The best natural speechmaker since Reagan


It was that good. No, she’s not qualified, and the substance was thin, but my God — that was perhaps the greatest bit of political theatre I have ever witnessed. Her critics in the media and in the opposition may regret having piled on quite so enthusiastically, and with so little heed for who they hurt — or angered. Watching the tumultuous, ecstatic reaction in the hall, I was reminded of the famous words of the Admiral Yamamoto after Pearl Harbour: “I fear all we have done is to awaken a sleeping giant, and fill him with a terrible resolve.”

Sarah Palin walked out onto that stage under more scrutiny, with less preparation, and with more at stake, than any candidate in living memory. You’d never know it.

UPDATE: How’s it playing? Of course it’s boffo with the Republican right. But with moderates and independents? Over at the New Republic, not normally known as a cheerleader for the GOP, the consensus is it was a remarkably effective speech, even “alarmingly” so:

Several moderate-Democrat friends of mine have been emailing — few if any would ever vote for McCain– but all agree that Palin was very strong. The more liberal among them are a little panicked. 

More from the centre-left TPM Cafe:

… if you didn’t sense last night how deeply Sarah Palin channeled some of the country’s deepest, most powerful currents of pent-up indignation and yearning, you don’t sense the trouble we Democrats are in. 

Rhetorically, she was the anti-Obama. She was stirring precisely because she was so artless, matter-of fact, and “American” — with no cadences or grand, historic resonances, but with plenty of mother wit and shrewdness. Credit her as much as the speechwriters.

The two currents she tapped — the ones that roared up from so deep in the crowd that you could feel them riding on love more than hate — weren’t the ones unleashed by her or Rudy Giuliani’s disparagements of Obama.

They were riptides of deeply wounded pride and groping loyalty, a yearning for vindication of something that is not to be disparaged at all.

The first such riptide was unleashed by Palin’s and Giuliani’s accounts of John McCain’s career-threatening commitment, a year ago, when his campaign was hopeless, to an American military victory in Iraq, Right or wrong — and I think it was wrong — it was a commitment grounded in an uncommon courage that will be dismissed as stupidity only by smart-asses who really want to lose this election.

The second current was tapped by Palin’s own grounded, calm confidence that “ordinary people’s” common sense – her kind, and a lot of other people’s – is what it takes to pull this country through its converging crises.


The best natural speechmaker since Reagan

  1. Aside from the substance part (has there been a single speech in both conventions that was ‘substantive’????),

    you are bang on.

  2. I’m looking forward to Palin-Biden debate.

  3. Can non-voting Canadians put in a request for an Obama-Palin debate, too?
    Shoot, I didn’tt hink so.

  4. She certainly can deliver a speech, but can she answer questions?

    Can she stay on-script for the next eight weeks?

    On verra.

  5. Wow….

  6. I only caught the tail end but she does exude a genuiness. I’m never been a big McCain fan but he’s the real article. They resemble each other in that way.

    On the other hand, both Obama and Biden are a little on the slick side, they talk for effect as much as to say something substantive.

  7. Watching the recounting of McCain’s incredible story of hardship, endurance, courage and victory in the face of hopelessness,

    I can’t help but almost feel sorry for Obama’s singular story of his great act of courage: refusing to take a “Wall St. Job”….to enter Chicago politics.


  8. What the hell was the Kool-aid spiked with and where can I get some? The only way that was a good speech is if you weren’t listening to what was being said…

  9. I especially liked the first twenty minutes, when you basically couldn’t tell if she was a reality show contestant talking about her family. That was *substantive*.

  10. I thought there was a new Godwin kool-aid rule here.

  11. that was perhaps the greatest bit of political theatre I have ever witnessed.

    Seriously Andrew, that is about the most unbelievable thing I have ever read.

  12. I’d agree with AC’s enthusiam had this been a debate where she would have indeed “walked out onto that stage under more scrutiny, with less preparation, and with more at stake, than any candidate in living memory”.

    However, it was a rehearsed speech, more than likely written by someone else. Her delivery of the material seemed to play extremely well to the partisan crowd. Their enthusiasm to cheer vociferously at whatever she said was foreshadowed by their overly extended welcoming cheers – to someone who to most of the was a relatively unknown (compared to her preceeding speakers).

