008 5:22am
Dave3L (mail) (www):
And, yes, I know sophomoric has three "o's" in it.
9.4.2008 5:33am
Sally:
Politics ain't beanbag. She wasn't any more mocking of Obama than he was of her when he trivialized her experience. Part of the problem some of us have had with Obama is that everyone seems so afraid to make jokes about him, to say anything that might be considered "mocking". He's a politician for heaven's sake. The Pope doesn't even get that kind of deference.

Well, okay fine, the Senator's too fragile for it or people are afraid of being called bigots or something. But part of Presidential politics in America includes knowing how candidates can handle a little mocking and being made fun of and picked apart a bit here and there. We don't want these people getting too big for their britches. Bad things happen when they do.

We should feel free to go after these guys (and gals) because they are asking a whole lot from us, the Presidency, the most powerful position in the world. So just how tough are they? How do they take a punch? Just how self-reverential are they, how carefully do they expect to be handled by us, their employers?

This is one of the reasons why it hasn't bothered me that much, the otherwise despicable and scurrilous attacks on Palin from the leftwing blogs and some in the media. Because like I said politics ain't beanbag. And if you want the (second) highest prize in the land, let's just see what you're made of. I think she showed us that tonight.

I read somewhere that if you really wanted to see vicious personal attacks on candidates, spend some time reading American history. Apparently our forefathers served up big helpings of whup a*s on each other pretty regularly. Maybe Obama can pick up a can of that himself the next time he goes shopping for arugula at Whole Foods.
9.4.2008 6:07am
Dave3L (mail) (www):
She wasn't any more mocking of Obama than he was of her when he trivialized her experience.

The only problem is that Obama hasn't trivialized her experience. He has actually had mostly very nice things to say about her, with the exception of the perfectly valid point that her ideology and policies are even more in line with the Bush Administration than McCain's.

So far, the only demonstrated benefit of her experience, trivial or not, is that she is incredibly good at being snarky. Maybe someday she will be able to mock Ahmadinejad into compliance. But as Dale pointed out, nothing in that speech showed any ability to be a good president, only that she is good at verbal jabs.
9.4.2008 7:20am
Pashley (mail):
Its been said before, but most people don't get it; Palin was chosen for the conservative base, not for the middle. You can't get any more maverick middle than McCain, why would he need or want help there? So she is worth a few 10's of millions of campaign contributions.

Of course, it doesn't hurt that, in practical experience, a governor is far closer to a president than does a legislature. And it never hurts to put the other candidate in the trap of highlighting their own disadvantages; to America, "experience" means Washington-insider, "foreign policy" means disconnected from every-day life.

The loneliest guy in America tonight is Joe Biden. He could only be a politican from Delaware; VP candidate and I'll bet he can't beg a reporter to talk to him.
9.4.2008 8:11am
LM (mail):
Where's Tim Russert when we need him?
9.4.2008 8:15am
Hillary '16:
She sure was chosen to ignite the Republican base (and the snarky base?), not to win over bitter Hillaryites like myself. I was leaning toward Obama anyway, but after hearing her condescending speech, I'm not only going to vote for him, I'm going to donate to his campaign.

Perhaps she's a uniter of both parties.
9.4.2008 8:38am
Richard Aubrey (mail):
Jeez. Palin bein mean to people. And nobody's been mean to her. What was she thinking?
9.4.2008 8:49am
Hoosier:
"LM :
Where's Tim Russert when we need him?"

Let's not get into zombies again? What's with you Obamaphiles and the undead anyway?

But seriously, LM, when Russert died, I said to my wife that this was a gift to Obama. Believe it or not, it was his appearance on Press the Meat the Sunday before Super Tuesday that more than anything led me to believe he wasn't ready.

You can find the transcript, I'm sure. Take a look at the questions on lobbyists in the White House, on option buy-ins to government health insurance, and (???--can't remember the third issue Russert pushed him on). These were issues that Obama had raised a signature issues, but when Russert held on like a bulldog, Obama retreated into vague, defensive comments. The "We'll have to look into that" sort of thing.

I'm not saying that Palin would do better. But I don't think your side really should be trying to use Russert-DNA to clone him before November. Not that MY advice will stop this . . . this . . . new Prometheus-like attempt to play God.
9.4.2008 8:50am
Hoosier:
"The only problem is that Obama hasn't trivialized her experience. He has actually had mostly very nice things to say about her, with the exception of the perfectly valid point that her ideology and policies are even more in line with the Bush Administration than McCain's. "

He refuses (or is incapable of) pronouncing her home town correctly. He dismissed her as a mayor of that small town, conveniently forgetting the whole governor thing. In light of these revelations, do you admit that he has "trivialized her expereince"?
9.4.2008 8:53am
rarango (mail):
Gee--I thought the consensus among the elite was she had to resign--ummmm. The dems made a terrible mistake in making this an Obama-Palin race, because the good Senator is going to be eaten alive.
9.4.2008 9:13am
Richard Nieporent (mail):
On the other hand, when did it become appropriate for candidates to mock having an ivy league education?

