Andrew Coyne blogged last night that Sarah Palin’s speech at the Republican Convention was the best bit of political theatre he’s witnessed in years. I’d have to agree. Her performance – and it did feel like a performance, complete with that awesome baby prop, handed from telegenic person to person – was pretty spectacular. She’s tough, she’s confident, and even her fiercest critics have had to agree she’s got buckets of charisma.
Of course, as with any hot-button show, reading the reviews is half the fun, and it was hugely entertaining to watch the CNN crack team, for instance, falling all over themselves to be sensitive and non-sexist (in reporting, incidentally, on an event peppered with placards hailing “the Hottest VP” from the coldest state). Campbell Brown seized on Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid’s response to Palin’s speech as “shrill”—would he say this if she wasn’t a woman? Wolf and Anderson and the whole gang jumped on a commentator’s mention of Palin’s speechwriter … Hold on a minute now: would we be mentioning the speechwriter if this was Bush or Obama or McCain? (Uh, probably.) And it’s pretty adorable, watching them reach for words that aren’t “spunky” or “sassy” or “feisty” (though one poster on the Huffington Post did suggest that Palin’s ready to star in her own movie – Mean Girls 2).
I’ll be honest, I’m no fan of Palin’s. Or of the screeching turn the Republicans just made toward the same old trumped-up culture wars of elections past. But the big bad liberal media, chastened by critiques of its liberalness, now being in contortions to be even more liberal…. The irony is sweet. Poor Hillary. If only she’d been a bit less “shrill,” “witchy” and had less of a “nagging voice,” and looked more like Tina Fey. It’s not just the Harball gang; the same media elites Palin blasted at last night just might have treated her better.