  13. Emmett – you would agree that she’s a natural politician, no? She was thrown in a bit of a pressure cooker and that face of hers showed not one iota of strain. I think that’s Andrew’s point and I think it’s a fair one.

  14. Sure the electioneering was obvious: it is an election. But I think it played well to more than just the partisan crowd.

    I wonder how the bets are going that McCain will drop her now.

  15. It’s only been a week Steve. Let a few more skeletons crawl out of the Palin closet.

  16. Palin was very good, but Guliani was great. They both succeeded in casting the Obama-Biden team as sophisticates out-of-touch with Americans; opportunists playing fast and loose with issues of economic wellbeing and national security; and snivelling children up against adults who may not have all the answers, but have the gravitas to take on the challenges confronting America today. I say this as one who is not keen on Palin–a social conservative of the reactionary kind, fatalistic in her pro-life views (abortion under no circumstances, including rape, and shot-gun weddings). She may get it right on economic and foreign policy issues, but McCain has gambled on her for the sake of winning an election. Let’s hope it’s a gamble that the American people will win.

  17. Barack who?

  18. McCain who?

  19. “What the hell was the Kool-aid spiked with and where can I get some? The only way that was a good speech is if you weren’t listening to what was being said…”

    Why did it take you a week to post this?

  20. I had heard that she was a natural politican and it showed. Her timing and delivery was perfect. Also she got better after the telepromter screwed up. She reworded the speech and interacted with the crowd perfectly.

    I though a week ago she might be a new Ronald REagn and I am sure I saw the happen tonight.

    She skewered Obama with delicacy and accuracy. Barracuda is right.

    Chris Wallace said “a star was born” and he was right.

    I hope she takes down MSNBC and the Olberman tryanny and advocacy pundits.

  21. Frankly awesome – Hillary has been in the game since 1992, and she’s not that good (and HRC’s not bad at all when she’s on her game). The Veep nominee isn’t supposed to do the policy platform – that’s for McCain -what policy did Biden announce, pray tell? Anyway, the Democrats love to announce huge lists of goodies for various interests and call it “policy” – I would hope that the GOP is better than that.

  22. “I fear all we have done is to awaken a sleeping giant, and fill him with a terrible resolve.”

    9-11-2001: Muslim terrorists drive our airplanes into the World Trade Center, killing 3,000 Americans and destroying the buildings.

    9-11-2008: Democrats nominate Barack Hussein Obama.

    Of course you filled us with a terrible resolve. Now, feel our wrath.

  23. There’s a new sheriff in town.

  24. palinman, I think you’re looking for the Globe comment forum, where racist diatribes are welcome.

  25. I expected to like Sarah Palin. As a progressive and a feminist I didn’t expect to agree with her, but I did expect to find her likable.

    Instead, as I watched her curl her lower lip, I had a visceral response. Suddenly, instead of being an accomplished 56 year old career woman, I was transported back to my high school years when I was a smart, nerdy, and socially inept kid confronted in the cafeteria by the mean girls.

    Now, I am used to being scared by Republicans. Anyone who didn’t get a fearful tingle when Mitt Romney called Barack Obama Osamaback just wasn’t paying attention. This was different. This was something I recognized in a very personal way.

    I might have been able to vote for John McCain four or eight years ago, but even if he hadn’t deserted the progressive arm of his own party this time around, the addition of Palin to his ticket now makes voting for him unthinkable.

    And by the way, I have dual citizenship and expect to vote in both elections–after all, I pay taxes to both countries.

  26. Jack Mitchell called Palinman’s brief comment a racist diatribe. Here’s how answers.com defines diatribe: “A long, violent, or blustering speech, usually of censure or denunciation.” MMmmm, don’t see the length, the violence, or the bluster in palinman’s comment. I would call it a tongue in cheek observation. How Mitchell defines racism must be somthing like, “Any negatively critical statement that references a person of color.” Sheesh!

  27. Sarah Palin is a political phenomenon. She still has an 86% approval rating in Alaska. She took on the sitting Rep governor in the primary and whupped him. Then she beat a former two term democrat for the governor’s race itself by a huge margin. She’s political gold with a fantastic reform record as well as achievement, like the 40billion dollar gas pipeline deal. Maybe it’s the way she connects in speeches and meetings. Yuh, think??

