Wednesday, September 03, 2008
Vibe.com@RNC :: Day 3: Red Meat
Props where they're due: Sarah Palin came in with expectations lower than a bug, and delivered like a ninja.
Her mission: set herself up as the mother-next-door, then lance Barack Obama as an uptown liberal.
She trotted out her son Track, who is about to deploy to Iraq. Her daughters (with no appearance from Bristol's baby daddy). Her part Yup'ik Eskimo husband, the world champion snow machine racer. Even her infant with Downs Syndrome.
Before a crowd in which the only hand-painted signs either read "Palin Power" or "Hockey Moms 4 Palin", she retold her single hockey mom/pit bull joke. The Michigan delegation, outfitted in hockey jerseys for the occasion, went craaazy.
Then she started it up. She tossed the red meat again, following the path of her warm-up, the king of the parade of the also-rans featuring Fred Thompson, Mitt Romney and Mike Huckabee—Rudy Giuliani.
Giuliani suggested Obama didn’t think Palin's hometown Wasilla was "cosmopolitan enough". (Obama has never said anything of the sort.) But Palin evoked old-school red-baiting: "I guess a small-town mayor is sort of like a 'community organizer', except that you have actual responsibilities."
(Ain't it funny how the meaning of 'red' has changed?)
Giuliani called Obama out of touch. Palin said, "In small towns, we don't quote know what to make of a candidate who lavishes praise on working people when they are listening, and then talks about how bitterly they cling to their religion and guns when those people aren't listening. We tend to prefer candidates who don't talk about us one way in Scranton and another way in San Francisco."
She raised the experience issue. "Listening to him speak, it's easy to forget that this is a man who has authored two memoirs but not a single major law or reform—not even in the state senate."
The partisan crowd—which even at its most alive seemed straining to fill the arena—roared like a kennel of red nose pits.
They had chanted "Sarah" all night. For Obama, they chanted "Zero".
Palin even dissed Obama's "Styrofoam Greek columns" and all but dismissed his supporters as brainwashed followers.
"In politics," she said, "there are some candidates who use change to promote their careers. And then there are those who, like John McCain, use their careers to promote change."
Palin came off like Tina Fey beyond her most Hillaryest, delivering her punch lines like a savvy fighter. All this after a week in which Republicans had set expectations so low by giving the press over to her daughter's baby troubles, that Palin could hit it off a tee and get on base. She stepped up and blasted it over the next block.
And yet if this were actually a battle cypher, let it be noted Palin got through round one with a pocket full of writtens.
It's hardly clear how Palin will do on October 2nd at Washington University when she is separated from her teleprompters and facing off against Joe Biden, who has years of debates under his belt.
All that is certain is that the next two months will be no friendly game of baseball.
posted by Zentronix @ 9:42 PM
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