The day George W. Bush started running for President, Suzy. My how quickly you forget.
9.4.2008 9:50am
Sarcastro (www):
Based on this one speech, I think Palin is clearly Ronald Reagan come back, and this election wil be a landslide in all 3 branches of government for the Republicans, destroying the democratic party forever and ushering a new regime of peace, deregulated prosperity and runon sentances for all!
9.4.2008 10:10am
Federal Dog:
"On the other hand, when did it become appropriate for candidates to mock having an ivy league education?"

When admission is cited as qualification for the presidency.
9.4.2008 10:11am
LM (mail):
Hoosier:

You can find the transcript, I'm sure.

I heard the show. I'm sure I still have the podcast somewhere, so I'll listen to it again. It didn't make a big impression the first time, but your description doesn't sound implausible. I don't remember anyone nailing a MTP appearance on the merits, because every politician has things in his record that can't be reconciled if their feet are held to the fire, which is what Russert did. The best showings were usually just variations of "stick to your guns" style talking point repetition. Not a strength for someone like Obama, who hasn't learned how to save the nuance for actual analysis and decision making, and deliver straight bromides for public consumption. But I don't remember it being a poor performance, just not an outstanding one. Anyway, MTP was a useful trial by fire for every politician. It's a shame it's not available.
9.4.2008 10:16am
Order of the Coif:
Dale said:
the main concerns about Palin are whether she has the knowledge, depth, experience, and general preparedness to be president.


And Obama does?
9.4.2008 10:21am
Assistant Village Idiot (mail) (www):
Dave3L - someone who appeals to the better angels of your nature...exactly, precisely what you are getting wrong. Not that candidates should appeal to our darker natures, but it's the wrong question. Obama's entire appeal has been to encourage people to blue-sky about America, and imagine the change they would like, and then say "Well, that's me. Change you can believe in." He's a walking Rorschach. We are electing people to actually manage (not run) the country. As to the "impression" of condescension, how was it different than Obama's immediate response? Or indeed, the bulk of his speeches? Impressions of smugness, etc, are sometimes more the listener's issue than the speaker's. I don't hear you or anyone else here making that allowance.

So of course any criticism seemed like jarring snark. That's how the alarm clock always sounds.
9.4.2008 10:22am
You Guys (mail):
Seriously, I wonder how long America will last with people like you able to vote and procreate...
9.4.2008 10:28am
Jonathan H. Adler (mail) (www):
On the teleprompter issue, it's been confirmed that there were teleprompter problems about half-way thorugh her speech, and she winged much of the second half.
See here, here, and here.

JHA
9.4.2008 10:29am
College Law:
"...an octave too mocking and smug at times."
Dale, that perfectly captures what I had not been quite able to put my finger on with respect to my own reaction as I listened to the speech. Played well I'm sure to the audience in the hall and the true believers out there. Not so sure about everyone else.
9.4.2008 10:42am
byomtov (mail):
you'd figure she couldn't string together three words without getting two of them wrong.

You'd be pretty close to right.
9.4.2008 11:14am
enjointhis:
Actually, Gov. Palin reminds me of my mother-in-law. No pretty academic pedigree, but sharp as a tack. Regularly underestimated by those who think themselves better than her, but she usually comes out on top. And she's still a wonderful, decent, moral, caring person. My mother-in-law, that is. Don't know about Palin...

I'm not sure why people insist on equating academic achievement with effective leadership skills. I think they involve two different, only slightly-overlapping abilities.

And I really do love my mother-in-law.
9.4.2008 11:23am
matt b (mail):
of course, her experience and depth matter but i am still mystified by how no one in the mainstream media or elite ivy circles has questioned obama on similar grounds. regardless, i am more annoyed by how people have paused on how catapult to the top while less of the elites have rightly paused on obama's catapult--which was direct result of being keynote speaker at dnc 2004.

yes, they both give prepared remarks well. no one seems to mind that obama does as well.

all this doth not make a sexism charge, but rather a class one instead
9.4.2008 11:43am
Blue:
"Obama isn't the one who doesn't have a clue about what the VP does."