  28. For all the “substance was thin” comments I wonder what you think about the substance of Obama’s speeches? I think the Democrats underestimate Palin at their peril.

  29. Two thoughts:

    First, did anyone else notice how weak and uncharismatic McCain seemed when he appeared on stage after Palin spoke? After he remarked on her beautiful family, he seemed to want to say more, then seemed unsure or overwhelmed sort of petered out. I wonder if it’s a bad thing to have your ‘number two’ outshine you?

    Second, check out the rebuttals of her assertions posted in “Savage Washington”. They needed so badly to overcome the healthy skepticism of her background that she bent the truth – to say the least – on a number of occasions.
    If McCain had properly vetted Palin and brought her on board months ago, the ticket may well have been a formidable challenge to Obama. But the fact remains that an inexperienced Obama has been under intense public scrutiny for over a year now, and emerged relatively unscathed. Palin has not been tested yet, and there’s not enough time between now and election day to put out the fires and defend the charges that abound.

  30. I’m too young to remember Reagan, but if that was in any way Reagan-esque…then man, that guy was overrated.

  31. Kontrol

    I have been thinking the same thing about Obama supporters. I think it’s a bit much for Obama fans to be making snide comments about her ability to give a good speech or her resume because he’s the poster boy for empty suits everywhere.

    I thought Palin came across well because she had the right mix of femininity and bitchiness. Sticking the knife in your opponent’s back with a smile is a great talent to have and will reassure many people that she’s tough enough to be Commander In Chief.

  32. I have to agree that was one of the best speeches since Regan. She took Obama, the Democratic party and the press to the mat.

    It was real interesting watching the democratic “experts” after the debate, they all seemed to be shell shocked.

    Now we all know why she is nicknamed the Barracuda

  33. Yeah, there’s nothing that Americans value more in a Commander in Chief than snide cattiness from a Wasilla city councillor.

  34. There is no proof in existence that Adm. Yamamoto ever spoke the “sleeping giant” phrase so readily attributed to him. Most experts agree that the phrase was the work of Hollywood screenwriters.

  35. interesting to see how much ink has been spilled on Palin’s acceptance speech already. Did Biden make one?

  36. Very effective speech on numerous levels. Perhaps the biggest problem the Dems now face: she’s so much like BO that it’s now virtually impossible to attack some aspect of her without near complete blow-back. To wit – “small town mayor” v. “community organizer” – me thinks we aren’t going to hear much more ridicule, at least from official Dems, about being a small town mayor between now and election day.

  37. A perceptive and accurate report, Mr. Coyne. YOu have captured a large truth here.

  38. I’m too young to remember Reagan, but if that was in any way Reagan-esque…then man, that guy was overrated.

    Reagan was over-rated. And it’s gotten worse with time. The “Reagan generation” are people my (and Andrew Coyne’s) age, and frankly if my memory relied on the youthful exuberance with which I reacted to everything at the time (instead of on the facts of the issues, for which I wasn’t really bright or experienced enough to understand), I’d be embarrassed now.

    Conservapublicans are generally unburdened by such concerns, however.

  39. Yep, she’s just what America needs. America’s divisive culture war seemed to be cooling down a bit, so it’s a great day for people who think shouting abuse at each other constitutes political discourse.

    – JV

  40. Margaret Wente is completely right–if that can win hearts and minds, American democracy is fundamentally unserious.

    Last night was obscene. It was attack, attack, attack. It was “I shoot moose” over “let’s help the poor.” That she mocked community organizers–people who genuinely want to HELP people–was obscene.

    There was no substance, no ideas, just scorn, defiance, slight regard, contempt.

  41. This Palin lady may just turn out to be a very formidable opponent to the Democrats. She eats the stage up and commands your attention which I was very impressed with. I think this is going to be fun watching her and Biden go toe to toe should be something indeed.

  42. Dean P

    I think it would have been nice to hear peggy’s comments awhile back on how serious America is when so many of them were swept away by ‘We are the change we seek’ or ‘Change we can believe in’ or ‘We are the ones we’ve been waiting for’.

    I think Victor D Hanson said it best:

    Palinize: to slander and caricature a working-class female public figure for the noble advancement of liberalism.

