Thursday, September 4, 2008

Palin Screen Test

Last night was quite a performance by VP nominee Sarah Palin.

And "performance" is the right word for it. I have not heard any news story saying, "Palin insists on writing her own speeches."

So, I'm going to assume that someone else wrote it for her. It was delivered very well. She was confident. The words seemed to be coming from her heart. I didn't detect any hesitation or body language that would belie her true beliefs.

She covered it all:
*A special needs mom.
*A military mom praying for her son.
*Self-deprecating (pit bulls and lipstick).
*Success in the executive branch of politics.
*Kitchen-table tastes, sort of like Jerry Brown in California trading in the limo for a brown sedan.
*Love of her family, with great shots of the little babysitter.
*Loyalty to McCain.
*Taking shots at Obama.

I couldn't help but think of Candice Bergen in Sweet Home Alabama when Palin took after the Democrats. She was tough and deadpan, but not shrill. (She was also the villain.)

She hasn't got a picture-perfect family life. This isn't Ozzie and Harriet. She's faced the challenge of a baby with disabilities. She's got a daughter who has made some wrong choices. She's just like all sorts of swing voters who have their own problems.

Her best lines IMHO were these:
" small towns, we don't quite 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."

"...I got rid of a few things in the governor's office that I didn't believe our citizens should have to pay for. That luxury jet was over the top. I put it on eBay. I also drive myself to work. And I thought we could muddle through without the governor's personal chef..."

"There is only one man in this election who has ever really fought for you ... in places where winning means survival and defeat means death ... and that man is John McCain."

So, was it an act? Well, Reagan was a good actor who turned out to be a pretty good president. Folks who have spent time with her say she's the real deal. Can she think on her feet?

These are questions that will get answered as she goes through the meat-grinder of debates, interviews, and off-the-cuff statements to the press.

She looks promising as one who understands us commoners and is willing to add a fresh perspective inside the Beltway. On her own she would run the risk of another Jimmy Carter presidency, but as VP with a veteran politician as her boss she can be an advocate without being destroyed by the machine.

So far, so good.

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