Ok, brilliant one, why don't you take a stab at question. And, by the way, you might also want to look up the word "sarcasm" when you review her answer. Might help you understand the meaning (as opposed to the text) of her words.
9.4.2008 12:15pm
John M. Perkins (mail):
Don't know about the Obama leaning independents, but a small sample of Barr leaning Georgians are now leaning toward McCain because of Palin.
9.4.2008 12:27pm
John M. Perkins (mail):
As to the speech, I voted "Good." Would have been "Very Good" but the audience cheered so much that they kept messing up the beginning of the next lines. The pacing sounds worse on when sound bit out of context. Think of a badly managed laugh track. On the scale of bad crowds, this was a 5 out of 10. Worst I remember was Hart in 1984, when the crowd was a bad 9.
9.4.2008 12:33pm
Kirk:
Wayne,

Let's try this as one approach to your question.

Take the 50 sitting governers, and knock out Granholm and Schwarznegger who aren't natural-born citizens. Of the remaining 48, who would you rather see in office then Palin, and how different are their qualifications and political philosophy?

Certainly Pawlenty--he was pretty much at the top of everyone's short list--so would you be just peachy with him as President? What about Linda Lingle? Or Haley Barbour? (Now there's a man with experience!) Jindal? Who else?


Dave3L,
I'll be going with the candidate that appeals to the better angels of my nature
Let me guess--those angels are really, really lazy so you need Obama to make them get to work?
9.4.2008 12:45pm
CJColucci:
I haven't been on a high school playground in decades. After last night's performances, I remember why.
9.4.2008 12:46pm
The Ace (mail):
Here is what that valuable Congressional "experience" gets you:

Is al Qaeda a Sunni organization, or Shi'ite?

The question proved nettlesome for Rep. Silvestre Reyes of Texas, incoming Democratic chairman of the House of Representatives Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence.

"Predominantly -- probably Shi'ite," he said in a recent interview with Congressional Quarterly, a periodical that covers political and legislative issues in Congress.

Unfortunately for Reyes, the al Qaeda network led by Osama bin Laden is comprehensively Sunni and subscribes to a form of Sunni Islam known for not tolerating theological deviation.

In fact, U.S. officials blame al Qaeda's former leader in Iraq, the late Abu Musab al Zarqawi, for the surge in sectarian violence between Sunnis and Shi'ites.

But Reyes' problems in the interview didn't end with al Qaeda.


Now go ahead and tell me Joe Biden, who has changed his position on Iraq 180 degrees, is a "foreign policy expert."
9.4.2008 1:04pm
The Ace (mail):
The only problem is that Obama hasn't trivialized her experience. He has actually had mostly very nice things to say about her

You're joking, right?

The Obama campaign has constantly referred to her as "the former mayor of a town of 9,000 with zero foreign policy" while of course not being able to bring themselves to mention she is the Governor.
9.4.2008 1:10pm
Angus:

Certainly Pawlenty--he was pretty much at the top of everyone's short list--so would you be just peachy with him as President? What about Linda Lingle? Or Haley Barbour? (Now there's a man with experience!) Jindal?
I'll play if Wayne won't. I wouldn't be "peachy" with Pawlenty, Barbour, or Lingle since I oppose many of their policies. I would, however, feel that they are prepared enough to handle crises, so I'd phrase it as "satisfied."

Jindal, no. He's got even less experience and, as someone who lived in Louisiana for many years, my conclusion is that his accomplishments are more imaginary than real. He's got a weird cult of personality building in right wing circles that puts anything of Obama's to shame. Places like Freerepublic were referring to him as the future president of the U.S. back during his failed 2003 governor's race.
9.4.2008 1:25pm
Hoosier:
And I really do love my mother-in-law.


So which line is least likely to occur in English? That one, or George Carlin's Yesterday I played softball with Hilter?

Which any Wittgensteinian will tell you does not count as an example of Godwin's Law, since it is a meta-reference.
9.4.2008 1:26pm
Ohio Scrivener (mail):
"The only problem is that Obama hasn't trivialized her experience."

I take it you don't watch much news. In a recent statement that was all over the news and headlined on Drudge, Obama attempted to demean Palin's experience by claiming his campaign had more staff and a bigger budget than the town she ran as mayor. The statement was so intellectually dishonest that Obama did not bother to acknowledge that Palin is the governor of Alaska, that as governor she manages many more people than Obama ever has, or that as governor she is responsible for a much larger budget. If Obama needs to compare himself with a small town mayor in order to look competent, then I would refer him (and the previous poster defending him) to the famous admonition of Mark Twain: "Better to be silent and be thought a fool, than to speak and remove all doubt."
9.4.2008 1:26pm
Hoosier:
"Obama isn't the one who doesn't have a clue about what the VP does."