  43. Not qualified? She is the only person on either ticket with executive experience.

  44. “No, she’s not qualified”
    The qualifications for a vice presidential candidate are to balance the ticket and help get it elected. She certainly does the former. Whether she does the latter remains to be seen. The qualifications for the job of vice president are minimal since, as John Nance Garner observed, it “is not worth a bucket of warm piss.” That said, she would be a much better candidate if McCain were ten years younger.

  45. Mr. Coyne,

    Just FYI, the Yamamoto line was the result of a scriptwriter for “Tora Tora Tora”, and was never spoken by the worthy Admiral.

    As to the Governor’s comments about community organizers, please remember the hot debate about qualifications. Senator Obama has made much of his decision to decline corporate employment in favor of working as a community organizer/activist. I did not perceive her comment as mocking that activity per se (as opposed to his comments about her time as a mayor, which were quite condescending); rather, she was making a perfectly legitimate comparison between the two occupations.

  46. Wayne and JWL–do you honestly believe what you are saying? I simply cannot fathom it. You’re regurgitating Republican talking points. She has briefly been governor of a state of fewer people than Staten Island. She was mayor of a town that has fewer people than city blocks in Manhattan. More people live within 500 yards of me in Los Angeles than live in her town.

    And, I’ll point out, Kennedy had no executive experience, and he certainly handled crises pretty well.

    But all that aside–what about ideas? Did we hear any last night? None. It was just attack, attack, attack, slander, abuse, snide derision.

  47. Republicans (and large-C Conservatives, for that matter) don’t need to believe what they’re saying…they just need to be able to recite things on cue.

  48. Executive experience? Obama has said that his internet funded election campaign which is bringing in around $30 Million each month, has over 2500 salaried workers, making it bigger than Palin’s job in Alaska. I wonder if sh’e be laying everyone off after November 4th like Obama will be doing? Cute comparison for the young presidential favourite, who already has written two biographies about himself. Two. About himself. Yet Obama instructs us that, “this election is not about Me, it’s about You”.

  49. Gotta love how Republicans see writing books as something negative. Then again, Obama’s probably written more than many of them have read, so I can understand the suspicion of folks who make those funny marks on paper. And they’re called autobiographies when they are about one’s own life, not biographies.

  50. Palin was a lousy mayor who took a town with $0 debt in 1996 and left it $22 million in the hole in 2002, mostly from the hockey rink/sports complex she shoved down their throats which never became the money generator she promised it would. Another white elephant from another white elephant. Even with the stable Clinton economy during most of her mayoral tenure and Jack Abramoff’s crony she hired to lobby Washington to help her now indicted buddy Ted Stevens ring up $27 million in federal pork for tiny Wasilla (pop. 5000 when she entered office) she still managed to leave the town swimming in debt. Three of her pork projects even made McCain’s own wasteful spending list.

    She was so heavy handed the town’s folk forced her to hire an administrator to handle day to day operations or face a recall.

    As governor she is borrowing from Alaska’s future while she wants to give away today’s Alaskan windfall oil tax bonanza and the huge surpluses they’ve generated in bread and circuses tax giveaways. Alaska gets 89% of it’s operating budget from taxing oil coming out of the ground just like Arab kingdoms and Hugo Chavez’s Venezuela. They have no state income or sales tax up there. Instead of using that windfall to pay for all the profligate spending her Republican legislature keep sending her she’s issuing bonds to pay for it all which Alaskans and US taxpayers will have to pay off in future years while she takes credit for tax “rebates” while she’s governor.

    Her fiscal policy is a disaster in the making which won’t hit til she’s left the governor’s office. She’d be a disaster as Vice President especially to a President who despite his grevious wounds and type A personality is already past the age his father and grandfather died of sudden heart attacks.

    She can put on all the lipstick she wants but her political record is for the dogs.

  51. “But all that aside–what about ideas? Did we hear any last night? None. It was just attack, attack, attack, slander, abuse, snide derision.” Dean P

    You have to love it when people complain about Palin’s attacks and snide derision right after talking about how tiny the town was where she was mayor and how sparsely populated the state is that she happens to govern (and for some reason pulls out JFK as an example that experience really isn’t important anyway). Perhaps Palin’s speech was full of attacks and snide comments because she has been the target of attacks and snide derision.

