Okay, for what it’s worth, I can’t close out the week without summing up my take on the Palin speech at the RNC. I hear that WHITE, MARRIED MOTHERS are who decides elections. Hey, that’s me!
I have many friends who have been fuming about her latest speech. I got messages like “I hate her,” “nasty bitch,” and “Well, I’d sleep with her.” (That last one was from a Republican guy friend.) I watched her speech a bit after the fact, on Tivo, after Vivien went to bed. I tried to watch with an objective eye, but I expected to want to throw her glasses on the ground and smash them. Surprisingly, I didn’t feel that way when I watched it. Here’s what I was thinking.
Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images
In The Beginning
To start, where was the music? Where was the bio video, ’cause I love those. The Republicans know how to sell a war to us, but can’t figure out basic production value and stagecraft? Come on! I had to hand it to my niece – she won the bet on how Palin would wear her hair, which was mostly down. She looked nice, as did the family, but The Fashion Team side of me (BTW, this Tuesday we will do some political fashion critiquing on the FT at 8pm on the TV Guide Channel) feels her youngest daughter has to be worth a couple points in the polls. Her youngest daughter is a happy-spirited girl who lovingly held her baby brother – awwww! And the pregnant daughter gets an ovation. Which is kind, but can we try to remember it’s probably best not to encourage that?
Sure, Palin scored points with a lot of people by saying she’d be a friend to families who have kids with special needs. No specifics, but it was Bush #1 who signed the disability access law, so who knows? Then there was Todd, the first dude, who was happy to have his ovation.
Better Parts Of The Speech
She mentioned Truman? They wouldn’t let her shout out to Ferraro or Clinton anymore, but she got one Democrat in there. The pit bull line was great, and she ripped into Obama’s community organizing.
Sorry lefties, this was long overdue. I was just talking with my brother-in-law about this during the DNC. What the frig is “community organizing”? They keep saying it like I should care, but I don’t. Say something specific, like “helped drive old ladies to get medicine.” Or “took slumlords to jail.” I don’t know. It reminds me of when my friend used to work in “supportive housing.” After five years, I think I finally figured that out.
Palin scored another “ouch” moment with her “styrofoam Greek column” line. The crowd was so whipped! She could have farted in tune and they would have loved her. I noticed Newt Gingrich in the audience was holding his applause.
Her delivery was confident, strong, and in charge. I found myself thinking, “If McCain loses, she could very well be the nominee in 2012.” Maybe even her against Hillary? She was slinging some insults, but no more than I expected all along from the GOP. When Obama fans were decrying the “rough” treatment the Clintons were supposedly giving him in the primaries, I thought, “Babies, the Republicans are going to rip him to shreds, just you wait.” I think one of the most cutting things was that she didn’t use Obama’s name until 3/4 of the way through the speech. As if to say, “I won’t dignify him by using his name,” which is meaner than the Democrats did to McCain at their convention.
I needed more bio. I needed to hear what motivated her to go from the PTA to the Governor’s Mansion. I think that’s a lost moment. I felt like we went from “Hockey Mom” to “Obama Sucks.” I needed the in-between.
I’m fine with snarky comments, but then she went into bold-faced lies and scary stuff: That Obama will raise your taxes (if you make over $250,000 and, of course, if he can get it passed, which is another thing), then there was the matter of claiming near-victory in Iraq… Hmm, not really. And the oddest statement along those lines was, “Instead of catching terrorists, he would rather read them their rights.” Oh yeah, a nation of laws is such a drag! Didn’t she just tell us for the 4,359th time about McCain being tortured as a P.O.W.? Wouldn’t it be nice if our country, above all others, learned from that? That was the point at which she really turned me off. And the more she plays up McCain’s heroics, the smaller it makes her look. The war hero and the hockey mom? Doesn’t help sell the idea that she could take his place.
One thing I like better about the GOP than the Democrats is that they gave Palin equal billing compared to McCain. Her font is the same size as the McCain font, whereas Biden is smaller than Obama’s, like Biden is the sidekick.
Joebama better keep tearing into the economy, because Palin and the rest of the GOP really left that out. Since Obama is such a chicken about talking about being pro-choice (the lame response at Saddleback is a PERFECT demonstration of that), they better get some snappy sound bites about the party of Hoover if they want to win. At this point, I think Palin is an asset.
If only Obama had picked Hillary as his running mate…