Wait! That's right. He's the one who doesn't know what the UN Security Council does.

(Enough already. Geez.)
9.4.2008 1:29pm
Mark Field (mail):

A natural future mother.


Uh, aren't all girls natural future mothers?
9.4.2008 1:36pm
Hoosier:
Because biology is destiny? Don't you know that gener is a social construct?
9.4.2008 1:39pm
guy in the veal calf office (mail) (www):
She deserves merit points for not adopting that fake preacher lilt or contriving some Minnesota accent.
9.4.2008 2:00pm
Wayne (mail):
Kirk:

If you were to line up all the sitting GOP governors from most qualified to be president to last, Palin would be very close to the back of the line, in terms of experience and accomplishments. She hasn't been governor of Alaska long enough to judge whether she's even really any good at that job. Then throw in all the legislators and former governors, and it is obvious that McCain took her not because he thought she would be even close to the most qualified VP, but because he thought she might help him get elected. That's not an improper reason to select someone, in fact its pretty typical. But McCain claims to be different. And if experience is so important, how can he justify selecting someone who, by his criteria, would not be ready to take over if something happened to him. Mr. "Straight Talk" is just as much a pandering politician as everyone else. He just won't admit it.
9.4.2008 2:04pm
andrejsv:
To allay your concerns regarding her knowledge on economic issues, watch her three-way debate with Murkowski in the 2006 gubernamental election. Murkowski came across as knowing what he was talking about, and so did she. She really held her own in the oil drilling economic issues. Murkowski ended up loosing that race.
9.4.2008 2:29pm
Kirk:
Angus,

Thanks for taking a swing at it. To pursue the question a bit further:
I wouldn't be "peachy" with Pawlenty, Barbour, or Lingle since I oppose many of their policies. I would, however, feel that they are prepared enough to handle crises, so I'd phrase it as "satisfied."

If you wouldn't mind, could you amplify a bit on what this means for the experience/principles divide? In a crisis, you really want someone who would be good at doing the opposite of what you think should be done? (And no, that's not meant as a snarky rhetorical question, but as an illustration of what I don't understand about the "experience uber alles" point of view. I'm perfectly willing to accept that my restatement is a reductio ad absurdum, provided you explain why it is rather than just assert it.)

But Wayne, your reply is just another way of saying what you already said. Any chance of getting your take on those other specific governers I mentioned?
9.4.2008 2:41pm
Angus:
Kirk,
There are many things that are non-political and non-ideological. Emergencies are some of those. Natural disasters, disease outbreaks, nuclear proliferation, wars between foreign nations in which the United States has a stake (at least ideally these are nonpartisan), etc. There's also the simple matter of doing routine, noncontroversial things while being under intense scrutiny from the media and the general public.

I don't think being a small town mayor and governor of a quirky place like Alaska has prepared Palin for the scrutiny and pressure of the national stage. My opinion is that those come only after time and only after experiencing high pressure situations and intense scrutiny. A successful re-election campaign as governor in which you have an extensive record to defend under withering fire would be a step in that process.
9.4.2008 3:01pm
BaxterJ (mail):
I hope that people will focus more on the content of what Palin said, and not the delivery/appearance -- so far in the media, that hasn't really been the case.
9.4.2008 3:08pm
Sally:
"My opinion is that those come only after time and only after experiencing high pressure situations and intense scrutiny."

Someone should explain just exactly what "high pressure situations" that have anything to do with running the government either Barack Obama or Joe Biden has experienced. Sitting for a Bar Exam doesn't count. I've done that and I'm sure no one thinks I'm qualified to be President.

Alaska is a "quirky" state? Wow, not too much condescension there. Clearly someone who hasn't traveled to very many states. Here's a tip: they're all quirky in one way or another.
9.4.2008 3:13pm
Bad (mail) (www):
The content? The actual content was pretty much nonsense from start to finish. She repeated the already well debunked claim to have been against the bridge to nowhere.

"On the teleprompter issue, it's been confirmed that there were teleprompter problems about half-way thorugh her speech, and she winged much of the second half.
See here, here, and here. JHA"

i.e. restate and national review. Meanwhile, people that actually watched the teleprompter, or watched her reading from it the entire speech, said it had no major issues: it might have gotten ahead of where is she was here and there, but there was no winging it.