  52. “That she mocked community organizers–people who genuinely want to HELP people–was obscene.” And the mockery of small town mayors is…?

  53. Mark: Usually deserved. At least, if you’ve seen the folks who run for mayor of the small towns I’be been in.

    The character of Dog River’s mayor from Corner Gas isn’t that far from the truth that I’ve seen.

  54. I agree with Andrew that it was a barnstormer of a speech. I was half-expecting to see her squint her eyes a few times reading the teleprompter, and maybe a few other cringe-inducing moments, but she was utterly fabulous in giving that speech. The jab about Obama’s “guns and religion” comment was particularly scathing. No doubt many viewers were nodding their heads at the “we don’t particularly care for people who tell us we’re great in Scranton, but then say something else when they’re in San Francisco.”

    It’s clear from the comments from the lefties here that the speech made an indelible mark on them. I was taken aback, watching CNN, at just how desperate Paul Begala and Donna Brazile (both of whom I normally admire for being partisans who 99% of the time can admit a spade’s a spade, as can most of the partisans on both sides on CNN, something sorely – and strangely – lacking in Canadian politics) were getting.

    The whole spectacle, her family, the youngest daughter fixing her younger brother’s hair, the guy from Ohio that was John McCain’s cellmate in Hanoi, it was quite the spectacle. The cut-up’s of Obama (who doesn’t agree that the “… when the styrofoam Greek columns are hauled back to some production lot …” bit was prime Grade-A ZING! material?) were delivered with great humour, making them even more devastating.

    I suspect we have a great race on our hands down south, which is totally surprising. No doubt McCain is the only Republican out there who ever stood any chance of winning in November, and it’s game on.

    Lastly, and contrary to such geniuses as Larry Martin in the G&M, and others, who thought there could be a “halo” effect for the Liberals with an Obama win (has anyone other than me marvelled at how many partisan cheerleaders our newspapers employ as columnists? Larry Martin, Bob Hepburn, Jim Travers, Susan Riley … it’s quite unbelievable), I was always more worried about an improbable McCain victory setting off an anti-Conservative backlash here, turning our election into a sorta “this is how you shoulda voted, stupid Americans!” expression of voter rage. Just ‘cos we’re petty like that.

  55. KRB good point about Canada steering in the opposite direction. Fortunately our election will be over before theirs is. Er, has the PM announced when the GG will dissolve parliament yet?

  56. About the teleprompter, Palin never had a miscue (as far as I could see), whereas I remember Obama having at least one in his big speech.

    Always thought McCain did that weird thing with his arms b/c he was an old school politician, and that was how you did it back then. How bad do I feel knowing that he can’t raise his arms above a certain point because both of them were broken while he was being tortured in the Hanoi Hilton. The guy is a veritable American hero!

    There can’t be many Americans who would be aghast if their preferred candidate didn’t win. They have two great candidates fighting it out for the top job; it’s great to watch.

    Going back to a previous point, I wish that someday our politics will gain a maturity that’s present in American and British politics that is sadly lacking here. I remember on E-day in 2004, and James Carville was as honest as can be about how the Dems just didn’t get it done, and that they would have to do some serious soul-searching, after that loss. Sure, they go hammer and tongs at each other, but underneath it all is a respect for the other side. Here, opponents are afraid to say ANYTHING nice about their opponents, somehow thinking that by doing so they’ll appear weak or not serious, and that their election depends on every word or comment. It’s ridiculous.

    I fear if Obama were to run in Canada, he would be smeared with the “far right” handle. A renewed call for self-reliance Obama? A self-professed aversion for chronic complainers?? Who do you think you are, Obama?? Shows how left-of-centre our “centre” is in this country, relatively speaking to the world.

  57. The attached artical crystalized it for me – ‘artless, matter of fact, no cadences, the anti-obama’ and supremely confident.

    I was delighted by the speech. The hockey mom cross checked Obama into the boards.

    You may say she has no substance but I would suggest her experience approximates or even surpasses the Obama’s.

    If I were an American it would be McMILF for me.

  58. KRB: What does it say about us when we cheer on the politician making “zing”ers at the other guys expense?

    Shouldn’t we be more concerned about what they’re offering as opposed to what they’re tearing down? At least on Obama’s speech he went to some trouble to praise McCain’s courage and devotion to America. And media aside, Obama’s campaign has said little about Palin’s experience — it’s mostly been the media that like to stir the coals of schadenfrude.. on both sides.

  59. I think the zingers zing when they point to some underlying truth. There has been so much about “hope” and “change” in Obama’s campaign, but really very little new to clarify that.

    So the line about hope not being a strategy is more than clever, it is useful. The same is true of cracks about mayors and community organizers, and what is said in Scranton versus San Francisco.

    And for that matter, zingers on Palin’s claims about bridges to nowhere will also be useful. But for some reason there haven’t been many about McCain himself.

    I’d rather see negative politics than critics of the government being beaten up and thrown in jail. That only happens in far away places like Zimbabwe and Minnesota.

  60. Sean S–Yes, he wrote two books celebrating his own life. I understand he’s a pretty good writer. Good for him. I wish he had put his talents to use more often and made a lot more of those “funny marks on paper.” Something that would tell us how and what the man actually thinks, what he actually believes. Something that would offer more than just “a blank screen on which people of vastly different political stripes project their own views.”

    Alas, that’s not the case. His one and only thesis is missing in action. There’s nothing with his name attached in the edition of the Harvard Law Review he presided over. He produced no works of scholarship–or otherwise–as a professor of Constitutional law at the University of Chicago. There are no amicus briefs in the public record that I’m aware of. There is no signature legislation either in the Illinois legislature or in the US Senate. Zip. Nada. Zilch. It’s almost as though he made a calculated decision long ago to avoid a paper trail in case one day he decided to run for political office. Which is exactly what he did (he admitted as much). So, please don’t lecture us about our willingness to read.

  61. Oh Kyda, you’re just parroting that “present vote” thing again. Don’t you know that educated people like us find such negativity tiresome? I think I’m going to send Obama $1000 to show how much I believe in his message of hope.

  62. There is no signature legislation either in the Illinois legislature or in the US Senate.

    If it weren’t for the fact that he has his name on 800+ laws in Illinois and nearly 600 bills that he’s either sponsored or co-sponsored in the US Senate (a few of which can be found here, this would be a totally accurate, convincing and valid point!

  63. There is no signature legislation either in the Illinois legislature or in the US Senate.

    …except, you know, for the 800+ pieces of legislation under his name in the Illinois State Senate and the nearly 600 pieces of legislation he’s either authored or co-sponsored during his time in the US Senate. But why let facts get in the way of a talking point?

  64. Kyda Sylvester,

    First off, I wasn’t really supporting Obama, so I’m a fairly poor springboard for you to use. Political affiliation aside, I tend to respect the effort and thought required to write a book and get it published. Many Republicans seem willing to make fun of it.

    As things stand, I haven’t heard much in a way of substantive policy and platform discussion from either party. If I were an American, I’d be unsure of which way to vote on that basis.

    But one thing I’d be certain of – and repulsed by – is the pervasive illogic and anti-intellectualism of the Republicans.

    Any journalist who examines Republican ideas or people with skepticism and dilligence is automatically written off as part of the “liberal media”. Honest questions of your candidates are seen as attacks, while you have no problem putting forward bizarre conspiracy theories about Obama’s motives.

    Obama’s community service is made fun of – and discounted as evidence of meaninful involvement of public life. But at the same time, crashing a plane and getting tortured is pretty much all I hear as a reason to vote for McCain. That, and his “maverick” ways… I guess it’s good to be hard to define if you’re a Republican, but suspicious if you’re a Democrat?

    My little quip about Republicans and reading was meant to be unfair for the sake of humour, but I’m starting to wonder if I was on to something.

  65. “Obama’s community service is made fun of – and discounted as evidence of meaninful involvement of public life”

    Slight overreach there. What she mocked was the double standard, i.e. sneering at small town mayors (his campaign has a bigger payroll!) and pretending away her executive experience (and the $7B state budget).

    Glass ceilings? They tried to stuff her in a Petri Dish. With a smile she smashed the dish, stuck in the shiv deeper than HRC managed in 6 months of trying, and compelled equal consideration for her own experience.

    Today’s polls have her 1 pt ahead of Obama on favourables (same result with independents) and within polling margin of Obama on experience .