Seriously, isn't it enough to say that she gave a good speech without trying to turn it into some sort of mythical episode?
9.4.2008 3:20pm
David Warner:
Bad,

"The content? The actual content was pretty much nonsense from start to finish. She repeated the already well debunked claim to have been against the bridge to nowhere."

Have people forgotten how the English language works? If she was against it five minutes ago, the statement "She was against it." is true. Have at her with the "She was for it before she was against it," if you think you can make it stick, but calling it a lie is, well, a lie.

Am I being disingenuous? You really want to compare her record on earmarks with any other state pol? Congress?

She's a young Clinton (Bill). I was disappointed in his partisanship then and hers now. But the best, disinterested leaders didn't get there by being disinterested.
9.4.2008 3:39pm
lucia (mail) (www):
Angus--

A successful re-election campaign as governor in which you have an extensive record to defend under withering fire would be a step in that process.

A successful re-election campaign as Senator in which you have an extensive record to defend under withering fire might equally well be a step in the process. Right?

But Obama hasn't been reelected to the US senate.

Obama's 2004 election to the US Senate could be called quirky. After all, the original GOP candidate -- who might have won -- left as a result of a scandal, and then the idiots in the Illinois GOP picked a carpetbagger from Maryland who leaned far to the right compared to most Illinois voters and elected officials to run replace the original GOP choice. The entire GOP was also in a disarray.

The reality is that Obama has also not been in the public eye for long. Chicagoans were familiar with him, but he wasn't even well know in Illinois until his race for the US senate in Illinois.

This doesn't mean Obama was a poor candidate when he threw his hat into the ring for President last year. Why does Palin need to be re-elected as Governor while Obama gets a pass on being re-elected as Senator?

In both cases, the scrutiny is now occurring. We'll learn more about Palin and see whether she holds up. Maybe she will; maybe she won't.
9.4.2008 3:53pm
The Ace (mail):
She repeated the already well debunked claim to have been against the bridge to nowhere.

She was against it.

This wasn't "debunked" by you or anyone else.
9.4.2008 4:07pm
David M. Nieporent (www):
it is obvious that McCain took her not because he thought she would be even close to the most qualified VP, but because he thought she might help him get elected. That's not an improper reason to select someone, in fact its pretty typical. But McCain claims to be different. And if experience is so important, how can he justify selecting someone who, by his criteria, would not be ready to take over if something happened to him.
How? Easy:

1. If I don't pick her, I'll lose.
2. If I lose, Obama will win.
3. If Obama wins, then someone unqualified will actually be president.
4. That would be very bad for the country.
5. My winning would be very good for the country.
6. Therefore, even though she's not experienced, picking her is in the best interests of the country.

You can debate any of those points (except #2), but if one believes them, then picking her is the non-cynical choice.
9.4.2008 4:11pm
Angus:

Alaska is a "quirky" state? Wow, not too much condescension there. Clearly someone who hasn't traveled to very many states. Here's a tip: they're all quirky in one way or another
I lived in Alaska for a while. I've also lived in the South, Midwest, and North. Because of its geographic distance, climate, economy, etc., Alaskan life has little in common with the other 49 states.
9.4.2008 4:13pm
Angus:

The reality is that Obama has also not been in the public eye for long.
Has your TV been turned off and your internet connection down for the past 19 months? Obama has had more public scrutiny, criticism, and pressure in that 16 months than Palin could even dream of at this point. I'd venture to guess that only a couple of dozen or so living Americans have been under such a constant spotlight.
9.4.2008 4:19pm
Hoosier:
Alaska is a "quirky" state?

Cook is a quirky county.

And crooked.
9.4.2008 4:49pm
Hoosier:
You can debate any of those points (except #2),

Essentialist!
9.4.2008 4:51pm
The Ace (mail):
Good times,


Biden said he would stick to policy issues when the two meet to debate on October 2 at Washington University in St. Louis, Missouri.

"When we debate -- and, boy, she's going to be a tough debater, she's going to be a skillful debater -- I'm going to try to talk about the differences of our worldview here and what we're going to do for the country," he said.

"If it's going to get down to who can deliver the toughest lines, then she's going to win the debate," Biden added. "But I'm not going there."


Wasn't it just 2 days ago she was a rube with a degree from Idaho governing like 50 people?
9.4.2008 4:54pm
The Ace (mail):
Obama has had more public scrutiny, criticism, and pressure

Pure silliness.

The idea that Obama has been subject to "scrutiny" is obscene. He has been asked 1 time about his association Bill Ayers and he lied about it and simply got away with the lie.
Why?
Because he is not under any sort of scrutiny.

"Pressure"

What a joke.
9.4.2008 4:55pm
The Ace (mail):
Interesting,


The Sara Palin speech generated 37.2 million viewers, just a 1.1 million viewers short of Barak Obama's record-breaking speech on Day 4 of the Democratic Convention. The Palin speech was carried on only six networks while the Obama speech was carried on ten (including BET, TV One, Univision and Telemundo).

Palin attracted a large female audience (19.5 million women, or 4.9 million more than Day 3 of the Democratic Convention).

Ratings for viewers 55+ (25.2) continue to be about ten times higher than for teens (2.2)

Day 3 for the GOP attracted more Hispanic viewers (1.4 million) than Day 3 of the Democratic Convention (1.2 million), even though Univision and Telemundo did not carry the speech.


I wonder how many viewers McCain will get?
9.4.2008 5:03pm
whit:

Because of its geographic distance, climate, economy, etc., Alaskan life has little in common with the other 49 states.



you could say the same about hawaii. i've lived in both.

fwiw, i'd vote for linda lingle -- republican (in an overwhelmingly dem state) as well. but she's from hawaii. it's too "QUIRKY" AND HAS "LITTLE IN COMMON"

what crap.

was this argument used against howard dean? vermont is full of frigging HIPPIES (cartman)!!!!! how quirky!

it's wonderful to see people grasping in trying to diss palin. "quirky". kripes
9.4.2008 5:31pm
lucia (mail) (www):
Angus--
Did you not notice I said

This doesn't mean Obama was a poor candidate when he threw his hat into the ring for President last year.


Obama entered the race as an unknown. He was largely introduced and scrutinized during the current race. During the primary, the public slowly grew to know who Obama is.

From now until November, people will grow to know who Palin is. (The difference is, in the case of the November election, we won't be learning as votes trickle in.)

If Palin does not hold up to scrutiny, she will crash, burn and take McCain down with her. But by November, if she has held up, she will have experienced precisely the scrutiny you describe as necessary.

I admit that had I been McCain, I would not have picked Palin. But the fact that I don't know much about her yet it not particularly important to me.

None of us need to decide who to vote for today. Many of us -- including me-- won't decide until late October or early November. By then, we will likely have the information we need.
9.4.2008 5:34pm
byomtov (mail):
Am I being disingenuous? You really want to compare her record on earmarks with any other state pol? Congress?

Yes. You're being disingenuous. She didn't claim to be no worse than anyone else, she claimed to be virtually self-sacrificial on the earmark question. She picked out the most publicized earmark of recent years, one that was to come to her state, and made a big deal of her opposition as a sign of devotion to reform, etc.

She opposed it only when the feds cut the funding for it and Alaska was going to have to pay. So the claim of great virtue, almost the first thing she said when McCain announced his pick, was a big lie.
9.4.2008 5:53pm
Stash:
Obama people: did you forget that the argument has been that "judgment" trumps "experience"? You want to attack Palin, attack her judgment. You have, perhaps fatally, confused your message.

McCain people: you have been claiming that good speeches are nice but are no substitute for experience. Now, with Palin the opposite is true? I do not understand why your heads do not explode.
9.4.2008 6:01pm
Jay Myers:
Suzy:

Hoosier, I agree with you that Harvard et al. deserve no exaggerated deference. On the other hand, when did it become appropriate for candidates to mock having an ivy league education?

I don't know, but Obama's campaign seems to be doing it too.
9.4.2008 6:06pm
Hoosier:
On the other hand, when did it become appropriate for candidates to mock having an ivy league education?

When the professoriate decided that despising the US, and the West in general, was a good career move.

As I've said before. Hell, as I live every day. The anti-Americanism that gets attributed to liberals and Democrats in general does exist. It just isn't a characteristic of liberals and Democrats in general.

It is the special characteristic of a subset: The academic leftist. Joe Biden has about as much in common with their anti-American views as does, say, Huckabee. But because they are so vocal, and so rabidly pro-liberal Democrat in their advocacy, a lot of people on my side make the menatal jump and equate the people they support with them.

Which makes sense, but only if one also concedes that the Cubs can't hit curve balls, since I can't hit a curve, and I am a rabid Cubs fan. If you follow.

I am an academic. So I am not a college-bashing anti-intellectual. But I see the real limits of my professional colleagues, and thus of the education that one receives from them.

To be honest--and I'd say this if the candidates' alma maters were reversed--Palin may have access to a broader range of political opinions and scholarly methodologies at Idaho than she would have had she gone to, say, Dartmouth. I can vouch that there is greater diversity of opinion among the letters faculties of Wayne State U. than would be found at Ann Arbor.