    Peggy Noonan offered a caution today about the MSM and the blogsphere on left AND right making all of this way too personal:

    Everyone really ought to stop, breathe deep, and think.

    I am worried they won’t. A friend IM’d the day after Palin’s speech, and I told him of an inexplicable sense of foreboding. He surprised me by saying he shared it. “Calling all underworlds reporting for duty!,” he wrote. “The bed is about to fly around the room, the puke is about to come out.” He meant: this campaign is going to engage unseen powers and forces. He meant: this campaign, this beautiful golden thing with two admirable men at the top and two admirable vice presidential candidates, is going to turn dark.

  66. I think it’s interesting that the Republicans revived the culture war via Palin’s speech, and now we’re supposed to treat it like “whoa, both sides chill out for a second”. Has the same whiff as McCain’s claim that “well Sen.Obama didn’t wanna debate me in a series of townhalls, so I had no *choice* but to start running factually inaccurate negative ads against him.”

    I don’t blame Sarah Palin for using her speech to talk about her family and take petty snips at Obama. What the hell else was she going to talk about? Her foreign policy views? I’m amazed we didn’t hear more about aerial wolf hunting.

  67. “I guess a small-town mayor is sort of like a ‘community organizer,’ except that you have actual responsibilities.” – Sarah Palin

    “On the other hand, you have a resume from a gifted man with an Ivy League education. He worked as a community organizer. What? He worked — I said — I said, OK, OK, maybe this is the first problem on the resume.” – Rudy Guiliani

  68. Gentry

    I disagree who started the culture war this US election has turned into. It was the belittling of Palin by Obama campaign and their media comrades that started the culture war discussion and Palin was just fighting back in her Wednesday night speech. And Palin did talk about foreign policy when she talked about making her country more energy independent.

    What did Biden say in his speech, other than blow smoke up his boss’ arse, that was so enlightening? The party’s presidential nominee is supposed to lay out the vision and the vp pick is the attack dog so president can project his ‘above it all’ facade.

    I think it is going to be deadly for Obama if the discussion continues to focus on Obama/Palin because Obama is running for number one job while Palin is up for number two position. Surely Obama doesn’t want discussions about who is more experienced.

  69. jwl, I see that you’re still incapable of making a distinction between the Obama campaign and the media. There’s been little or no reaction to Palin from the Obama campaign, and there was even an explicit admonition of the media to leave her family alone.

    I don’t remember any petty snips being taken at McCain in Denver, do you? And Lord were there ever opportunities. You think if the Democratic candidate were involved in something like the Keating Five we’d ever hear the end of it from the GOP?

    I understand that the Republican party is in a panic, but one of the hallmarks of a good President is calm and good judgement under pressure, and so far we’ve seen none of that from McCain. In fact, we’ve seen only desperate flailing, which, really, really doesn’t bode well for a potential Commander-in-Chief.

  70. Alaska has $40 Billion GDP.

    An $11 Billion State budget.

    15,000 state employees.

    It’s time for a Sarah Palin autobiography or two.

  71. Andrew, slightly off topic but WW at Kate’s Smalldeadanimals.com has found an error on a Macleans article.


    His personal story – from his five months as a prisoner of war in Vietnam to his penchant for going against Washington’s status quo – helped earned him the moniker, the Maverick.

    Should be 5 years as a prisoner of war.

    Please post a correction.


  72. Funny how different people perceive the same event. I saw a plodding, snarky, sarcastic speech, read aloud from a teleprompter.

    For what it’s worth, apart from the autobiographical sections, the rest of the speech was written before her selection!

    I thought the laundry list of foreign place names obviously thrown in to let the world rest easy, confident in the fact that she could read “Caucasus” aloud without a major FCC fine was amusing at best, a troublingly telling at worst.

    Natural speaker? – Yeesh.

    “I am a hockey Mom”

    “I kill things”

    “Obama is a bad man, I am a woman!”

    Now picture it with that nails on a chalkboard accent. I thought it was awful..no cadence indeed. That speech exemplified the worst in the Bushist assault on language…non-sequitor truisms and slogans.

    “Freedom is on the march. We will win. America is strong” yada yada.

    Andrew, you’re smarter than this.

  73. I think Sarah Palin is much more talented that we want us to believe. Unfortunately she should put much more light on her than what she used to do.

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