This doesn't mean that Obama did not receive a great undergrad education at Harvard. But fetishizing the USNWR "Top 12" is one of the major problems we have in academia today. I don't want to import it into our politics.

By the way, Palin failed to note in her speech that BOTH GOP candidates are graduates of public institutions. Why not makes that claim public? There are a helluva lot more grads of Minnesota, Ohio State, and PSU than of Carleton, Oberlin, and Penn.
9.4.2008 6:37pm
TruthInAdvertising:
"Pressure" What a joke"

I'm sure that ACE can tell us all about his experience in life that is similar to running for national political office for 18 months with his every action open to criticism which will give him the reference point to make that claim. Step up and share your experience ACE.
9.4.2008 7:00pm
TruthInAdvertising:
"She repeated the already well debunked claim to have been against the bridge to nowhere.

She was against it."

Wow, ACE, you are really on a roll with your disinformation and in this case, outright lies.

"In the city Ketchikan, the planned site of the so-called "Bridge to Nowhere," political leaders of both parties said the claim was false and a betrayal of their community, because she had supported the bridge and the earmark for it secured by Alaska's Congressional delegation during her run for governor."

No, she wasn't against it. She supported it and then flip-flopped when it turned from a political opportunity to a political liability.
9.4.2008 7:06pm
Angus:

If Palin does not hold up to scrutiny, she will crash, burn and take McCain down with her. But by November, if she has held up, she will have experienced precisely the scrutiny you describe as necessary.
Maybe the schools I graduated from were quirky, but in the "old math" 2 months did not equal 21 months. In any case, she's being sheltered from questions as much as possible. As far as I can tell, she hasn't been available for a single press question since being named the VP candidate six days ago. At her appearance today, no press questions allowed, just a short speech.

As far as Alaska vs. Hawaii, there is not that I know of a single state whose economy is as one-dimensional as Alaska's. Over 80% of its economy is petroleum, most of the rest is fishing. Just like the rest of the country, right? Linda Lingle is far more qualified than Palin, but would never have been nominated since she is pro-choice. Pro-choice people are persona non grata in the little tent of GOP leaders.
9.4.2008 7:52pm
lucia (mail) (www):
Angus--
Who said 2 months equals 21 months?

But how do you get 21 months of intensive press scrutiny for Obama? Whether I use new or old math, I can't figure out how you come up with 21 months of intensive intensive scrutiny for Obama. Surely you don't believe he was getting "under a constant spotlight" more than 12 months ago-- around the time of the August 2007 strawpoll? Surely you don't think the Obama scrutiny was "under a constant spotlight" before Jan 2008 Iowa caucus? Back then there were zillions of candidates and Hilary was inevitable, remember?

Heck, I'm in the suburbs of Chicago. Even the local papers didn't focus intensively on Obama until after he began to accrue votes which was certainly not 21 months ago!

The maximum possible estimate for the period of time during which Obama or any of the others who threw their hats in the political ring as a result of running for office is 7 months-- or maybe 8. At that, the spotlight was dimmed because the press was covering both the GOP and DEM sides of the primary. Of the subset of reporters covering the DEM side quite a few members of the third estate also covered Hilary. During early parts of the race, they covered other candidates who had not dropped out.

So, how long as Obama been under an spotlight? Maybe four.

So, in reality, the upcoming 2 months of scrutiny of someone who is the known choice is substantial compared to what you have tried to characterize as "21 months" of being in the spotlight!

Currently, Obama is under a bright spotlight. So is McCain. So, are Palin and Biden.

We'll learn as much about Palin by November as we know about Obama now. We may learn more about Obama, since the full media focus is ramping up as November approaches.

As I said: I don't need to decide my vote until November, and I don't plan to decide. Many people won't. By the time people are voting Palin will either have survived or died. And if she's survived, your trying to use Obamas winning a nomination as experience will looks utterly silly. If she's crashed and burned, it will be irrelevant.
9.4.2008 8:42pm
Mark Field (mail):

This doesn't mean that Obama did not receive a great undergrad education at Harvard


Actually, he didn't. His undergraduate degree is from Columbia.
9.4.2008 9:20pm
Angus:

But how do you get 21 months of intensive press scrutiny for Obama?
I will go very slow. Obama announced his run in February 2007. Even before that, in January 2007 the national news media began to focus in on the Barack vs. Hillary horserace. Here's just a single source that looked at Fox News coverage at the time. Note the large number of Obama stories.
Link
9.4.2008 11:34pm
lucia (mail) (www):
Angus--
What precisely is your point? That Obama got some coverage in 2007? No one denies this. He was a senator. He threw his hat in the ring. He got some coverage. So did everyone who entered the race.

But, let me to very slowly. Announcing your candidacy does not automatically put you into some "spotlight" that reveals all to the American public. Nor does it mean there is an intense amount of investigation into your background. It means you got some coverages.

The fact that the first story in your link has a title
"FOX revelations of what Sandy Berger "might have" stolen and what they "may have" said, reported by Chrish, " does not exactly support your claim of that Obama under "the spotlight."

Sure if I use my Firefox your search tool, I can find some Obama stories on that page listing zillions of stories. I also also find clinton stories, biden stories, and stories on everyone who announced. There are stories on everyone who was running.

How is this "a spotlight"? It's precisely what I described earlier: The press provided diluted coverage of everyone back in Jan 2007

Not only that, the list includes "important" stories like:
"Should They Change The Name To The Chicken News Channel?, reported by Ellen,"

So, in other words, to prove your claim that Obama was under some sort of brilliant spot lint, you link a catch all list of stories. How is this intense scrutiny? It coverage-- but that's not always quite the same thing.

If your point is we know more about Obama right now than we know about Palin: Yes. Of course. No one denies that.

We will learn more about Palin in the next between now and november. At that point, we can decide what we think of her.

Some may decide that because they don't know enough this instant that they should make up their mind immediately. But that seems odd and unwise to me. I'm sure the media will now do what they always do and cover her.

Then, well learn more. So, as I said: By November, either she will have crashed and burned under the scrutiny, or she will have survived. Just like Obama.

And, of course, we will also learn more of Obama.
9.5.2008 12:06am
jukeboxgrad (mail):
byomtov:

So the claim of great virtue, almost the first thing she said when McCain announced his pick, was a big lie.


Indeed. She thinks she can get away with selling us a phony story about a bridge. She is also in the process of getting trapped in her lies regarding Troopergate.
9.5.2008 1:50am
David Warner:
I promise, just one quarter in the jukebox.

You might want to try Googling "Troopergate Clinton" and see what you come up with. Then ponder how well your strategy worked for the Republicans against him...
9.5.2008 9:48am
Hoosier:
David Warner:

Why the attempt to distract us from the real topic?

We all know the reason that Palin wants Bristol to bear her child is because Palin subsists on a diet of RAW BABIES!
9.5.2008 11:17am
Hoosier:
This doesn't mean that Obama did not receive a great undergrad education at Harvard



Actually, he didn't. His undergraduate degree is from Columbia.


Columbia?

Well no wonder he was on cocaine!
9.5.2008 11:18am
klee12:
Sally wrote


We should feel free to go after these guys (and gals) because they are asking a whole lot from us, the Presidency, the most powerful position in the world. So just how tough are they? How do they take a punch? Just how self-reverential are they, how carefully do they expect to be handled by us, their employers?



Well said Sally, and I agree wholeheartedly. I would like to present another perspective.

Leading up to the speech there were despicable and scurrilous attacks on Palin from the leftwing blogs A pundit (George Wills, IIRC in the Washington Post) suggested, that Palin withdraw from the race to save herself embarassment; then McCain won't have to call mini-convention to choose a new VP candidate. She had to kick some ass; she had to tell the world that if you dis me, I'll kick your ass. This was business, not only personal. If she just meekly took the abuse, then George Will would be correct; then she should withdraw.

The camera panned to her family throughout the speech. And previously she made no secret that Bristol's boyfriend Levi had come to the convention. I at first thought thought it tacky ... this is business; don't drag your family into it. Then I realized what she was doing. She was saying This is my family, you got a problem? . And bringing Levi to the convention said In your face, in your face .

If man is insulted he would tend to punch his tormentor in the nose (metaphorically). Ms Palin, being a lady, sweetly slipped the stilleto between their ribs (methaphorically).

(OT a little, I feel better about her negotiating with the Iranians and North Koreans now.)

Well, that's my feeling of what was going on. I think the McCain team, including Palin, knew they couldn't ignore the despicable and scurrilous attacks and have a successful campaign. A great American philosopher said nice guys (and gals) end up last. Their response was brillant, IMHO. Nothing personal.

Just my 2 cents

klee12
9.6.2008 5:45am
klee12:
Ooops forgot to mention. After the speech, I think the despicable and scurrilous attacks died down, or at least greatly diminished. There are still attacks, but these are more reasonable.

klee12
9.6.2008 5:54am